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Old 23rd January 2009, 13:56   #1
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Default Defective Skoda Laura? Nope, defective dealer!

Hello everyone,

I'd like your inputs please.

The MD of my company, Mithu Sadarangani, is extremely careful and fussy about his cars. His personal car is a 2006 White Skoda Laura. He drives this himself on weekends.
Since 2006 this car has done about 10,000 kilometres.

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!

Completely shocked, he emailed Skoda customer care, stating his complaint and the situation and asking for the defective part to be replaced F.O.C. as clearly this indicated a manufacturing defect . This did not speak much for a car company that states its USP as being "Obessed with Quality since 1895"

A few days later he recieved an email from Skoda Customer Care telling him they would follow up with the dealer.
After repeated (email) follow up, (We are still waiting for feedback from the dealer) eventually on the 14th of January he recieved a reply stating

We are afraid that in line to our warranty policy the replacement of the component (flywheel assembly) for the mentioned concern will not be possible.

Understandably, he is upset and certainly not looking forward to spending this amount on a car that he has driven for 10,000 kms only. He feels very cheated and asked me to approach this forum for help and advice.

What say you Gentlemen?

Thanks for your time and opinions,

Sam
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Old 23rd January 2009, 13:59   #2
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Sam, from your post, I am assuming that the car is still under warranty - 2006 car and we are in 2009, so I guess it must be extended warranty. If so, the first place to start at would be to look in the manual to see what all is covered under warranty and what is excluded.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:06   #3
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I think the reason for that kind of response would be that the flywheel assembly became faulty due to normal wear and tear(according to them). There's always a clause that normal wear and tear will not be covered under warranty. A lot of times dealers get way using this clause!!
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:08   #4
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The car has run only 10000 kms, yet it is a 3 year old car and the car company is right that its outside the purview of warrantly, unless the car is on extended warranty for 3rd or 4th year.

So legally speaking there isn't much that can be done, I guess.
Rs 36,000 for a 15 lacs car is not much dude it is like 2000 bucks for a maruti 800. So tell your MD not to lose his peace of mind and get it fixed.

Cheers,
Nitin
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Sam, from your post, I am assuming that the car is still under warranty - 2006 car and we are in 2009, so I guess it must be extended warranty. If so, the first place to start at would be to look in the manual to see what all is covered under warranty and what is excluded.
Unfortunately the warranty of the car has expired.

He just feels that a large failure like this should not have occurred in a car like this, given the fact that it has hardly run 10,000kms.
Could the experts here perhaps explain how such a failure could occur?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:18   #6
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a fly wheel assembly? Something related to the drive train?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi
Unfortunately the warranty of the car has expired.
In which case, it seems like a tough case to get it replaced FOC.

The following line was what made me think car is under warranty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi
We are afraid that in line to our warranty policy the replacement of the component (flywheel assembly) for the mentioned concern will not be possible.
All these threads about the high maintenance costs is making me more and more wary of brand Skoda.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:23   #8
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Did your MD experience any problem in the vehicle before giving it for service?

Experts, is it possible that flywheel assembly was actually an old problem, but got reported only after the warranty got over?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:26   #9
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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.

First -was there a problem with the car for autobahn to mention this ? it sounds as if Sahil had no care in the world until he gave the car for servicing
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:44   #10
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The car has just done 10,000 kms. I am having a fabia where i noticed that the front left tyre had a bubble in just about 14000 kms, complained to Skoda Autobahn about and they replaced it under warranty depreciating 30 % of the tyre value which I had to bare. Now, if they can change the tyre which is under warranty as well I don't understand why they can't change the flywheel of car which has done just 10000kms.
I would suggest you write into the parent company in Czech Republic email them at info@skoda-info.cz
OR the only way to get them straight is by going to the consumer court and by going to press.

I remember some weeks I had read an article about a Merc owner having bought S class having issues with rattling in the car for over a year and finally he sought the help of consumer court and claiming for a full refund of the car.

A flywheel would only give trouble after about 40000kms.

You may also have a look at this site I found which do speak about the problems with flywheel which speaks about the person from India having issues with flywheel. Take a look

Help! Flywheel problem - BRISKODA - The Skoda Forums

If not anything above helps and you do intend to change your flywheel I would suggest you go in for SPEC Clutches & Flywheels: Auto Parts, Domestic, Import, Truck, Racing, Drifting :: Products
You can speak to Peter at pete's. I would say Spec flywheel would be a better choice to go for instead of the company stock.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:51   #11
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Is it possible to get your own flywheel from Europe and ask dealer to just install it without any fuss ?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 14:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raghavv View Post
Did your MD experience any problem in the vehicle before giving it for service?

Experts, is it possible that flywheel assembly was actually an old problem, but got reported only after the warranty got over?
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.

First -was there a problem with the car for autobahn to mention this ? it sounds as if Sahil had no care in the world until he gave the car for servicing
The car was very carefully driven and he is a good driver. By the way, it is not Sahil's but his father's car.

The car worked smoothly had no trouble, it was sent for regular service and was used only over the weekends.
However, before he sent it the last time he was experiencing some noise from the front wheels. The rest is what you know.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 15:01   #13
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Skoda is 'also' known for its costly parts. 36K is ok IMHO for a Skoda .

And, I was under the impression that Skoda (just Octavia ?) dont have extended warranty.

And I dont think you can make the company pay the bill as they can always given the explanation given by Ajmat.

And, I see lot of Laura with faulty brake lights, mostly one is ON when the engine is on. Faulty electronics?
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Old 23rd January 2009, 15:02   #14
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Just about when I was planning to buy a 1.8 Tpi, hopefully petrols do not have as much of a problem as the diesel Skoda's.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 15:13   #15
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In addition to what Ajmat has already said, flywheel assemblies don't normally pack up this quickly. I am also assuming that Mithu's car is an automatic (DSG), which means riding on the clutch (driver error) can be eliminated. It is clearly a manufacturing defect which should have been diagnosed at a much earlier stage (before warranty expired) by the service center. Even it was'nt diagnosed, I see no reason why the customer needs to be penalised. If they accept that it is a manufacturing defectr they must replace the part.

There are multiple causes that can cause a dual mass fly wheel to fail. The only cause Mithu can be blamed for is if he exceeded or loaded the vehicle beyond it's recomended capacity. Since this is his weekend car, it is highly unlikely that he has done either.

Try contacting some senior person in Skoda, or go to court.

Last edited by Sideways : 23rd January 2009 at 15:29.
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