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Old 28th March 2012, 12:46   #1
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Default My Punto saga :(

I have an Oct 2009 Punto with a 2+2 yrs extended warranty. Amazing car, one of the best I've had but have also had many frustrating visits to the dealer. I'd like to stress that minor problems could come up with any car, but in my case, it is the sheer incompetence of the dealer that have caused me much grief and frustration. Here's my saga:
  • Had my first clutch problem within a year of owning the car. The clutch abruptly went dead (remained depressed). Called Helpline, problem found to be slave cylinder, and replaced on the spot under warranty.
  • Clutch fails in the same fashion within a month or so. Same routine...repair guy says that maybe it wasn't done properly previously and replaces slave cylinder again under warranty.
  • Clutch fails for 3rd time within another month. This time I call one of the directors (family friend), and request that they look into the problem thoroughly and resolve it once and for all. Problem found to be clutch plate alignment. Clutch plate + slave cylinder replaced under warranty.
  • The car worked well for a year or so. However, in between, I had to change stabilizer pads twice (as usual, it was not done properly the first time) for a creaking noise when driven over a hump or pothole...and the noise continues to this day (I have kind of accepted it).
  • Just after completion of 2 yrs, I noticed leaked lubricant on my floor mat near clutch pedal, and the clutch gradually feeling heavier and creaking slightly. I immediately sent the car for repair before actual clutch failure. This time I'm told that it is a master cylinder failure, and that the same is not covered under extended warranty. I refused to pay and demand to speak to the GM. He does not bother to call for 3 days, and I abandoned the car there (there are 5 more cars in the household). Finally the SE calls (still no sign of the GM), and says that they've claimed warranty, and that the bill amount will be refunded within 15 days, but has to be paid now. I paid the bill and collected the car...this entire drama took 5-6 days. Called the GM after 3 weeks to ask about the status of the refund...he sounded surprised and informed that refunds are usually settled in 3 months. It is now almost 4 months...no sign of the refund.
  • The key fob (with remote central locking) was of bad quality, and I had asked for a replacement under warranty, which I was told would take 3 weeks to arrive from Italy. The same was ordered in Nov '11, arrived in Mar '12, and I was informed of the same. I asked the person who called (on 1-Mar-12) whether the same is being given under warranty, and if not, what would be the cost. No feedback as yet after over 3 weeks.
  • Latest problem: Engine check light came on on Friday (23-Mar), engine felt and sounded very rough. Sent the car for repair 1st thing Sat morning (24-Mar). Informed that it is a ignition coil failure, but as the computers are down, they cannot check warranty status. On Mon (26-Mar), I'm told that they're working on it and that the car would be ready by evening. I don't bother following up on Mon/Tue as I am busy. Upon calling on Wed morning, I discover that the part is not covered by warranty, and that they're waiting for my clearance to replace it, although they haven't bothered to seek my clearance (don't know whether to laugh or cry).
Anyways, think I've depressed everyone enough, but I don't need any sympathy. However, I do need advise on the following:
  • Is it standard Fiat procedure to bill the customer and then refund the amount for extended warranty claims later (in 3 months, according to the GM)?
  • Can ignition coil failure cause vibration and the engine to sound rough?
  • If required, where can I escalate these problems to Fiat?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 28th March 2012, 12:56   #2
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Is it a petrol? If yes then ignition coil can cause roughness accompanied by drop in fuel average and acceleration.
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Old 28th March 2012, 13:32   #3
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Yes, it is the 1.4 petrol Emotion Pack. Thanks for the prompt reply.
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Old 28th March 2012, 13:58   #4
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Total Apathyby the SA I must say!
Ketan, which dealership was this? If it is in Bangalore or Mysore, I can take help from my Uncle who's a GM at one of the dealerships (they have got a good co-operation between dealerships inspite of the competition) and ask him to pitch in to resolve things faster and better. Let me know.
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Old 28th March 2012, 15:27   #5
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

That is a lot of replacement under warranty!

Not that I want to rub it in or that it could make any difference now, but you should have involved Fiat the first time you realized the dealership was fooling around.

I've had my City's horn changed under warranty and it was all cashless. Now the horn may be insignificant but even on the forum, I haven't come across any reports of owners having to pay for under-warranty repairs and then being reimbursed.

Now would be a very good time to involve Fiat into the picture and narrate every tiny detail (including time, date, amount and receipts/bills if you have any); keep the dealership in cc to ensure they understand how they have cheated you. Owners of Fiat cars could help you with contact info.

Good luck!
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Old 28th March 2012, 15:39   #6
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

I have never paid for any parts replaced under standard/extended warranty for my FIAT Palio. It was always cashless. I belive that it should be same for Punto/Linea as well.
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Old 28th March 2012, 18:42   #7
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Default

Thanks everyone. I think I'll first have another word with the dealer. As I have mentioned earlier, he is a family friend, hence my reluctance to report directly to Fiat. However, I must mention that I once SMS'd the GM "Kindly let me know when I can expect the refund, or I will follow up the status directly with Fiat". Needless to say, he did not bother to reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driving_Nomad View Post
Total Apathyby the SA I must say!
Ketan, which dealership was this? If it is in Bangalore or Mysore, I can take help from my Uncle who's a GM at one of the dealerships (they have got a good co-operation between dealerships inspite of the competition) and ask him to pitch in to resolve things faster and better. Let me know.
Thanks, but I am not located at either place. Much appreciated!

Last edited by bblost : 29th March 2012 at 13:48. Reason: back 2 back
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Old 28th March 2012, 19:14   #8
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Could you tell me where this car is being serviced?
Since your location says goa by anychance is it the tata showrrom in verna?

There is a reason i ask.
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Old 28th March 2012, 20:34   #9
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpian View Post
Could you tell me where this car is being serviced?
Since your location says goa by anychance is it the tata showrrom in verna?

There is a reason i ask.
Yes...why do you ask?
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Old 29th March 2012, 13:44   #10
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Most of the time we have hard time with the authorised service station. i too had issues with the TASS. On thing my friend when you have trouble for FIAT product you have to escalate it to the top officials this is the default process. i too had to do this. So my advice is to send an detailed email regarding the problems faced by you from the start. surely they will respond to you. do attach the bills you have got also.

here are the contacts

rajeev.kapoor@fiapl.com
Mangesh.Kodalkar@fiapl.com

i hope your issue will get resolved soon.
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Old 1st April 2012, 17:23   #11
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Ketan..

I am afraid FIAT has no system wherein customers are asked to pay for warranty claims and then refunded..

FYI this is been done by this particular dealer so safeguard himself if incase the warranty claim is denied by the company,beware that no company in todays times takes three months to refund ur cash,in my opinion u can as well forget about the cash you paid.

I dont know whom you know there but incase its Maurice Almeida you can aswell forget you shall ever find your cash back or have your problems rectified.

People who are in to know will know what am talking about and this goes without any bad intentions towards anybody.

If u can P.M we can take this forward in the right direction.

Just trying to help u out nothing else.

Regards.
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Old 1st April 2012, 18:29   #12
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Thanks again. Upon contacting the dealer directly and giving him the link to this thread, my work was done with all charges for the current repairs waived off. I am also being given the new key fob free of cost (they'll give it to me on Monday as it requires to be programmed). Plus I'm getting the refund for the work done supposedly done under warranty previously within 2 days. My personal feeling is that the dealer himself was unaware of these goings-on, and has now taken to task the people involved.
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Old 1st April 2012, 22:14   #13
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Default Re: My Punto saga :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by ketan_kunde View Post
Thanks again. Upon contacting the dealer directly and giving him the link to this thread, my work was done with all charges for the current repairs waived off. I am also being given the new key fob free of cost (they'll give it to me on Monday as it requires to be programmed). Plus I'm getting the refund for the work done supposedly done under warranty previously within 2 days. My personal feeling is that the dealer himself was unaware of these goings-on, and has now taken to task the people involved.
Good to know about this. Please avoid being naive, lest unscrupulous dealers take you for a ride.

Do update us after you get the refund.
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