Dodge Steps Up After Dealer Screws Soldier Out of Challenger SRT Demon 170 Order

A Dodge dealer sold a Demon 170 out from under a member of the military while they were deployed. Things got so bad that Dodge’s CEO had to step in.

byJames Gilboy|
The “Old School” order combination for the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Jailbreak model features an F8 Green exterior dressed up with 20-by-11-inch Warp Speed Satin Carbon wheels, Satin Chrome Hellcat badging, Hammerhead Grey seats and seat belts on the interior, and much more customized content.
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Dodge owners have been in an uproar in recent days over a dealership's treatment of a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 customer. In short, it looks like the dealer sold the car out from under an active-duty servicemember while they were deployed, defamed him, and then lied to Dodge about what it had done. Don't worry, things end well, but the path to this happy ending is a shining example of why car dealers are so widely distrusted.

The story begins at Mac Haik Dodge in Flowood, Mississippi. Previously, we have covered the Mac Haik dealer network for its price-gouging on limited-run performance cars like the Chevy Corvette Z06. With the Dodge Challenger exiting production, and the 1,025-horsepower SRT Demon 170 sending it off, Mac Haik evidently expected a payday from the strictly limited-edition Challenger.

As outlined in videos from drama YouTuber "Butter Da Insider" and a story from StellPower, Mac Haik in Flowood took an order for a Demon 170 in F8 Green from an unnamed servicemember at a $50,000 markup. One video includes a photo of a Monroney sticker with a blurred-out name, alleged to belong to the servicemember who ordered the car. Their Challenger was scheduled to be delivered while they were overseas, so they reportedly arranged to have it picked up by family members this month.

At some point though, this same Mac Haik franchise allegedly promised another Demon 170 customer a car in Triple Nickel. But that car had allegedly been sold to someone else already, so when this customer showed up after driving eight hours to see the car, the dealer offered them the pending-delivery F8 Green car for more than what the servicemember agreed to pay. A deal was struck, and the happy new owner went to Facebook to share their excitement for their new purchase. However, the servicemember who originally ordered the car was in the group where this boast was shared, and the two quickly figured out what had happened.

When this story spread, it appears Mac Haik employees tried to do some damage control—poorly. Screenshots allegedly taken in the private Facebook group where much of this unfolded show William LaGrange, the general manager of a Mac Haik Chrysler franchise in Texas, denying many of these allegations. He claimed no such car was ever ordered in the servicemember's name (even though a Monroney suggesting such has been shared online), and accused the F8 Green's intended original recipient of lying about being in the military. The YouTuber who shared images of LaGrange's comments says Mac Haik employees told them that they've been instructed to let this all blow over.

But at some point, the news made its way to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, whom StellPower reports reached out to both parties for their versions of the story. The dealer reportedly claimed to have smoothed everything over, but the servicemember contested this, reportedly saying they were not offered an acceptable resolution.

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody in F8 Green with dual carbon stripes. Dodge

Unfortunately, this all went down after the Challenger had exited production; it wasn't possible to build a new car to replace the one that had been ordered. No cars across the nation's inventory matched the ordered spec, either. The customer who unknowingly bought the F8 Green car arranged to return it to Mac Haik, but with some miles now on it, it wasn't the car the servicemember paid for.

Still, this story has a happy ending. Dodge held on to 40 Demon 170s to reward its top dealers with, but it plucked one Pitch Black example from the batch. It'll be sent through Dodge's Jailbreak program, repainted F8 Green in factory quality, and built to match the original spec the servicemember ordered. This will all be done at no charge, and the car will be sold at MSRP. On top of that, Jay Leno will handle the delivery ceremony at his garage. All's well that ends well in the "brotherhood of muscle."

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis delivers a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 to Jay Leno. Dodge Stellantis

"Many other owners and the guy who purchased my original vehicle have reached out and offered their own solutions," the servicemember told StellPower. "I've had many people offer up their own cars to me for purchase. The guy who purchased mine even offered to spend more money to buy another one if I wanted to buy mine from him. The brotherhood is real."

"All those options were well received, and I was grateful for everyone’s willingness to help but it wasn't on them to fix. It should have been on the dealership to fix."

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

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