There are few things in the automotive industry more comical than early-2000s Chrysler cost-cutting. Virtually every car the brand released at the time includes at least a few items where Chrysler trimmed a few pennies on the theory that “they’ll never notice this!”
Examples, therefore, are easy to find. But no example is as egregious as power windows on the Dodge Neon and Jeep Liberty.
The Neon is the best of the two. In order to make the car as cheap as possible – which would then become even cheaper with legendary incentives – Chrysler didn’t offer power rear windows on the Neon. But here’s the ridiculous bit: it did offer power front windows. So no matter how much money you spent on a Neon (including the high-performance Neon SRT-4), there was absolutely no way to get your rear windows to roll down with anything other than a manual crank.
With the 2002 Liberty, Jeep realized it couldn’t get away with not offering power windows. So it did the next best thing from the brand’s clearly influential cost-cutting department: it placed the switches on the center console.
This is actually worse than it sounds. In front, the Liberty had four window switches mounted in between the seats. That’s fairly normal for a lot of automakers who are too cheap to do two window setups for right- and left-hand-drive cars. But in back, Jeep said “screw the doors!” and put two more unlit and unmarked window switches at the base of the center storage bin. That meant if you wanted to roll your window down, you had to hunch forward and feel around in the dark until you grabbed the switch. Here’s my question: how much more would it have cost to relocate the switches to the doors?
Really, it’s a wonder Chrysler went into bankruptcy.