Mahindra Thar | Very happy recall experience

But they chose not to. They chose to recall and fix these parts proactively. And they chose to be transparent about it too. That is why I consider them leaders in customer satisfaction.

BHPian ph03n!x recently shared this with others.

Charles Andrew Stanley, a nondenominational pastor and author, wrote - "Fixing things requires change, and change always creates conflict. But that is why you are a leader".

Anyone in the corporate world knows the difficulty of going through a change management process. It often does not get implemented the way it was envisioned, and 70% of all such efforts end up as failures. Not because it was a bad idea. But, quoting the Forbes article -

...a weak culture that isn’t aligned with the mission, lack of participation and buy-in, under-communicating a powerful vision, over-communicating a poor vision, not enough training or resources, and so on. But one very critical roadblock standing in the way of bringing a change vision to fruition is change battle fatigue.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'd have heard of myriad of issues in new launches arising from Tata and Mahindra. So much that

  • Apprehensions of niggles & Mahindra's hit-or-miss after-sales service quality


  • Concerns over niggles & long-term reliability (in Tata cars). Our test car had a problem too!

are a staple part of "Cons". What's more, we have enough about manufacturer apathy - be it the Koreans, Czech-Germans, or Americans. Some are better than the others. Some issues are not as amplified. A few of them form a negligible % of the overall sales.

But the fact remains that every auto-manufacturer has had issues, niggles, and what not. But some get bashed and bad-mouthed more than others, and some do not acknowledge or fix issues proactively, unless some major catastrophe jolts them to action - and this slumber is mostly India-specific.

I have always held, and reiterated, that the two manufacturers who invariably get crucified for niggles and issues, are also the ones who are proactive, do not shy from acknowledging issues, working on solutions, and taking ownership to solve them. You can come back saying they should have tested properly, tested more, tested thoroughly, et all. But when epitomes of quality like Roll Royce or Bentley, or the German trios, or even the Japs who can do no wrong have had quality fiascos, I do not expect Tata and Mahindra to be picture perfect.

Back to the proactive piece - again, unless you're still under the same rock from earlier, you'll know that the Thar has had enough issues being called out right here in the forum - one of the firsts was mine! I have also detailed how the issue was resolved, and how much attention the manufacturer and the dealer paid to the issue to get it resolved, and resolved right.

True to the issue-resolution, I have not had any issues in 7000+ KM of happy memories we've had with the Thar. So when this letter came home, I was surprised - this was for a camshaft recall, owing to some machining discrepancies that was identified with the supplier.

But then, when your engine has run well over 8000 km, why would you worry about this? I didn't think much about it either, and was happy driving around!

Until the Service Head of CAI Mahindra called earlier this week and asked me to bring my Thar in for the camshaft replacement - I told him I am at 9,250 km, and why not do this as a part of the 10k / 2nd service, if at all it is needed for my Thar too? He advised that I should not wait unless there is something more pressing, and this is just a precautionary recall based on the RCA from a couple of issues reported elsewhere in the country. I left it at it - until the CCM from Mahindra called me and asked about it the next day! He also suggested I get it done.

Well, twice asked, I thought why not?! My Thar was 9,250 KM done, and will be in for second service anyway in a week - why not do the service a little early - and get the recall taken care too? So I booked my appointment for Saturday (yesterday), and went in promptly at 9.30 AM. My friendly SA, Saranth was there to greet me - he seemed like he missed me, what with the almost-daily visits I was making in December!

We quickly got down to what needs to be done - and that is when I realized why M&M is an epitome of the quote I opened this post with -

"Fixing things requires change, and change always creates conflict. But that is why you are a leader".

The issues identified so far, and being corrected for affected VIN / fixed in manufacturing for subsequent VINs are -

  • Wiper motor breather cap addition - to better protect the wiper motor from moisture
  • Thermal bypass valve replacement
  • AT Shifter Knob screw re-tighten
  • Seat shoulder bezel shaft replacement - this is a part of the seat adjustment mechanism
  • Remove 4WD shift cable from mounting clip - adjusting the shift cable for smoother shift operation
  • Cam shaft kit replacement - this is the known recall
  • Hood catchers replacement - this is also known

Most of these could have been silently replaced whenever the vehicle came for service. Some of these will not even affect the ownership for most, and M&M could have waited until the owner complained.

But they chose not to. They chose to recall and fix these parts proactively. And they chose to be transparent about it too. That is why I consider them leaders in customer satisfaction.

I was told that the camshaft replacement itself will take 6+ hours, and the vehicle will be delivered by 7 to 8 PM. I decided to hang around, see as much work as I can for as long as I can wait.

Here is my detailed repair order - I asked for both the diff oils to be replaced (only rear was scheduled to be replaced as a part of the 2nd service) -

In addition to these, I also asked for 5-wheel rotation, check a minor rattle from the speaker mount on the roll cage, as well as check the bluetooth connectivity and volume being zero on full restart of the ICE issues.

I went along for the test drive at about 7.30 pm, and was satisfied with the fix for the rattle (damping material added in the center - between the plastic speaker mounting structure and the roll cage's metal surface), and the software was reflashed in the ICE for the volume issue. The volume and BT issues were not a show-stoppers, and I told them I will check it later. The test drive was smooth, as expected.

Along with the front diff oil that I asked to be changed, they also topped up the DEF fluid. The total bill came to -

Looks like my Thar drank 8 liters of DEF fluid for 9250 KM - 0.86 ML per km.

I am a happy camper with my Thar experience - there were issues, and they were fixed in the best possible way. There were issues that I was not affected by / was aware of - and they fixed those too.

Even things that ain't broken can be fixed - Lauren DeStefano

I am heading for a drive up the hills - to make more memories. And for testing the jeep after its 2nd service.

All those who are having Thar and have issues, talk to M&M. Those who are still waiting for deliveries - good news, my dealer is getting new Thars with the ICE fixed from factory. Supply is low, yes - but they are better than last month.

Happy Jeepin'!

Thanks to ph03n!x again. Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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