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Old 27th December 2013, 01:27   #1
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Default Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

Dear fellow BHPians,

Sorry for the long post as I am in deep trouble with my Yeti.

I have been reading about Skoda A** Horror stories all over the forum, still decided to take the plunge and brought our Skoda Yeti 4x4 Elegance in January 2012 from Vision Skoda, Trichur. Due to the sudden demise of our beloved father in March this year, and since there was nobody to use the car in Kochi where we come from, my younger brother took the car to Bangalore where he is working. Myself and my elder brother both works outside the country and the car was primarily used by my late father.

The car was running absolutely fine until early November when the “Check engine” light came onin between and went off. My brother took the car to the Bangalore Agent Tafe Access. They inspected and tell that the car is fine and a detailed check can be done during second service which was getting due soon. The car had done only 20,000 kms, and almost completing 2 years. My brother gave the car for the second service, a little earlier than schedule and the car was delivered back on 30th November from Tafe with approx Rs. 13k paid. When asked about the “Engine check” light, the agent told that the car is under “observation” and to bring it back if the light comes on gain. On Dec 4th I landed in Bangalore and drove the car from Bangalore to Kochi next day, and it performed well throughout.

1. On Dec 7th I filled diesel from Kochi and drove to my native place. On the way back from Mundakkayam at around 6:15 pm the car started to give a strange noise from the engine and “glow plug” coil like symbol started flashing. I pulled over immediately and stopped the car and the message came “Engine check – workshop”.
2. I called the Skoda help line no. and they were very courteous and asked for the car details, connected me with the tow truck guy who promised to arrive in approx 3.5 hrs. We waited for more than 4 hrs and finally at around 12:30 in the night the truck came, loaded the car and promised to deliver in Marikar Skoda, Kochi.
3. Monday early morning I visited Marikar who told that a Skoda Engineer from Bangalore is supposed to arrive on the same day to inspect few cars and we can get it diagnosed with him, so that the exact fault can be identified quickly. I also thought this to be fair as I do not wanted to take any chance with our car. He arrived only in the evening.
4. They started checking the car from next day and to my horror the agent informed me that there was lot of water in the fuel filter and they are still checking on the cause.
5. Next day the dealer shows me a bottle of diesel with water and tells me that the water is from the fuel filter, and the problem is caused due to adulterated fuel, pumped in from the gas station and that getting warranty may be a problem. I told them that I filled diesel from the same station I have been filling for ages and never had any such problem.
6. He also tells that we may have to spent around 4.5 Lakhs to rectify the car as the entire fuel system including injectors, HP Pump, LP pump etc etc needs to be changed. He promised me that he will try his best to get this done under warranty.
7. The Service manager also tells me that the Skoda Engineer told him that if the Bangalore agent had taken more care with the “check engine” problem, may be this would not have happened, and also the Engine coolant was shown to “Fair” only where it was supposed to show “Good” in such a low run car.

The wait starts from then on and myself and my brothers keeps calling the agent on a regular basis and we are being informed of several reasons, that they are checking and reporting to Skoda and awaiting their reply and so on. One time the service Manager also told that the date of manufacture of the fuel filter is older than ‘normal’.

In between I shoot a mail to Skoda on the address given in their website, but no response, not even an automated acknowledgement mail. The car is now with the agent for 18 days and today the agent tells that they got a mail from Skoda telling that the car cannot be repaired under warranty as it is caused by adulterated fuel. My brother is meeting the service manager tomorrow morning and will know more details. I am in lot of stress these days more because of a feeling that we are being cheated and Skoda is taking us for a ride. The car is under main warranty util Jan 2014 and on extended warranty (Skoda shield) for a further 2 years.

I would appreciate if some of the experts can advise us on:

1. What would have been the real problem ? I do not believe the story of this adulterated fuel as the car had run for almost 90kms after filling fuel and then stopped. The agent has strange answer telling this that the fuel filter has certain capacity beyond which it will not perform. The filter is meant for stopping water and other impurities right ??
2. Even if water is mixed with fuel can it make so much damage ? I mean with 4.5 Lakhs you can get a new car.
3. What is the way forward ? Should I go to consumer court. Will it be of any use or this will be dragged like in Mr. Harish’s case ?
4. Is there any use writing to VW AG or any particular persons in VW or Skoda. Does anyone has any name / email address of such a person, who can help.

I regret for not having posted this problem early as i thought of not maiking it public if skoda provides the warranty.Some inputs from fellow BHPians will be appreciated.

Regards

Last edited by theMAG : 27th December 2013 at 08:06. Reason: Making the content more readable. Best of luck with your situation!
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Old 27th December 2013, 06:49   #2
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During the 2 times you took the car to the workshop & they gave the car back to you without identifying the problem, do you have any written records?

Did you complain about engine check light in writing; did they give anything in writing?

Your best case seems to be to focus on the fact that they had opportunity to spot the problem twice & didn't. That may have made damage worse than it should & that can't be your fault.

The fuel filter should have been inspected the first time they saw the car & spotted the issue right away!

If you have kept the receipt of the diesel fill up prior to the problem detection you can also sue the pump owner in consumer court.

Either way, this is looking like a tough legal fight.
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Old 27th December 2013, 07:21   #3
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamaran View Post
1. What would have been the real problem ? I do not believe the story of this adulterated fuel as the car had run for almost 90kms after filling fuel and then stopped. The agent has strange answer telling this that the fuel filter has certain capacity beyond which it will not perform. The filter is meant for stopping water and other impurities right ??
2. Even if water is mixed with fuel can it make so much damage ? I mean with 4.5 Lakhs you can get a new car.
3. What is the way forward ? Should I go to consumer court. Will it be of any use or this will be dragged like in Mr. Harish’s case ?
4. Is there any use writing to VW AG or any particular persons in VW or Skoda. Does anyone has any name / email address of such a person, who can help.
Sorry to hear about the troubles with your Yeti. However, I think there is a way to resolve your issue and I'll put down my responses to the points raised by you:

1. Your issue started with the check engine light appearing in Bangalore for which you had taken the car to TAFE in Bangalore twice. When the check engine light comes on, an error code is generated and you can ascertain (from Marikar) what that code was and whether TAFE carried out the necessary checks and measures dictated by that check engine light. It looks like TAFE did not which led to the problem aggravating and this should give you sufficient cause to take up the matter with Skoda (although they may argue that TAFE would be liable and that you should take up the matter with them). From what you have written, your initial problem appeared in Bangalore itself and they should have, after correctly diagnosing the problem, drained the fuel tank completely so that there was no more water in the tank.

It looks like the long drive further aggravated and revealed the real nature of the problem as short drives in Bangalore would not have damaged the car to a serious extent and that's why you could continue to drive the car in Bangalore even after the check engine light came on. It is possible that the fuel being filled in Bangalore was the cause of the problem.

2. Water can cause extensive damage - even more than what has happened now.

3&4: You could write to sudhir.rao@skoda-auto.co.in as an escalation of the issue. You may not find a proper resolution with consumer courts as you have rightly observed. Write to the email id given - put your points across clearly and be polite. That should work.

Wish you all the best!

(This thread should have been posted in the Technical Stuff forum)
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Old 27th December 2013, 07:31   #4
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

What exactly are the symptoms you faced while driving the car before the “Engine check – workshop” message flash came on.
You should definitely bring this to the notice of higher ups in Skoda and also the lacuna of TAFE Access to be taken up with their higher ups. Even writing to Ms. Mallika Sreenivasan, MD of TAFE is advisable.
Another point I could notice is Marikar Motors is yet to shed off their past HM dealership inheritance. I remember clearly that no warranty claims, were ever accepted by them during the Ambassador car era.

On a generic note, let me list out common and helpful tips.*

Avoiding fuel system problems While you can’t avoid the normal fuel system wear and tear associated with regular use, here are some steps you can take to avoid unnecessary problems.
  • Rather than buying fuel from any filling station, buy only a from well known and reputable source, even if it is slightly far away. Dirty, poor quality or contaminated fuel will destroy a diesel injection system very quickly. Later Common Rail systems are particularly sensitive to fuel quality issues.
  • Always keep the receipt for your fuel purchases, and that way if you do get a bad or contaminated batch you’ll have proof of where it came from and may be able to negotiate some assistance from the supplier.
  • If this does happen, ensure you keep a sample of the suspect fuel. The company involved may want to have it tested. Collect samples in clean, dry, leak free safe containers. Used plastic oil, fruit juice or similar containers are not suitable.
  • The fuel filter is there to protect the fuel system so be mindful of the need for regular replacement. If operating under adverse conditions more frequent filter replacement may be desirable or necessary. Use only original equipment or high quality replacement filters as the life of the system depends on them.
  • Clean dirt and dust from around fuel fillers and avoid filling in the rain to reduce the possibility of introducing dirt and water into the system.
  • Regularly check foe water accumulation. Don’t wait for the warning light to come on.
  • Take care with fuel storage. Never use empty chemical drums or other unapproved containers as residual chemicals could cause extensive fuel system damage.
  • Avoid filling from drums if at all possible as the chances of introducing contaminants is greatly increased.
  • If buying bulk diesel, consider how long it will need to be stored and the season. While summer blend fuels won’t cause any long term damage they can produce significant starting and performance issues if used in the cold of winter. Also, all fuels have a definite shelf life which will depend greatly on storage conditions.
* compiled from www.

Last edited by rajeev k : 27th December 2013 at 07:56.
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Old 27th December 2013, 07:39   #5
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Generally most CRD engines have a separate sedimentimer or something that warns of water in the fuel. I am sure the ecu should have warned you about this. I think they are just trying to take you for a ride.

I loved the new Octavia and really wanted to get one, but Skoda brand scares the living daylights out of me. I don't want to replan for my retirement.
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Old 27th December 2013, 08:08   #6
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

I do not own this brand, but from people I know who do and also having read similar incidents like this I feel all Skoda dealers are co-ordinated and have a method of putting the blame squarely on the owner, whilst holding the car within their workshop for days on end. For example someone I know who owns a Skoda drops it off at service perfectly fine but at the end of the day they say stuff like engine tune up was done due to issue (which there was no indication of in the instrument cluster) and then they point out a couple of niggles like door scratches (after service) telling the owner that he must've not noticed it and someone has been careless with the car and end the conversation by saying he can consider fixing it next service (yeah right, if someone points out something after service I know what cover up they are upto).

Its the amazing lengths they prepare a speech to cover up and run that makes me feel they are perfectly capable of 'editing' a litre of diesel, because to avoid liability they must prove owner error/mishandling. They did the same to owners of the 1.4 Fabia until simply, too many 1.4 owners showed up and it was found to be an engine which was incompatible with our country fuel, irrespective of purity. They should've looked into the problem at the first instance of engine light, engine/fuel issue is never small specially with the brand Skoda. Like the dealer the company too seems to close its ears, mouth and eyes. They just are doing Skoda fans a humble favour by going to great lengths to open showrooms. Anything after that isn't in their "to-do" list. There are satisfied customers who haven't faced such situations but the least that a customer could expect is a mail, even one that clearly explains the situation. Silence makes me feel they want to give no proof of anything unless its the final bill after repair.
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Old 27th December 2013, 08:16   #7
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

I share your concern but IMHO the two issues are being mixed up in to one.

Please clarify did the engine check light got rectified in Bangalore? I mean after service in Bangalore did it go off? From your account answer is affirmative and it did not show up on your drive out of Bangalore. So this is not the cause of problem.

The immediate problem could - could - be fuel contamination. Such contamination does not cause immediate symptoms but as the fuel is used symptoms come up. This is what you are describing - about 90 kms after fueling up the car started giving noise.

If I remember correctly there is a a water in fuel warning light on dash board. Did this come on?? (....glow plug like symbol.....)

If I read this correctly the damage has been caused by water contamination and I really fail to see Skoda being blamed for fault.

Read this by SS-Traveller:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post3033767 ("My Car Won't Start" | What To Do)
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Old 27th December 2013, 09:11   #8
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
I share your concern but IMHO the two issues are being mixed up in to one.

If I read this correctly the damage has been caused by water contamination and I really fail to see Skoda being blamed for fault.

t3033767[/url]
Good set of inputs Sudev. Nice to see a balanced assessment.

I m not an expert at all in these matters and particularly this vehicle, much preferring to go to the workshop and ask the dealer service people for help as required. Am merely another user like Catamaran and as a fellow Yeti owner, I empathise with his plight but do not want to start second guessing.

Catamaran: I have PM-ed you and will be happy to try and put forward your situation to some nice gentlemen whom I know at Skoda HQ.

If the car were in Bangalore I would have recommended that you show it to Mr Aiyanna at Vinayaka Skoda because he is a knowledgeable man as well as a nice man.

All the best.
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Old 27th December 2013, 09:15   #9
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

I read that someone told about the diesel filter being older than it should have. How can it happen as you had given the car for servicing before taking it to Kerala?

If you have the bill details, please check whether TAFE had indeed replaced the filter. This could be a problem in aggravating the situation, had they used an old stock or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamaran View Post
...3. What is the way forward ? Should I go to consumer court. Will it be of any use or this will be dragged like in Mr. Harish’s case ?....
Sorry, but I am doubtful on the strength of this case. Harish's case is way too strong and he still has NOT seen the light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catamaran View Post
...4. Is there any use writing to VW AG or any particular persons in VW or Skoda. Does anyone has any name / email address of such a person, who can help....
This sounds a better solution. If you can link TAFE's mistake to this damage, you might get some relief.
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Old 27th December 2013, 10:00   #10
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

A very similar issue was highlighted in Mumbai Mirror(Newspaper) in Mumbai.

A hospitality executive had filled fuel at Andheri and was crossing Powai when his car stalled amidst lots of white fumes from the exhaust.

Same car, same problem.

He took it to Senator Skoda. The diagnosis was also the same. Water in diesel resulting in complete engine failure. Damages- Rs. 3.5 lacs, not covered under warranty.

He promptly filed a case against Bharat Pertroleum where the fuel was filled and against Skoda for not giving a basic fuel filter and fuel adulteration indicator in such a high end car.

The claim request- 8 lacs.

Now, looking at the above scenario, one thing come to mind- Are Skoda deliberately hiding other car flaws on adulterated fuel??

The case just looks too similar.
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Old 27th December 2013, 11:04   #11
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

Actually I find it a bit ludicrous that a fuel station is dispensing water + slurry + sludge along with petrol/diesel and only one vehicle (among the various others that filled around the same time) faces the problem.


Also in case we have not taken a receipt (or destroyed it) - would the credit card statement showing the payment hold as an evidence in the court?

Last edited by alpha1 : 27th December 2013 at 11:05.
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Old 27th December 2013, 11:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
The case just looks too similar.
I thought the thread opener is the Mumbai mirror guy,but then read the car is from Cochin,so came to know they are two different people.
One thing is pretty clear from this :
Skoda cars are very sensitive to fuel quality!
This is the third case I'm reading in a span of 1 month. 2 Yetis and 1 Octavia(adi_petrolhead)
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Old 27th December 2013, 11:50   #13
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

So happy that I maintain my stay away from Skoda/VAG/German vehicles stance. Fuel might be a problem, but then there are 10 times more diesel vehicles from Maruti & Hyundai yet it is Skoda that fails catastrophically or is it that Maruti/Hyundai folks don't bother about making noise or have too much money to bother about it?

Why can't they build it properly for Indian conditions?
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Old 27th December 2013, 11:59   #14
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

I may sound silly, but i have one honest question in my mind which experts should answer. I am reading this kind of story again & again (5-6 times), and surprisingly its with German cars only like Skoda, Audi. So aren't these so called great, very costly cars are not capable of handling adulterated fuel in the first place?? When other low cost cars like Tata, Mahindra, Maruti etc can handle similar fuel with ease, why not these German cars?? It means they have serious technical flaw in their cars. More problem, more concern is that they are not rectifying it even after knowing it. This is really serious and shocking. Also the quotes they are giving for rectifying are insane. In 4.5 Lacs you can buy whole new engine altogether !!! Some cars as well

In India, better we should stop buying such cars because we will never get 100% pure fuel everywhere. There will be instances when you have to refuel your car at unknown petrol pump. If such incidents starts happening & you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, its really dangerous. Imagine you are traveling in remote place with your loved family & the children in your so called great car, and you are stuck like this at odd hours :( Anything can happen.

Thank god i own a Japanese car. I will never buy german car for sure after reading so many horror stories.
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Old 27th December 2013, 12:13   #15
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Default re: Skoda Yeti. 4.5 lakh repair bill! EDIT: Fuel system replaced under warranty

First of all, it is still to be established that there was a possibility of adulterated fuel. If indeed it was, why was the car so late to react to it and that too abruptly? What adds to the suspicion is that the car was showing similar symptoms since last few days before filling up.

I have a feeling that the Skoda workshop may be running away from its responsibility of warranty by cooking such stories.
Sorry, if that sounds biased and against Skoda, but they are themselves to blame for this perception by general people.
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