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Old 20th November 2013, 21:04   #1
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Default Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

I'm posting this on behalf of my close friend, who is getting a taste of owning a FIAT product and their pathetic service. Here is another story, that will make us wonder how this company is even surviving by treating customers in this fashion.

I have taken his consent to post all the details and he is just hoping to get his car back in running condition, as he is loves his car. Hope you guys could point us in the right direction.

Car info :

Model : Fiat Linea, Petrol
Date of Purchase : 30th March 2010
ODO Reading : 36,xxx KMS
Vehicle No : KA 02 ME 3494
Last service done : 7th Oct'2013
Manager Name : Khan (9480839004)
CRM : Lavanya; Ms. Deepa - CRO / Mr. Tousif Ahmed - Service Advisor

The car has been serviced only at this service center and there have been no modifications done. Its completely stock.

Complaints reported at the time of service

1. Rattling noise from body : Checked & rectified.
2. Noise from steering : Checked & rectified.
3. Noise from fan belt : Checked & rectified.
4. Horn not working : Not fixed
5. Vehicle dragging on left side : Not fixed. Its gone worse
6. Low oil pressure turn off the engine warnings : Not fixed
7. A/c will turn automatically heat even when itís in cold : Yet to identify the problem.

The car was delivered on 9th Oct 2013 but they created more issues, than it already had at the time of giving it for service and without fixing the reported problems : (Typical Fiat )

1. ' Low Oil Pressure Turn off the engine' check LED comes up and engine shuts off automatically and refuses to start. Apparantely, this issue first occured a couple of years ago and been on & off since then.
->When this happens, he has to wait for a few hours and then try turning the ignition on
-> ' Low Oil Pressure Turn off the engine' even in reverse gear and 1st gear also.
-> Most of the time it is required to drive only in 1st gear.
2. Clutch not working properly, poor pick up. Clutch is too hard and feels jammed.
3. When braked hard, the car does not seem to halt and continues to move forward before stopping.

These were reported back to the service center guys on the 11th. Ever since then, the car has been tested multiple times, taken to the service center back & forth and once the manager told my bud that some of the alerts were false. Ironically, now its pretty much dead i.e, the car wont even start and its sitting at their workshop.

Icing on the cake :

The SA called up this morning and says, they have found some metal pieces in Oil Strainer?? and it would cost about 40K to repair it & its not covered under the extended warranty.

We have sent multiple e-mails to service.India@fiat.com, called their toll free number and even posted this issue on their FB page. No positive response and the worst part is, they are removing the post from the FB page

Request your assistance in helping him get out of this ordeal as he is busy with his wedding arrangements and hopes to get this car before the D day (in running condition)

Cheers
Avi
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:08   #2
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Request your assistance in helping him get out of this ordeal as he is busy with his wedding arrangements and hopes to get this car before the D day (in running condition)

Cheers
Avi
a. If your friend is located at Bangalore, kindly contact fellow member KarthickK or NKrishnaP. They have good contacts at the dealership and hope their reference will help.

b. Send a mail to Mangesh dot Kodalkar at fiapl dot com, he is the customer relation incharge.
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:27   #3
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post

1. ' Low Oil Pressure Turn off the engine' check LED comes up and engine shuts off automatically and refuses to start. Apparantely, this issue first occured a couple of years ago and been on & off since then.
->When this happens, he has to wait for a few hours and then try turning the ignition on
-> ' Low Oil Pressure Turn off the engine' even in reverse gear and 1st gear also.
-> Most of the time it is required to drive only in 1st gear.


The SA called up this morning and says, they have found some metal pieces in Oil Strainer?? and it would cost about 40K to repair it & its not covered under the extended warranty.
I am not sure who is to blame here.

You get a warning and you ignored it for 2 years, and now if metal filings are found in the oil, no doubt that both these incidents are connected!

Had you taken efforts to get the low oil pressure problem sorted out back then, you would not have these problems now. Metal filings = Lack of lubrication due to low oil pressure!

You can't really blame FIAT here. Yes, there are few good-for-nothing after sales, but you should be prudent enough to visit another outlet, once you know that they are upto no good.
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:46   #4
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

The oil pump may be damaged due to which the low oil pressure warning will come up and also cause the brakes to fail due to loss of vacuum to the booster. The damage to the engine will be severe :(
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Old 21st November 2013, 16:22   #5
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

but the question to ask is that if the customer did not take the car out of the F.A.S.S - then ideally the check engine light should have been thoroughly investigated at the first instance itself. Still, if there are metal pieces in strainer, because you have been ignoring a warning light - BECAUSE the dealer told you that all is well, then that consequent engine damage should be F.A.S.S responsibility as well IMHO.

I mean, none of this is user-driving-style-dependent wear/tear part. Its not a clutch for god's sakes. Fiat needs to own up responsibility for selling the customer a lemon!
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Old 21st November 2013, 16:39   #6
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
but the question to ask is that if the customer did not take the car out of the F.A.S.S - then ideally the check engine light should have been thoroughly investigated at the first instance itself. Still, if there are metal pieces in strainer, because you have been ignoring a warning light - BECAUSE the dealer told you that all is well, then that consequent engine damage should be F.A.S.S responsibility as well IMHO.

I mean, none of this is user-driving-style-dependent wear/tear part. Its not a clutch for god's sakes. Fiat needs to own up responsibility for selling the customer a lemon!
This particular 'low oil pressure' problem is quite common with few batches of the 1.4 petrols.

Question is, was this reported just after the first occurrence, i.e, before 2 years, to FASS? Going by what is posted, I guess not.

If this was reported and was termed as normal by FASS, then no doubt that the FASS is to blame. An unsuspecting customer would take the word and chug along, a well-informed one would not.

How many of us read the Owner's Manual in the first place?

It clearly tells to stop driving and call the Road Side Assistance or get the car towed to the workshop when we see such kind of warnings on the MID. I'm afraid this did not happen here, the customer was continuing to use the car!
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Old 21st November 2013, 16:56   #7
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

The Golden rule is, each time you get a check engine or other warning, you dont let anyone ask you to ignore it, especially if there's multiple instances of it. The prerogative lies on the owner to get to the bottom of it. If the workshop advises to ignore, there should atleast be a job-card that should be able to substantiate that the car was turned in with a check engine problem, in which case, the workshop has to provide answers to the company, in an event like this.

Does your friend have a Job-card asking to investigate the warning light?
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Old 21st November 2013, 18:24   #8
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

Difficult to blame either the customer or face of Fiat here!! Very little information is provided here. Please let us know some more details here.

Was the car serviced regularly at the prescribed intervals? Was it services outside any time?

Answers to both of these are very important to see why Extended warranty is not being honored

Either way, good luck!

Last edited by funkykar : 21st November 2013 at 18:34.
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Old 21st November 2013, 19:19   #9
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Red face Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
1. ' Low Oil Pressure Turn off the engine' check LED comes up and engine shuts off automatically and refuses to start. Apparantely, this issue first occured a couple of years ago and been on & off since then.
Avi,

IMHO Both your friend and Fiat are to be equally blamed. Your friend for living with the issue and not taking firm stand against Fiat for resolving the issue and Fiat for taking the customer for a ride inspite of the fact that the owner reporting the issue during every service.

On what basis is the claim agains EW being refused. The EW booklet says all the parts of the engine are covered in EW.

Regarding the veering to the left, WA/WB should have been undertaken.

Seriously your friend needs to take a hard stance here with Fiat if he needs the car for the said occassion.
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Old 27th November 2013, 18:22   #10
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

First of all, apologies for replying this late. A lot of things have happened and will share the details at the end of the post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
KarthickK or NKrishnaP
Thank you Sommos. Karthik was kind enough to call me first and check what had happened. Thanks Karthik

Quote:
Send a mail to Mangesh dot Kodalkar at fiapl dot com, he is the customer relation incharge.
Will do, if they do not stick to their fresh promise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
You get a warning and you ignored it for 2 years...
You can't really blame FIAT here.
As I had mentioned, the issue first started 2 years ago (and Yes, it was reported to them and I dint mention it as it was obvious). This is completely the Service Center's fault and after days of fighting, they have now agreed to do something, which I'll mention at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
The oil pump may be damaged due to which the low oil pressure warning will come up and also cause the brakes to fail due to loss of vacuum to the booster. The damage to the engine will be severe :(
You're very close and yes, the engine is damaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
but the question to ask is that if the customer did not take the car out of the F.A.S.S ..... F.A.S.S responsibility as well IMHO.

I mean, none of this is user-driving-style-dependent wear/tear part. Its not a clutch for god's sakes. Fiat needs to own up responsibility for selling the customer a lemon!
Thank you. That's exactly what we fought for and there is now some progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
How many of us read the Owner's Manual in the first place?... the customer was continuing to use the car!
I take the car to the service center and the guy who I trust and believe who know how to fix things, responds by saying this is a false alert and nothing to worry about.. what else do you expect to do as a layman?

His only mistake is, blindly believing those Ebony guys and dint take the effort to take a second opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Does your friend have a Job-card asking to investigate the warning light?
Yup. Luckily he has retained all of them and kinda of helped us in the fight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
Answers to both of these are very important to see why Extended warranty is not being honored

Either way, good luck!
Thank you. Extended warranty is what is being considered now and processed for approval. Fingers crossed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
IMHO Both your friend and Fiat are to be equally blamed.
Kind of true. He must have taken it to a different service center.

Quote:
Seriously your friend needs to take a hard stance here with Fiat if he needs the car for the said occassion.
Precisely what he did and here is the update

Update :

They have diagnosed and found that the Crankshaft and even the cylinder block is damaged.

After all the drama, they have now agreed to honor the extended warranty and replace the engine. Also, they have agreed to provide a spare car (a Punto). Will update further in a couple of days.

Last edited by aviorp : 27th November 2013 at 18:24.
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Old 27th November 2013, 18:34   #11
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Update :

They have diagnosed and found that the Crankshaft and even the cylinder block is damaged.

After all the drama, they have now agreed to honor the extended warranty and replace the engine. Also, they have agreed to provide a spare car (a Punto). Will update further in a couple of days.
Good job on their part -am impressed.

Except it kills the after-sales of the car in a way! (if your friend didnt have a long ownership in mind, that is).
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Old 27th November 2013, 18:35   #12
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
After all the drama, they have now agreed to honor the extended warranty and replace the engine. Also, they have agreed to provide a spare car (a Punto). Will update further in a couple of days.
Perhaps this part - "Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain" can now be altered in the title. Yes, the car (like any other manufacturer's car) can throw some issues and the service center at the outset, might not appear competent or concerned enough to solve the issues. Yet most issues do get solved amicably and Fiat does make it a point to provide a resolution that's customer-centric. There are a number of cases that I have seen on this as well as the Fiat specific forum, where the issues weren't completely Fiat's (or its dealer's) fault still, they offered warranty/extended warranty/goodwill-warranty to help the customer.
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Old 27th November 2013, 18:48   #13
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

@Aviorp: Thanks for the reply!

You still did not answer one of my questions to understand the issue better and to ascertain how it may have caused and why SC/Fiat refused to honor extended warranty at the first instance!

Was the car serviced as prescribed by Fiat? Time period or number of kilometres as prescribed in owners handbook?

In the last few years, I have seen so many cases where parts were replaced under warranty/extended warranty when service schedules were met as prescribed. I had got my speedometer cluster replaced under warranty and recently even a steering rack replaced under extended warranty without any issues. Also, both happened at different service centers, with no issues.

Please answer the questions, else the viewers on this thread may perceive the SC/Fiat/SA/SM in bad light!

Last edited by funkykar : 27th November 2013 at 18:52.
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Old 27th November 2013, 20:40   #14
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

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Perhaps this part - "Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain" can now be altered in the title... where the issues weren't completely Fiat's (or its dealer's) fault still, they offered warranty/extended warranty/goodwill-warranty to help the customer.
They have 'Not' honored the extended warranty yet. There is every chance of them denying it. So, for now I request the title remain the same please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Except it kills the after-sales of the car in a way! (if your friend didnt have a long ownership in mind, that is).
There is definitely some positive progress, but nothing is in writing for now, even though we asked them to send us an e-mail stating they are replacing the engine under warranty. So, we are still waiting for that so called 'approval'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
Was the car serviced as prescribed by Fiat? Time period or number of kilometres as prescribed in owners handbook?
Guess you missed my first post. The car was serviced according to the service schedules (and this was verified from their record) and not once the car was serviced outside this service center nor anywhere outside Bangalore.

Just want to share my experience with Mahindra guys and how they treat you, when you report a problem.

I own a Scorpio and its been serviced regularly at one of their service centers for the past 3 odd years. Anytime I have a concern or issue, that was either overlooked or they have not fixed it, I call their 800# and within 10 or 15 minutes, the manager from the service center calls up. I'm sure all Mahindra car owners would agree with me on this. This by far gives that assurance that someone does care about you and they do fix it.

Its like this.. you love someone and you need to give them that re-assurance that you're there for them and will take care of them, every now & then, that is when the relationship grows stronger.

Nothing against any FIAT owner nor implying their products are useless. The thread title was intended to get attention of FIAT and hopefully, they will improve their quality of service in the future.

Last edited by aviorp : 27th November 2013 at 20:42.
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Old 27th November 2013, 20:48   #15
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Default Re: Ebony Automobiles, Bangalore - Owning a Fiat is nothing but a pain

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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Guess you missed my first post. The car was serviced according to the service schedules (and this was verified from their record) and not once the car was serviced outside this service center nor anywhere outside Bangalore.

Nothing against any FIAT owner nor implying their products are useless. The thread title was intended to get attention of FIAT and hopefully, they will improve their quality of service in the future.
I had posted my reply after reading all the posts. Where on your first post have you mentioned that the car was serviced periodically? I re-read and don't see any reference to it.

Mentioning about last service and stating it was serviced only in FASS doesn't mean it was serviced periodically as prescribed by Fiat.

What is the reason given by SC/Fiat for not honouring warranty in first instance? I am only curious.

Last edited by funkykar : 27th November 2013 at 20:50.
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