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Check-engine light came ON during delivery of my brand new Tata Safari

The car had barely 60 km on the odometer and was already suffering from Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) issue.

BHPian NotanF1driver recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi all,

Yesterday was supposed to be a happy day as I take delivery of my Safari. It all went well until I cranked up the car (after key handover) to notice a check engine warning in the cluster. The sales representative immediately said that some software update needs to be done and that it will be done at the service centre. I was shocked to see and hear this. The car runs okay but is down on power as drive modes are disabled due to the check engine warning. I asked the representative why are these not checked before delivery - to which he said it’s not an error, but an update and takes 15 mins. I knew both these claims are wrong - I did not want to spoil the day and drove straight to a temple for pooja and then back home. I could not sleep yesterday night thinking about this!

On my very first day of ownership, I am working from a Tata service centre. Waiting for more than an hour now. How the ownership experience is ruined!

Update: I need to acknowledge here that I could not do a PDI of this car. There were multiple reasons - I was too occupied with work, and at the time when I was available, the showroom was not. I requested the sales guy that I inspect the car before I take delivery, which he did not agree to because the car was already in PDI from the dealer's end. So, I let it pass - a big mistake.

At the service centre, there was another dark edition Safari barely a week old with the check engine warning. Since it came in a minute before me, that car was attended to, first. The service team told the owner that it is a software update issue. I was sceptical.

When my car was attended to (I was at work, so I did miss some moments), I went to the shop floor. I believe they had already connected the car to OBD and were doing something, which they said it’s a software update. Looking at the screen of the laptop, this is what I understood:

  1. They updated some software, this was done before I reached the shop floor, so not sure.
  2. Force cleared all ECU errors. Turned off the car and turned it back on. Check engine was still on.
  3. The guy took a photo of the errors and went in. After a while, the car was taken out of the covered workshop to an open space.
  4. Connected again to OBD. Ran a DPF regeneration program.
  5. This program kept the engine revved up to 3.5 -4 k RPM.
  6. I don’t know how much time it took, but extended for more than 30 mins, I guess.
  7. Force cleared all warnings. Restarted the car.
  8. Car roared back to life. No warnings.
  9. I became very happy.

Now, coming to the actual issue. I asked the technician, how can a car which has barely run 60 km have DPF issues. He said that this 60 km would be run inside factory premises and on loading the car. Tata cars come in trains to Kerala - so they end up moving the car back and forth quite a bit, which means the car would most likely be driven with brake release alone or would be idling. This causes soot build up. This seemed quite reasonable and he mentioned that even light foot driving in the city does not cause this. Let’s see.

I drove the car back from the service centre and was way too happy. All things were normal and the car had transformed itself. Despite my happy mood, I decided to convey my displeasure to the sales guy. I appreciate his promptness - He called up twice during the day to check the status and made necessary calls to fast track this. In the evening, he called me up and I told him that this is not how I expected a new car delivery to happen. I was also told that had I seen the car, I would have noted it. I was also willing to wait a day more to get it cleared. The sales guy apologised a lot and said that this error wasn’t there when their PDI was done. It came up only when the car was at the showroom, and the team was moving it to the delivery area.

All said and done, I am way too happy with the car. This episode meant I spent half a day at the service centre (10.30 am - 2 pm). The service quality isn’t bad by any means. The team installed seat covers to protect them from staining while working. I never found anyone turning on the AC while the car is on, despite the terrible heat.

That’s all for now. Hope the issues won’t re-occur.

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