Hellcat Horrors: Dealers take deposits, deliveries delayed
When Dodge announced the rollout of its all-new 6.2-liter supercharged V8 Hellcat engine, available in both the Charger and Challenger, it immediately set the automotive world abuzz. Fast-forward a few months later and Hellcat-equipped vehicles are flying off dealer lots so fast Dodge can barely keep up with demand. In fact, the demand for these 707-horsepower engines is so high that some Dodge dealers are taking deposits for Hellcats without checking inventory or letting the customer know it's going to take some time to fill the order.
And the factory has noticed. According to Gualberto Ranieri, senior vp of communications for FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), "We believe such a practice may constitute a breach of the Dealer's Sales and Service Agreement with FCA US LLC and a violation of other applicable laws."
Distribution of the hot 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger models is complicated and dealers do not have the same shot at getting one of these tire-smoking muscle cars to sell. Ranieri explained that the automaker allocates Hellcats based on previous sales over the last 90 days. However, a few have taken as many Hellcat orders as the market will bear, their individual allocations notwithstanding. While some instances are thought to be an honest mistake, others may be taking the deposits and will wait as long as it takes to reach their allocation level to deliver the Hellcat.
What you can do
If you're in the market for a Dodge Challenger or Charger Hellcat, the first step is to ask your local authorized Dodge dealer how many Hellcat orders are pending and how long the waiting list is. Next, ask the dealer directly how long it will be until you can expect to see your Hellcat. If the dealer requires a deposit, ask if it's refundable and what are the cancellation terms. Also consult your state's law concerning vehicle deposits.
If you feel like you've put a deposit down on a Hellcat and are now unlikely to see the vehicle, contact the dealership and discuss your options. To find a list of authorized Dodge dealerships near you, visit Dodge's website or call 855-778-8326.