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Old 10th February 2014, 12:21   #1
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Thumbs down Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

I had been quite skeptical about what has been talked about pathetic service of Skoda cars, but no more.

My colleague has shared with me his ongoing battle with Marikar Skoda at Trivandrum. It is rather unfortunate that VW as a parent company fails to address repetitive problems that render a car unusable for months on end.

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I own a Skoda Rapid 1.6 TDI Ambition and I'm from Trivandrum, Kerala. On the month of September 2013, while I was driving, the exhaust inspection system together with a flashing glow plug indicator turned on in the instrument cluster. Upon reaching home, I checked the ownerís manual and it said that I've to take the vehicle to the nearest service centre. I also called their toll free number and detailed about the issue. They asked if it is the alternator sign that is flashing to which I replied no. They have also asked me to check the coolant level and I found it be OK. They then told it's safe to drive the vehicle. However since I was not convinced by their reply, I took it to the authorized service dealer in Trivandrum, Marikar Engineers Private Limited (Marikar Skoda).

On 19th September 2013 - The car was given first time for diagnosis at about 11 AM. Service centre guys told the software needs to be updated. I took the car back on 5 PM. They said they're keeping the request open in case the problem comes back.

On 20th September 2013 - Problem reappeared, this time with engine vibrations, rattling noise and reduced power. Called the customer care and they have asked to bring the car. Since I was out of station for a week, I've told that I would bring the vehicle the next week.

On 26th September 2013 - The car was given again for diagnosis. Service centre guys told they need 2 days to analyse the issue.

On 28th September 2013 - Called the service centre and enquired about the status. They told Skoda is still recommending a software update and they can't do anything as the car is under warranty and would need approval from Skoda. I also asked for a replacement car, but they said they can't provide one unless approved by Skoda.

On 30th September 2013 - Called service centre again to know the status. They said they're waiting for Skoda's reply and that they have sent a mail to them regarding the replacement car.

On 1 October 2013 - Called the service centre and they told that there is a fault with EGR valve. Now that the problem is identified, I asked when I can expect the car to be fixed and delivered. They told that they will send a mail to Skoda and will update me of the status on 03 October as it's a holiday on October 2nd.

On 3rd October 2013 - Called the service centre again. It has to be noted that all calls were made by me and not even once they have called me to give an update. They said it will take about 10 days for the replacement part to arrive and a day to fix the car!

On 4th October 2013 - Asked about the status of the replacement car. They said they haven't received approval from Skoda.

On 7th October 2013 - I've called the service centre. They told me they'll get back with the status and thatís it. No reply from them. This time, I sent a mail to Skoda India customer care and detailed my experience so far with the service centre.

On 8th October 2013 - Got acknowledgement from Skoda. They have asked for vehicle registration no and contact details with address. I've given the details to which they have replied that they have understood the concern and has taken the matter with the concerned dealership.

On October 09, 2013 - Got reply from Marikar Skoda telling that the fault is with EGR valve and the parts will reach soon. They also included a false statement (unknowingly or knowingly) that one week prior to reporting the issue I have serviced the vehicle from St.Antonys service centre, Cochin (another dealership and from whom I bought the car). To this I replied that their statement is incorrect and that the first service was done 7 months back. I also enquired about the replacement car.
They replied back telling that the mistake was from their end and that the parts will reach soon. Still, they didn't tell anything about the replacement car. By this time, I felt that itís not a good idea to keep the vehicle in their custody and so in the evening I went to the service centre and took the vehicle from them and have told them that I will bring it once the parts have reached.
After this I was constantly in touch with them to see if the parts have arrived or not to which they have replied it still hasn't come.

On October 17, 2013 - I sent a mail to Skoda and the service centre complaining about their pathetic after sales support.

On October 18, 2013 - Got reply from Marikar saying that the parts will reach soon.

It was my marriage on October 30th and I was really busy for two weeks that I couldn't follow up with them. Not surprisingly, they also didn't bother to call me.

On November 3, 2013 - I went to a lawyer whose is a family friend of ours and told him the details. He said he will prepare a legal notice asking for compensation.

On November 6, 2013 - The notice was sent to Skoda India and the concerned dealers.

On November 11, 2013 - At about 3 PM, I got a mail from the service centre telling that the ordered parts have arrived! Indeed, they got the notice and hence the quick action.

On November 12, 2013 - The vehicle was taken to the service centre and they have acknowledged that work is under progress.

On November 15, 2013 - Got a call from the service centre that they have fixed the issue and is ready for pick up. I went there and waited for about half an hour in their lounge. Afterwards one guy came and asked to test drive the vehicle. We took it for a short drive and I could hear that there was a rattling noise from the engine. The service guy also noticed the issue. We came back to the service centre and they took it to the garage. I waited for another 15 minutes after which they have asked me to test drive again. This time everything seemed normal, so I told them itís OK but will watch out if some issue occurs. They have agreed and gave me a receipt indicating the part that was replaced. It was costing about 29k. For all these, they didn't charge me anything, since the vehicle is still under warranty. I took home the vehicle and all was well for two months. Since the vehicle seemed to be fixed, I didn't proceed with the compensation matter as mentioned in the legal notice. A mistake from my end.

On January 10, 2014 - While I was driving to my hometown, I got the warning lights (exhaust inspection system indicator and flashing glow plug system indicator) again. The next day I called the service centre and told them the issue. They have asked me to bring the vehicle to which I replied that I will bring it on Monday since I was at my hometown.

On January 12, 2014 - I was about to return to Trivandrum, but when I tried to start the engine, it didnít start. Now the vehicle was in non-drivable condition. I tried calling their service centre, but being a Sunday, no one replied. Finally my brother who was also travelling to Trivandrum dropped me at my house.

On January 13, 2014 - I called the service centre and told I'm not able to bring the car as it is not starting and that the car was at my hometown which is about 70 KMs from the service centre. I called their roadside assistance number and arranged for the pickup of my vehicle. The car was taken from my house that day itself.

On January 14, 2014 - Got acknowledgement from the service centre that they have received the vehicle and they are looking into the issue.

After 3 to 4 days, I called them and enquired of the status. The lady who attended the call said that the service guy who is looking into the issue is busy with some other customers work and that he will get back to me. But no one called. I waited for a week and still no response from them.

On January 25, 2014 - Sent a mail to Skoda and Marikar Skoda again complaining about their incompetence and the way the customers are treated. I also told that I'm going to proceed legally. Within 5 minutes of sending this mail I got a call from Marikar saying that 4 fuel injectors are faulty and they are waiting for the parts to reach them. I told them I will consult with my lawyer and get back to them.

I went to the lawyer and he prepared everything required to file the case in the consumer court. The case has been now filed and the hearing date has been given.
He has the first court hearing tomorrow. Will keep the post updated on the developments.

Attaching the invoice from the EGR fault.

Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved-egr_edit.jpg

Last edited by noopster : 10th February 2014 at 17:56. Reason: Added invoice scan to opening post
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Old 10th February 2014, 12:34   #2
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Firstly Sorry to hear about your friends ordeal, will be a long road for him with the case.

Secondly, Skodas hardly sell as compared to Maruti's or Hyundais for that matter, still we hardly hear cases about Maruti mal treating its customers and with Skoda there are cases in kilo tons, I don't get it, why do people buy Skodas still ?

There is a saying in Hindi which goes like 'Aa Bail mujhe maar and then blame the bail'.
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Old 10th February 2014, 12:54   #3
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Skoda was quick in reporting a false claim by a member (reflux).
I am sure they are watching the forum and especially the threads involving Skoda.

No response by Skoda on this thread would mean that they agree with the following facts:
1. Critical parts like EGR valve and fuel injector failed in their premium car
2. It took inordinately long time for them to investigate and analyse the issue
3. Repair was further delayed due to delay in getting parts
4. Their dealer never had a courtesy of calling - always customer was calling and doing following up
5. Things moved only once they were slapped with legal notice

Earlier DSG units were failing with multiple cars, with Sahil's case it was ABS unit, now with this case it is EGR valve and fuel injectors - whether Skoda cars are not compatible with Indian conditions OR Skoda sells cars which are fitted intentionally with inferior quality parts in Indian market?

Shameful business practices on Skoda's part!

Regards,
JLS
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Old 10th February 2014, 13:24   #4
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

@Kutts, Sorry to hear that, your colleague is struggling with Skoda. For your colleague, it might be new & painful, but to skoda, its their daily job Kudos skoda for making another customer cry.

Ask him not to let skoda go. Now, he has to wait long for justice.

Now, Skoda india might be listning to "...Another brick in the wall." Their target is to listen to this song atleast once a day. Mandatory to listen once in a week.

I think, its high time to get some new ammendments to our 1960's or so automotive act. "Government should cancel the licence of the manufacturer, if the failure rate exceeds ~3%". Like what we have on Ebay and other ecommerce sites.

I think, This is the only solution. As the whole world knows, our government doesnt act any time, so the apex court should take an initiative and order the government to cancel the license, if the # of cases filed exceed a certain percentage.
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Old 10th February 2014, 13:41   #5
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Sorry to read this incidence and once again from Skoda, but this is the first time I'm reading such a news about the Rapid. I had an impression that the Rapid did not have any quality issues.

Legal battle will be a very long procedure and without any surety about the final outcome. Why don't you think about negotiating for a replacement car from Skoda and settle the issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum View Post
Secondly, Skodas hardly sell as compared to Maruti's or Hyundais for that matter, still we hardly hear cases about Maruti mal treating its customers and with Skoda there are cases in kilo tons, I don't get it, why do people buy Skodas still ?

There is a saying in Hindi which goes like 'Aa Bail mujhe maar and then blame the bail'.
Perhaps because Skoda manufactures some really good cars. The pathetic After Sales Service is common for all European brands in India, Fiat/Skoda/VW.
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:01   #6
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
Perhaps because Skoda manufactures some really good cars. The pathetic After Sales Service is common for all European brands in India, Fiat/Skoda/VW.
I can agree with your post only if you meant to keep out the word 'reliability' from good. A good car should be reliable too. If you are talking about smooth and powerful engine along with well built & premium cabin and body structure, that is Skoda- but so many cars failing to the ratio of cars sold puts a question mark on the reliability. Hence, do not agree with the 'good' remark
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:01   #7
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
Legal battle will be a very long procedure and without any surety about the final outcome. Why don't you think about negotiating for a replacement car from Skoda and settle the issue.
But, legal letters seem to get prompt responses from Skoda helpdesk and dealers. It appears that they have become immune to the normal complaints made by a Skoda owner.

Also, it is very surprising to hear that Skoda did not approve of a request to give him a secondary car until his original one is repaired.

Does Skoda have a saturation point when it comes to bad press for its after sales support?
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:33   #8
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Why dont you post this on the FB page once its out there on the social media, I think its their reputation at stake and may speed up the process.
https://www.facebook.com/SkodaIndia
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Old 10th February 2014, 14:42   #9
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Skoda is analogous to S(k)oda . As long as the fizz is there it tastes wonderful(Driving experience). Once the fizz is gone(read troubles cropping) , one does not even like to drink it!

On a serious note, Posting it on FB may not help as we have seen many instances of the posts being deleted by s(k)oda when ever you talk foul about their cars!

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 10th February 2014 at 14:45.
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Old 10th February 2014, 15:21   #10
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

People buy Skoda because it is allowed to sell. It is more than high time Skoda India is brought down on their knees or thrown out of the country; especially with thug dealers around. I just hope the court restores some sense into those faulty minds.

This is no way to treat a customer, sleeping over a customer's car; whoever come in support of Skoda on this thread and start say this is bashing. There is no bashing without a cause.

Apart, how old is the car in question? Replacement car means loaner car or a full replacement?
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Old 10th February 2014, 15:29   #11
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

@Kutts, I am sorry for the ordeal your colleague is going through. But Thank You for posting his experience here for the benefit of the community.

On a side note, I will be in the market for a sedan in about a year's time and have actually started an initial research (comparo between cars that fall in my budget/meet my requirements). Despite several 'horror stories' on this forum, I actually made the folly of considering Skoda Rapid -- in fact, was even on the car's website earlier today.

Thanks to the treatment meted out to its customers, Skoda makes TATA look really really good. Will actually add the Manza/Zest (if it launches by then) and completely strike off Skoda (perhaps even VW Vento).

Last edited by Masda : 10th February 2014 at 15:33.
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Old 10th February 2014, 16:27   #12
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Quote:
Originally Posted by kutts View Post
I had been quite skeptical about what has been talked about pathetic service of Skoda cars, but no more.

My colleague has shared with me his ongoing battle with Marikar Skoda at Trivandrum.
There we go. Just as I was warming up to the idea of facelifted supereb, I get his. God's way of saying "NO" I guess. Well I will be closely watching this place.
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Old 10th February 2014, 20:43   #13
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post

Perhaps because Skoda manufactures some really good cars. The pathetic After Sales Service is common for all European brands in India, Fiat/Skoda/VW.
Yeah, till they run(which is not really long)

I would rather go for a rattly Swift which would run 2 lakh plus kilometers with a manufacturer standing behind me like a father who will fix anything and everything in your car at the cheapest of prices in the quickest of times.

People do not spend their hard earned money to face heart ache from the ownership. A niggle should not be a matter or dread for anyone, Whenever something goes wrong in my car which is 90 thousand km run, I know in all my heart and mind that Maruti will sort it out no matter what and will give me back a perfect car, Why can't a Skoda customer who has spent more than me be made to feel the same ?
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Old 11th February 2014, 08:32   #14
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Red face re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Sad to hear the travails.

It seems like Skoda is more than keen to hit a nail in its coffin and making fast progress to achieve it. No matter how good they make cars but end up always on the wrong side of law when it comes to customer service. I wish you friend does get the justice and the Skoda start introspecting soon coz this is going to hurt the VW sales too sonner than later.

Bad show by Skoda.
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Old 11th February 2014, 12:08   #15
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Default re: Skoda does it again, Marikar (TVM). Rapid problem since 4 months. EDIT: Solved

Oh boy, not one of these again. Skoda, when will you ever learn? It seems like it is just another day in office for these Skoda guys. I really wonder if the government will ever take measures to protect consumer interests. The more one goes through such threads, more averse the people become to the brand. It seems they are making rapid progress in digging their own graves.
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