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Old 19th January 2010, 15:13   #1
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Default Excerpts on Customers Experiences after the FIAT-TATA JV

Around 2 Years Back
One of my friends visits me. He is excited that he has booked the Swift VDi. He is all praise for the car but is a little disturbed with the very long waiting period of 4 months. To make matters worse the dealer was not ready to commit a tentative date of delivery.

I tell him to check out the Palio MJD that was almost like new in the market. FIAT-TATA JV seemed to give prospective buyers a promise of a slightly better ownership experience.

2 weeks later he calls me up and tells me that he has taken delivery of the MJD. I felt happy. I was a FIAT Fan!!!


Around 2 weeks Back
I am at the service centre for fixing some glitches on my adventure. I see this guy there with his MJD. He is not as enthusiastic as he was the last time i met him. Why?

1. His MJD has done just 15,000km over the time and he has a problem with the Fuel Pump!!!
2. The engine fan when on creates something close to a "tornado" on dusty roads. He showed me his engine bay that was washed 2 weeks back. It had more dust than my 38,000 km run car which has not had an engine wash.
3. The car Rattles like its just back from a off road Rally.
4. When the engine is started/stopped the car shakes like it is acting in an animated cartoon film.
5. He needs to keep turning on/off his a/c on long drives due to ice formation.
6. He had to change 2 tyres at around 8000km due to uneven thread wear.

He now calls me and tells me that he is yet to get the fuel pump and the A.S.S says that it will take another week. I feel sad for recommended FIAT to him. I am forced to stop being a FIAT Fan!!!


....to be continued.
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Old 19th January 2010, 15:51   #2
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Could it not be a case of a Lemon sold to him? Also, everything depends upon how well a person maintains his or her car. rattles and squeks can crop up in any car because of the roads.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:01   #3
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Another friend from PUG confirmed about the "tornado" effect when the engine fan is "on". Not sure if you guys would be able to understand how bad it feels when you see your neighbours run away every time your car approaches. The fuel pump attenders make it a point to keep away from your car till you turn off the engine. It makes you feel really bad and uncomfortable. FIAT top heads never replied to mails on this issue but made it a point to call back and tell my friend that its a design defect that cant be corrected.(probably they did not want to say this on mail...oh!! Did i just put it in writing!!!)

This car that has done just 15000km was brought to the service centre two weeks back. The pump was so noisy that you could not sit at the back seat for long. The service advisor immediately said it is a pump complaint. When i asked him how can something like a fuel pump get issues at such low running he said that it was not the actual fuel pump but the pump that comes outside the tank. HE then went on to say that the MJD had 2 pumps. Well Since i have not been involved in the design of this car i could not argue about that technical gyan. Personally i dont believe that a car would have two fuel pumps. Atleast not a 5 lakh car. Anyways we were not in a mood to find out who was right and since he had assured that the part is available and the car can be returned by evening we convinced ourselves to believe him.

My friend was called up in the evening (after around 5hrs of having the car at the workshop) and was told that the part was not available This same guy had told us that the part is available when we decided to leave the car with them.

Probably FIAT give them a surprise with a 3rd fuel pump that he couldnt find anywhere

....to be continued.

Last edited by gemithomas : 19th January 2010 at 16:02.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:04   #4
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I remember there was another thread on the forum which had the case of a customer who complained about how frequently his Palio Stile ate up the tyres. Seems to be a similar case in the case of your friend's car as well, Gemi.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:06   #5
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Is it the black Palio MJD guy we met last time at Al-Saj?
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:06   #6
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Ouch. That is indeed horrible! Some of the issues are known - some are unpardonable!

But yes, its a tight slap in the face of the Fiat fans!
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:10   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Is it the black Palio MJD guy we met last time at Al-Saj?
No. His story is coming up. Will mention about that too later. This is a red one (think its called furnace red). Dont want to mention their names here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Ouch. That is indeed horrible! Some of the issues are known - some are unpardonable!

But yes, its a tight slap in the face of the Fiat fans!
A real tight one indeed!!

Last edited by gemithomas : 19th January 2010 at 16:16.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:25   #8
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In my case I don't have complaints with the car itself. I have done close to 21,000 km in less than 13 months of ownership. Some rattles did crop up in the mean time but they irritate only at lower than recommended rpms in a particular gear. I haven't had a single tyre puncture as yet and there is no issue of uneven tread-wear. But then everything that I loved about the ownership of the car got soured during the 3rd free service as was detailed here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ervices-2.html

The TASC did make amends, presumably after the CEO, FIAPL had intervened on receipt of my email.

PS. The tornado effect sets off only if the AC is on for some time.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:26   #9
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I had the same fan problem with my MJD. But during 3rd service, Concorde (EC) people said they fixed it. For the next ten thousand KMs, I haven't had the problem.
I had the tyre wear out problem too. My front two tyres had worn off within the first 7000 kms!! Good Year replaced them free of cost. I have driven another 17000 kms with the 2 new tyres (and the 2 old ones), and there isn't any uneven wear now. But now I make sure that they rotate the tyres during every service.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:26   #10
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The palio MJD has no major problems,minor problems are in all the product buy any manufacturer some problems are sample to sample some are generic - the good points which we all should acknowledge should be generic one but yes we should also discuss specific in order to know which are generic & which one is specific.

I have not faced similar problem in my MJD.

That can be a specific case of the individual who has changed the tyre in 8k.My palio MJD has clocked quite good kms but still no problem with the tyre.

As far as Car Fan is concerned yes noise is there but the good point is it has a three-four high speed control so the heating never crosses more than quarter which is most of the car is half.

Rest i would say the maintenance plays a very important role.

Thanks
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anupam00 View Post
.

As far as Car Fan is concerned yes noise is there but the good point is it has a three-four high speed control so the heating never crosses more than quarter which is most of the car is half.

Rest i would say the maintenance plays a very important role.

Thanks
Since two people mentioned about the maintenance thing i just wanted to clarify. The car has been serviced at the specified intervals only at A.S.S. Other than scheduled visits the car has visited the TATA-FIAT service centre atleast 5 times. The car is used mostly in city and goes on highway drives once in a month. This guy drives sedately since he is concious about fuel efficiency (the only reason why he went for a diesel inspite of low running).

I guess this should qualify for a well maintained car.

About the fan thing. Do you really think its ok to create a dust storm around you just to keep your car's temperature low. You should really see this to believe it. I never thought it could be this bad before i personally saw how much dust it can pick up and blow around.

I would not feel comfortable seeing my temperature needle hover around the 1/4 mark and people known to me running away with from the dust with their nose closed. I would feel uncomfortable if the fuel pump attendant moves away every time he see's my car coming into the pump.

Last edited by gemithomas : 19th January 2010 at 16:49.
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Old 19th January 2010, 16:48   #12
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Let's look at it issue-wise:

a. Fuel Pump problem: Unpardonable, but this is the first time I am hearing of a fuel pump issue. Waiting for spares is a typical free benefit of Fiat ownership and well, let's face it, how many CRDi fuel pumps does any ASC keep in stock? It's not a regularly required spare.

b. Tornado effect: Yes the second fan is loud and can be quite a helicopter at times, but it keeps the temp in check, I have never had heatng issues. Secondly, the engine noise and fan noise was pretty apparent even during the test drive. Fuel pump attendants running away seems to be either an exageration. Regarding engine noise from a 5-lakh rupee car, well it's still lesser than an 8-lakh rupee Skoda Fabia.

c. Rattles: I have them too! But still not in Maruti Swift category. And I have some lovely MP, UP, Himachal roads and non-roads under my belt now, so would expect this out of any car. The road outside my office itself was a moonscape for a year I'd take at 60 kph.

That said, build quality in terms of rattles is nowhere near the older Fiats.

d. Engine vibration on start-up: Typical CRDi problem which is much lower in Vista and Swift. I don't see how it affects the ownership experience unless you want to show off how refined the car is. These vibrations would have been similar during the test-drive.

e. Ice formation on AC: TBHP member ICE had the same problem in his Peted MJD and they replaced some components under warranty and it's been fine since. The ASC needs to be chased for this.

f. Tyres wearing out at 8000 km: When I replaced my first set of tyres at 20,000 km they were only 30% gone (I got a 25% buyback price as well). The second set, the softer A-drives have seen 16,000 km with no abnormal wear. Other people have had similar experiences. Are you sure it was not a camber issue. I myself have a camber out of range in one of my wheels but that's because I drove into an open manhole.

Out of the above, issues b, c & d are either insignificant and nothing you can't live with.

Yes, I have had a clutch kit replaced under warranty but Tata-Fiat accepts that as a manufacturing defect. So has Bubby and many others. I have even seen a seized engine becasue somebody didn't service the car for 25,000 km.

In a nutshell, apart from some rattles and a clutch kit replaced, I haven't had serious issues so far. Not to mention taking it to all sorts of places which are atleast 500 km away from any Tata-Fiat Service Centre.

@Gemi, you'd remember I was the first one to mention in the review of your Adventure that you had faced an abnormally high rate of parts failures!

It's true that the last Palio has its share of issues and inconsistent quality levels (Tata inheritence?) but there are lots of positive ownership experiences as well (so far atleast).

Last edited by architect : 19th January 2010 at 16:55.
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Old 19th January 2010, 17:07   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by architect View Post
Let's look at it issue-wise:

Out of the above, issues b, c & d are either insignificant and nothing you can't live with.
with all due respects i think there are quite a few people who would not like their 15000km run car have these issues that he will obviously have to live with. Common dear he would have bought a much cheaper TATA from the same dealer if these were "chalega" for him.

Most people ( who are very few) who have bought FIAT have bought it for the comfort the car claims to give. The above issues do contribute negatively to this comfort factor to a major extent.
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Old 19th January 2010, 17:15   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
with all due respects i think there are quite a few people who would not like their 15000km run car have these issues that he will obviously have to live with.
Sorry to sound argumentative Gemi, but I can concede b & c to you, but I don't see how far can the car giving up a vigorous wake-up shake affect the ownership experience. .

Just joking. Bottomline is that the car has issues, FIP and tyre wear are not jokes. I would dread having my FIP conking off after ext warranty.

I am curious as to why the tyre issue and the AC issues has NOT been resolved by ASC? We have ample evidence to know that Prerna at Bangalore resolved Ice's AC issue and some other ASC tackled the tyre issue as well. I hope your friend is not swallowing the line that these are "non-fixable" issues because they very much are fixable issues.
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Old 19th January 2010, 17:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Common dear he would have bought a much cheaper TATA from the same dealer if these were "chalega" for him.
This is no excuse for premature parts failure but the Palio SDE was the cheapest Common Rail Diesel hatchback in the market with HVAC, PS, FPW, Central Locking and Fog Lamps when I bought her in late December 2008. Indica Dicor had just been discontinued and no discounts were offered on Vista Quadrajets then.
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