Long-term report: Our Chrysler 300 SRT has a never-ending problem

Long-term report: Our Chrysler 300 SRT has a never-ending problem

Fiat-Chrysler has a notorious reputation when it comes to reliability and build quality. But right off the bat, we’ll be the first ones to say that we highly recommend the Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger twins, and everyone who bought one after reading our reviews are very content. We’ve had our Chrysler 300 SRT for almost 3 years now. The car has been mechanically and electrically reliable for the most part, except for one nagging issue that no amount of warranty work is solving — the same small bits of interior trim keep falling off, again and again, twice every summer.

The trim bits in question are the real carbon-fibre strips on the doors and dashboard. They’re pretty fancy at first glance, but being a Chrysler, FCA probably used the most bargain-basement carbon-fibre they could find. The strips warp and come off, and cannot simply be glued back on so they need to be replaced. This happens twice a year on all the doors, once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of summer. Premium tint and a sunshade don’t stop it. But we hear this isn’t an issue if your Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep is parked indoors most of the time.

Give it a couple of years, and the centre-console materials along the sides of the gear-shifter also warp slightly, the optional leatherette on the dashboard starts becoming unglued, the alcantara door inserts start to come off the foam backing, and the rubber trim along the base of the windshield also warps heavily. We got all of that replaced under warranty this year, and that is after multiple trips to the dealership to get approvals, again and again. They never offer a free courtesy car or a shuttle back home when it finally goes in for the extra work. And you do have to go in between the six-monthly service intervals, because they never hold the ordered parts for you till the next service.

They did one positive thing for us however, after we escalated the issue to FCA Middle East — they got our warranty extended to early 2021 for free, including interior trim. This was at the start of the summer 2019. Mind you, the door trim all came off again at the end of this summer, and we’re still waiting on parts again. It would be great if they could keep these parts in stock so they could just make trim replacement a part of every oil-change service.

This car has been on the market since 2011, and these problems have been reported by owners since then, but clearly this minor supplier issue persists, and something that would’ve been caught if FCA cars underwent proper hot-weather testing. None of our other cars have such a problem (even while our Jaguar and Range Rover had much bigger issues).

Aside from free warranty items, the minor “5K” service earlier in the year cost Dhs 839, including a couple of wipers for about Dhs 140 each.

The later “10K” intermediate service in November cost Dhs 1060, including a car-charger port fuse for Dhs 9. So it’s not too expensive to run these cars.

All things considered, this is a minor issue, and these long-running 300C/Charger/Challengers are known to be mechanically reliable since they’re so old tech. They make great used buys, but this problem is annoying enough to make us reconsider buying any new FCA product. Buy a used one and replace any missing trim with better aftermarket materials.

Original Mileage When Bought: 9,010 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 19,513 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 17.5 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 1899

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 6789

Read all Chrysler 300 SRT long-term updates

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. I have 2013 brand new from agent and always serviced with Chrysler. The leather dashboard popped up and navigator stopped. I had extended warranty but they told me this does not include either issues. Service is really bad in Qatar and they neglect anything you want. Once they broke my dashboard cubby door and waited 6 months no news and always delay. I ended up sending email to main office senior threatening to lodge a complain to consumer protection agency then things done immediately. The car never parked in sun at all.

  2. I owed a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT/8 with 470hp. I very best car I ever owed but I traded for that very reason parts continuely coming unglued. Traded for a 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT392 nice car but I regret it very much but the 300 SRT was Not available in 2017 in America. That is so SAD!!!!!

  3. I have a 2012 Chrysler SRT8, and I ended up just sanding down my shifter console, and painted it matte black, and rest of interior trim I took off, painted the front gloss black, and doors to match the royal red, looks awesome. I think it should have came like that from the factory, since I can’t stand carbon fiber look anyways, except for my cold air intake pipe, and it keeps really cool at all times.

  4. I truly appreciate the fact that you guys did a “long term” review, but at the end I was just shocked.
    How could you judge a car’s mechanic reliability after it only undergone 19,000 KM?.
    Any half decent car would go at least 100,000 KM before showing any real issues and I believe that the only way to judge a car’s mechanic reliability is after you get over 150K on the ODO meter, I mean some people work on places that are far from their homes, I for example go 19,000 KM in only 4 months or so, so what I’m really wondering is how will the car do if it goes 50K/Year, NOT 19,000/3 years.

    • DriveArabia.com Author

      This has been brought up before. Our intention is to show cost of service and maintenance. If you work too far away, move closer to work or use public transport. When we had a long commute, we bought a more fuel-efficient car. The RTA always labels us with an “environment protector” label every year and we are proud of that. Our goal is to provide some level of information in case you do buy this car, instead of just buying one blindly and complaining of costs later. It’s easy enough to extrapolate the service costs every 5k km based on your own use.

    • Yeah man if you live far off from work or drive around for work you dare not enjoy the ride. Get a Yaris. If you want to drive a 6 cylinder or above move closer to work and burn more in 20 kms than a Golf R would burn in 50 kms. Think about the environment for once.

      This article is for people who only drive their moderately luxury-cars around for about 3k a year.

      If you drive 20k a year you need to get a life.

  5. I bought my 06 Dodge Charger R/T 5.7HEMI new and kept it till 12-10-2019 with 110,000 miles when I traded for a 19 KIA Stinger GTs. The dash looked better than when I bought it, the roof lining was still glued all the way around, the rest of the interior did not have cracks and looked very good. Passenger side head was replaced at dealership and I did the usual replacements: brake pads, front rotors, water pump, serpentine belt, cooling fans, radiator overflow tank, spark plugs and intake air sensor, two alternators and three batteries. Oil changed at 3000 miles by dealership program.

    Mom MOPAR did well.

  6. I have had similar issues with my 2013 Ram 3500 Longhorn Edition. The leather back seat covers popped off which causes them to hang down from underneath the seat. The seat cover attachments are a poor design and elementary at best. I took it to the dealer under warranty approximately a year after it was purchased. They reattached the seat covers and told me the problem was fixed. I live about an hour from the dealership and before I even got home the seat covers popped off again. I have personally reattached the covers over and over again but with no success. I have looked for a permanent solution but have yet to find one. The truck runs great and pulls unlike anything I have ever owned, I just wish they paid as much attention to the interior as they do the mechanical part of their vehicles.

  7. This has been reported in north america as well. One of the reasons why I opted for the 5.7L V8 awd 300 without the carbon fiber instead. Didn’t want the headache and eyesores of the warped interior trimming.

  8. 9 dirhams for fuse… Lulz. I wonder is the fuse free and Labour charge 9 😂

  9. Useful review, however, you shouldn’t be telling people that these cars are mechanically reliable when they are not. Along with the issues you mentioned above, they are notorious for engine failures. This problem is due to the lifters and cams failing, resulting in a full engine replacement which will cost you about $10,000 US. This problem has been widespread in both the 5.7 Hemi Rams and 6.4 Hemi Rams and Charger in the US, and 300 SRT and Jeep Cherokees in Australia.
    This issue has been a problem on 2012, right thru to 2018 models with one lady in Sydney reporting an engine failure on a 2019 model SRT 300 which she only had for three months. Although beautiful and fun to drive, these cars are in essence, a lemon. I suggest doing some research on cars that have driven at least 80,000 km before telling your readers that they are mechanically sound.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      We already did our research. The engines are fine if maintained as per instructions and not overly abused on a day-to-day basis. Oil changes are recommended every 5k km in the Middle East. If we went by your “lady in Sydney” who lost an engine after 3 months (at what mileage?), ours should’ve also blown up by now, considering it was a company fleet car for its first 10k km with worn-out brakes when we bought it. We also know someone who blew the engine on their Charger SRT — no surprise, considering he loved putting up burnout videos. The problem you mention was supposedly rectified in later models. If it indeed is a more widespread issue, it’s not as common as forums make it appear, and we’ll report on it if it happens to us or if local owners come forward.

  10. i wanna have a test rid with this car

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