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Old 23rd January 2009, 18:26   #31
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It could be a manufacturing defect, but how are you going to prove it ? As long as the car is out of warranty, skoda need not replace it FOC, unless they want to be a maruti. Knowing their snobbish attitude, i guess it is not on.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 18:36   #32
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
Go to higher Skoda officials demanding free of charge replacement and not even a single penny paid. Or else go to consumer court.
First, a customer "demanding" things when the car is out of warranty will annoy both the dealer and the company. The company will politely tell the customer to go fly a kite. Second, I doubt that going to court will be of any practical use since the car is out of warranty. Legally, Skoda does not owe the customer anything once the warranty expires.

I suggest the customer politely ask the dealer to ask the company to cover the cost of the part "out of goodwill" and since (I'm assuming) the car has been maintained well by an authorized dealer. If the company can cover the parts, the customer can cover the labour charges. Compromise and everybody wins.

Does anyone know if Skoda India has a good reputation for helping customers out of goodwill?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 18:42   #33
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Sam, this is just the start of things to come. The Skoda Laura is NOT a reliable car. In fact, owners gave the car a "below average" status in our ownership reviews. Many Lauras have reported problems with electronics, air conditioning, DSG gearbox etc. etc. The second part of this problem are the exhorbitantly priced spares (as your MD found out). Skoda seems to have taken their luxury positioning in India (purely by chance I'd add) a little too seriously.

That said, a flywheel failure in 10K is unheard of. Very rare and chances are, it is a manufacturing defect only. I understand that the car is out of its standard warranty period but, for Christs sake, she has run only 10,000 kms. Skoda ought to replace it as a goodwill gesture.

Will Skoda do it? Fat chance. If history is anything to go by, Skoda enjoys milking Indian customers dry. And spreads the viral to their dealerships as well.

My suggestion : The car is out of warranty period. Take it to a competent after-market specialist. Rt used to take his Octavia to Ashdeen and was very happy with the quality of service. It might also help getting a second opinion as I don't trust any Skoda dealers. For all you know, the flywheel is just perfect. Remember, these are the same scoundrel dealers who insist on changing the Octavias flywheel with every clutch job.

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First, a customer "demanding" things when the car is out of warranty will annoy both the dealer and the company. The company will politely tell the customer to go fly a kite.
Dose, you obviously need to read up on previous incidents where "demanding" things has lead to a fruitful outcome. If the company tells you to go fly a kite, it is entirely up to you to decide on the future course of action (i.e. to fly or to fight). Few businesses will take money out of their kitty when approached politely. However, legal action & publicity in the press has led to many a dealership / manufacturer bending over backward. Heck, Team-BHP threads have made the biggest knock on their customers doors (again, search through our archives).

And yes, as a customer who has paid premium money for a premium car, I could care less about how much the dealership or Skoda are annoyed. THINK of the customer and how annoyed he would be at such an expensive failure in only 10,000 kms.

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Second, I doubt that going to court will be of any practical use since the car is out of warranty. Legally, Skoda does not owe the customer anything once the warranty expires.
Your doubts are baseless. The consumer court has often given verdicts in favour of the customer, despite the product being out of warranty. And yes, legally too, Skoda could owe this customer a replacement. The only reason I haven't recommended Sam a legal route is because JBL is too busy to waste their time with lawyers on a 36 grand repair. However, if the amount were larger, I certainly would.

Why am I speaking with authority? Because I have had Mercedes make good for my defective C Class. DESPITE the car being out of warranty. Go figure.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd January 2009 at 19:04.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 18:51   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dose View Post
1) First, a customer "demanding" things when the car is out of warranty will annoy both the dealer and the company. The company will politely tell the customer to go fly a kite. Second, I doubt that going to court will be of any practical use since the car is out of warranty. Legally, Skoda does not owe the customer anything once the warranty expires.

2) I suggest the customer politely ask the dealer to ask the company to cover the cost of the part "out of goodwill" and since (I'm assuming) the car has been maintained well by an authorized dealer. If the company can cover the parts, the customer can cover the labour charges. Compromise and everybody wins.

3) Does anyone know if Skoda India has a good reputation for helping customers out of goodwill?

1) The customer has the right to demand. The car has not been driven so much that the flywheel packs up and needs replacement. This is IMHO understood by all. And if it need replacement then the component was defective right from day one and company has to take responsibility of the same. I am yet to hear some news that in an expensive car flywheel needs replacement at 10K kms. Its a shock to me, specially considering the fact that Laura is basically a VW Golf version with VW engine.

2) Again, do you think that Skoda will budge and give the customer a goodwill replacement ? Already Sam Kapasi has mentioned that Skoda is not responding in accurate and timely fashion. Only after many emails they did respond and the dealer is also not responding. So you still believe that the car owner should politely ask for a goodwill part replacement ?

3) I havent heard this and I havent heard for good Skoda A.S & S.

The most shocking fact is the componenet asking replacement at this many kms. And considering the fact that Skoda did say in their reply that they cannot replace free of cost, it means Skoda ( hopefully ) did interact with dealer and verified the fact about flywheel being damaged. If this is true then just IMHO, did the dealership replace the flywheel with some other car ? Just a thought, I know its too much, but given the no. of threads here about Skoda A.S & S. and their quality, this thought just crossed my mind.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 19:00   #35
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Well to speak of courts,our indian courts are not that bad at all.
i remember a very very old case in the consumer court.its a very small issue but at the same time its good enough to make me believe in our system.

A person had bought a BATA shoe in sale.it was not covered under warranty as it was a reduced price sale item.
what happened was that after 9 months the show broke.there were no signs of unusually high or rough usage.but still it broke.

the customer went to court.and after about 1 month of hearings the decision was in his favour.the court asked BATA to fully return the man's money as well as completely pay for the legal expenses.

its a small case but its a very setting example for your MD to take skoda to court.if a warranty is for one year it doesn't mean that the cars falls apart or blows up after that.a manufacturing defect is a manufacturing defect and should be replaced by the company concerned.

If TATA can replace the clutch and complete suspension after the warranty expired and that too on their own (only informing me by a call), then surely skoda can too.their snobbish attitude needs to be brought down.

along with going to court,also write a detailed letter in car mags.autocar etc.i'm sure it'll be easier as you guys are in the business relating to cars as well.

writing in mags will have a very negative effect and will make skoda fall on their back foot.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 19:48   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Why am I speaking with authority? Because I have had Mercedes make good for my defective C Class. DESPITE the car being out of warranty. Go figure.
I think, that's the key difference.

It was a Mercedes, coming from a company which clearly focuses on maintaining its high reputation. Even though they had reliability issues in past, they obviously were conscious of it and were trying to make amends by offering "goodwill warranty".

I am not too sure, if Skoda cares as much as a company, especially after so many horror stories published about unreliable cars, ultra-high maintenance costs and unscrupulous Skoda dealers.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 20:41   #37
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A flywheel replacement at 10K? That is obviously a manufacturing defect or the dealer swapping the flywheel with another car thinking that the owner will bear the cost without any thought to it since he is a 'bigshot'.

My suggestion is that he start dropping names and do offensive PR using his contacts at auto magazines/other press. Skoda will be begging him to accept a new flywheel with a new car attached to it.

P.S : @GTO : Your link to the tuner's database doesn't work. It just shows the root page. Noticed this in some other posts also - broken code?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 20:51   #38
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Suggest proceed as follows:

1: Remove car from dealer
2: I wonder if it is the flywheel in the first place - does the noise happen when changing gear? May be worth gettig another dealer or a good mechanic to get a second opinion
3: Inform dealer + skoda that you intend to go to autocar (you have clout) and/ or consumer forum
4; Be polite and firm - Skoda might not offer full replacement cost, you might need to pay a fair proportion
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Old 23rd January 2009, 20:51   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Sam. What problems is he experiencing with the car currently?

Since he only gave the car for regular servicing, I am wondering is the flywheel is really bad or is the dealer overeacting?
This is the first question that needs to be asked: is there really a problem with the car? If the answer is no, why bother at all?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 21:04   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
That said, a flywheel failure in 10K is unheard of. Very rare and chances are, it is a manufacturing defect only.
Lot of things are unheard of like this. My car's O2 sensor packed up in less than 30k km. Lot of members replied the as "it is too early for a O2 sensor to pack up". But as an electrical/electronic, item I can pass that out.

But what is a flywheel failure? What happens when a thick steel disk (which is just suppose rotate) fails? Is there any issue due to its bearing? Is it rotating off alignment? What would be the effect in driving then?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
On the 2nd of Jan 2009 he sent his car for (the usual, periodic, regular) service to Autobahn Enterprises in Mumbai.
Car went for normal service. Both driver and owner had no issue with carís behaviour prior to this. How did they (Autobahn Enterprises) find out a flywheel failure?

This gives me the same feeling as Mpower expressed..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Sam. What problems is he experiencing with the car currently?
AND!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Since he only gave the car for regular servicing, I am wondering is the flywheel is really bad or is the dealer overeacting?
Let me add here Deep, Iím finding this whole thing very fishy.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 21:13   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Skodas have a dual mass flywheel - it is more fragile but ensures smoother pick up. If driven badly or clutch is ridden, it can get damged but 10 k is low unless he is a bad, really bad driver.
Just to give a pricing perspective VW dual mass flywheels cost ~300US$ give or take a few. (VW and Skoda share a lot of parts) and like ajmat mentioned flywheels are only typically changed OR resurfaced when you change your clutch like i did on my VW GTI only after 1,05,000 miles = 1.6lakh kms.

BTW what exactly did they mean by faulty?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 21:40   #42
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Quote:
or the dealer swapping the flywheel with another car thinking that the owner will bear the cost without any thought to it since he is a 'bigshot'.
Kindly check this possibility. It is just possible that the employees at Skoda dealerships and workshops are highly corrupt and are cannibalizing good parts from cars that turn up for servicing and selling them in black as per demand.

In that case the supervisor or manager will also be involved in this game and will attempt to stonewall the customer.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 22:15   #43
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Originally Posted by lurker View Post
Kindly check this possibility. It is just possible that the employees at Skoda dealerships and workshops are highly corrupt and are cannibalizing good parts from cars that turn up for servicing and selling them in black as per demand.

In that case the supervisor or manager will also be involved in this game and will attempt to stonewall the customer.

i think this is one possibility which you must check.i have seen the same thing happening in case of maruti suzuki.the official from maruti wanted a particular part for maruti omni ,(which was out of warranty,and was being used by him)he kept calling each and every dealer in delhi to find out whether a 2006 maruti omni was there at any of the service centres.
so that the part could be replaced/exchanged from any of the vehicle belonging to the customer.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 22:32   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
But what is a flywheel failure? What happens when a thick steel disk (which is just suppose rotate) fails? Is there any issue due to its bearing? Is it rotating off alignment? What would be the effect in driving then?
Rudy, the newer cars come with what is called dual mass flywheel which is really 2 smaller flywheels (masses) connected with springs (and maybe rubber). its designed to reduce engine torsional vibration. Only manuals have it (but I'm not sure about DSG)
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Old 23rd January 2009, 22:33   #45
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sam - ever noticed the big wheel on which a potter places the clay to shape his ware? It is big so that the rotation does not slow down fast. The "flywheel" in an engine performs precisely the same function. See Flywheel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for more info about flywheels.

I suggest you get somebody from this forum with some technical knowledge to accompany the owner to the dealer, and ask them what exactly is wrong with the wheel.

Bending is out question - imagine 1 1/2 inch or more thick solid metal disk bending.

Cracking is possible, but still unlikely. I have seen workshops using discarded flywheels (discarded because the engine is scrapped) as platforms for hammering things out.

I suspect either foul play by the dealer, or a serious communication gap - there is something called a "flywheel ring" - the cog teethed ring at the edge of a flywheel disc to which the starter motor connects to crank the engine.

Ever seen how a capacitor is used to smoothen the waves in an inverter? That is what the flywheel does in an engine.

The dual mass flywheel we are discussing here may be a different beast though.

Now, these links may be of some interest to you guys. (I mean not just Sam - but all of you)


Car Recalls : car recall search results - The AA


VW FLYWHEEL VOLKSWAGEN FLYWHEELS DUEL MASS

And there are a couple of threads on the briskoda forum.
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