Beware Dodge Challenger Mods: Dodge Confirms Popular Mod Leaves Permanent Mark Voiding Warranties
There was recently a noisy case where a customer was denied warranty coverage on a $36,000 repair job to his Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak. The blown motor was found to be the result of an exhaust mod, which voided his warranty. Now Dodge is speaking up on why this happened. It turns out that PCM mods leave a permanent mark that you can’t hide from Dodge.
Can modding your car void a warranty?
Yes. While most car makers vary on what mods might void a warranty, most manufacturers will stop warranty coverage if you monkey around too much under the hood. In the story from last week, we get a really good look at what that threshold is for Dodge.
According to CarScoops, the Dodge Challenger owner, Brennon Vinet, did as everyone with an aimless grievance does and took to Facebook to air his thoughts. “If you get a mid muffler [sic] delete on a Dodge vehicle it voids the warranty end of story,” he said. Well, since then, Dodge has responded, and it ain’t great for Vinet.
CarScoops reports that Vinet claims that Dodge denied him a detailed printed report on his car’s repairs and the lack of warranty coverage. Then CarScoops reached out to Dodge for a more direct answer and a better understanding of the situation.
Dodge initially told CarScoops that tampering with any emission control device could terminate the warranty. CarScoops followed up by asking Dodge to confirm precisely which part was tampered with. The firm said that it believes that Vinet didn’t just delete his mid-muffler but tuned his Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
Can Dodge tell if you tune your Hellcat?
“The warranty claim was rejected after a Stellantis Calibration Engineer ran Powertrain Control Module (PCM) diagnostics and confirmed that the vehicle’s PCM was tampered with and contained non-factory software,” a Dodge spokesperson told CarScoops. “I haven’t seen anything on our end regarding mufflers (i.e., not the issue),” he added.
This left the question, “How could Dodge tell if he tuned his Hellcat?” The Spokesperson responded with a humdinger:
“[The] Dealer ran a number of diagnostic tests, including a scan report on the vehicle’s Powertrain Control Module (PCM). Scan report found PCM to have non-factory settings (unauthorized software installed). The Stellantis Powertrain Service Center manager was asked by the dealer to review the case. The scan report was sent to Stellantis Powertrain Service Center for analysis. Data was checked and confirmed by Stellantis powertrain engineering to be non-factory software. The claim was rejected for PCM and emissions tampering.”
Tuning your Dodge might be a bad idea
Putting any questions to rest, the spokesman said, “If the PCM is tampered with but returned to original, the PCM will retain a code indicating it was tampered with.” The ghosts in the machine will live on long past your first set of tires have been burned up and melted away. Dodge is serious about their factory warranties and clearly will not pay if you play. Noted.