2022 Safari: Dealer denies warranty for Rs 50K part, no help from Tata

If someone asked me now if I am willing to switch my SUV with some other car & incur a loss of Rs 2-3 lakh on it, I would do it.

BHPian NotanF1driver recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello BHPians.

Today happens to be the day when I am the one who posts about Tata's terrible service support. I have read several ownership threads here regarding bad service and still went with a Tata. The car in isolation is excellent and ticked all boxes.

  • Car in question: Tata Safari 2022
  • Ownership period: 5 months
  • Dealership: Malayalam Vehicles, Kochi

I had to face issues from the day of delivery which are detailed in Safari’s official review thread:

The third issue is still being addressed. I escalated the matter to Tata Motors via their Twitter handle. They were prompt enough to call me the very next morning and apologized for the ordeal and promised to get it fixed. Unsurprisingly, that was it, and no one else called or informed me on what are the next steps.

Now comes the worst part. I called up the SA and asked him for an update. He said that it would take one week to get the part delivered to the service center. He calls me back again in the evening and says “Sir, did I tell you the cost of the part? It is around 49 – 50 range”. I was shocked to hear him reconfirm that it was 50 thousand! He told me that the whole seat assembly needs replacement and since this is a case of some broken parts, it would not be covered under warranty. It seems to be a small issue from my visual inspection - see images below.

Left side lever - cable is detached from the lever

Right side - lever is attached (adding for reference)

Summarizing the aspects

  • If there are no issues with the car, in isolation, the vehicle is nothing short of brilliant.
  • Once the car develops the slightest of issues (I acknowledge that cars are prone to issues as they run on nuts and bolts), dealing with service is a pain. You would not understand this until you are in such a situation (at least, I did not).
  • Flip fold seats were not damaged by me hitting the mechanism with a hammer or anything. It just gave up based on daily usage. In my opinion, that should be covered in the warranty - if not, what would be?
  • The issue was first reported on 26 Jul which has not yet been resolved by the dealership. Making a customer wait for 3 – 4 weeks for a small issue is unacceptable. I can't understand what took them so long to tell me about this.
  • I can't consume the fact that the seat assembly needs to be replaced as a fix. If a door lock is not working, is replacing the door the only solution? The dealership says that child parts of rear seat are not available to order. Does that mean the customer should pay for the entire seat assembly?
  • I asked the SA to send me a written confirmation on two things – one, that the warranty claim is rejected by Tata along with the reason. Two, that the part which needs replacement along with the cost. Spoke to his manager as well and explained this – no one seems to be interested.
  • I spent my hard-earned money on a Tata product, not because I am a patriot, but the product seemed genuinely good. If someone asked me now if I am willing to switch my car with another, and incur a loss of 2-3L on it, I would do it. I know it is immature to sell a car for a silly reason like this, but this thought has been in my mind since these issues came up. I have work responsibilities which takes up a lot of my time, and I value peace of mind more than anything else.

My question is, if a common man like me, is in such a situation, what are the ways in which one can proceed? Had I been a social media influencer or an editor with an automobile magazine, I could have used some influence. What next, BHPians?

Here's what BHPian pjbiju had to say about the matter:

Sorry to hear about your experience. In my opinion, this is clearly a case of a manufacturing defect which should be covered under warranty. As a user, you are expected to use this seat folding mechanism thousands of times without any failure during the life of the vehicle. I am sure TATA would have a test rig to test this for thousands of cycles. From the pictures, it clearly looks like the failure is caused by poor plastic quality. And if for such an issue, the entire mechanism has to be replaced it reflects on a poor design. Good manufacturers always use Design failure mode and effect analysis (DFMEA) in their design process to study actual/possible failure modes and mitigate them.

This is not a part that can be abused by users (unlike for example a clutch) even if you use the seat tumble mechanism hundreds of times. All that the user can do is pull the lever to engage the cable. Usually, all warranty claims have to be sent to the manufacturer for study and approval. This policy may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and some of them give the dealer the authority to make a decision based on the value of the component to be replaced. Manufacturers always ask the dealers to send the defective piece back to them for their study and analysis.

It may be quite possible that your dealer has not reached out to Tata Motors. If they have, the dealer would have a system in place that shows the communication with the manufacturer. Ask the dealer for the communication they have had. Hope this gets resolved in your favor.

See the condition of the plastic between the bad side and the good side. Is the good side tumble mechanism used as much as the damaged side?

Here's what BHPian Livnletcarsliv had to say about the matter:

I have been in your situation and still am.

All that I say is "YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING" in this situation because we consumers are like rats for the OEMs as well as the government. Especially Tata with their lorry/bus attitude for such potential successful products like Harrier/Safari. Period.

The only thing that you can do is to wait till the issue is resolved by Tata. Since the product is under warranty, you can take it up with Tata directly.

Please understand this clearly. Harrier/Safari is totally a half-baked product from Tata. Unfortunately:

  • Harrier/Safari is based on JLR platform, which Tata modified to make it affordable. It is not working out.
  • The full steering set (assembly, pump, rack, etc) is of very poor quality and poorly calibrated as well.
  • Hyundai's auto transmission, Fiat's engine, JLR & Lotus suspension tuning etc, etc, etc, did not work well.

All in all, Harrier/Safari is like an assembled PC (which we used some 20 years back if you remember). Unfortunately, I realized this only after buying this car.

While Tata may score top safety ratings (Harrier/Safari still not tested), Tata will be the last in terms of reliability, ASS experience, fit, and finish. Tata's attitude is so bad that they don't even want to take the vehicle for service. Especially, Harrier/Safari being their flagship products, the customer and ownership experience is literally a nightmare and walk-on the nails. We should be very fortunate and lucky enough to own a Harrier/Safari without issues/niggles/problems.

Harrier/Safari is selling not because it's a good product, but only because of the long waiting periods and undelivered commitments by M&M (XUV700), poor safety rating of the crowded Seltos/Creta, non-diesel options from VAG, expensive Compass & C5 Aircross, Tuscon.

While I am in your situation for the past 2.5 years, I unable to sell the car because this is my only car (and it is a BS4 model) and I cannot afford to spend an additional 15L-20L for a new car. My situation is - either I sell this and settle down for a small car below 15L or go for a used car. Unfortunately, my mind and heart don't want to step down for a small car. Neither am I lucky enough to get the right used car (I had a bad experience many years back).

So, SELL YOUR CAR (if you can) and be at peace.

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say about the matter:

Sorry to hear about your ordeal, your dealership interactions are infuriating and I haven't even bought the car.

TML is living up to its proud credentials of hit/miss service and reaffirms my observation that it's always the premium customers who seem to suffer the worst.

  • The idea that to fix/replace a broken cable needs a seat replacement is absurd.

IMO the dealership is taking you for a ride, if you need a resolution visit some other dealer/workshop with hopefully better luck.

  • Whatever the resolution is this should be covered in warranty since it's a premature failure of an enclosed mechanism.

Honestly, I have given up on TML for improving their dealership and workshop experience and precisely the reason I don't recommend anything above the Nexon to anyone and the recommendations below it come with a big warning of hit/miss service.

Second, your thoughts which had made me start a thread earlier.

Do check: ICB (The Indian Car Buyer | Struggling with problems in brand new cars)

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