As some of you learned late last night via my Twitter and Facebook stream, the armrest on the Chrysler 200 broke. Now before you get into the Imported From Detroit quips, I want to give some background on the situation.
A few weeks back I had the 2011 Dodge Avenger Heat in my driveway. It shares the same armrest design as the new 200. When operating normally, the armrest should slide back and forth. When it slides back it should lock into place with a click. When the 200 arrived on Monday the armrest slid freely with no click. Meaning the armrest never locked into place at any point.
This leads me to think that at some level the armrest was already broken to a degree. I believe me putting weight on the armrest last night was merely the straw that broke the 200’s back.
I received a call promptly this morning from my Chrysler rep after she learned of the situation. I actually offered to drive the car to a local dealership and have the armrest repaired.
Chrysler isn’t taking the situation lightly. It has asked me to stop driving the car and is sending someone up to take it back tomorrow. It is actually shipping it directly to Detroit, and having the 200 team look at it.
I am told this is the first time the 200 team has heard of anything like this happening. It is planning on doing a full investigation in an effort to determine what was the cause of the breakage.
Chrysler’s reaction is what impresses me. It seems to be very concerned as to why something like this would happen. Enough so that it would take the time to look at this specific press car in an attempt to determine what caused the break. Would every automaker do that if a part broke on a new press car? None the less an armrest? I’m not sure, but today Chrysler is, and that’s something to note.