FCA US confirmed the suspension but didn’t specify how long it would last.
“Due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats,” the company said in a statement, “we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system.”
Demand for the pair of 707-hp cars built in Brampton, Ontario, has wildly exceeded company projections, and their limited availability has frustrated dealers and would-be buyers.
Several weeks ago, FCA’s top U.S. spokesman, Gualberto Ranieri, criticized “a handful” of dealers for engaging in “unscrupulous” and potentially illegal behavior by taking orders they may be unable to fulfill.
Dodge dealers have delivered more than 2,200 Hellcats -- some at well above sticker price -- but Dodge brand head Tim Kuniskis told Automotive News last week that the company had received more than 9,000 orders. That’s double the annual sales for which FCA had planned. Dealers started taking orders in September.
Most of Dodge’s 2,300 U.S. dealers were told that they may get no more than one per month, yet some have taken orders for dozens, or even hundreds. Some have asked for nonrefundable deposits of up to $5,000.