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Old 8th December 2012, 12:46   #1
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Default Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Dear All,

I have a question and I am looking at the collective wisdom of our forum for help. Can a 2011 car have a battery manufactured in 2009?

Background

I own a 2011 Fiat Linea. On Monday I took the car to the dealership for the 30,000 kms routine service. Along with the service, I had a complaint that the right head lamp was fogging excessively. When I picked up the car from the dealer the next day, the car struggled to start. The Service Advisor mentioned that the battery may have drained since they were checking the headlamp for fogging and that the battery should be fine after driving a few kms.

The next day, I got a call from the dealer telling my that the warranty on the headlamp was approved and they were willing to replace it. So I went to the showroom for the replacement. At this point, I highlighted the battery issue again. And this is where it all began.

One of the mechanics from the service area looked at the battery and said this is a 2009 battery. I was taken aback. How could a car manufactured in 2011 have a battery which was already 2 years old? This morning I went to the local battery store and got the battery checked. They confirmed that the battery was from 2009 and had gone weak and needed replacement.

I went back to the showroom and tried to reason with them. I also gave the dealer a chance to come clean and admit if there was a goof up and the battery had been replaced during service. They denied. The Service Manager said that this is the first case he has encountered where the battery is 2 years older than the car. They have agreed to take my complaint formally and pass this on to Tata/Fiat. But that doesn't help my cause much since I am left with a car that has a half dead battery.

I am myself challenged for evidence in a way:
  1. I have the battery warranty card from when I bought the car, but it does not have the battery serial number
  2. I do not have any picture of the car's engine bay area which can show the battery as-is when the car was bought

While I have no issues replacing the battery, it is a matter of principle and I feel cheated. My Linea completes 2 years in February 2013 and I simply cannot fathom the fact that the battery needs to be replaced within 2 years and 30,000 kms.

Need your views on this guys.

And yes, I am writing to Tata and Fiat right after posting this.
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:18   #2
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

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Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
I have a question and I am looking at the collective wisdom of our forum for help. Can a 2011 car have a battery manufactured in 2009?
No, it cannot.

However, the dealer will push this point all he can. I'd recommend you write to Fiat India and take it up. This is definitely a case of the battery being changed by the dealer.

Also, the dealer would have received the battery serial number alongwith the invoice of the car that he would have received from Fiat when your car was billed to him.
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:22   #3
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

There's no way a car from 2011 can have a battery from 2009. Batteries are to be used up within 1 month, max 2, from date of manufacture. A warranty card always has a serial # of the battery mentioned on it.

I too think there's been a battery swap @ the dealer. Deliberate or not is another debate.
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:29   #4
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

The car can not have a battery manufactured two year prior to the car which indicates that there was indeed a goof up in the two years and 30K Kms life of the car.
In all probability some one in this service centre did a foul play. Ask the dealer to give the register numbers of cars serviced there in the days when your car was undergoing service. Also check up the job card (where complaints are entered prior to receiving for service) of cars brought there for service in this period for any battery related complaints
Take up the matter with Fiat and the dealership. Btw did you get your car serviced elsewhere earlier?
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:37   #5
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

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Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Can a 2011 car have a battery manufactured in 2009?
This is indeed a strange one. What's stranger is that the battery serial number is not mentioned on the warranty card.

Usually the warranty card will have the serial number stamped on it. Only a few have hand written numbers. Also, mentioning the serial number on the warranty card is the dealer's responsibility. Especially since this battery came with the car. Does it have a date and seal? If it does, they cannot stop you from claiming warranty by just writing down the serial number.

Ideally the battery serial number will be recorded in several documents. Check the invoice and other documentation to verify if its not mentioned anywhere.

My gut feeling is that somebody must've swapped your battery over. Could be before purchase, during one of the services etc. Way too many possibilities to list.

Make your stand clear with the dealer. They can easily get this sorted for you if they want.
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Old 8th December 2012, 13:44   #6
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Dig out the PDI card from the dealership. It will have the battery serial number.
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Old 9th December 2012, 10:56   #7
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Note: The dealer I bought the car from is in Satara and the dealer where I got the car serviced is in Thane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
No, it cannot.

However, the dealer will push this point all he can. I'd recommend you write to Fiat India and take it up. This is definitely a case of the battery being changed by the dealer.

Also, the dealer would have received the battery serial number alongwith the invoice of the car that he would have received from Fiat when your car was billed to him.
Done. Written to Fiat India yesterday itself. Waiting to hear from them. I bought the car from Satara and I live in Mumbai. I called the dealer last evening and he should be able to give these details to me on Monday. Things should get clear then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
There's no way a car from 2011 can have a battery from 2009. Batteries are to be used up within 1 month, max 2, from date of manufacture. A warranty card always has a serial # of the battery mentioned on it.

I too think there's been a battery swap @ the dealer. Deliberate or not is another debate.
Actually, this is my biggest challenge. The battery warranty card doesn't have a serial number. I have asked the dealer to provide this to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Ask the dealer to give the register numbers of cars serviced there in the days when your car was undergoing service. Also check up the job card (where complaints are entered prior to receiving for service) of cars brought there for service in this period for any battery related complaints
Take up the matter with Fiat and the dealership. Btw did you get your car serviced elsewhere earlier?
Sounds like a good idea. I am waiting for the serial number from my dealer. If this does not match the one on the battery, I'll kick up a storm.

I haven't got the car serviced anywhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post

Ideally the battery serial number will be recorded in several documents. Check the invoice and other documentation to verify if its not mentioned anywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Dig out the PDI card from the dealership. It will have the battery serial number.
Yep. Waiting for the dealer to revert.
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Old 9th December 2012, 14:14   #8
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

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Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Actually, this is my biggest challenge. The battery warranty card doesn't have a serial number. I have asked the dealer to provide this to me.
Thought about this quite a bit, I don't believe in coincidences. So I get feeling someone did a battery swap deliberately, swapped a brand new battery for a used one. Such old-for-new swaps aren't exactly unheard of.

Cars come kitted from the factory with a battery and battery warranty card with the serial # on it. There's NO way I accept that a warranty card did not have a serial #. It is generally a bar code sticker on the warranty, and it can be matched with the number embossed on the top of the battery case.

Since you are chasing up Fiat and the dealer do let us know how it goes. Good luck!
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Old 9th December 2012, 21:49   #9
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

It is obvious that the battery does not belong to your car. The warranty card for the battery with it's serial number should have been provided when they delivered your car. This should have been shown to you by the sales executive who handled your delivery. It is a mystery to me how a warranty card comes without a number recorded.

Having said that, I also feel it is our responsibility to check all papers before driving off in a new vehicle. Now there is no way to pin the blame. Since you say there is no battery number mentioned we'll have to take it that the swap could have taken place at your dealer point itself.

One way to know if the battery had been disconnected during service is that all your devices that run on it including the clock, Blu & Me, messages, numbers would have been reset. Do you remember any such experience after any of your services? If that had happened your battery had been disconnected then; which is one possible point in time where a swap could have been made.

Good luck with solving your case from a fellow Fiat owner.

Rajesh
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Old 9th December 2012, 22:10   #10
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Hi Iceman7,
Sorry to hear the situation you are in.
But, unless you had got the battery number mentioned in your job card while leaving it for its service, there is no way you can put the blame on anybody. Neither on the dealer from whom you bought your car nor on the service center where you'd left your car for service.
My suggestion to you would be to move on and get a new battery for the car.
Thanks for sharing this here. We all need to be more careful while leaving our car for service in the future.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 10th December 2012, 01:47   #11
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

The swap happened at the subject service now. It can be presumed that way because the battery related complaints cropped up after that and you haven't faced any. Further, the 2009 made battery has completed the normal service period, though there are exceptions.
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Old 10th December 2012, 20:33   #12
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

I believe one has to be with the car when it is serviced for the after the complementary service is completed, i mean first year of warranty. Battery disconnection will be noticed in your time being reset, FM radio reset, and possible the remote will also beep. If you have experienced the same switch of battery has taken place. Check with the serial nos of the battery. I had suggested to Maruti to provided warranty card for battery which they too refused since the mfg does not pass on the warranty card to them.
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Old 11th December 2012, 11:57   #13
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Dear All,

I have a question and I am looking at the collective wisdom of our forum for help. Can a 2011 car have a battery manufactured in 2009?

Background

I own a 2011 Fiat Linea. On Monday I took the car to the dealership for the 30,000 kms routine service. Along with the service, I had a complaint that the right head lamp was fogging excessively. When I picked up the car from the dealer the next day, the car struggled to start. The Service Advisor mentioned that the battery may have drained since they were checking the headlamp for fogging and that the battery should be fine after driving a few kms.

The next day, I got a call from the dealer telling my that the warranty on the headlamp was approved and they were willing to replace it. So I went to the showroom for the replacement. At this point, I highlighted the battery issue again. And this is where it all began.

One of the mechanics from the service area looked at the battery and said this is a 2009 battery. I was taken aback. How could a car manufactured in 2011 have a battery which was already 2 years old? This morning I went to the local battery store and got the battery checked. They confirmed that the battery was from 2009 and had gone weak and needed replacement.

I went back to the showroom and tried to reason with them. I also gave the dealer a chance to come clean and admit if there was a goof up and the battery had been replaced during service. They denied. The Service Manager said that this is the first case he has encountered where the battery is 2 years older than the car. They have agreed to take my complaint formally and pass this on to Tata/Fiat. But that doesn't help my cause much since I am left with a car that has a half dead battery.

I am myself challenged for evidence in a way:
  1. I have the battery warranty card from when I bought the car, but it does not have the battery serial number
  2. I do not have any picture of the car's engine bay area which can show the battery as-is when the car was bought

While I have no issues replacing the battery, it is a matter of principle and I feel cheated. My Linea completes 2 years in February 2013 and I simply cannot fathom the fact that the battery needs to be replaced within 2 years and 30,000 kms.

Need your views on this guys.

And yes, I am writing to Tata and Fiat right after posting this.
I have found that this a Fraud very common, having managed to catch the Ford agent Shaman motors at Mumbai and reported matter to police. The Magistrate court found evidence sent matter for investigation TWICE and then did a flip flop. The High court gave protection to the car company and agent even on the face of records which speak for itself and allowed no Trial but to fight for compensation, but at the same time the High court tarnished my name relying on defense arguments with no supporting proof to deny offence in spite of access to the car history .
The 18 month car was called for free service under Warranty and after service had many components replaced . There is document showing battery and music system is replaced . There are 3 different Tyre numbers. The date seen on seats, seat belts suspension, steering is after the date of manufacture of the car.
I was compelled to even pursue the matter in person since such fraud at authorized garage is difficult to catch now it is 4 years and I may have to go to the Apex court for seeking just for Trial to be conducted .
2 WRONGS IT SEEMS CAN MAKE IT RIGHT, EVEN ON THE FACE OF RECORDS, FOR CAR AGENTS.
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Old 11th December 2012, 12:56   #14
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Cars come kitted from the factory with a battery and battery warranty card with the serial # on it. There's NO way I accept that a warranty card did not have a serial #. It is generally a bar code sticker on the warranty, and it can be matched with the number embossed on the top of the battery case.

Since you are chasing up Fiat and the dealer do let us know how it goes. Good luck!
Actually the warranty card only has the dealer stamp and the name of the car owner. I am following up with the dealer and Fiat on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcrawler View Post
It is obvious that the battery does not belong to your car. The warranty card for the battery with it's serial number should have been provided when they delivered your car. This should have been shown to you by the sales executive who handled your delivery. It is a mystery to me how a warranty card comes without a number recorded.

Having said that, I also feel it is our responsibility to check all papers before driving off in a new vehicle. Now there is no way to pin the blame. Since you say there is no battery number mentioned we'll have to take it that the swap could have taken place at your dealer point itself.

One way to know if the battery had been disconnected during service is that all your devices that run on it including the clock, Blu & Me, messages, numbers would have been reset. Do you remember any such experience after any of your services? If that had happened your battery had been disconnected then; which is one possible point in time where a swap could have been made.

Good luck with solving your case from a fellow Fiat owner.

Rajesh
Agree. Issue is, I wasn't there when we took delivery of the car. My mom went to take delivery. But lesson learnt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starter View Post
Hi Iceman7,
Sorry to hear the situation you are in.
But, unless you had got the battery number mentioned in your job card while leaving it for its service, there is no way you can put the blame on anybody. Neither on the dealer from whom you bought your car nor on the service center where you'd left your car for service.
My suggestion to you would be to move on and get a new battery for the car.
Thanks for sharing this here. We all need to be more careful while leaving our car for service in the future.
Cheers,
Deepak
I am giving it a few days and waiting to hear back from Fiat. Else, i'll take this hit and move on. Again, lesson learnt!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
The swap happened at the subject service now. It can be presumed that way because the battery related complaints cropped up after that and you haven't faced any. Further, the 2009 made battery has completed the normal service period, though there are exceptions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukderebail View Post
I believe one has to be with the car when it is serviced for the after the complementary service is completed, i mean first year of warranty. Battery disconnection will be noticed in your time being reset, FM radio reset, and possible the remote will also beep. If you have experienced the same switch of battery has taken place. Check with the serial nos of the battery. I had suggested to Maruti to provided warranty card for battery which they too refused since the mfg does not pass on the warranty card to them.

With each passing day, my suspicion grows towards the dealer where I gave the car for service. All circumstantial evidence is against them, but I have no solid proof in hand. Yes, the Time, FM, etc was reset when I took the car back from service. It should have clicked then, but I was running a busy week last week and I just missed this. Need to be more careful next time.

As mentioned earlier, I am waiting to hear from Fiat on this. They have acknowledged my complaint and are investigating this issue. Will keep you all posted.
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Old 11th December 2012, 14:11   #15
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Default Re: Can a 2011 car have a battery made in 2009?

Usually when they prepare the job card when taking the car for service they mention the Battery number too on the card. Check if your copy of the Job card has the battery number on it. If it has then you can catch them by their neck.
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