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Old 29th September 2010, 15:53   #1
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Default Hyundai i20 1.2 Asta - A rattled up year of ownership- UPDATE: rack replaced

I had been wanting to pen down the review of my car, an i20 Asta 1.2, but I waited for the car to complete one year to enable me to write a detailed report about the car.

The Hunt for a new car
Flash back to August 2009, we used to have a Swift ZXi then, we had been wanting to sell it and had zeroed in two cars as our new car- The Hyundai i20 1.2 Asta and the Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emotion Pack. After looking at internet reviews of the car and a TD, we decided to go for the i20. Though we did not take a TD of the Punto, the only negative we saw in Fiat was that the Fiat service centre was nearly twice far away as Hyundai’s service centre in Junagadh (The Tata, hence Fiat, service centre in Junagadh was worthless). The Hyundai workshop is Junagadh is around 90 kms from my town, Veraval, whereas the Fiat workshop in Rajkot in around 190 kms from Veraval.

So we paid a booking amount of Rs 25,000 to the sales executive on September 02, 2009 and booked a Silky Beige i20 Asta 1.2. The On road price of the car was Rs 6,30,431/-

Ex- showroom Price - Rs 578686
Insurance – Rs 17053
Registration Charges – Rs 32192
3rd year extended warranty – Rs 2500
Total Rs 630431

The waiting time at the time of booking was given as three weeks to one month maximum.

On September 09 2009, we bid farewell to our three year old Silky Silver Swift ZXi. On September 19, we were informed that the car had left the factory and it will ready for delivery in a week’s time at the showroom.

We decided that we will take the delivery on September 28(Dussherra day). We(myself. My brother, dad and mom) reached the showroom at 9 in the morning, did a quick PDI , filled in all the papers, made the payment and the car was handed over to us at around 11:30 AM . The freebies given were mud flaps, rubber cabin matting and a car perfume. Happily, we left the showroom with our new car. Little did we know at that time that we were in for a troublesome time with the dealership over the next one year.

The initial driving experience was great. The car and the colour turned heads since there were not many i20s on road in my town at that time. The features in the car were great..Steering mounted controls, Auto climate control A/C, alloys .. all these things are simply great. The electric folding mirrors are a boon in bumper to bumper traffic where crazy bikers have a habit of getting too close and hitting the mirrors. Th gear shift though not as sporty as the Swift was smooth enough. The car in general was good and very easy to drive in city traffic conditions. The average was never a problem. It gave 12-13kmpl in city conditions and 15-16 kmpl on the highway with A/C on all the time. Boot space is not that big but is good enough for a hatchback. The rubber lip bumper installed under front is brilliant idea. It does save the bumper from scraping bumpy roads.

I did not like that car’s A/C cooling effectiveness and the pick up in the car’s 2nd gear. Invariably I had to switch to first gear if the car slowed down to a crawl. While overtaking a truck or a trailer, one has to be really careful, and one may have to downshift to surge ahead.

The beginning of the troubles
First service – The car was taken for its first service (16-10-2009, 1458 Kms . The car’s steering had begun rattling when it had clocked a mileage of approximately 600 kms. Whenever I went over a rough patch of road it made a “kat kat kat” sounding noise. The problem(eventhough relatively minor at that time) was first pointed out to the service advisor . At that time, I was told it is a common problem on EPS equipped vehicles. It wasn't an answer I was expecting, because our earlier Swift ZXi during our three years of ownership never had this steering rattling problem . I let it go that time because the rattling sound was minor then. The car was checked up during its service and was returned.

Steering rattling increases/2nd service

The steering rattling sound thereafter became more louder as time went by and the car clocked more kms on the odometer. We took the car to the workshop again with the same complaint during its 2nd service(24-03-2010, 8,849 kms) . This time they installed a Urethane pad & yoke spring in the steering assembly. The 2nd service was done. Cost was around Rs 1100

Though the rattle was not there for a few days, it began rather irritatingly only days later. We again took the car to the workshop, they TD'ed the car and said that the steering rack would have to be changed(under warranty) and they said the part would have to be ordered and it would take two weeks for it to arrive

First Steering rack Replacement

The part arrived around two weeks later and I got a call from the workshop asking me to visit the workshop as the part had arrived. On 26 April 2010(10,575 kms), I took the car to the service centre and the part was replaced. There was a screeching sound coming from the brakes, for which they replaced both the rear brake drums . The tail gate door was making a noise for which they changed the door latch assembly. All the sounds seemed to have disappeared and I was assured that the problems have been fully solved and it would not come back again.

For a while it looked as if they were right and the rattling sound was not coming any more on rough roads. However, after running for a few kms, the sound returned again with the same loudness while going over rough roads. The same brake screeching sound too came back. Angry, Irritated, frustrated, we went back again to the workshop(15-05-2010, 12,328 kms). This time again they opened up the steering rack, made some adjustments and checked the steering column and made some adjustments also, and we were again assured that the problem has been solved. This time they said the screeching brake noise was coming from the front disc brakes and replaced both the front brake discs. We took a TD of the car and the sound no longer existed.

Again the same old drama repeated itself. The steering rattling sound again came back after the car ran for a few kilometers. Again we went back, this time there was a gentleman from the Hyundai Regional Office, Ahmedabad who personally checked the car and worked on the car claiming that they have checked for "displacement, clearance of steering rack" and applied some special grease and claimed that the sound will never happen again. This time they replaced the steering column also. A week later, the sound repeated again.

Hyundai’s Steering Rack Tightening Dance
On June 19, I visited the workshop again while on the way back from Rajkot with the complaint. Again they did something of opening up the steering rack, tightened it and the sound disappeared. This time the service manager didn't even have the courtesy to meet me. There are some who had reported of steering wheel being heavy or tight after this exercise, but I had no such issues

A week later, the sound came back again, though not as loud. From previous experience, I knew the sound was only going to get louder as time passed. Complaint was lodged with the Customer Care and the Regional Office.

In the meantime, my story was reported out in the July edition of a reputed car magazine.

Another New Experiment/Second steering rack replacement
After many calls, the Area manager and a lady from Customer Care, Mumbai told us that they will replace the steering rack again. When asked what was the point of doing this fruitless exercise again?, we were told that the steering rack and the tie rod assembly are the ones that go into the new BSIV variants and the sound will not ever come back again. So, on July 16, 2010, the steering rack(and tie rod assembly) was replaced on the car for the second time. TD was taken and we hoped that this was the end of it.

Another new solution to fix the rattle
But its seems the inevitable was bound to happen. The sound returned again and the same cycle of complaints began. On September 5th, 2010, we were informed by the WOrks Manager in Junagadh that someone from the steering systems manufacturing company(Mondo India) was coming down to Junagadh on September 7 to have a look at my car adn he would have our car picked up by his driver. We told him we would personally bring the car on September 7 for him to have a look. But on 6th we were told that the visit was delayed and that the person from Mondo was coming on the 8th(whether this was deliberate i don't know). Unfortunately on the 8th, we had some some foreign guests coming down, so we were busy with that. The workshop sent a driver to take the car and gave us a banged up replacement Verna for our use that day. We got a call from the Mondo gentleman in the evening that he could hear the steering rattling to some extent and that they have rectified the issue permanently. He was asked to put in an e-mail that what work was done on the car. He said he would be reaching Chennai in a couple of days time and he would put in an e–mail explaining what was done on the car.
Three days and no e-mails. The person was called up and he told us that he had been asked by Hyundai not to contact the customer directly and whatever reports the customer wants, he must contact the Hyundai. These Hyundai jokers after all that agony we had been through, did not have the courtesy to put and e-mail explaining the situation. Again the Area Manager was called up. Reluctantly he put an e-mail stating that a new urethane pad/yoke spring was installed in the car which is different from the previous one installed for the first time.

The most shocking and disguisting behaviour and reply
Inevitably, the steering rattling began again. The same was reported to the workshop and the area manager. The works manger drove down to my residence on September 18th and we jointly took a TD of the car. He drove the car. In front of us, he accepted that the steering rattle had returned. He even jotted down what had to be reported back to the company – “Steering rattle has returned. Customer says the rattle will increase with time”.

Four days later and many calls later, we get an e-mail stating and I quote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: XXXXXX <XXXX@omhyundai.net>
Date: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: GJ 11 S XXXX : Repairs Carried out
To: skanchan95@gmail.com
Cc: "XXXX" <XXXX@hmil.net>, XX@hmil.net, XXX@hmil.net

Dear Sandesh Kanchan,

As per our discussions which we had regarding your i20 bearing Registration No. GJ 11 S XXXX, VIN no. MALBB51BR9MXXXXXX, Engine No. G4LA9MXXXXX and on my subsequent visit to Veraval on 18th Sept 2010 so as to have a joint trial of the car in your presence and followings are our observations for your information..

During the trial it was observed that upon the rough roads the noises heard comes under the preview of suspension travel and not that of any fault in steering rack or assembly. Hence as of date the noise problem stands as per the standards.

Hence Kindly have no apprehension on the same. In case of any query , kindly feel free to contact me as discussed.

Thanks you for support and cooperation.

The problem stands as per standards, preview(should have been purview) of suspension noise!!!! When this WM was angrily confronted on phone, why the sudden change in statement and how the distinct noise of steering rattle magically transformed into suspension noise, he said “I could not hear any noise. Aap aaram sey baat karo”. Now what more could have been discussed with such a person who changes his colours like a chameleon!!!! The Area Manager was then asked to come down and check the car . He said he will not and he will only visit only as per his schedule. A seperate dedicated visit will not be possible.

Third Service/ Snub from the workshop
We took the car for its 3rd service on September 27, 2010. The response from the staff was rather cold, almost as if they were told to ignore us. The complaints were noted down on the repair order( dashboard noise/ rear door noise/ spongy clutch pedal/ hard accelerator pedal/ semi-functional defogger( only top part of the glass getting heated up and clearing up the moisture) – pointed out during September 08 visit as well) .

Car was serviced. Defogger as per them works fine, but inspite of my repeated requests, they said defogger is fine. Instead they told me to send pictures of the semi-functional defogger, which I have already done yesterday. Dashboard noise & rear door noise were supposedly “fixed”. However Two TDs proved otherwise. The SA could not hear the noise(just like the WM who said he could not hear the steering rattle noise), disgusted I left the sounds as it is.It was a clear sound coming from inside the dashbaord and the rear door panel, which they could not "hear". It was a blatant attempt by the workshop to ignore us and the concerns in the car. Now I am worried whether all the work that's mentioned in the bill was indeed carried out or not .

The situation today
One of the regional Managers of Hyundai had made tall claims on phone that the next time the steering rattle problems crops up, they will bring down all the tools to my residence and work on the car to repair it. That fellow now is not calling back inspite of instructions to Hyundai RO Ahmedabad.

After so many visits to the workshop with the same issue(including some where the bill was not generated) and with the problem still persisting, we now regret the decision of buying the i20. No doubt it is a very good car, but for an issue that has been troubling many other i10/i20 owners. Just yesterday I was reading in the news paper that Hyundai has recalled more than 1 lakh Sonatas in US because of some problem in the steering.

Hyundai Sonata Sedans Recalled in U.S. | Internetbits - Net News

Why can’t these Hyundai people in India do the same for i20s and i10s? They spent millions on facelifts, how about spending a fraction of that amount on fixing this steering rattling issue? Is anyone listening from Hyundai? Or like their workshops, they have become deaf as well?

It may be easy for others to say ah, just for a rattle, why all this hulla-gulla. But for someone to live with it and hear the kat kat kat sound daily after spending close to six and half lakhs( excluding the loan interest amount that has to be paid over five years), its something that causes great mental agony and pain. After all these numerous visits to the workshop, I feel me and my car were made guinea pigs for its experiments.

Urethane pad/yoke spring installation, steering rack replacement(twice), steering column replacement, special grease application, steering rack tightening, new design urethane pad and now that they have nothing left to do, they call this as “suspension noise” or that "the rattling sound cannot be heard"

The Irony
And to really rub it in, ironically on day of the third service(September 27 2010) I saw my old Swift ZXi. It came down to a friend’s maruti authorized workshop for accident repairs. As it stood there still shining in the sun in all its glory, it was almost as if she was standing there and asking “Is this the car for which you abandoned me? For all the rattles and all the troubles?” Sheesh”

Hyundai, inspite of all its claims of being India's No.2 car manufacturer has failed to rectify the steering rattling issue. Many have faced the same issue and have been given the same treatment as me.

To make a list of all the things that have been replaced in the car over the past one year:
Steering Rack - twice
Steering column - once
Tail gate Latch Assembly - once
Rear Brake Druims(both) - once
Front Brake Discs(Twice)
looks like the defogger is next!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by .anshuman : 29th September 2010 at 16:31. Reason: Edited post to remove failed attachment links.
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Old 29th September 2010, 16:22   #2
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On D-day September 28, 2009
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First Steering Rack replacement
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My old Swift sighted on September 27, 2010
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Old 29th September 2010, 19:06   #3
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Shame Hyundai. Even i am facing the same problem on my i20 crdi. The service advisor says that the stearing and the suspension of my car are making noise as i have upgraded to 195/60/R15 tyre size. I tried to convince him that since my tyres are wider and bigger than the original spec tyres they provide better cushioning and should actuall reduce suspension noise and stearing noise he never seems to be convinced and says that nothing can be done about it.

Really the Hyundai service is losing its credibility and at this rate Hyundai will have to suffer dropping sales. Hyundai has to seriously consider the problems faced by its customers and attend them so that they will build a better reputation. The delears at smaller cities are not properly equipped to service hi tech cars like the i20 where as they are selling the cars happily.
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Old 29th September 2010, 20:12   #4
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Skanchan95, it is shocking to know how the people at the dealership as well as from Hyundai India have handled the problem. Either it is their incapability to sort out the issue or their reluctance to accept the problem. Unfortunately , you are at the receiving end . I suggest you escalte the issue with Hyundai HQ ( Korea) , and even contact the international media.
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Old 29th September 2010, 20:21   #5
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Originally Posted by patil View Post
Shame Hyundai. Even i am facing the same problem on my i20 crdi. The service advisor says that the stearing and the suspension of my car are making noise as i have upgraded to 195/60/R15 tyre size. I tried to convince him that since my tyres are wider and bigger than the original spec tyres they provide better cushioning and should actuall reduce suspension noise and stearing noise he never seems to be convinced and says that nothing can be done about it.
Patil, since you've tinkled with the Original specs as per which various other components are designed, you can't really hold Hyundai responsible for problems with the Suspension. We as the common man may upgrade thinking what's best but we really don't know how it would impact other related parts. Moreover, the ideal upsize for i20 is 195/55 R15.
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Old 29th September 2010, 20:51   #6
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 4th October 2010 at 10:55.
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Old 30th September 2010, 09:42   #7
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Thank you for you replies.

@patil, tsk13 has valid point that any unauthorised upgrades results in the warranty getting void. But as you say, upsizing should have reduced the rattle, in case it was suspension noise. But the truth is that the noise is not from the suspension. For someone who hears it for the first time, it may sound like suspension noise.It is from the steering assembly. The sound is there in cars even on i20s fitted with the stock 185/65 R14 company fitted Acceleres. So the argument of the SA that upsizing the tyres caused this is invalid. Its seems all the SAs and WMs have now been trained to say the exactly same thing - "suspension noise", "noise cannot be heard". Steering rattling now has vanished into thin air.

All these Regional Managers, Area Managers, Works Managers and Service Advisors think the customers are fools. Let me elaborate that point. My brother is a B.E(Mech) and is a 5th engineer on board cargo ships. When he first spoke to the AM or RM, they were initially rude(The RMs statement to him that "We are the business for ten years. Next time the rattle crops up, we will bring all the tools to your residence to work on the car" proves this) and tried to talk as if he knew nothing. When my brother too raised his tone and told them that he is an engineer, they immediately changed their tone, knowing fully well that they can't fool an engineer with their rubbish talk of "supposed" solutions to this rattle.

@auto-one, I think we have tried our best to escalate the issue with Hyundai. We have called up the Regional Manager, Area Manager, Head Customer Relations(West). The absolutely useless Hyundai Customer Care refuses to give Hyundai Korea's e-mail and postal address. They are not even willing to give Hyundai India's MD or either of the top brass's e-mail address. It seems Hyundai is least bothered.
The Hyundai Korea issue reminds me of another incident. We have a small business. Foreign clients often visit us. Last year, we had a Korean client who had come down to my town. He was from Pusan, South Korea and he owned a Santa Fe back home. He too heard the steering rattle during a drive in our car and enquired about it. He told us that the reason i20s are not sold in Korea in numbers is because of the relative "poor quality' of i20s. Not sure how true it was. But the rattle probably hurt him as well, as Hyundai is a Korean company.

@changaez , I have already tried what you have suggested. We had written to newspapers, TV news channels and auto mags. None of them showed interest, except one. As I mentioned in my first post, my story was carried out in the July edition of a reputed car magazine. Out of respect to that magazine for carrying out my story, I will not mention the name of the mag.
Now here comes the most disappointing part. In the August edition of the same mag, they carried out a 10 page booklet praising the i20(sponsored by Hyundai).It carried individual stories why and how the owners were happy with their i20s. Good for them that the respective owners are happy, but what about thousands of others who are unhappy with their cars and have been troubled by this steering rattle issue? Hyundai, fearing a dent on their reputation, immediately published such a booklet. Had Hyundai shown the same commitment and urgency in solving the steering issue, probably the issue would have been solved by now. Hyundai probably tried to show that mine was an isolated issue. Slowly but surely it is being proven that the issue is not isolated any more. Such steering rattle complaints have been on the rise and it just goes on to prove that there is a design flaw in the car's steering assembly systems.

Repeated e-mails to the magazine asking whether they got any response from Hyundai regarding the steering rattling issue went unanswered. What may have happened between July and August between the mag and Hyundai ,I leave it upto the readers to decide.

No, I have not carried out any mods to speak of. Tyres and suspension are stock. Only "mod" I carried out on the car was getting the B-pillars blackened.

Three years since the i20s launch in India and still the steering rattle issue persists, The Hyundai engineers should hang their heads in shame!!!!

Coming to the defogger issue, the local Hyundai workshop kept on insisting that the defogger is working fine and that I should send pictures to prove the semi-functional defogger. They probably did not know how to check it.The issue is that only the top 4-5 lines are heating up the rear glass, the rest are not functional at all. Since the weather has become normal, it was now difficult to simulate the rear glass fogging up. So what I did was splash muck on the rear glass and switched on the defogger, the area on the glass where the defogger lines are working, the muck would become dry as shown in the attached pictures. As you can see from the pictures, less than half of the glass dried up.
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Also attached are pictures of the front brake disc which had developed a fault.
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Old 30th September 2010, 15:24   #8
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I have been a Hyundai Loyal Customer the last decade. Have had 6 Hyundai cars.

Have not faced even a single problem and I can say that their service and customer service support is tops.

It looks like you got a lemon and because of all the problems the dealer has not been so co operative in this matter. Or he is just trying to save his back by not escalating the matter where he should !

Try escalating the matter to Hyundai's head office. You can get all numbers and emails from their website.

I am sure there would be some relief to you once your mail reaches the right hands.
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Old 30th September 2010, 16:06   #9
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We too owned an Accent GLX from 2001 to 2006. It gave us no trouble during its five and half years of ownership and the Hyundai dealership in Rajkot, Shreenath Hyundai, was superb(at that time there was no dealership in Junagadh). From what I have come to know, even they are struggling to solve this steering rattle issue.

This steering rattle issue has been troubling many i10 and i20 owners, not Verna & Accent owners. The so-called tops service support vanishes when it comes steering rattle issue on i10s and i20s. Read this:


The Accent, Getz , Santro and the Verna have been Hyundai best sellers because they have been largely trouble free. But its not been that case with i10s and i20s.

I have tried everything with Hyundai over the past one year. We have tried talking to the newspaper publishers, they say they can't help us. They said file a suit in the consumer court, then they will "think" over it.

I have been in touch with a couple of people who have been facing the steering rattle issue. Our stories are similar.

And yes, the matter has been escalated to the top level. Only one e-mail id is available (cr@hmil.net) of the useless Customer care. If you want I can give you the numbers of people in Hyundai whom I have talked to. May be you could try talking to them and have better luck in pressurising them over this steering rattle issue.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 30th September 2010 at 16:19. Reason: correcting spelling mistakes
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Old 30th September 2010, 16:29   #10
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@skanchan95 this is a real shocker. We have been reading reviews on Skoda's & Fiat's facing such service issues and thought Hyundai was far from a trouble maker. But seems all sailing in the same boat. Seems the service industry as a whole is a complete joke and all trying to make a fool out of customers.

One thing i have never understood is, as a customer we are paying everything they demand for (read : car cost + extra maintainance fee + service costs) and still being treated this way.

From what i have heard from a few friends who are Hyundai customers here in Ahmedabad, Concept / Sharma Hyundai are very professional and if you are around Ahmedabad sometime you might want to get a second opinion from them.
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Old 30th September 2010, 18:46   #11
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Really sad to hear your story. I was following your story from the other threads as well. I am interested in the i20 and so I was keen. Turns out that your issues are not just the steering alone.

I seriously feel your car is a one of cases or specifically "lemon" as we call on tbhp. Write a serious letter to Hyundai and post links to this and other threads.

Its going to be a long drawn battle if you want to fight. See other defective car issue threads on suggestions. I wish you all the best and lets hope others dont have to face the same issue.
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Old 30th September 2010, 20:51   #12
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Nice to see your ownership report here.

It is true that Hyundai i10 & i20's having similar kind of problems. Steering rattle is still there and its not fully solved. The dealers are trying there own methods now as the company give methods are proved ineffective.

More trouble......

What i came to know from the sources, that the 1.2 Kappa also started giving trouble due to the faulty exhaust valves. So if any owners who has "misfiring engine" complaint report it to the A.S.S for a free replacement. The misfiring happens due to carbon deposits on the exhaust valves.

The new vehicles that is manufactured from July 2010 comes fitted with the improved exhaust valves.
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Old 30th September 2010, 22:14   #13
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Sorry to hear about your problems, @skanchan95. My friend also has a similar rattle on his i-20 CRDI's steering. I will find out if it got resolved by now.

By the way, what is wrong with your brake discs? The pics look ok to me.
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Old 30th September 2010, 22:34   #14
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Very sorry to hear this. All i can suggest is sell your car for a decent loss, and get a better sedan as an upgrade. No need of operating a faulty product again and again.
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Old 30th September 2010, 23:07   #15
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Default The TATA virus.

Looks like the TATA/Skoda virus is finally infecting Hyundai. These guys think they can get away with anything in India probably because of the judiciary we have. Just before the warranty period expires file a consumer court case and during the course of the case do not ever agree for a compromise decree which is the blunder I committed. If you do not agree for a compromise the case will be over in 2 years or less and if you do compromise with them the case will drag on for 10 years at the very minimum which is what I am facing with TATA Motors. In my case though I did require the Junkindica for use as a battering ram in Cochin traffic but those who have just a single car its a nightmare to be driving Junk.

Please be warned steering rack issue is a well know issue with the I 20 and the company do know about it but care two hoots about it. The rack costs a packet to replace after warranty is over. My colleague replaces them every 3 months so there definitely is a design fault in it.

Last edited by drpullockaran : 30th September 2010 at 23:11.
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