Dodge announced one last hurrah for the Durango SRT Hellcat, and current owners are legally calling foul.
When it first launched back in 2021, about 3,000 people jumped at the opportunity to own the most badass Dodge Durango that ever would be. Packing a 710-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 and an air of exclusivity, some owners happily jumped at the opportunity to own a “once in a lifetime” model. However, Stellantis re-introduced the Durango SRT Hellcat for the 2023 model year and owners, as you’d probably expect, are not happy. A group of owners even took to suing the automaker this month for misrepresenting the original scope of production.
The Drive reported on one owner’s (identified as Stacy) rationale behind the buy when the $82,500 SUV first launched. “We justified the cost because of the exclusivity, potential collectability, and that this will be our only chance to have one custom made with all the options we wanted.”
Initially taking his frustration to a private Dodge Durango owner’s group, he was met with support among some Durango Hellcat owners. “I had to do something if only out of principle.” In a class-action complaint joined by six other owners, Stacy asserts Stellantis (and FCA US LLC, the company’s American entity) misrepresented the limited run nature of the high-performance Durango to extract a premium from prospective buyers.
Had they known about Dodge’s intent to resurrect the model for another year, say the plaintiffs, they would not paid such a high price for the vehicle, or perhaps they would not have even purchased the vehicle at all.
To those among the group who were not as sympathetic to Stacy, et al.‘s plight, he said, “I get not everyone feels as offended by this blatant false advertisement as I do.”
A resolution may take awhile
The class-action lawsuit quotes Dodge brand CEO Tim Kuniskis several times over. Among the allegations is a statement from July 2020 wherein Kuniskis is quoted as saying, “[the] Hellcat Durango will be a single model year run. When we turn the order books oveer to the ’22 model year, the Durango Hellcat will be gone.” The complaint also references a press statement to the same effect. In that statement, which is still online at time of writing, one bullet point notes: “Dodge will build the Durango SRT Hellcat for the 2021 model year only”.
Stacy and the other owners believe something should be done to either stop production for the 2023 model year, or compensate affected 2021 owners for the depreciation associated with a larger run of Durango SRT Hellcats. “I want what I was promised,” he said.
Of course, the legal proceedings will ultimately decide whether Stellantis/FCA actually did deceive 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat buyers in that initial period. When we have any new information on this lawsuit, we’ll be sure to post an update.
H/T to The Drive for the owner’s perspective on this story.