Friday, January 17, 2020

Dodge Makes Controversial Change To Charger And Challenger


Hot stuff coming through!
There are some things in this world that are hard to explain. Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger owners choosing to keep the factory-installed splitter guard protectors on their vehicles following delivery is one of them. Fiat Chrysler first began installing these plastic protectors on its muscle cars back in 2015, specifically for the SRT Charger and Challenger to protect them during shipping. Makes sense, right? Of course. Thing is, owners opted not to remove them.

Car and Driver researched this matter further and, not surprisingly, it's a polarizing topic within the Charger and Challenger community. Heck, there's even a Facebook group solely dedicated to the practice. As of now, it has 12,000 members.

Dealerships are technically supposed to remove the splitter guards before customers take delivery, but this isn't always being done. The plastic guards even have written on them the following: "TO BE REMOVED BY DEALER." Why aren't dealers doing so? Because some are being pressured to keep them installed by customers. Go figure. Many owners don't seem to be bothered by these yellow pieces of plastic at the front of their muscle cars, even if they contrast with the body color. Protection is protection, right? Not necessarily.

Dodge and SRT design chief Mark Trostle previously stated owners are "just ruining the paint." FCA, which continues to actively encourage owners to remove the guards, has decided to act. Starting now, those splitter guards will no longer be bright yellow but rather hot pink.

Because "they weren't part of the original design," FCA sees no reason to keep them yellow, a color that was apparently randomly chosen. Chances are muscle car enthusiasts will not be fans of hot pink. Even though FCA is doing what it can to discourage this annoying trend, it's too early to tell whether the switch to pink will work. The automaker hasn't ruled out changing the guard color yet again, perhaps to black to avoid contrast, if the practice continues. This would be admitting defeat because the switch to hot pink may not change owners' minds, but it's worth a shot.

Meanwhile, the online debate continues.

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