A Letter to Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of the SRT Brand

UPDATED 4/12/12 – I saw today that Mr. Gilles is now on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/RalphGilles).  Some folks may want to start letting him see the power of social media.  If you have a 2011 or newer SRT8 let him know how un-happy you are about the lack of tuning due to the rolling code encryption.

Most anyone that owns a 2011 SRT model car knows this issue.  It has been one that is being debated on message boards and forums constantly.  For those that do not the basic issue here is as of 2011 Chrysler decided to not only encrypt the PCM on the SRT, (and other vehicles), they will not release those rolling encryption codes to the public or the tuning companies.  This is a strange debate as for year’s americans have long since lived to modify their cars.  Ford, Chevy, even BMW now openly allow tuning companies like DiabloSport to access their codes.  In turn custom tuning shops use these tuners to sell additional parts and service to consumers.

By locking these cars Chrysler has effectively halted economic growth in a sense because aftermarket parts cannot be bought or installed.  Well that is for THEIR products.  Their competitors have no issues allowing this practice and the consumer knows this will void the warranty.  Chrysler has taken the “To protect the Warranty” approach, but let’s be honest.  We are all adults, we know making changes voids that.  However that is our god given right to do if we so choose.  Essentially companies like DiabloSport are now left to “Crack” the encryption costing them more money and in turn driving up the price of their product once it is released.  The question is why not just work with the folks working on these aftermarket products.

In the end all I could do myself was write the following letter to Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of the SRT Brand and see what happens.  Most likely nothing, but this whole thing is just plain silly if people have money and want to spend it on their cars.  Who is Chrysler to say we cannot do that?  I guessed at the email address being a technology guy there is only so many combinations E-Mail administrators use.  I have yet to get an immediate NDR or other response.  I encourage other SRT owners out there to add comments even send you’re own letters.  The power of the people can change policies, it has been known to happen.

Actual Letter Sent to [email protected]
Mr Gilles,

There is a lot of upset consumers out here these days that are very angry at the decision to lock the PCM from any modifications.  All the warranty reasons a side and being a long time car nut yourself, this just seems crazy.  After market vendors are going to be put out of business by this, and your competitors Ford and Chevy freely give there codes out to the tuners.  This decision has caused such an uprising that people like me who know own my 2nd SRT and looking at a 3rd are questioning remaining loyal MOPAR fans.

I implore you to re-think this decision by the engineers and open up these codes to folks like DIABLOSPORT so we can do what we want with the cars we own.  I’m not sure if you read the message boards but it has gotten ugly for sure.  This whole topic is nothing more than a standoff which in the end will hurt Chrysler.  I urge you to address this issue head on with we the consumer and work with us not against us.  Preventing modifications just stops money going into the economy in other places.  People spend thousands with other companies on parts and service to upgrade their cars and all that money has stopped flowing for 2011+ cars.  Chrysler is helping destroy the small businesses out there, and hurting the economy when people like me want to spend money on parts but cannot.

This whole topic seems un-american from a company with new ad campaigns “Born from Detroit”.  It’s a free country, so let us modify to our heart’s content while we know this will void warranty it always has but that is OUR decision to make not Chrysler’s.  Put an end to this whole debate once and for all and open up the codes to the tuners of the world.  Stop holding a monopoly on upgrades and parts for the dealers out there.  Protecting them is one thing, but this is now far out of hand.

 

Regards,

Chris Colotti

13 comments

  1. I agree completely!

    • Well I am extremly disapointed with Chrysler and the fact that SRT vehicles come with a 3 year 60,000 km powertrain warranty as opposed to the 5 yr 100000 they offer on every other chrysler product. Why are we being penalized for buying the top of the line model. And for that matter my 2012 srt8 300 just blew the motor at 76,000 km what a joke that they wont stand behind there product

  2. Do date I have never heard anything and did not get a non-delivery message.

  3. HA, yeah things in reverse when I can tune my BMW X6, and you can’t tune a SRT. I thought that was the point of buying American..

    Wade

  4. I have no desire to tune my 392 Challenger – 470 HP and 470 NM is quite enough for me. The car in stock form exceeds every hope I had before I bought it. Apart from an exhaust and a skip shift eliminator, this is enough car for me.

    HOWEVER – that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the ability to! Once I buy a $50k+ car (or a 5k car for that matter), I expect that it is mine to do with AS I PLEASE, assuming I don’t break any local or Federal laws. The SRT in particular is a niche model. People buying this model I would assume, usually have more that one vehicle. It is not your typical everyday driver. Particularly in Challenger form, this is an enthusiast’s car, something we take to the drag strip, something to have fun with. This is a car I hope to be messing around with my son in someday.

    As Wade H mentions… I was able to do anything I wanted to my BMW 135i… which I traded in for my American (albeit Canadian built) muscle-car. Same for the Porsche Cayman I had before that. If you want to talk tuning and aftermarket, the Germans are complete nuts. AMG, Alpina, Ruf… not to mention Dinan etc. At least they can still play…

    • I have been trying to get Mr. Gilles on twitter to realize this very fact.  He replied to one of the tweets but I am not sure he actually read this letter/post or the other ones out there by other owners.  We are all saying the same thing and Massachusetts is actually trying to pass a law PREVENTING the manufacturers from locking out an owner on a product they OWN.  It goes against everything this country was built on if you ask me.

      I own it, so I should be able to do what I want to even if I blow it up in the process.  🙂

      • What is this proposed law that would prevent car manufacturers from doing such a thing as prevent tuning of our cars? I live in Massachusetts and will work this through my congressman to get it passed! The last car I had (GM) I was able to tune for better economy AND power… I’d like to be able to do the same with my Chrysler.

  5. 8,434 readers of my book

  6. Because of Chrysler locking the pcm I can safely say this is the first and last time I’ll buy a 2011+ Chrysler product (own a 2012 Grand Cherokee). If I were a Challenger, Charger, 300, or Jeep SRT8 owner I would be livid. Without after market support Chrysler performance vehicles are the SLOWEST and LEAST fuel efficient vehicles of the big 3. I should have stuck with Ford and got another F150.

    • I wish I could say I agree, but we also just got an SRT8 Jeep for my wife. Although that is not getting any work done except a Corsa when it is available. Although if you search my posts you will see I solved the problem of tuning with an Arrington PCM swap and SuperCharger 🙂

  7. I think you have the wrong email, perhaps. You might want to try @chryslergroupllc.com instead. Or write a letter to:
    http://www.chryslergroupllc.com/footer/Pages/ContactUs.aspx
    Maybe you pay some money and get a valid email from these guys, dunno:
    http://www.lead411.com/Ralph_Gilles_1255003.html
    I want to contact someone who cares about my Charger and am lookin’ fer a way.

  8. There are thousands of “tuners”. Most of them are useless. Some are unethical…as in, causing an engine’s failure, and trying to get it warrantied. Owners want a lumpy idle, which is a sign of poor combustion…NOT power!

    I agree that good tuners should be allowed access…but NOT to every Tom, Dick and Harry with a few hundred bucks to buy a Diablosport.

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