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Old 23rd April 2014, 10:42   #31
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

My 2006 model Alto (from Kerala) had the same rust problem ,fortunately lower arm didn't break .The MASS was unable to identify this.It was identified by a FNH mechanic in Bangalore.The Kerala MASS was completely ignorant or they don't care about such matters.In Bangalore it is not prevalent to have a rusted lower arm and the mechanic noticed it.In Jokujis case both the lower arms are in rusted condition .But surprisingly other parts don't have corrosion. So this issue can be a bad batch of lower arms. Maruti must be informed about this and I feel a recall/checkup for the batch is required.Through the said MASS and pressure from forums like TBHP we can strive for that. We may be able to save lives.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 10:59   #32
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Originally Posted by commonman View Post
So this issue can be a bad batch of lower arms. Maruti must be informed about this and I feel a recall/checkup for the batch is required.Through the said MASS and pressure from forums like TBHP we can strive for that. We may be able to save lives.
If rust was the main culprit the the whole car should have got rusted and fallen apart into pieces but that didn't happen. Only the lower arm and I have seen rust on the silence pipe too.

As you rightly said, this has to be a bad batch of lower am that Maruti received.

Now the are two possibilities here IMO:

1) The bad batch of parts that were received were not intimated to the higher-ups so that they could issue a recall or silent replacement atleast (Like the Chevrolet Tavera case).

2) In spite of knowing, Maruti has taken the risk and manufactured the car using those parts and kept thinking "No one would complain and if ever anyone does, let's see!" type attitude.

In both the cases the customer is at loss and at high risk (His and his family lives). Maruti should answer to this type of issues to retain their brand value and customer loyalty. Today it has happened to a WagonR, tomorrow or could happen to any other car in their stable.

So as per the popular tag line if the media world :

"Come on Maruti Suzuki! The Nation wants to know! Please Answer!"

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 23rd April 2014 at 11:02.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 12:34   #33
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

This is quite interesting. Were you not giving the car for service regularly? I you have the service records, I believe you should even sue them for such negligence.

I know of someone in Ernakulam who has a vehicle that was regularly serviced. It had clocked 90K and the owner requested the A.S.S to check and replace the belts but they reverted its not necessary at all. A few days later the vehicle broke down on a highway, leaving the owner and his family (elder parents, wife and kids) stranded for about 4 hours, till help arrived. He seems to take a legal action.

Once you get this fixed a suitable anti corrosion treatment would be worthwhile, in my opinion
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Old 23rd April 2014, 18:26   #34
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Should I say its more than just basic to put the car up on the ramp and completely check the under chassis during every service?

In fact, very rarely I have ever seen ASC even re-torque the Bolts and nuts relating to suspension and wheels during the service. None of the ASC's even follow the check list applicable for various types of service!

The rust for sure (as it looks from the pictures) would have taken months to develop to that magnitude to break off that way. It also means that the ASC simply ignored basic checks that may have prevented this in all possibilities.

It could also be a one off case of a major component failure (Lower arm in this case) but in general its too difficult for me to say that this (Quality of parts) is a common case with Maruti's from the experience of having driven the WagonR for over 215000 kms and still there is not a single sign of rust under the body when the 3M guy at Sanjaynagar, Bangalore challenged me that he will find corrosion underneath.

This is something very important:
During each service, please check the underbody thoroughly and also torque/tighten all the bolts and nuts of suspension and supporting components.

Last edited by paragsachania : 23rd April 2014 at 18:31.
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Old 24th April 2014, 01:10   #35
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Guys, the car is with us now..

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
How is it possible that Maruti accepting the fault and not changing the parts? Is your car under warranty?
You paying for the parts for no fault of yours is daylight robbery. IMO, please don't accept this from Maruti.
Anurag.
Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
If rust was the main culprit the the whole car should have got rusted and fallen apart ....
Maruti should answer to this type of issues to retain their brand value and customer loyalty.
Anurag.
The warranty was long gone, its 2009 model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by commonman View Post
My 2006 model Alto (from Kerala) had the same rust problem ,fortunately lower arm didn't break .The MASS was unable to identify this....can be a bad batch of lower arms. Maruti must be informed about this and....
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
This is quite interesting. Were you not giving the car for service regularly?
The car was regularly serviced however this time it went long, this month was 7th month when this mishap happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
.....very rarely I have ever seen ASC even re-torque the Bolts and nuts....None of the ASC's even follow the check list applicable for various types of service!
....It also means that the ASC simply ignored basic checks that may have prevented this in all possibilities.
It could also be a one off case of a major component failure (Lower arm in this case) ....
This is something very important:
During each service, please check the underbody thoroughly and also torque/tighten all the bolts and nuts of suspension and supporting components.
Yes, even I believe the ASC guys can be quite careless at times when it comes to these mass produced cars.
The issue being a one of a case cannot be also ruled out !


Guys, actually I would ask you guys to regularly check even when services are done. Its better to trust yourself with your life than someone else

Today along with Dad, went to Maruti itself. We had talks with the Territory Service Manager, he turned out to be a nice chap. Though he said lower arms could fail when the vehicle is this old, however he talked with service guys at the MASS and asked them to fix everything and offer some discounts as a goodwill. He did agree that it was MASS at fault for not checking the vehicles underbody conditions during the regular service checkups.

In the meantime Dad had allowed the MASS people to work on the car and do whatever was necessary to fix it. The MASS had agreed to drop the labour charges but the spares should be taken by us. After the call from the TSM, the MASS agreed another 20% discount on the spares. Anyway, the faults were fixed. Only the lower arm and the boot rubber were replaced, while the original drive shaft was used. The MASS confirmed that they was no damage to it or the other related parts. The Service Manager took the vehicle out for the test ride as well. Dad went to take the car, however he argued and demanded for 50% which the MASS agreed after some quite hard talks. So we only had to pay for 50% of the spares and no labour.

So now the car is with us. I am thinking of taking it out to some good mechanic and have him check the whole underbody and related to see if there are any traces of rust or any other failures.

I thank you all for the words you have spoken here. Hope this thread be a reminder of what perils lay wait for us should we are careless/clueless about the vehicle we put our lives on a daily basis.

Drive Safe Guys

- J
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Old 24th April 2014, 07:07   #36
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Two things I find disturbing on this thread:
1 Comparing under body rust with the rust that lead to arm failure. Totally and vastly different scales of magnitude.
2 "Go sue their pants off" attitude by many here. Yes there is a problem and the root cause needs to be first identified before chanting blindly. Yes the likely cause seems to be manufacturing defect but why has it occurred? Do not solve the present problem but look at the system that led to such failure and get the manufacturer take corrective action. Thank god this did not happen when driving at speed.

That said I suspect that even routine under body inspection may have failed to reveal this problem. Unless the arm bushes were replaced this may not have been visible.
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Old 24th April 2014, 08:17   #37
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Glad to hear your issue is finally getting sorted. You should also consider getting some under-chassis treatment. This should assist in some level of defense when it comes to rust.
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Old 25th April 2014, 00:27   #38
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Two things I find disturbing on this thread:
1 Comparing under body rust with the rust that lead to arm failure. Totally and vastly different scales of magnitude.
2 "Go sue their pants off" attitude by many here. Yes there is a problem and the root cause needs to be first identified before chanting blindly. Yes the likely cause seems to be manufacturing defect but why has it occurred? Do not solve the present problem but look at the system that led to such failure and get the manufacturer take corrective action. Thank god this did not happen when driving at speed.

That said I suspect that even routine under body inspection may have failed to reveal this problem. Unless the arm bushes were replaced this may not have been visible.
What might you think was the reason of failure. I am getting the broken lower arm tomorrow from the MASS and see what really might have caused it.

Guys..any idea how we can figure this out ?
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Old 25th April 2014, 08:22   #39
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Some more close ups from differing angle of the part that was taken out. In-situ things were not fully revealed.
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Old 25th April 2014, 08:46   #40
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Some more close ups from differing angle of the part that was taken out. In-situ things were not fully revealed.
Where are the pics? Has your issue been resolved?
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Old 25th April 2014, 09:51   #41
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

This seems to be a defective piece IMHO. From the photographs, it looks like the failure started simultaneously from outside as well as inside. This doesn't happen just because of the proximity to sea. Also these parts are always taken for granted and never attended to while regular servicing by the service centers. Users also doesn't bother to check these parts or even clean these parts properly while washing (That includes me too). Under all the mud and dirt, it is extremely difficult to observe a rusted part. By the way, what is the present situation of the vehicle? What did dealer had to say about this? Please post some photographs of the part alone with a close up shot of the failure itself. May be that can throw some light on how and where the crack started.

It was really lucky for your dad to observe it while moving out of the parking itself. Something like this happening on the highways could be catastrophic.
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Old 26th April 2014, 21:08   #42
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Always make it a point to personally inspect the underbody either when the car is up on the lift for service or at the underground/ underbody service bay.
At MASS, customers aren't permitted in the workshop area and are politely asked to step back into the lounge and have another cup of tea/coffee.

However, the independent wheel balancing workshops don't have such a rule and that's when one gets to look at the underside of the vehicle. Even when one does take a look, it's hard to tell if it is dirt or rust that one is looking at if the car hasn't had the underbody wash in a while - that too can promote the formation of rust depending on the kind of mud.

BTW, insurance doesn't cover rust.
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Old 27th April 2014, 00:46   #43
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Where are the pics? Has your issue been resolved?
I got busy with work and Dad unfortunately did not get the parts replaced that day itself when he took the car back. Now I am not sure if they have it at the service center, I called one of them up whom we dealt with during this issue, he said, it is very unlikely that the part is still there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harikr View Post
This seems to be a defective piece IMHO. From the photographs, it looks like the failure started simultaneously from outside as well as inside. This doesn't happen just because of the proximity to sea. Also these parts are always taken for granted and never attended to while regular servicing by the service centers. Users also doesn't bother to check these parts or even clean these parts properly while washing (That includes me too). Under all the mud and dirt, it is extremely difficult to observe a rusted part. By the way, what is the present situation of the vehicle? What did dealer had to say about this? Please post some photographs of the part alone with a close up shot of the failure itself. May be that can throw some light on how and where the crack started.

It was really lucky for your dad to observe it while moving out of the parking itself. Something like this happening on the highways could be catastrophic.
As explained above, am not sure if I can get hold of those parts. Have called the MASS people to find if the parts are there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_nitin_r View Post
At MASS, customers aren't permitted in the workshop area and are politely asked to step back into the lounge and have another cup of tea/coffee.

However, the independent wheel balancing workshops don't have such a rule and that's when one gets to look at the underside of the vehicle. Even when one does take a look, it's hard to tell if it is dirt or rust that one is looking at if the car hasn't had the underbody wash in a while - that too can promote the formation of rust depending on the kind of mud.

BTW, insurance doesn't cover rust.
Yes, that is something I wanted to ask you guys. Are you guys allowed at the work floor of a service center. I have been to a few and they do not allow the clients to see their vehicle when under the table.
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Old 27th April 2014, 20:21   #44
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jokuji View Post
Yes, that is something I wanted to ask you guys. Are you guys allowed at the work floor of a service center. I have been to a few and they do not allow the clients to see their vehicle when under the table.
If you know exactly what you are looking for, you can rush over and take a quick peek at the vehicle. Otherwise, the only other time you get to look at it is before the service advisor takes a handover (this is before the vehicle gets to the area with the hydraulic lifts so you can't look at the underbody).

The mobile van service from some Maruti service centers may let you take a look - they don't have their managers looking over their shoulders so they make relax some of the rules that they are supposed to follow. However, they wouldn't have the hydraulic lift that the workshops do (I'm guessing they use jack stands instead of hydraulic lifts) so you'll have to strain yourself to get under the vehicle. Also, the mobile van service only does regular minor service and the one that provides the service around the Madhapur area in Hyderabad has a pretty bad reputation for messing things up.

Last edited by k_nitin_r : 27th April 2014 at 20:22.
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Old 27th April 2014, 22:01   #45
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Default Re: Lower arm broke, wheel came off!

I am glad that Maruti agreed to waive 50% of cost of spares and complete labor charges in this case. I was quite concerned about this failure, but after reading updates have come to a conclusion that it is a rare occurrence, which could be a mix of part quality and poor inspection by MASS during servicing.

My 2001 WagonR is still going strong and did not have any such issue with rust. But I did have some parts getting worn out and replaced after the odo crossed 50 K kms, which included change of brake pads and liners (odo 50100), both drive shafts (cost 7800 at odo 51800), front struts( odo 55266), water pump and ac fan belts (odo 59000), lower arms and bushes (odo 60110) and brake caliper greasing (odo 66000).

Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, but the tasks highlighted in bold presented ample opportunity to the MASS to verify if there was any unusual rust, so therefore it did not escape their scrutiny. All those jobs were carried out on their suggestion without any complaint from me, except the drive shafts and struts changing, where there was annoying noise or judder that made me seek their attention.
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