Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Long-Term Ownership Reviews


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th March 2008, 17:17   #1
ACM
Distinguished - BHPian
 
ACM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,154
Thanked: 2,460 Times
Default Problems with my Skoda Laura. And the resolution.

Since this tread seems to be about Skoda Laura Experiences, I would like to share mine: If this is the wrong forum for this info, pls suggest a more appropriate one or the moderater could simply place this at the correct location as well.

I picked up a Feb 2006 Pre-owned Skoda Laura L&K DSG Auto, on Dec 18th 2007, got it through the registration process along with transfer of insurance by End of Jan. It was in mint condition at least in appearance.

The Highlight or rather the lowlight is that Car just returned from a Full MONTH at the Service Centre:
Had the car checked out & Fully Serviced at my cost (about Rs. 8,500) by JMD (Authorized Service Centre for Skoda) - They have 3 service centres within Mumbai itself and the car was already under their service. They informed me that it was in good condition and and I bought it. This service & Check was done on 17th Dec just before I took delivery of the car.
1) The in-dash CD Changer which is a part of the central multi function unit that includes the CD player, Info display and parktronics etc. was defective. So I took it to JMD for servicing and they after approval of replacement under warranty ordered the same and replaced it. It took about 20 odd days and I had the car with me in the meanwhile.
2) In parallel during Dec-Jan while getting the above issue solved another problem occurred. On a Trip to Kashid, found the Airbag System Failure light glowing so took the car to the service centre and they corrected this using the computer console unit, but then soon after on a trip to Baroda the same problem popped up and this time the JMD official checked all the wiring and determined that it was a loose contact in a socket below the drivers seat. They cleaned the contact and since then this problem has not repeated. But am given to understand that it is not unusual for this to occur in a Laura.
3) Towards Jan End, while I was very close to my home at Thane (Just after I paid the monthly Rs. 1,000 Bombay - Thane toll for the Car) the car started making a whistling sound that would increase with acceleration. Parked the Car at home and called JMD Helpline. JMD Staff came over in the morning and diagnosed an issue with the Turbo. They had to tow the car to the closest service centre. Over the next few days they informed me that the Turbo and Intercooler both needed to be replaced and then after getting warranty approval (part cost Rs. 1.75L) from Skoda ordered it from Aurangabad and finally fitted in on the car on Feb 15th. My warranty was due to expire the same day.
4) The story did not end there. On connecting the Turbo & Intercooler to the Car JMD team observed a noise coming out of the DSG Auto Transmission. So they checked the various parts of the shift system and concluded that a part in the shift mechanism was faulty and then after approval for this as well under warranty (car had been with them since the earlier fault and had not been driven) replaced that as well finally delivering the car on 1st March. - This was more than a month after they took charge of it. They also replaced the Low Tone Horn before delivering the car. The point to note is also that the DSG unit is a new technology that Skoda is quite proud of and is shared with Volkswagens and Audi Cars?
Positives:
1) JMD Staff was very polite and ensured that I did not have to pay anything for any of the above replacements, except about Rs. 1500 for getting the car towed to their service centre. They even delivered the car to my home once and to my office once at no charge. They need to be specially appreciated in my view.
2) Skoda replaced all the above free of cost.
3) JMD staff at both Nerul, Andheri & Bhandup were all very polite and competent. They know the meaning of good service.

Negatives:
1) Skoda took a lot of time to give approval for the repair under warranty on multiple instances.
2) It took even longer for the parts to get dispatched from Aurangabad and be delivered at the service centre.
3) A car less than 2 years old and less than 35,000 kms old that has been regularly serviced had such major issues as above. It would cost approx Rs. 3,00,000 to get these corrected when out of warranty.
4) As per the Authorized Dealer there is no extended warranty facility that I can take up. Are they not sure of their Cars?
5) Obviously my confidence in the car is shaken and unless I can get an extended warranty from Skoda may even consider selling it off. I can understand expensive parts in expensive cars, but also expect them to be very reliable.

Had bought the car believing it to be very reliable. Auto Car Magazine latest issue too mentions a pre-owned Laura as a good value for money, strongly built & desirable car, but then if all these issues pop-up with the car inspite of a pre-buy check from an authorised service centre it does raise big questions. The perceptions regarding the car seem very different from reality. It is definitely one of the best cars to look at and has features better than even the new C- Class Merc, at a price close to that of the Accord. But reliability on road? Is this not the most touted USP of the car.

From a loss to me point of view, there is the mental hassle angle besides multiple trips to the service centre. Also not having the car with me for about 1/2 the 2.5 month period that I have owned it and implied having to drive the Tata Safari a much less fuel efficient car and pay double the amount for toll and the small matter of the Towing cost. To top it just in terms of cost of car about 25,000 would be the cost of Interest for the amount invested in a car that cannot be used. In USA or Europe most likely a replacement car would have been provided during the service period, but that is not the case in India....as yet.

In comparison my Safari which I have owned for 7 years and driven for 145,000 kms has a turbo intercooler unit that is yet working quite OK inspite of having being completely flooded in the 2005 rains and being driven very hard.

Hope someone can suggest a method to avail of an extended Warranty cover.

The car is good, and brings a smile to ones face while driving, the features are really thoughtfull and leagues ahead of other options in the same price band. The Look is royal and I do hope to keep it with me for a few more years and also Remap it at some time, but maintenance...
ACM is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2008, 18:39   #2
BHPian
 
ecclipse78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chennai
Posts: 321
Thanked: 39 Times
Default

Hi ACM,


This is absolutely shocking !!

However, I have come across 4 Laura's in Chennai with blown turbo's. 1 actually belonged to close friend of mine and had only 8500 kms on it. It was surprising as he is very careful with the car and does not even allow his chauffer to use his Laura.

Skoda had to replace the above turbo's, free of charge; as all the above mentioned cars were under warranty.

Since, I also drive an RS myself; I prefer to let the car idle for 1 min before turning the ignition off.
ecclipse78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2008, 18:52   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,588
Thanked: 1,725 Times
Default

ACM,

Sorry to hear that you had a bad time with this car and a big thank you for posting such a detailed and objective ownership experience. I have heard great things about JMD in the past too.

Out of the problems you listed here, the turbo failure is the only one that is common in the cars made by VW group. And it is mostly due to driving the cars at low RPMs for a prolonged time (below the turbo kick-in RPM) and suddenly demanding huge turbo boost, but since it is DSG that also is unlikely. What was the mileage when you bought the car? But still I agree it is too early to break down.

Good that it broke down during the warranty period! Which reminds me, I have only been driving in 2nd gear since the time I bought it (one year) thanks to Bangalore traffic. I better hit a highway soon. Always let the car warm up before revving it, after the warm up, drive at high RPM (to blast off any clogged junk on turbo) and drive gently during the last few KMs of your journey.

AFAIK, there is no extended warranty.

Apart from the service hassles and expensive parts, the car as such is a work horse. Not as reliable as Honda/Toyota, but more reliable than VW itself. Most of the Skoda technology has been "beta" tested by Audi and VW before it makes into Skoda. Before buying, I went through lot of online Skoda forums (BRISKODA - The Skoda Forum and Community, VWvortex Forums: Main, TDIClub Forums - Powered by vBulletin) to find out any "known issues/recalls". I found these forums very helpful and with rich ownership experiences. Some early cars had steering sensor issues but they were corrected by the time the car was launched in India.

If time permits, you might want to search these forums (in that order) for the specific problems you faced to get a better understanding. Whenever the car reports a problem (such as airbag light or even refuel light) the MFD (multi functional display) contains an additional "Vehicle Status" menu option which will show the error message which can be used to search the internet to understand the problem.

I have had my car for nearly a year, and it has been event less. Hence no ownership review from me yet. OTH, I would also be very skeptical if I went thru similar troubles. But then again, show me a diesel luxury car that can be a replacement at that price/feature point.

Good luck, hope your ownership experience remains happy from now on.

Last edited by androdev : 12th March 2008 at 18:54.
androdev is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 12:13   #4
ACM
Distinguished - BHPian
 
ACM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,154
Thanked: 2,460 Times
Default Still studying more on turbo

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the revert and feedback. Am still checking out the links.

There is an enormous amount of info on various sites and searching through them is an art that I need to master further.

Took the car to Shirdi via Nasik on the weekend and it performed very fine.

There is slight vibration type noise from the Gear box area that appears when I give the car sudden and aggresive acceleration. Have always had this sound since I bought the car but need to check if it unique to my car or is present in all Laura.

So it seems from all info posted that extended warranty is not available.
ACM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 18:20   #5
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,752
Thanked: 89,422 Times
Default

Sorry to hear about your experience, ACM, although am glad they finally got sorted out. Most of the Team-BHP ownership reviews have given the Laura a "below average" rating for reliability. Initially, I was surprised myself at the ratings. The mechanically / electronically simpler Octavia, on the other hand, faired far better on the reliability aspect. You were lucky to have a friendly support system in JMD....I guess even Normally_Crazy has been happy with their service quality.

Skoda and Mercedes are the only two manufacturers who don't offer an extended warranty in India. Shame on them!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 19:18   #6
BHPian
 
amitpunjani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 451
Thanked: 101 Times
Default

Hi

To me personally the extended warranty means, the OEM's faith in its own product. Companies like GM, Maruti, TATA etc are offering extended warranty, then why not skoda or Merc? Is it because they do not have faith in the product or its Indian driving conditions or alot of spare parts are imported?

Thanks

Amit
amitpunjani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 20:24   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pune.
Posts: 80
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

It's economics. The genuine parts are very costly since they are imported. So even if the company has a 2 or 3 % (numbers are illustrative) defect ratio. It would mean a lot of money to the company. Liability increases.
tanmay_ambre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 20:30   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,588
Thanked: 1,725 Times
Default

lack of faith in their own products and their marketing strategy. anyone offering warranty does not automatically mean they have faith in their product.
androdev is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17th March 2008, 23:48   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 9,021 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Skoda and Mercedes are the only two manufacturers who don't offer an extended warranty in India. Shame on them!
Just bought a fiesta tdci SXI for my sister,was disappointed to see the warranty limited to just 40k kms whereas my told me his indigo carries a 1,50,000km warranty.
.anshuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th March 2008, 21:59   #10
BHPian
 
dockap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mangalore
Posts: 845
Thanked: 376 Times
Default

moral of the story dont buy expensive cars in the second hand market even if they appear to be a good deal especially if the warrenty is almost over or ended
dockap is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2008, 00:33   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
jesal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 2,322
Thanked: 5 Times
Default

moral should be dont buy skoda in india ban them bring them down to earth with their pricing
jesal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2008, 10:11   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,652
Thanked: 244 Times
Default

So, if they make profits they should take the liability of failing parts too within a reasonable period/ run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanmay_ambre View Post
It's economics. The genuine parts are very costly since they are imported. So even if the company has a 2 or 3 % (numbers are illustrative) defect ratio. It would mean a lot of money to the company. Liability increases.
I agree, it does not specify lack of faith but it instills a lot of confidence in its buyers though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
lack of faith in their own products and their marketing strategy. anyone offering warranty does not automatically mean they have faith in their product.
dadu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2008, 13:29   #13
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,752
Thanked: 89,422 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanmay_ambre View Post
It's economics. The genuine parts are very costly since they are imported. So even if the company has a 2 or 3 % (numbers are illustrative) defect ratio. It would mean a lot of money to the company. Liability increases.
So, rather the customer pays than the company? Says a lot about the manufacturers attitude.

BMW parts should be as expensive, if not more than that of Mercedes & Skoda. But they do offer some fantastic packages that cover your car for upto 5 years.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2008, 14:59   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,175
Thanked: 128 Times
Default

I thought the Czechs have been obsessed with Quality since 1895.
vasudeva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th March 2008, 14:11   #15
ACM
Distinguished - BHPian
 
ACM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,154
Thanked: 2,460 Times
Default Turbo Life

Inspite of inputs from Androdev & GTO, and a fair bit of net research am still not really clear on how to avoid blowing ones Turbo on a Laura, and the specific care that needs to be taken for the same.

One would presume that on an Auto DSG the RPM's would be taken care of to avoid taking the Engine & Turbo into the RED. So somehow feel a bit unshure when using the Sport Mode that takes the car to higher rev limits, as well as while using the Kick down mode of the Car.

Infact one wonders that if a Stock Car with no modifications can blow a turbo, (And have heard of the same happening to others as well, though never on the Tata Safari (which i have driven for 140K kms) which is said to have many niggles.) then the possibility of the blowing a turbo with Remap / tuning box (Which I hope to implant someday) could go up significantly.
ACM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skoda Laura: Problems & solutions thread anandbhat Technical Stuff 1129 16th December 2017 15:46
Skoda Laura DSG Problems!! V-16 Technical Stuff 20 31st December 2016 16:25
Skoda Laura issues/problems ranjithbalan Technical Stuff 45 16th March 2010 11:42
Watch movie trailers and Imax clips in 720p and 1080p resolution!!! Shan2nu Shifting gears 21 25th September 2007 22:40


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:31.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks