Tata Nexon - Drive Mode Issue

Thanks to IK for sending this information in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP page!

Hi Team,

I am IK, an avid follower of Team-BHP discussions. In the management of the vehicles I've had so far, I have been guided by the reviews, ownership logs and threads on best practices from the community. I intend to share some issues that I faced in Kerala regarding my Tata Nexon. The issue is along similar lines to the Drive Mode problem that BHPian Satish_tns had reported on 22nd February 2021.

Vehicle: Tata Nexon XZA+ AMT

Purchase date: June 2018

Clocked: Around 29,000 kms

Warranty: Still under 3rd Year Extended Warranty

Problem: Drive Mode Issue

Problem Description:  Drive modes disengage and engage on their own. Sometimes, the mode changes in between the 3 presets - Sports, City and Eco randomly, which changes the vehicle’s behaviour in a drastic manner. Voice and visual notifications on the instrument cluster reflect the change. Repeated voice notifications become quite annoying and often have to be disabled. The issue is not frequent, but happens out of the blue, and while driving in city traffic, I have to prepare for the AMT jerk during such a transition to Sports mode.

The issue was first noticed in November 2018 and was reported to Concorde Motors, Cochin in December 2018. No related error codes were diagnosed on their OBD reader. The issue was disregarded stating that they couldn't replicate it. I managed to get video footage of the problem and they then acknowledged the issue and its gravity. They did a series of trials and test drives. They diagnosed and changed the drive control switch and gear shift mechanism parts under warranty. However, the problem persisted.

During this period itself, I had about 11 registered run-in repairs and several unregistered repairs for multiple warranty claims. Each time I had to clock about 240 km to and fro, and lost confidence in the process. I mailed Tata Customer Care along with the video footage of the problem and the case history. Tata Customer Care and Tata Regional Office - Cochin personnel responded promptly and advised to present the vehicle at MK Motors Kottayam, which was reasonably near to my then residence.

At MK Motors, they tested the vehicle and suspected a faulty high pressure diesel pump. Later a team from Delphi – the OEM provider, conducted extensive test drives for 3 days and initiated the warranty process. However, during my conversation with the technical team, I understood that replacements were based on probability grounds and that they hadn't really got values convincing enough to draw a conclusion.

I communicated the concern to the Customer Care & Regional Office POC, and requested for an assurance statement or the root cause, but no such statement was given. The vehicle was produced again on 18th May 2020, the high pressure diesel pump was replaced under warranty and the car was released after one week. Replacements are done under warranty, but the question remained whether the right units, from which the problem arose, had been replaced.

Despite these measures, the issue re-occurred, and I mailed Customer Care with another video footage of the problem on 13th January, 2021. Customer Care replied and I chose Malayalam Tata Cochin, since it was easier to access than MK Motors during the Pandemic. The vehicle was given to them on 16th February, 2021 and was with them for weeks. Later I was intimated by the service advisor that the high pressure diesel pump and Injectors would be replaced under warranty as a remedial measure. On delivery, I understood that the Injectors were not replaced and when I enquired about it, they said that the injectors were in good condition.

The issue came up again, probably since the root cause had not yet been identified and addressed and was reported by mail on 13th April 2021. The service centre had once denied a request for the warranty associated bills saying that I can, somehow, only view, but not get copies of the records on their system. Hence, I requested to share the history and associated bills as well, in my communication to Tata. Customer Care replied saying that they needed more time. There were no words from the Tata Regional Office and Malayalam Tata asked for the vehicle to be produced again, amidst the 2nd wave of the pandemic. The issue persists despite multiple inspections and multiple 'probable' solutions. I'm getting prompt reminders from the marketing team for purchase of an extended warranty though.

I come from a background in which there was an affinity for Japanese brands, except Suzuki, primarily due to their reliability. We still have a 10 year-old Toyota SUV and a Honda sedan, which we devotedly plan to retain. I haven't claimed a single warranty repair on them, haven't changed parts other than those on the preventive maintenance schedule and still enjoy hearing the same engine drone like the first days. The Tata Nexon is a great product considering safety, build, features, value, drive, and dynamics, but QC and after sales are sore points. On this unit alone, on multiple issues, more than 10 replacements were effected so far. Yet to be unearthed issues are expected for any new product. It is an assumed risk, but 2.5 years should be ample time to troubleshoot one.

Tata is a brand that I was always fond of. Its presence is felt across various domains in India. From the Vista onwards, it was quite interesting to watch them utilising synergies of the JLR acquisition. Hope they won't repeat the mistake JLR made with reliability.

On 22nd February 2021, BHPian Satish_tns had reported a similar drive mode issue in his car. I've been a passive follower for years, but I'm not a member and hence, couldn't add to the thread. It would be great if I could get to know his vehicle model, whether the issue was resolved, and if so, what the root cause was, and what corrective measures were taken.

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