I bought a Fiat Palio 1.2CC in 2002 with all the eagerness of owning a good car like any other consumer. The car has been always giving one or the other problems all throughout especially after warranty expiry and worsening as the car ages. Let me take you through each aspect of the frustration.
I. Too many and frequent costly parts failure
1. During the first year warranty period, Speedometer had a design defect which used to show less speed than actual speed driven. Fiat replaced the entire dashboard unit.
2. During additional 2 year warranty (Fiat Advantage), following things failed. 1. Alternator, 3. Thermostat, 4. Thermistor, 5. Horn, 6. Central locking. After months of fighting, Fiat replaced.
There have been much more failures which were attributed to wear and tear (so early!!) like Gear assembly and similar endless list of spares which are costly.
My woes intensified really much more by closure to 3 year wty completion and thereafter.
1. Dickey door started rusting and the paints started bubbling. As usual after all the fighting, Fiat replaced the dickey door. Dickey door once again rusted, and they painted. Now again it has rusted, Fiat is not doing anything.
2. Driver seat side door got rusted and a hole formed. Fiat did what some blacksmiths do to close the hole and painted. Now the rusting started again.
3. Rusting started in the railing of the car which can be noticed on opening the door as the rusting formation is in the foot steps of the rail. Fiat is unable to address.
4. Recently rusting started in a new spot and paints started bubbling similar to the dickey. Fiat is not doing anything for it.
5. Few years ago, when my car was in stationery was hit by another vehicle in a minor incident. The damage in the front bonnet was very high (spent about Rs.30000). It was found the front bonnet metal body had rusted, that broke away which caused a major damage.
6. Once my car abruptly stopped midway. It was found the clutch oil tube had rusted and leaked which I had to replace on my cost.
7. There are some more rusting spots observed and Concorde has surveyed the car and given a report to Fiat but Fiat is sleeping on it.
III. Paint quality
1. Upon three year of car ageing, the ceiling/roof top paint has faded and look with a different color now. I have seen many Fiat cars like this. A phenomenon I have not seen in any other manufacturers’ car.
2. Outer body paint started perforating and looks like the paints chipped or how minutely broken glasses mass glare. Concorde has surveyed the car and given a report to Fiat who is sleeping on it.
III. Non guarantee on supplied parts.
1. Fiat does not support quality of a replaced part. Fiat had replaced the central locking electronic assy immediately after Fiat advantage expiry for the complaint registered within warranty period. That part has been malfunctioning and Fiat refuses after dilly dallying for 2 years lying that they had not replaced. I have the proofs including the bank statement (Fiat’s agency reimburses for spares during Fiat Advantage period).
IV. Non availability of spare parts.
1. A plastic chrome plate inside the car is missing. Fiat had been blaming Concorde for not giving the part number (which was false), Fiat dodged for a year and still says no parts available and Concorde helped me putting a spare from Indica car!
2. Every time a spare fails, it means your car has to be in the workshop for weeks due to non-availability of spare parts from Fiat. The service agencies order and follow up after follow up! Recently Fiat could not deliver a spare – power steering oil tube which I could buy even from outside.
V. Service network.
1. Service network has been a perennial problem. You have to always take the car from one end of the city to anther end every time. And poor network outside the major cities. Luckily, you can depend on Sundaram Motors network that comes to your rescue.
VI. Irresponsive service and never care attitude from Fiat’s employees.
1. Fiat is lethargic on complaints. 1. They do not respond to mails – you need to provoke them to get them respond. 2. They take too much time and blame the service centers like Concorde for no faults from Concorde. 3. Despite all cries, they never even want to speak to you. Totally contrasting attitude compared to Maruti’s service I have been hearing.
Am I the only one to complain? No. Same are the stories of many of my colleagues who bought Fiat Palio whent here was no similar alternative cars in the market.
I am not much concerned if Fiat solves these issues now or not. But, until they notice and give attention / service, I am going to publish endlessly this story website after website and mass mailers. Consumers should not be taken for granted. I can afford to buy car >4 times of price of Fiat Palio.