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Old 17th October 2010, 18:19   #1
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Thumbs down Defective Maruti Ritz ZXI with repeated Power Steering failures

Hi All,

I purchased a Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXI from Popular Motors at Kottayam on 9th October, 2010. I took delivery of the vehicle at 5pm on saturday, and as everyone, was excited about having bought a new car and the miles i would clock in with it. Little did i know that i was being sold a absolute lemon !

On delivery, we(dad, mom and me) drove the car from the dealership to home, a distance about 6-7 kms and no problems whatsoever with the car on the journey. Doomsday was just a few hours away!
On Sunday morning dad had to take the car to the church, and on the way he realized that the power steering was not functioning. He felt stiffness in the drive and it was very hard to steer. He even mentioned it was like driving a lorry. He somehow managed to get home and as Sunday was on off for the dealership, the fault could only be reported on Monday. The car was not driven for the rest of the day.
On Monday morning at around 10am, car is taken to the dealership Popular Motors. Got a call at around 10.40am saying that all faults have been identified and rectified. A blown fuse was identified as the cause of the problem, and it was replaced. They also clocked in considerable mileage as "testing".
I picked up the car at 11, and after driving about 3 kms (until which it was working fine) i noticed that the power steering had failed again. So, i promptly took the vehicle back to the dealer and subsequently at around 5pm got a call from the dealer saying that all faults have been rectified and this time also the fault was with the fuse which was replaced on the same day.
Once i took delivery of the vehicle, i noticed the fault had not been rectified.When we called the dealership again (my mom spoke) a representative of the dealer had the audacity to tell her that the car was "fine" when we took delivery of it and something had happened on the way, and it had been 5 mins since we'd left.
I had had enough of it! A brand new car's power steering failing on the very first day, was something i had never experienced. We took it to the dealer and insisted that the dealer take the vehicle back, which they refused unless we gave them in writing that he was taking custody of the vehicle for repairs at my request.
I gave the letter indicating the fault and that i would "like" to get the vehicle inspected again.The car was sent to the dealer through his representative on Tuesday and it has been with him ever since as i am insisting on a replacement. I'm not satisfied with it being a "minor" fault which has been rectified as reported by them, but i think it is a manufacturing defect. The dealer says that its not possible to replace the car as it has already been registered in my name. That's his onle defense.
Inspite of the numerous attempts made to fix the problem, it still persists. I've written a mail to Maruti Suzuki Customer Care about the problem and i'm awaiting response. We consulted a lawyer, who said we can file a case in the customer court and we would get a refund in 4-5 years. It is 5.5 lakhs of hard-earned money, and the last thing i'd want is not having a car or the money for until i get a refund. So, i'm saving the option of filing a suit if nothing else works.
I've owned cars before and none of them have turned out to be such lemons. We bought a Skoda Laura which is about three years old and runs fine. No major problems whatsoever, even though i've heard many other members experience problems.

This car was mainly purchased for my mom and we narrowed down to Ritz mainly because of 2 reasons. Reliability and Relatively problem-free (as i've experienced with my 24 tear-old Maruti 800, which till date runs fine). Both of it have been shattered. It pains me to not have the car, and that its just rotting at the dealer. I feel cheated and i have blood in my eyes everytime i think of my car.

This is day-light robbery by both Maruti and Popular Motors and i feel the only way i will ever be satisfied is with a replacement.

Please advice me on what can be done.
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Old 17th October 2010, 20:52   #2
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That is extremely unfortunate and you have my sympathies.Here is a link on the forum which could help you

LINK (ARTICLE: What to do if you are stuck with a lemon (Defective car))

It is shameful that the experience of buying a new car is more or less ruined by the dealers,and their attitude towards customers after they've driven out with the vehicle changes completely.Hope you get a good response from Maruti Customer care.I'm sure reliability was one of the key reasons for you to purchase the Ritz.

The irony :(
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Old 17th October 2010, 20:56   #3
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I dont think its fair to conclude it as a lemon, not so soon. Afterall, you still haven't heard from Maruti/Suzuki, have you? Is it not possible to get it checked by some other service station, perhaps another dealer in your city, just to be sure. Even if it isn't free, i don't think its going to cost you much to check up.
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Old 17th October 2010, 20:59   #4
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Call up Maruti's helpline and register a complaint. Things will (hopefully) move pretty fast from thereon.
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Old 17th October 2010, 21:06   #5
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From what I have heard Maruti takes customer complaints seriously. In case you find the response from customer care as indequate you may consider escalating the same to higher ups. I am sure some of our Team bhpians will be able to help you on getting some email ids for the same.
However I doubt if Maruti will provide a replacement but you can get this issue sorted out. As someone said it is too early to say that it is a lemon.

My personal advice- I understand the pain in finding out that your brand new car has a problem but it has been only a week and it is too early to think about consumer court settlement knowing how slow and painful the judicial process is. So it would be better to get it sorted out with the customer care with / without escalations.

All the best.

Last edited by pacman2881 : 17th October 2010 at 21:08.
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Old 17th October 2010, 22:41   #6
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I own a Maruti Swift and as fas as I know Maruti is very strict in their customer feedback.
1) Talk to the regional manager- write an email with a copy to the customer care of Maruti.
2) Take a second opinion and find out the exact problem. See if the reason Popular gave is correct.
3) Include all the employees names of the dealer where you bought.
4) Also mention this link in your email. This is a bad repute to dealer and Maruti also.
I would suggest you to wait for some days before deciding to go to consumer court.
Also you can try to send a lawyer's notice to Maruti to make them sit up and notice your problem in case you find that you are not being heard.
I am not sure why this happened to you but alll vehicles go through a stringent PDI checks.
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Old 17th October 2010, 22:51   #7
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Unfortunate that you are facing repeated issues with a new vehicle. Absolutely the worst possible experience. Escalate as high as you can.

And, the title would be better if you name the dealer and not Maruti. It is the dealer at fault here. Name and shame!

Lets see how the CS at Maruti handles this; hopefully they stick to their usual customer friendly approach.
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Old 17th October 2010, 23:10   #8
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@2cents: if its really such a small issue why's it not resolved despite car going to the dealer 3 times? I may be jumping to conclusions quick, but i've really no hope it's a small problem.

@pacman2881: I've heard the same about their customer care. Let's hope i'm made no exception. I've been waiting for 5 days now to just get a reply from them. Mail sent on tuesday.

@VMC: I will certainly escalate the matter. Also considering sending a lawyer's notice to get things moving quick.

@Happywheels: I've already written a mail to them. If i dont get a reply to it in the next 2 days. I will escalate it.

PS: There is a delay in replying to all your posts as my replies are to be approved by a moderator.
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Old 18th October 2010, 07:54   #9
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Originally Posted by VMC View Post
1) Talk to the regional manager- write an email with a copy to the customer care of Maruti.
2) Take a second opinion and find out the exact problem. See if the reason Popular gave is correct.
3) Include all the employees names of the dealer where you bought.
4) Also mention this link in your email. This is a bad repute to dealer and Maruti also.

I would suggest you to wait for some days before deciding to go to consumer court
+1 to this.

My issue of the starter not cranking ocassionally in my brand new M800 got resolved on my 3rd visit (took me nearly a month of follow up), wherein the dealer finally replaced the defective starter under warranty.

After this I had a truly wonderful ownership of nearly 11 years, absolutely not a single breakdown thereafter

But to achieve this repair, I had to send a letter to the service centre, with a copy to Maruti customer care with a detailed history of events, including the names of all the people concerned with my case at the service centre. And guess what, I started getting desperate calls from the service centre to turn my vehicle in for repairs thereafter, and the problem was resolved in a day !

Hoping your problem gets resolved soon
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Old 18th October 2010, 09:36   #10
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very unfortunate incident. I do not own a maruti, but from my experience with Tata Motors things always work if you lodge a complaint. Try to get it rectified with the dealer or try a different dealership as already suggested.
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Old 18th October 2010, 09:46   #11
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Shashank - Unfortunate that your facing such a problem with your new ride. Unfortunately, no manufacturing process in the world is 100% problem free.
The EPS is not a part which is manufactured by Maruti, but by its vendor. Diagnosing why the issue is happening could be due to any reasons with either the steering column, motor, steering rack, other electronics etc.

If the rest of your car is working fine, then it shouldn't be a lemon. We cant however rule out foul play at the dealer end since the replies they are giving you seem highly doubtful.

I suggest you call the Maruti helpline, lodge a complaint about the car & the response from the dealer. Mail them on contact@maruti.co.in with a link to this thread. This should work !

Don't worry, all is not lost, keep us posted
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Old 18th October 2010, 09:54   #12
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Power Steering Issues are not major and this is a minor problem from what I can make out.

Worst case scenario - you need to replace the entire power system thing which I have no technical knowledge about BUT had accompanied someone who got a similar thing done in a Getz cost him / the company about 14k.

Your car is brand new and your best bet would be to go to the dealer and speak to the owner of the dealership as Maruti takes these problems very seriously.

Tell them that you need a replacement car ASAP else you are going to wrote to the Gurgaon head office and threaten them. I know it's a long call But whatever it takes them to take action and get your car repaired.

The other bet if this does not work is go to another dealership. Usually other dealerships are always happy to get other dissatisfied customers. They can help you escalate the problem to Maruti as they would know the right numbers and contacts in Marutis Head Office.

Last but not the least - See A car is a mechanical object and every now and then you get a car which has a problem. Usually dealers do not want to waste their time and service slot and manpower in repairing your car and that is where the companies image lies - its dealers.

There are plenty of people here on this forum who can probably advise better.

Hope it gets solved soon.
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Old 18th October 2010, 10:22   #13
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@sashank -- Sorry for the trouble you are facing! But I believe its one off a case.

Try calling up the regional office - trust me, things happen real quick after that! These dealership / service centre guys are trying to fool around as most of the customers back off after one or two instances and live with the same defunct product.

I had a problem with the my delivery of Swift VDi ABS [AVG motors Kottayam and I gave them a tough time for 2 months] I finally got my car [infact second day] of my calling the regional sales team. So they also have a service section in regional office [located in Cochin]. You can get the contact numbers from the maruti suzuki website.

Guys, if anyone has any email ids of regional office guys, please paste it here or PM this guy.

I believe the problem is NOT with the fuse and if they completely replace the steering assembly, it might be sorted out.

So please give it a shot by calling regional office before trying any legal steps as its really time consuming and a pain to follow up for 4-5 years! Also you will end up spending more money than the actual price of the vehicle! Please dont wait for the customer care to respond, either call them up and call the regional office straight away!

And of course you can try the method which "mooza" tried - Am sure it will work BIG time.

And all this agony is temporary - you will definitely enjoy each and every moment with your Ritz once this issue is fixed.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 18th October 2010 at 10:30.
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Old 18th October 2010, 19:58   #14
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One of my friends had purchased a Ritz Vdi .After 4000 kms one front tyre developed bubbles.Maruti and dealer and Jk tyre all washed hands off saying it is normal.
After 2500kms another tyre developed bubbles.Same story again with Maruti and JK.
Maruti was adament and irresponsible to the point saying we cannot do anything .It is problem of JK .When we asked maruti it is you who is fitting these pathetic tyres to our car for wich we pay .Maruti is much more responsible for our problem due to a shoddy product selected by maruti to keep prices low.
at 15000 kms both front tyres of car exploded on highway .My friend got serious injuries and Maruti was told but they remained cold.
Once out of bed he went ahead and bought a car which most maruti people will never buy Fiat saying atleast i know i will be alive.
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Old 18th October 2010, 20:11   #15
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Did your friend contact JK Tires?
Did they at least try and find the cause behind the bubbles.

Proving a defect in a tire is quite difficult. Especially the formation of bubbles. AFAIK driving on rough terrain at high speeds is one of the most common causes. Bubbles are also caused by high speed impact on speedbreakers and pot holes.

Your friend is very lucky.
That was a very bad decision to continue driving a car with compromised tires.
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