Everyone thought Hyundai was crazy. A 100,000 mile powertrain warranty was completely unprecedented. That crazy marketing scheme combined with a confidence in the quality of their vehicles (as well as actually creating a quality vehicle), helped push an obscure Korean car company into a legitimate player in the automotive industry that years later other car companies had no choice but to follow.
Now the slightly less obscure American car company, Chrysler, has upped the ante. A lifetime powertrain warranty. According to the Detroit News, this will take place on their 2007 and 2008 gas powered cars. The only catch is the warranty is only available to original owner or leases of the vehicle. According to Chrysler the car has to be inspected every 5 years and the average car owner gets a different car every 5 years, which would void the warranty.
My opinion: Bad Move. Penny pinchers and cheapos the world over will be grabbing up these cars in hopes of purchasing their final car. I think that 5 year trade up will change with this warranty. Maybe this is a good move though. Cerberus is in this to make money, not neccesarily cars. This crazy move could boost sales for the next 5 years making Chrysler an industry leader. They sell and dump the problem on an over zealous new buyer to inherit the unsuspecting years of what I can only imagine as debt.