Tata Safari 2.2 EX 4x4: EDIT: Changed chassis munching miles now
First of all I would like to thank you all for making me buy the Tata Safari 2.2vtt EX 4x4 and I am sorry for such a long post but I have been trying to post this for quite some time and so I am in one post. Mods, please let me know if it is OK.
Here are a few details:
Date of delivery: 02/05/2009
Dealer: Concorde Motors Bangalore
After a long thought sometime in March, I finally decided to buy a car. I had the following options:
1. Mahindra Bolero 4x4
2. Ford Fiesta 1.6s
3. Tata Safari 2.2vtt 4x4.
The rationale behind is as follows:
Me and my wife travel a lot. Most of the travels are decided a minute before we leave and hence we keep forgetting something or the other especially the camera (for which I've bought a Sony W270 and is always in my bag which I never forget). We want to do long drives more and go to a lot of places and I found Santro a little uncomfortable for long drives.
Thanks to Team-Bhp and one of my very good friends Sriram V Iyer who too is a member here, I thought of going for Ford Fiesta 1.6s.
When we were about to buy it, I suddenly changed my mind for Bolero since it has been my favorite vehicle and has an engine which can be repaired by most of the mechanics. But again justice didn't prevail as always because she didn't find much space on the back seat and didn't want to drive at 90/100 on highways. My friend who owns a 2.2 LX then asked me to TD.
I TDed the car along with my wife from Prerna Motors and I was surprised to see the results by myself. The initial pickup was much better than the 3L Dicor but on the long run, I could feel the difference between the two (one of my friends had the a 3L Dicor). The only problems were the quality of the interiors and the huge turning radius (for some reason my wife doesn't mind that! I can't believe it!). Apart from that I loved it to the core!
There was a waiting period for the 4x4 at Prerna and so I called up the Concorde Motors. They had one available which was lying at their yard. I quickly booked it. Though I wanted to see the vehicle, I was not able to see it because the guy there said "it's all the same sir".
Finally after all the paper works, I went to take the delivery of the vehicle with two of my friends. I was surprised to see that the "bull" was tilted heavily on the right side. When I complained about it the sales guy said that it was because the slope! I was surprised! How could he fool me like that?! As I say this I think that the two most imp parts of the car that I feel are: chassis/suspension and the engine. In the modern cars the ECU/sensors. Anyways, I thought of just taking it and I got back home. The mood was still upbeat and we had a small party over it.
The next week saw the bull completing 1.5k and I went for the servicing. I could hear a "clank sound" from the front right side whenever I passed through a speed breaker. I searched through the forums to find out about the idler arm which "Dadu" had posted in one of the forums.
The TASS seems to be good at concorde motors and when I told them this problem, they fixed it and the tilt too.
I saw that the "clank" sound hadn't gone and it was getting annoying so went to spend some time again. In the meanwhile the sun-visor broke off which till date hasn't been fixed! They fixed it again and I got back.
Between the 2nd and the 3rd weekend, I had gone to Mysore with my friends and when returning in the night, I was not able to see anything. The wipers were bad and the headlights were horrible. I changed the headlights to 90/100 but still there were problems with the focusing. To my horror after a brief stop of a cup of tea, I saw the 4H light blinking! I tried everything but it didn't go to 2H at all! It was 3 AM in the morning but anyways the car hadn't given up on me. I came back home and went to the TASS again.
So this weekend I thought of getting that fixed and I went to the workshop. They were seeing some errors on the ECU but didn't know what it was. Finally they fixed it by reversing the car for one full round and I took it back home. Found out that the left headlight was also not functioning properly. The rotor had gone off. I got it changed under warranty and I got back home happily. I got the wipers changed too in the mean while (which were as bad as the stock ones).
My wifey had taken the car and she again saw the 4H light coming on. I called up the Concorde Motor's customer care manager and blasted him! Asked my wife to just dump the car at the dealer and get back. One Mr Javed (a very humble person) went from Concorde Motors Service to pick up the car. By that time, my wife was on the verge of throwing the keys at that manager's face but some how didn't do it. I too blasted the manager and was asking him for a replacement of the car which he said he can't. Well, this was nothing and the worse was about to come. My wife got Concorde's replacement car 3L Dicor and came back home fuming. She didn't go to office because of the whole damn thing!
We (this time, my wife accompanied me) went to the service station to get the car back and get some rattling from the back fixed. They couldn't find any issue and gave the car to us.
Here's the most awesome one:
On our way back near Marathhalli (we were taking the ring road to RT Nagar where I stay) 5 PM we went over a speed breaker and thud! huge noise starts coming from the back! Everyone outside were turning to look at the noise! I was really disgusted with the whole affair. I dropped my wife at Tin Factory and got back to the TASS by around 6. A person named Arun (very nice and humble person) had a look at it. They couldn't figure out a thing for about 2 hrs. At around 8:15 we found out that there was a welding on the chassis which had broken off! Now I couldn't do anything! Went back home fuming and was ready to make some big calls the next day.
I called up everyone possible till the Regional Head and demanded for a replacement of the car but all I could hear was a no. I told the dealer that he could very well sell of the car for me and refund me with the whole amount or keep the money and the car as a charity.
The Tata Motors executive got big blasting and he said that he would arrange for a chassis replacement. I was too scared of doing it but well I don't think that I had any option. Since I had to go to Angamali (near Cochin) they welded the chassis, changed the 4wd ECU and gave back the car to me.
With the welding in place, me and my friend went to Angamali where I could notice that the 4wd was getting engaged but the LED was not blinking. I could feel more traction. I did what the TASS had told me earlier, did a full round reverse could hear the "tak" sound and went ahead. I had to do this for quite a number of times but successfully reached the destination.
I called the TASS and blasted again. They wanted to send a person to my place from Cochin and wanted to disengage the 4wd. Since it was night without any power and raining heavily at the place where I was staying, I asked them not to come and screw it up. After a day, I drove back with ease to Bangalore in 8.5 hrs without any hiccups at all. The only change that I observed was that the max I could touch was 140 km/hr. I had done 160 km/hr before after my first service without any issues only once. On the highway I maintain a speed of around 110-120.
The car is now at the service station which I need to pick up tonight. Please let me know if the car be as good as the earlier one after the chassis change? My thinking is that it should be if the work is done properly. Or should I ask them to sell it off? It has run just 4500 kms till date and only 2.5 months old.
One more thing is that the people at Concorde Motors are very helpful. I am not at all angry with them but with Tata Motors for giving me such a horrible experience. I don't know what needs to be done now. There have been no response to my mails from Tata and only Mr Muralidharan and his fellow TASS members are the ones who are helping me out. I still haven't abused the car and I am wondering what will happen when I actually do it.
First thing first, CONGRATS!
Sad to see that you had issues at a very early stage. The welding giving up - MY GOD! What do they do at the factory, use super glue???
Now this is becoming a very big concern!
Guess, when buying a Safari, the mentality should be of that of the old Ambassador age - take it directly to a reputed garage to weld and fix all around!
Worrying and shocking indeed!
congrats on your purchase. Regarding the issues that you are facing, did you get a chance to inspect the vehicle before registering ? I guess, Concorde had a bad reputation of selling an used Xenon to some one. (couldn't find the thread though). I think you should ask for a replacement for your vehicle.
Tejas, Congrats but it sounds like they've palmed off a defective vehicle which was lying around (probably rejected by some other customer). A chassis change being necessitated on a new car just doesn't sound right to me. Have you checked the VIN - which month of manufacture does it indicate?
PS: Concorde is getting famous for this - or should that be (in)famous!!!
Tejas congrats on your buy and fell sorry when i read about the horrors you are facing.
This guy below mentioned is the one from Tata support for the showrooms in Southern region and will be available at Concorde and speak to him to sort out your issues.
Sudarshan Sahu -Customer support - PCBU Bangalore TATA MOTORS
K.Thirumal marugan - Regional Customer Care Manager - TATA MOTORS LTD
Regional Office, Bangalore.
I guess the guys in Concorde would have played with you by giving you a vehicle which had some problems.
Its quite possible you got a used vehicle or an abused vehicle.
Chasis having issues mean it could have been in an accident.
That said 4x4s are always available on order. No dealer keeps 4x4 in yard.
So its possible that they ordered for another customer, banged it up during PDI, other customer withdrew booking, and they pawned it off to you.
I suggest you do not take it lying down.
Contact Tata and tell them you need a replacement.
Chasis replacement in a brand new vehicle is not right.
Your have definitely got a fully defective piece, and for how long will you keep going to workshop!
And I won't say congrats to you. I will say best of luck in resolving the issues
There goes any last hope of ever buying a Tata Safari !!
With such high probabilities of things that could and do go wrong why on earth gamble with ones hard earned money.
Thats it the idea laid to rest for good RIP Tata Safari
My question is: what if everything is fine with the car (I think that I can make out if anything wrong as I have been driving for donkeys yrs now)? Should I keep it? Is it going to be a different feeling if the chassis is changed? What kind of differences would it be?
I think this is a good lesson for all those who want their vehicles delivered the moment they make the booking.. If we can wait till 30 or 32 years to reach a point where in we decide to buy a new vehicle, I can't digest the fact that the same person is not willing to wait for 4 weeks for his vehicle delivery... I am not finding fault with anyone , but just trying to understand the mentality that you and me have when coming to owning a new vehicle.
Whether to go to court or not is entirely your decision, but I suggest do not agree to repairs.
No use fighting with them.
Catch hold of customer care, and tell them what solution they propose.
If they say "repair" tell them no. you want defective parts replaced.
For example if ECU has a problem replace ECU
If 4x4 has a problem replace the Transfer Case and other related parts
Ditto for the chasis.
Normally in Brand new cars, Tata usually goes the replacement route. For example my safari's radiator was loosing coolant (not from bottom, but evaporative). Instead of messing around with seals and trying to find out the leak, they replaced the entire radiator. I did not even have to ask for this.
That said, if dealer says vehicle in stock, always go and checkout the vehicle.
For example when I got my indica in 2004, that time the "new improved V2) had been introduced.
It was a 2 day old model.
I specificely checked the car for the changes.
The changes were very subtle, for example rectangular AC button instead of circular.
A car which had come to the dealership 2 days before mine did had circular AC buttons.
Where safari was concerned, the dealer had been told to notify us by phone the moment she comes from the manufacturer.
MY uncle then went to the yard and immediately after loading checked everything in the vehicle.
Many times dealer gives customer cars for TD. This is not just tata but even Hyundai and Maruti or Mahindra. This is actually a dealer nuisance. Manufacturer always tells dealer to buy TD demo cars.
However when they know that a customer is informed, and has taken pains to go to yard, they do not take the risk.
So if you act like an informed customer, and sit on dealers head, they will not try this mischief with you.
Right now you have to go ahead and take commitment from customer care that they will replace all defective parts in your vehicle.
Last but not the least, this is the second 4x4 from Concorde which has seen such issues. First being Memo's Xenon. Its quite possible that they use 4x4s for joyrides and ride on tarmac in 4x4 mode etc., and actually damage parts.
For this case i would not blame the Tata as they will not be knowing if the vehicles supplied by them has been in the stock yard for longtime or being abused by the showroom guys and sold.
Boy, you are facing tough times here....
I too am from Bangalore and am aware of the fact that Concorde has among the best service facilities here for Tata vehicles.
I feel you could take the help of Dadu and Gowda who are older owners of Safari and get the mail addresses of the Tata people up there.
I in fact remember a thread where Dadu has mentioned knowing a few senior people at Tata Motors who are involved in the development of the Safari.
As far as the chassis replacement goes, it is highly recommended that you try your best to get a replacement vehicle by being persistent but patient. I would not rule out a personal visit to the Tata Motors HQ at Pune/Mumbai and meeting the PRO team there.
It is certainly possible that the vehicle becomes normal after the chassis is replaced but I m not sure if Concorde can do the job as it is supposed to be done. As you know, the chassis is amongst the most crucial components of any vehicle and many parts need to mounted very precisely onto it during fitment which is why I m not sure if your car will be back to normal after it is replaced.
Apart from this you also have the pending 4H issue with the ECM/ECU.
In my opinion, do not give up, and try your best to get a replacement from Tata. I feel it is possible.:thumbs up
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