Viper handlers ordered to crush autos
Andy Bolig - March 06, 2014 02:39 PM
An Olympia, WA news source is reporting that a local community college has been ordered to crush their beloved Viper that was donated to the school by Chrysler.
Like many of the cars in the automotive repair division of the South Puget Sound Community college, the car was donated to the school for educational purposes. Unlike many of the other cars, this one is pretty rare. The car bears the VIN number 004, making it the fourth production car built in the supercar’s year of manufacture.
Estimates place the car’s value at upwards of $250,000, but that’s chump-change in comparison to the millions of dollars of liability open to Fiat-owned Chrysler. Two Vipers donated for educational purposes had “got loose,” Chrysler reportedly said in an email that demanded that all 93 Vipers from the educational Viper fleet be destroyed within 2 weeks. This includes the Royal Blue beauty wearing VIN number 004.
The car was sought by auto enthusiast Jay Leno back in the ‘90s but his offer was turned down. Now, students at the school have started a petition to try and save their beloved Viper.
The issue stems from the fact that these cars were granted to various learning institutions with the understanding that they were to NEVER be driven on the street. Reports state that two cars found their way amid traffic and through the legal system, Chrysler was found liable. That makes the other cars in each school service bay or parking lot a potential time-bomb. One in which Fiat is hoping to diffuse by having each car crushed. Time will tell if a stay of execution will be offered for this, or any of the other Vipers, while others have already met their fate.
UPDATE: Chrysler has issued a press release addressing the issue of snake slaughter. The following text is the complete content of the press release.
Response to Third-party News Reports of Vipers Being Destroyed
March 6, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Attributed to Chrysler Group LLC:
Approximately 10 years ago, Chrysler Group donated a number of Dodge Viper vehicles to various trade schools for educational purposes. As part of the donation process, it is standard procedure -- and stipulated in our agreements -- that whenever vehicles are donated to institutions for education purposes that they are to be destroyed when they are no longer needed for their intended educational purposes. With advancements in automotive technology over the past decade, it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students. Chrysler Group fully understands and appreciates the historical significance of the Viper and is very active in preserving many of its legendary models and designs for historic purposes however, none of these vehicles fit into this category.
Chrysler Group has no record of any legal proceedings involving Dodge Viper vehicles donated to educational institutions being involved in accidents and product liability lawsuits.