Please Help - Dodge Dealer Issue


I’m not sure if this is the correct forum, but I’m desperate for help. Here’s the story: My husband had a catastrophic failure with our 2005 Dodge 3500 diesel dually in Casper, WY - the transfer case blew up. The truck has 65k miles on it. We live in Kansas City, he was 850 miles from home. The Casper Wyoming Dodge dealer, Coliseum Motors has had the truck two weeks and I can’t even get a repair estimate out of them. All I’ve asked for is a written estimate of the repairs needed. I haven’t even started to address if this is a warranty issue. The insurance inspector says it was a mechanical failure and not a road hazard. So, I feel that it should be covered under the warranty, but I’m afraid to even start down that path. No one returns my phone calls or emails. How can I light a fire under this dealer that is so far away from us? How do I escalate this within Chrysler to get some customer service? I called the Chrysler 1-800 number and they were very rude, “it’s my problem I drove it so far from home, it’s a machine and it can break”. That was their response. Any suggestions or contact info would be greatly appreciated.


This was a great response from Chrysler. In other words, you shouldn’t drive their vehicles any further from home so that you can walk back if necessary. I guess you can’t do what the late Dinah Shore suggested you do with a Chevrolet: “See the USA in your Chevrolet!” It sounds as if you may only see your hometown in a Chrysler product. I think I would have an attorney write a letter to Chrysler.


Is the entire story being laid out here? If the transfer case “blew up” then it should be a simple matter of giving an estimate for a complete new unit, installed, since a blown up one is not worth fixing.

There is no reason in the world for a dealer not to give an estimate on this unless they think they’re about to be in the middle of a finger pointing ruckus.

Question. Has this truck had any transmission/transfer case/whatever services done by a quick lube facility?
Who normally does the oil change servicing, etc.?


An insurance inspector has looked at the problem. Is it correct that this is an extended warranty and if so, who did you buy the extended warranty from?


That’s a good point made about an insurance inspector and one which I overlooked.
If this vehicle is covered by an extended warranty policy, and ESPECIALLY if it’s not a factory backed one, then the dealer is not going to move one inch on fixing this truck until it’s etched in stone as to who is going to pay for it.

That’s also as it should be. When extended warranties first appeared there were too many instances of a vehicle being repaired, the customer driving off, and the dealer would then get stuck for the bill when the warranty company would refuse to pay.


The factory drivetrain warranty is 7 years or 70,000 miles for a 2005 Ram 3500. It appears that this is a factory warranty issue. Ask the dealer in Wyoming why they won’t provide an estimate. It might just be because there is no cost to you an they are caught up in providing details of the repair that you don’t need. Call the factory back and ask if the truck is still under warranty for the transmission failure. Ask specifically about the 7yr-70,000 miles drivetrain warranty. If the first person you talk to is rude, ask to speak to their supervisor. You never told us how you conducted yourself. By the tone of your post, you were probably calm and information-oriented. And that’s just the way you should be.


It may not be a factory warranty issue. Since it’s unusual for a transfer case to “blow up” this usually points to one of two things.
One is abuse (mired in mud?) and the other is the previously mentioned “potential visit to a quick lube” in which the fluid may have been drained - and not replaced, or replaced with something that should not be there.

It would be interesting to know the details behind the failure and the part about the dealer refusing to give an estimate baffles me. There is no reason in the world for the dealer NOT to give an estimate. It’s not like the dealer wants another broken down truck sitting around the lot collecting dust and eating up space.


If I were you I would try bringing it to a different dodge dealer and get the estimate there. Maybe they can help you as far as getting the factory to warrantee the issue. Sounds to me like its a factory mess up. Check with someone else.


I’m with you, something’s not right. If it was a factory warranty and it was inspected by an adjuster and found to be hardware failure, you wouldn’t need an estimate. It’s on their dime. I wonder if they have the part on order. Likely to be some lead time to get a replacement. Curious about the lack of response if it was as cordial as we’re led to believe.


The nearest other Dodge dealer in Casper, WY is probably at least over 100 miles away!


So, tow it from Casper WY to where? The next nearest Dodge dealer is in Douglas, at least 50 miles away. Casper may not be on the edge of the earth, but you can see if from there.


I don’t even understand this part about an “adjuster”.
A genuine factory authorized warranty repair does not use or require an adjuster.

A warranty repair is generally performed with no outside influence at all, the customer goes on their way, and the paperwork is submitted.
In the event the service manager may have a few qualms about something as major as replacing an entire transfer case, he simply picks up the phone, lays out the details, and gets a prior authorization.

Seems to me something is missing in this story.


when you broke down, what was being towed? and when the truck was towed to the dealership what was in the bed of the truck? any way the truck was overloaded? just curious why the dealership is stalling