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.