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Unhappy Tata Harrier experience: Looking for advice

After repeated failures, I now get haunting thoughts of when the car will break down yet again.

BHPian Livnletcarsliv recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Well, I own a Tata Harrier BS4 XZ Orcus White model. I took delivery of the car on 10 Jan 2020. Done 32K km on the ODO so far.

My situation "why I had to buy a new car":

  1. I had a 2010 Hyundai i10 Kappa 1.2 Magna model.
  2. Done about 85K on the ODO when I sold in Feb 2021.
  3. I love to maintain my car all by myself. So the car was in excellent condition.
  4. However, it started showing its age.
  5. And I live in Chennai and my hometown is Coimbatore – about 525kms approximately – 1 way – door to door. I do about 3-6 trips yearly to my home town. I also commute locally inside Coimbatore for the days I stay there.
  6. I (with my family) also planned to do a lot of holiday/vacation destinations as much as we could. (Unfortunately, this pandemic really tied our thoughts/plans. We did not go anywhere as per our plans except twice inside Tamil Nadu).
  7. So I wanted an ENTHUSIAST’s car with these priorities – Looks, comfort, build, safety, space, ride, handling, performance, reliability, high seating position.
  8. Mileage, Maintenance Cost, Features were the least priorities.

My buying experience:

My budget was around Rs 22 Lakhs.

The options available were Harrier, Compass, Crysta, XUV500, Seltos, Creta, and Hector.

Reason for not choosing the following:

  • Crysta – Wanted an enthusiast’s car. Not a people mover. This is the only reason why I did not choose Crysta. Heart over Mind.
  • XUV500 – End of the lifecycle. I was awaiting the next-gen XUV500 (now called XUV700)
  • Seltos – I went to the showroom (in Bangalore and Chennai) to check and test drive the car. The customer experience was bad – no proper response from any salesperson. In spite of that (since the need is for me), I checked out the car myself. I evaluated all in and out. Finally, when I closed the doors, I decided immediately this was not the car for me. Not worth 20Lakhs anyway. The doors were vibrating when I closed it. Felt like Maruti is better – At least their cars cheap to buy as well as run.
  • Creta – Didn’t even check it out. Rejected for the space, size, looks, handling, etc.
  • Hector – Personally I felt it like a Tab on wheels. “Internet Inside”? Seriously? On a car for an enthusiast like me? And of course, it is actually not a Morris Garage. All the line-up of MG India is nothing but the renamed Chinese models. A Chinese car? – Already we are neck-deep dumped with Chinese products every day and part of our life.

Finally, I narrowed it down to 2 cars – Compass and Harrier

  1. Compass – I had everything I wanted in the Compass except for Space which was a deal-breaker for me (actually for my wife).
  2. Harrier – Also had everything.

Compass was & is still better in terms of handling, performance, features, build, premium feel, fit, and finish.

One thing that surprised me is that the low-speed ride (especially on bad roads) is much better in Harrier than Compass. I wanted to buy only the top-end variant – that has all the bells and whistles as I am not an unnecessary aftermarket guy. So it was the Limited Plus variant in Compass or XZ variant in Harrier.

Well, one thing I realized is that the post-sales support, customer service, and product reliability are almost the same for both Harrier and Compass. There were a lot of customer complaints and niggles with Compass also. Even now. Period. We do not hear more about Compass because of its low volumes compared to Harrier.

And finally the price – Compass (Limited Plus) was almost 6-7 lakhs expensive (after all the discounts) than Harrier. I was ready to stretch my wallet if it was about 2-3 lakhs difference (Even though space is a deal-breaker for my wife. After buying the car I had to convince her which is a long process though). In fact, I was pushing them (Jeep dealer) to give me the final number I asked for.

I also had the choice of a demo Compass (2018 model – Limited 4*4 Top end) done about 25K ODO for around 21Lakhs with a full warranty, new tires, new battery, and all the bells and whistles from the company & dealer. So I rejected it for one reason – Demo cars are almost always abused as much as possible.

So my question was (obviously) – Is the Compass really worth that extra 6 lakhs? And the answer was definitely NO.

So I choose the Harrier finally. End of the buying story.

My views about the car.

  • The product is really good.
  • If not for the Tata logo, anyone could easily mistake it for other reputed brands.
  • Yes, the fit and finish need to improve to great extent – But not a deal-breaker though.
  • Harrier is a totally different product compared to all its competition except Compass. Both Compass and Harrier are driver’s/enthusiast’s cars.
  • My verdict about the product is “Right Product (Harrier) in the Wrong Hands (Tata)”

Now, here goes the list of my bad experience with Tata:

  1. The dealership was SRT Tata, Coimbatore.
  2. My delivery experience was not good.
  3. The registration process was not smooth due to some dealer issues.
  4. The car was not properly cleaned.
  5. The dealership did not hand over all the documents during delivery itself. Some were obtained, delivered later.
  6. The car already had done about 350kms on the ODO which they did not inform me at all.
  7. These are replaced in my car so far - My timing belt, belt tensioner (twice), A-mount, full steering column, etc.
  8. Now, my clutch pedal is dead AGAIN while driving (for the third time). And it is the same issue of clutch fluid/oil hose cut
  9. I was struck in the middle of the road AGAIN with my family. This is going endless.
  10. The first time it happened was in July 2020. It was fixed in SRT Tata, Coimbatore. The reason for the cut was a rupture, which was a design flaw.
  11. The second time it happened was in Feb 2021. It was fixed in Lakshmi Tata, OMR, Chennai. The reason for the cut was rupture (However they say that it was rat-bite which doesn't make sense at all and is almost impossible since I have my other car and the other's cars that have never experienced such an issue in the past - I am 100% sure it was because of rupture and not because of rat-bite also due to the way the hose was damaged).
  12. Last month is the third time. And the reason for the cut is again due to rupture. However this time the cut is in a different location.
  13. Every time, I am hearing these words from the SC and Tata Motors - This won't happen again, and this is fixed permanently. And again it happens.

I am writing this since I am totally fed up and frustrated with my car and Tata Motors itself.

I am also fed up with their replies "We understand your situation", "we deeply regret the inconvenience caused", 'we will ensure this won't happen again" since Jan 2020. In fact, there were & are other issues as well.

I have raised my concerns and complaints through email numerous times to call the authorities. I received calls from regional managers, southern head, etc. I insisted on a vehicle replacement, which they say that it’s not their policy.[*]The hose is now replaced again. And this is the best solution and “will not happen again reply” that I can get from Tata.[/list]Now I have completely lost peace of mind.

I always want and love to drive wherever possible – be it how far and what time. Now I am totally disappointed and frustrated. Haunting thoughts of “when will the car stop”.

Dear BHPians – Your suggestions and recommendations are most valuable to me to make a decision.

I need your suggestions/advice/recommendations for two of my stresses.

Should I continue with my car or should I sell it immediately?

If I have to sell it, my concern is what should I buy that will be my only car (Budget around 25-26 lakhs). The following are the only options available:

  • Compass – Too expensive, not worth 30-31 Lakhs.
  • Crysta – Again the same reason I mentioned earlier
  • XUV700 – Still in beta phase. At least 1 year to sort out all niggles and issues.
  • Alcazar – Creta is 100% better. Not worthy contender.
  • Safari – Tata again. Expensive top end compared to XUV700.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Sucks to hear about your predicament, bud. This is not something any customer should go through, whether he spends 20 lakhs on a car or 20 grand on a smartphone. Very sad.

You basically have two options:

  • Sell the car. The used car market is hot right now and Tata has steadily increased Harrier prices. A diesel SUV in a hot used car market will fetch a good price. You could sell it and do a lateral upgrade. Meaning, sell used and buy used to lessen the depreciation blow. Because you loved the Innova Crysta so much, you should just get a pre-owned Innova Crysta 2.8L AT. It is a phenomenal van, premium enough, fast and reliable. It's so competent that Toyota discontinued the 2.8L AT variant as it was eating up the Fortuner's sales. Other than butch styling & 4x4, I consider it to be a superior car to the Fortuner.
  • Or you can get the car fixed from a competent independent workshop. Your Tata dealer seems to be useless. Problem is, the early Harriers were very unsorted machines. If you have faced so many problems in just 30000 km, who is to say what will happen by the time you get to 75,000 km...or 100,000. How many more breakdowns can you handle? Expect a lot of time, effort & frustration in owning this car long-term. Our Tata Indigo was the same; too many problems & was falling apart by 40000 km. Didn't have the time or patience, so we just sold it.

Here's what BHPian YD14 had to say on the matter:

Your car is a lemon and should be replaced by Tata. It's not even something bearable like software glitches, you have been stranded in the middle of the road multiple times already. Check out this thread: what do if you are stuck with a lemon car.

I say you escalate things once again with higher-ups and demand for replacement. Also, create a separate thread or update this one to focus solely on your troubles with the car and how Tata dealt with them in more detail. Every manufacturer keeps an eye on Team-bhp and a thread describing a customer's horrible experience is the last thing they want. If that doesn't work, then you can explore legal options too.

The car will not fetch a good price in the used car market and you will lose a lot of money for no fault of your own. So think twice before buying another vehicle.

Here's what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

You have driven 32,000 km in this car. It surely can’t be that it keeps breaking down all the time. As I have said on some other threads, expecting cars to never break down in our road conditions, with the kind of rampant fuel adulteration that takes place is not reasonable. You are likely to face similar issues with other cars too. And as someone who seems to live on highways, safety should be a key parameter - which rules out the Alcazar. If you are hell-bent on replacing your car, the only option you should consider from the set above is the Crysta. Yes, it’s a boring people mover but it will be reliable and far less likely to strand you on the highway.

So the choice is clear - do you want to look at the 32,000 km (presumably 500+ hours) of driving time that the car worked or the few occasions when it stranded you on the road. If the former, stick with this car. It has been used A LOT - and so the occasional breakdown should not be a big deal. If you disagree, the Crysta is the car to get.

Here's what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Your car has turned out to be a lemon. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but that needs to be done. Sell it off as soon as you can for whatever money you can. Repeated failures that are leaving you stranded are just not acceptable. Any car from any brand can turn out to be a lemon. Guess it’s just bad luck it wound up in your hands.

The way you selected the Harrier in the first place was totally logical and thorough. If you repeat the process, you’ll end up with the same answers again. The BS6 Harrier and Safari are a lot more sorted than the old car. I don’t see any sense in paying 30L+ for a Compass unless it absolutely is the top end diesel 4x4 automatic. That, only if you plan to put the hardware to good use. May I suggest that you consider a pre-loved Compass diesel manual? Great deals are to be had on 2019 and 2020 cars. I picked up a 2000km done car a few months back, for about 10L less than its on-road price. Compass has abysmal resale value, which is great if you are looking to buy.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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