Record time for breakdown | Brand new cars with problems

Instead, the focus is on a brand new vehicle exhibiting symptoms of a lemon within days or even hours of taking delivery.

BHPian TrackDay recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A month ago, I was having dinner at a restaurant with some friends. No sooner did we arrive, the waiter tended to us & took our orders. Within a short period of time, our food was ready and on the table. Must have been some time record. Over dinner, our conversation led to how they could prepare the dish so fast, which usually takes some period of time to cook. I conjured it must be an old dish, just reheated but nonetheless didn't taste bad or gave any bad appearance. An hour after leaving the place, most of us had an upset stomach.

Long story short, how often are we served bad cars? Nope, that is not the right question. How fast do they prove to us that it is defective? There are increasing number of threads in the hot threads section about vehicles failing way too soon after delivery. I am not talking about crashing the car during delivery. That can be the owner's fault and is being discussed here.

Instead, the focus is on a brand new vehicle exhibiting symptoms of a lemon within days or even hours of taking delivery. Mistakes that lie on the part of the car. The following are examples:

BHPian 13thpsycho shared issues with his Mahindra Thar:

There was very little fuel in the car so the first thing was to go fuel up. After about 2 kilometres of driving there was a ding on the instrument cluster. The check engine light came on. I thought it is going to go away after I stop and fuel up. The petrol pump was close so I decided I will stop and check there. On reaching the pump I noticed white smoke coming out of the front grill. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I quickly called up the showroom and informed the sales team of this trouble. They got me connected to the workshop and soon I was driving back to the workshop. So I got the car delivered to me, filled petrol and gave it back to the company.

While driving back to the workshop, a few more things started cropping up. The instrument cluster lit up with traction control, hill hold/decent control, engine check and cruise control lights. The car wasn’t moving over 50-60 km/hr and was stuck in one gear at around 2,000 rpm. Apart from this, the gear indicator on the MID was blank in manual mode. The car refused to shift up or down. The AC wasn’t working as well. Blower came on but there was no cool air from the AC.

How is it possible that within a couple of kilometres from the showroom the car electronics start going crazy?

Saurabh Akhilesh Shukla shared an issue with his Tata Harrier:

I own a Tata Harrier XZA+ bought from Indrajit Tata Motors, Bhayandar. Its 2000 km driven and I had my 1st service on 28th Dec 2020.

I decided to go on a road trip with my family to Shirdi. On 17th Jan, we left early morning and at a few instances, we felt something is not right with this car. We stopped the car at a dhaba and checked. We were shocked to see the fuel tank nearly touching the ground!! What would happen if the tank touched the road while we were cruising at 100 km/hr.

Ankit Agrawal shared an issue with his Mercedes-Benz GLE 300d:

I am from Raipur, Chhattisgarh. I bought a brand new GLE300d in December, but Mercedes India delivered a vehicle with a defective engine to me. Since the day of delivery, the SUV is with the Mercedes Raipur Showroom and they haven't rectified the defect yet. We are having a major dispute with Mercedes-Benz India.

First of all the vehicle was sent to the showroom on the second day of ownership. The Mercedes team coordinated with Germany for a week and sent the vehicle back saying it's just a sensor fault.

It has been one and a half months that the engine issue has not been resolved.

Being such a major issue in a brand new vehicle of a brand of this stature, they didn't even provide me with a courtesy vehicle.

gobarboss shared issues with his Mahindra Thar:

THE ROOF LEAKED (Hardtop variant) after the first car wash at home. The roof unit is divided and there is a gap in the middle from where the water seeped inside and while the car did some turns it trickled onto my hand, happened twice during a 20 min ride (shocking!!!).

BHPian sachin_cs shared an issue with his Tata Altroz:

It is unfortunate to inform that our new Tata Altroz developed an oil leakage within the first month of ownership and it was repaired under warranty and we were assured that this problem won't resurface in the future. Well two months after the repair, the engine bay is again showing signs of oil leak from the head.

First incident:

It was not even a month into the ownership and we observed traces of oil in the engine bay when we were on a trip to our native and immediately we took the car to the service centre on 02nd December 2020 for the checkup and 1st service. I was in talks with the service team throughout the process and they said something of this sort has happened for the first time in Altroz and we will repair it under warranty, which they eventually did and delivered the car on 3rd December, wasting our entire day (keeping our mental agony aside).

Second incident:

The oil leak again resurfaced from the engine head and it is hardly two months since the last repair. As of 17th February 2021 13:30, while writing this post, the car is in the service centre and my brother is waiting for someone senior to look into the issue.

BHPian bobbyaxelrod shared issues with his Kia Seltos:

I took delivery of my 2020 Seltos GTX+ last month on 26th July. After 3 weeks, and merely 350kms driven, the car broke down. I was driving on a flyover and while coming down from it, the car stopped accelerating. I came to a halt and these icons popped up on the cluster. The car refused to start again for a few minutes but after that I was able to pull over to the side road. The car then broke down again and refused to start.

BHPian SKODA_RS shared issues with his Skoda Laura:

We bought a Skoda Laura 1.8TSi. But to my horror, it brokedown within 8 days from the delivery!!

But then some hope came as I had a call from Skoda and they said its a minor problem as its only a pipe leak.

He said he has ordered the pipe as this kinda problem in such a new vehicle is rare and would be getting it in 2-3 days.

So our Brand new laura is lying in the showroom eating dust.

Date of delivery:24 Dec 2009

Date of problem when it arised:1st Jan 2010.

BHPian sgm shared issues with his Mercedes C220d:

First failure:

I start the car, move a few feet forward and stop for family members to enter and I hear a grinding noise from the brake and a slight movement while in brake hold mode. I ignore this and started from the showroom. A few meters and we are at a signal and I apply brake-hold and it gets engaged. I notice that about 15s later, there is grinding noise, brakes get automatically released, the car moves 3-4 inches and again stops automatically. This repeats after 10-15 seconds. We start as it turns green but before crossing, the signal turns red. I apply brake-hold. The engine stop-start kicks in this time, so the engine turns off. Now in another about 30 seconds, the engine fires again as the AC was ON. The car moves about ½ a foot and stops automatically. Now I’m extra careful at signals, turn the car to Neutral instead of drive and don’t engage Brake-hold to reach home safely. I reported this on the same night to SA and contacted MB helpline on Saturday, 9th Nov. I was given a number of the dealer support network and I contacted them. I got a call from one of the technical person with a promise to visit me soon. Nothing happens till Monday the 11th, and after repeated calls, on 13th Nov the car was diagnosed and fault codes were found in Electronic braking systems. The car was picked up on Friday, 15th Nov, and it took a week to come back (Nov 21st) after replacing the ECU.

Second failure

I used it again for 3 more days without trouble, and then on Nov 25th Monday evening, it started giving ABS warning/error. I shared the screenshots with the CRM. When the warning is ON, brake hold, eco start/stop etc won't work at all. The issue suddenly disappeared on Tuesday morning while waiting at a signal.

Today being Nov 28th, and the car registered on 4th Nov, I have admired the car only for 4 days without trouble. More than half of the days, the car has been with the dealer.

Dhruv & Varun shared issues with their Mercedes GLE 450:

It was the 17th of August 2020, when I took the delivery of a black Mercedes Benz GLE 450, however my happiness and delight lasted only for 2 weeks.

Below is the chronology of events that followed, which have caused me nothing but pain, mental distress and embarrassment.

01st September 2020 - Parktronic malfunctioned and the issue was resolved on the same day, the reason provided was a loose connection in the socket and sensor of the right front bumper.

Same evening, there was an engine malfunction indicator light on the dashboard screen.

mayanksabharwal shared an issue with his friend's Jeep Compass:

Yesterday, I had taken the delivery of my Jeep Compass at Mahesh Motors, Guwahati. On the way to Duliajan near Nagaon, the car broke down. The co-passenger side's front wheel with drive shafts came out from the car and I somehow managed to stop the car. It's a serious safety issue! Multinational companies are selling such poor quality products in India which may cause fatalities. I drove the car for just 3 hrs / 172 kms. Looking forward for your suggestions on what to do!

There are more out there. As one can see, without exception, almost all brands have a chair at this table. The wait is to see who is the first out of everybody to reach in to get the food. There are cars that have had issues merely minutes from the showroom or a few hours. Others have been lucky and gotten a day or two. For some, it can be within the first 3 months.

Only a few get lemonade from the lemon. In the end, most are repaired, some are replaced and others will have to live with it. Cars will fail. Even the most reliable ones. But the point I am stressing here is premature failings. What is your view on this? Does it shake one's faith in the brand? Also, new cars are a thing of joy and an object of pride. No one wants to brag to their neighbours how their brand new expensive car failed on day 1. Also, it is painful to see your new car being taken away even before you started enjoying it.

Should there be some kind of law to protect the customer, especially in the early days of ownership? Did you have any experience in which the cars exhibited signs within a record time? Do share your views.

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