SMS Supercars Chairman and CEO Steve Saleen, in an effort to keep his name untarnished, says he will honor all warranties on vehicles made by his former company, Saleen Inc.

The former racer and performance-car guru, who founded Saleen Inc. more than 25 years ago and remained CEO until 2006, left the company completely in spring 2007.

Saleen Inc. recently announced it was ceasing all operations and changing its name after being purchased by MJ Acquisitions Inc. Following the purchase, MJ Acquisitions said, “Regrettably, Saleen Inc. is unable to honor any warranties.”

In a statement, Steve Saleen says although SMS Supercars has no “moral or legal obligations” to honor the warranties, the company will do so.

“I was saddened about the way the current owners of the proud company I founded, and which held onto my name after my departure two years ago, have now dealt with my loyal and longtime customers,” Steve Saleen says in a statement. “The ones who have been left out in the cold are the loyal customers of Saleen (Inc.) products.”

Saleen customers in the U.S. who purchased a Saleen vehicle up to Feb. 2, 2009, and have a warranty claim can contact SMS Supercars, which will honor their remaining warranties as if they were SMS Supercars warranties.

“This unusual step in uncertain times is a measure to ensure that my past and future customers, as well as Saleen and Ford (Motor Co.) dealers around the U.S., continue to have faith in products bearing my name,” Steve Saleen says.

Orange County, CA-based SMS Supercars launched its first product – the SMS 570 Challenger – in January. The niche auto maker plans to debut the SMS 570X Challenger at the upcoming New York auto show.