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Old 26th November 2009, 12:31   #1
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Default Had a break down in a Brand New Fiat Linea

Hi team-BHPians, I would like to share my story about Fiat Linea.

This is my 3rd car, and the first sedan I am owning. I took the delivery of the top end model of LINEA (Emotion Pack - Petrol) from Prerana Motors - Sarjapur Rd, Bangalore on 16th October 2009. I experienced a problem of gear not shifting due to clutch not activating near the KR Puram bridge which caused traffic jam for a minute, but was OK after some time. I assumed probably I need to get used to the FIAT driving, as I was driving Maruti vehicles for the last 7 years. I didnt think even in my dreams, that a brand new vehicle - that too a little upper class sedan - which is released to the road after stringent QC check, can cause problems..!!

I took the car to Kerala next day early morning as I wanted to do the "vahana pooja" at Guruvayoor Temple. Just after the Coimbatore bye-pass toll I experienced the same problem and it was a break down at the highway.
Me, my wife and my 6 year old son were stranded on the highway under the
hot sun for more than an hour - there were not even a bush shade for us to
hide. What I experienced is a "guaranteed sympathy" from the bye passers
and not "admiration" as I dreamt when I booked the car. It was more horrifying when the TAFE people asked me to leave the car there and take the train - to Guruvayoor for the "Vahan Pooja"?!!! The other option was to
stay at Coimbatore for two days till the TAFE reopens after Diwali
Holidays..!! But I should say that they went out of their way to help me continue the travel the same day. They could manage to get the spare (clutch fluid cylinder - if I am not wrong) from another LINEA in their workshop - many thanks to them for the timelyhelp..!! It was much contrary to the scary remarks from my friends about the "service" FIAT customers used to get.

But this incident was haunting me for days as this was the first time I had a break down of my vehicle and stranded on a highway like this - ofcourse I
had 2-3 incidents of tyre puncture with my earlier cars. I never imagined such a problem - which prerana motors attributed to manufacturing defect and nothing to do with PDI - to happen with a newly bought top end model of an upper segment sedan..!! I strated suspecting everything while I driving - even any slightest noise - which took away all the driving pleasure for a week till I got it checked again at Prearana service centre.

Ofcourse this was the major incident I wanted to share, but there are more to add.
I observed that there is a warning light coming on the speedometer dial every time after washing the car - I even thought it may be an indication for me that car is just washed..!!! But I realised it is for the LHS turn light as per the message appeared. The light goes off after probably half an hour drive and the indicators are working fine. I explained this to the service person when I visited Prerana Hosur Road service station for getting the vehicle inspected again. He told me that it may be due to water entry at some point causing some short circuit. He took an hour to check the spare TAFE people replaced and the problem I mentioned, and told me everything is rectified. But the turning light warning light problem continued..!! Every morning I see the same warning light glowing and the same message till I reach my office. I am scared that this may continue till the fuse or lights of the indicator blows off..!! If the water entry is causing the problem, is it not supposed to be properly sealed? Please dont tell me not to wash the car as this high end FIAT model is not suppoed to be bathed. Its again hauntimg me and I am not sure what all problems are there in store..??

Is this is the same experience with other LINEA owners to whom they guarantee admiration? Please give your feedbacks...I am seeing several service & response related issues from team members, but anybody had a break down like this? I informed this to prerana motors in writing, and they promised me to escalate it to Fiat. No response so far. Last week I send a mail to FIAT customer service, and got a reply from Mangat saying that they will look into it.

Now I am observing more and more problems related to the finishing - not sure these are common issues. Attached pictures are some of them.

I am seeing rusted discs on the front wheel, uncured seam sealer at the boot door, areas surrounding the mirrors not finished properly (buff marks), rust coming out near the rear windshield (couldnt photographed it properly) - there are many finishing related problems which a common man may not notice.

At the same time I also wanted to mention the cordial attention & service I
received from Prerana and also from the TAFE people at Coimbatore. But thats
not enough for me to enjoy the driving, the minimum requirement is a
trouble free car..!
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:24   #2
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Sorry to dash your hopes, seems like you have been given a car that has been in an accident earlier. I have seen quite a few lineas and none of them have so bad a paintjob on them
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:33   #3
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Its probably a damaged car, repaired and sold to you! The rusted rotors indicate the car was sleeping in the garage for a long time.

Check the manufacturing date of your car and do the needful!
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:38   #4
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What's the manufacturing month of the vehicle ? Last 3 digits of the chassis number ?

Sorry to hear of the problems faced, but was a proper PDI done before delivery ?

Last edited by sdp1975 : 26th November 2009 at 13:41.
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:38   #5
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Sorry to read all these problems with a new sedan car like Linea.
it seems something wrong with the car itself or a car rejected in QC test passed on to you, by mistake or purposily . We buy such expensive cars by paying lot of money for peaceful driving pleasure and not to get worry like you going through now.
Please keep pressing the FIAT to do something seriously with your car!
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:43   #6
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viji, post your VIN in the Decoding the VIN thread. You will get to know the month and year of manufacture. Your car is showing all the signs of either an accident or sitting idle in the yard for months.
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:43   #7
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hope this helps you next time
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Old 26th November 2009, 13:44   #8
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Originally Posted by an_and View Post
Sorry to dash your hopes, seems like you have been given a car that has been in an accident earlier. I have seen quite a few lineas and none of them have so bad a paintjob on them
The Lineas do have a very rich paintjob although another bhpian ( bnz_john?) had some rusting issues with the Linea. Don't worry about the rusted discs, they can happen while the car is in inventory (at the factory or dealership.).

I wouldn't stick my neck out and say that this car has been in an accident, chiefly because the evidence is very thin. Rusting at the boot and bad buffing near the RVMs are usually not related (simply because such an accident is rare unless the car is totalled).

My suggestion, since you had 2 cars earlier, it's reasonable to assume that you might know some mechanics at a workshop. Take the car to that local garage and spend some money to get the car checked by the painter guru (usually all workshops have a master painter and a sidekick learning the tricks of the trade), ask him to specially check for accident repair clues. Then take it to the dealership and show the rust spots and ask for an explanation.

The failed clutch was probably a manufacturing defect, it can happen to a new car, but since the dealer experience has been good thus far, don't worry too much about the problems you have faced till now. The Linea is well engineered(not talking about plastics). Relax and enjoy the lovely car you have bought. It is also one of the handsomest cars on Indian roads, Cheers!
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Old 26th November 2009, 14:12   #9
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Probably the door alone could have been repainted due to minor scratches. Like Amartya suggests, get it to a painter & take his view.

About the rusted disc, do you use your car often ? If not that could be the reason what with the rains & humidity this time of the year.

BTW, when did you take the photo of the rim ?

Last edited by esteem_lover : 26th November 2009 at 14:13.
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Old 26th November 2009, 14:20   #10
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My friend's brand new Linea's discs were rusted somewhat like this on the day of delivery. But it turned out to be just surface rust and they fell away within 2 or 3 days of driving. The rusting does seem a lot more pronounced in this one though. And if its a recent pic, you have an issue.
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Old 26th November 2009, 15:08   #11
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1) Please check the manufacturing date of your car. The way you are facing problems are typical of a poor repair job or a car that was used as TD vehicle. TD vehicles are not used well, and the issues like you have pointed in the boot lead to this.

2) Rust in discs is not uncommon if the car is not used for a reasonable amount of time. But if the car is used almost or with higher regularity then you have some issue.

3) QC check, well, Amit's GP had one of the engine mounts lose, so this is QC. Never rely on it. But the cylinder you are talking about is not know to give any issue.

4) What was the odo reading when you took the cars' delivery ?
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Old 26th November 2009, 15:33   #12
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I am very sad for you man ! I know how it feels to have a car with issues. But now you need to find a way to get it resolved.

I know it would have been disgusting to get stranded on this particular highway with family.

My close friend has bigger probelms in his logan. Everytime, it rains, the entire floor area gets wet. If you tap the fingers on the mat, The water pops out like a spring. I guess you gather what i am saying.

He switches on the A/C in recycle mode, All the fine dust, smell & smoke gets into the car.Sometimes, the A/C drain tube gets fully clogged and the waste water gets into the car.

The steering makes noise, the car gives a new rattle or noise everyday !!!

He is fighting with the company & the dealer from past 2 years from the day the car was delivered. Mahindras have not bothered to do anything about it.Now he has gone to the consumer court.

By telling you this, i mean that you need to be entirely careful in the entire process of booking, checking the car when its going for registration and the the final deilvery.

In my opinion, the car , i think was being used for test drives.Get into the details as Aggos is suggesting. You need to know why this car has come to you and who is the reason behind it, is it the dealer or Fiat itself ?

Get rid of the problem on war footing basis, else the enthu in you and also the dealer may fade over a period of time.

Keep us all posted.

Last edited by nandans2005 : 26th November 2009 at 15:35.
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Old 26th November 2009, 16:19   #13
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Buddy, Its very sad to here this from a new car. Clutch failure & importantly rust on the car body is not acceptable at any cost.
Shoot a mail to Mangat and send him all the photographs attached. Ask for new car replacement, though it may not happen.

There should be a thread on how go about replacement of new car.
Mods can help in this aspect.

Did you follow our T-BHP PDI checklist?

Last edited by Ramsagar : 26th November 2009 at 16:21.
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Old 26th November 2009, 17:39   #14
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Even my new Linea had rusted discs. Rust on the disc should vanish away as you use your car more. The clutch on my Linea petrol is harder than the ordinary Lineas which I have tested. I also hear a small tik tik sound when I release the clutch. Is this a serious problem? I will highlight this problem to the dealer during first service. But I am afraid whether they will destroy my car. What was the odo reading when you took the cars' delivery? My car's odo read 173 kms. Don't worry, everything will be all right.
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Old 26th November 2009, 17:50   #15
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This is not happening. Its evident that the car has been painted after rolling out of the factory.
I hope you have not been sold a lemon.

Being stranded on a highway on a brand new car must have been horrifying.

Do let it go at this. You deserve to get what is rightfully yours.
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