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Old 5th February 2009, 19:44   #106
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Clutch and flywheel are very costly on skoda cars.

OT: Elantra's flywheel cost me less than 5k @ 60,000kms , for exact price i will have to check the bill.
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Old 5th February 2009, 22:42   #107
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
This is the trouble with having overpaid workshop foremen aka "service advisors". They begin to hate having grease on their hands. In electronics, we know that manufacturers publish circuit diagrams and sheets, which help in accurate diagnosis and troubleshooting. I guess that at least some of the modern day service "advisors" create such "manuals" for themselves, so that they can reap in the huge bills without getting their hands dirty.
Advisers need not create them company releases workshop manual with every model. While Maruti and some other sell workshop manuals to any one on placing order Skoda refuses to release them citing confidentiality.

The real purpose seems to milk customers forever at authorised loot centres while it is still possible to import manuals from abrad they refuse to sell spare parts to individuals.
This is the reason there are no independent Skoda mechanics / garages.

Ideally this comes under monopolistic trade practice but law enforcement in India is too lax.
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Old 5th February 2009, 23:45   #108
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So now its confirmed that problem is non-existent, its time to take action on dealer again.
As soon as the car is back home, go to him and ask that how did he reach conclusion that the flywheel was damaged ? And till the head office was contacted, they were not ready to even have a second look.
Even the head office initially did not respond positively in this matter.
Again call them and ask for clarification of this.
Bluntly ask them what are they exactly trying to achieve with these standards.
Only after more than one call they are ready to send an engineer and suddenly the things get sorted out.
Aversion towards customers satisfaction is something they are very famous for, but this was heights as even head office was not proper in offering help.

1) Avoid that dealer.
2) In future, avoid Skoda cars.
3) Ask the dealer to clarify his actions.
4) Ask the head office to again clarify their responses.


Any developed country and the customer would be asking for compensation for unnecessary alarm being triggered by dealer, but in India this will never happen.
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Old 5th February 2009, 23:56   #109
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Hold on to your hats Gentlemen and Ladies, here's the clincher!!

The flywheel assembly was absolutely fine. There was no reason to change it, nor was anything wrong with it. The slight sound from the wheel was sorted out, it was a simple mechanical matter.

The car is home and works perfectly.

Now tell me this: What if we were a regular uninformed consumer?
We would have spent Rs. 30,000/- and perhaps our perfectly working flywheel assy would have been changed (IF at all!) - is this a fair thing to do to a customer?

I'd like to invite your opinions on the outcome to this situation and hope that you will take away an important experience from it.
That is good news. I thjnk most of us on this thread suspected that the *A*S*S had goofed. My experience with the *A*S*S is that they are just that - Asses. Most of them are ignorant about the vehicles and their maintainance. Some of them are absolutely crooked.

Before I give any vehicle to the *A*S*S, I have it checked out by my "vehicles family doctor", a mechanic who has been looking after my cars for over 20 years now. He and I come to a tentative diagnosis and try to fix it. Normally nothing much goes wrong with the new gen cars. If we cant fix it, I take it to the *A*S*S and tell him the diagnosis and ask them to fix it. Works wonders.

If one of these new fangled *A*S*S chaps say something is wrong with a car of mine, I respond - "let us both open it up and check". This normally solves the issue as the chap on the shop floor 'escalates' it to the manager etc. he gets a second opinion and my wallet and car escape unscathed.

Cheers.
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Old 6th February 2009, 09:58   #110
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You could sue Autobahn for mental trauma. It will get thrown out but not before some good press
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:19   #111
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Dealer crookedness is prevalent is not only a Skoda but I feel is more like the standard. Having myself worked in automotive companies and handled dealers, lots of times companies are also to overlook this crookery in the name of sales and market share. Also the point to note is that this kind of shameless fleecing of the technically uninformed customer is not only being perpetuated by single dealers but by biggies like Sundaram Motors as well.

Faced a similar sort of issue during one of my visits to Sundaram Motors in Chennai for my Fiat Uno in 2005 when they were the only Fiat Dealer in the entire city. The car had gone for some small job and coolant change. The mechanic in order to take the coolant hose out poked it with a screw driver and punctured it. And all this infront of my eyes. Then they wanted to change the hosepipe and bill me as well, saying the pipe was old and some similar BS. I told them that I will not take the delivery of the car and escalate this kind of customer service to the highest levels of TVS Group (Used to work with TAFE at that time and knew a lot of people in TVS Group, it being an extended group company). Finally when I insisted that either the hose be changed FOC or i'll take the matter of dealer and mechanic incompetence further up, they relented.

Another instance when the radiator fan of my Uno failed in less than 9 months of replacing it. The fan costed somewhere around 7k if I remember correctly. I had got the replacement from Fiat dealer in Delhi but had moved to Chennai since. Sundaram Motors refused to replace part first saying that spare parts have no warranty and then changing it to only 6 months. When I insisted this is not fair trade practice and will drag them to consumer court with them as a co-party, their tone changed to that since the fan replacement was done by the Delhi dealer, they wouldn't be able to help me get it on good-will. So I wrote a stinker to their Zonal Service Head along with a copy marked to the GM - Marketing threatening them that I will sell both my Fiats - Uno and Palio and will make sure that the press is amply made aware of the incident. I guess this kind of threatening coming from an Automotive guy himself might have softened their stance. Within two days the fan was replaced F.O.C and an all paid service was thrown-in as goodwill gesture for a Fiat loyalist .

Post these two incidents, Sundaram Motors used to bend over backwards to keep me happy and a few times they obliged me my changing parts that had worn out with my Accident Insurance Claims.

Moral of the story : Don't take things lying down and demand your rights as a customer.

Last edited by MileCruncher : 6th February 2009 at 10:35.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:20   #112
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Skoda A.S.S. is bad in most places and coz of this I know of Octavia owners who refused to get another Skoda as their second car or as a replacement.

Sam's friend was lucky to have Team-Bhp for enlighting, but what about others?

Last edited by jkdas : 6th February 2009 at 10:24.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:25   #113
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Sam's clinical( professional) approach in dealing with dealer and skoda has definitely worked fine - of course patience paid ( and the owner's determination not to let it be touched by unauthorised personnel). It was a happy ending and hope all Skoda ( Laura) owners would be a bit relieved after reading this update.
@Sam- I actually read your update till end with my breath held! and heaved a sigh of relief at the end of it.

Its not the cost of spare that scared me - its the uncertainty / unreliability that was unnerving.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:26   #114
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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
Great service centre I must say , Please recommend to others as well.
This was the Shastri Nagar workshop of Khanna Hyundai. On my advice the colleague had talked to Mr Kailash Khanna when he went there the second time.
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Old 9th February 2009, 12:32   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Skoda A.S.S. is bad
Agreed but I dont think Honda is that much better. We have a few Hondas in our family (incl aunts, uncles and cousins) and whiel the Hondas do not fail at 10K when they need service we have to follow up with them very agressively and the bills are not small.

And if ask around you will find dis-satisfied owners of Mercedez, VW, Audi, GM (Astra/Optra) , Ford (incl the Mondeo) and many ohter premium segment cars. It is Hyundai (Santro/i10/Accent/etc..) and Maruti (Alto/Swift/WagonR/etc...) that have the best service.
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Old 9th February 2009, 12:36   #116
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The thread title is now misleading.

The car was not defective. The dealer and support teams were being dishonest.
This IMHO is a bigger issue as it impacts every buyer.

Can the mods update the title.
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Old 9th February 2009, 13:30   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
Agreed but I dont think Honda is that much better. We have a few Hondas in our family (incl aunts, uncles and cousins) and whiel the Hondas do not fail at 10K when they need service we have to follow up with them very agressively and the bills are not small.

And if ask around you will find dis-satisfied owners of Mercedez, VW, Audi, GM (Astra/Optra) , Ford (incl the Mondeo) and many ohter premium segment cars. It is Hyundai (Santro/i10/Accent/etc..) and Maruti (Alto/Swift/WagonR/etc...) that have the best service.

I think that somewhere down the line people started blaming the vehicle itself instead of the particular dealer.

As Navin rightly points out the problem is across all brands. Just a point to ponder - Do people who own 'premium' cars complain more? I have seen the Hyundai and MASS guys goofing up as much as the others.

I have also found a huge variation in quality of service from one dealer to another. Perhaps the best thing to do is to shop around for the best workshop for your car.

Cheers
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Old 9th February 2009, 14:38   #118
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@sam: Any idea what the "small mechanical fault" was? Would be helpful if someone else faces the issue in the future.
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Old 10th September 2009, 12:02   #119
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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.

Imagine his shock when the service representative from Autobahn informed him that his Flywheel assembly was faulty and needed to be replaced. The total cost for this procedure was estimated at a whopping Rs. 36000!
Seems to me that the dealer is still defective & Skoda couldn't care less about the issue. I can only imagine how many unsuspecting customers are being ripped off in this way.

A relative of mine called this morning. His Laura (last 4 digits = 6654, Skoda, I know you are reading this) visited Auto Bahn for a regular service. Kms covered about 30,000 odd. Service advisor on the phone "Saar, your flywheel is severely damaged and needs to be changed. Cost is 35,000!!" . Of course the car is running perfectly. An indepedent checked it out 30 minutes back and claimed there is NOTHING wrong with the car.

Needless to say, he is not going back to Skoda anymore. A private garage will be taking care of his car henceforth.

Think about it : Skoda has 70,000 cars on Indian roads. Even if 50% of them have had their flywheels changed, that's 120 crores in surplus income. Should keep everyone happy at both ends, Skoda and its dealers. And no, since parts are sourced through Skoda, the parent company is well aware of the extra flywheels being fitted into customer cars.
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Old 10th September 2009, 12:55   #120
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Think about it : Skoda has 70,000 cars on Indian roads. Even if 50% of them have had their flywheels changed, that's 120 crores in surplus income. Should keep everyone happy at both ends, Skoda and its dealers.
It's a suicide mission. Extra income is great but wouldn't all this affect their reliablity standing's in the owner's eyes? If the owner is asked about the car, he wouldn't give it his complete 100% endorsement. A smart businessman wouldn't take such risks in the interest of long term business sustainablity, reputation, goodwill and profitablity.
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