Do not be too easy on accepting minor problems

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Egoldeng
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:52 pm

Do not be too easy on accepting minor problems

Post by Egoldeng » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:04 pm

I would suggest that as owners of the new Fiat 500 we not be to easy on the dealers or accepting minor problems without pushing for correction of issues in a timely manner. One of the reasons that the car make left this country 30 years ago was because they were just plain unreliable. They rusted quickly had multitudes of electrical issues and generally low quality construction. Frankly the Japanese pushed them back into the ocean back to Italy. While fun to drive the older Fiats just could not hold a candle to the competition in being a car that could be relied on for trouble free operation. I would suggest that we not be too tolerant of problems and defects and get items fixed as soon as possible and not wait until the next service appointment such as next oil change. We are already starting with a disadvantage. Many of the Studios are off-shoots of Chrysler / Dodge dealerships which get the lowest marks in the US for customer service and satisfaction. If we do not get the new 500s a reputation that approaches the standard of the Japanese brands the result of 30 years ago will be the same. I am not really having any great issues with my 2 month old 500 but the ones that I am having will be addressed and fixed ..... i hope. So far the dealer is not impressing me with the smoothness of their operation. They seem to be not up to speed on Fiat knowledge and mine is a mishmash of a Studio for sales..... a Dodge dealer for parts and a Mazda dealer for service.
I have been contacted by Fiat about my experience so far and have given then my problems with the dealer. The dealer has not contacted me once about wether I was happy with my new car or requested any input after service appointment. I also have a Scion and even after 8 years they still contact me after every routine service and corporate does as well. Unless we demand a high level of quality and dealer service we will have an orphaned make of auto again. The US is not kind to car makes that do not deliver a high level of quality AND customer service. Just ask SAAB which was GM owned. Soon to be joined by Volvo in pulling out of the US market in the next two years.

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KevinB
FLU Board of Directors
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:18 pm
Location: Asheville, NC, USA

Re: Do not be too easy on accepting minor problems

Post by KevinB » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:15 pm

Egoldeng wrote: One of the reasons that the car make left this country 30 years ago was because they were just plain unreliable. They rusted quickly had multitudes of electrical issues and generally low quality construction.
This could not be further from the truth.

Rust was a major issue with all the imports on the late 70's / early 80's, japanese and european.

Unreliable? I have driven early 80's Fiats well in excess of 200,000 miles with no major issues or repairs.

Electrical? Bad grounds. The fixes to these issues were simple and straight forward.

Low Quality of Construction? My 85 x-1/9 was way better built than my 84 Toyota Carolla GT-S. And the GT-S started rusting around the rear windows and trunk opening within 2 years, and I didn't even like in a rust belt part of teh country.....

Dealerships are franchises, not directally controlled by Fiat corporation. Corporate only has so much control over the dealers. This was the downfall of Fiat in the early 80's, that the dealers quit caring, quit stocking parts, and didn't have well trained mechanics that spoke fluent Fiat....
85 Bertone (24k orig miles)

Egoldeng
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Do not be too easy on accepting minor problems

Post by Egoldeng » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:47 am

I stick to my earlier comments and having owned both the Japanese and the FIAT makes as well like you. The fact is they bailed out due to their problems that gave FIAT a horrible reputation and the dealers were the worst. The point of my original post was to expect the quality to be up to and better than industry standard and excepting anything less will not be doing anything to make the result any different than it was the last time. The result was a 30 year absence . As to the electrical ground problems .. they were indeed a source of a multitude of problems and FIAT even knowing they existed did NOTHING to correct them in running production vehicles.
I differ from you on the premise that corporate FIAT had no control over dealers. They chose to not have any control over their dealers in the earlier period. As in all auto franchise agreements the franchisee is required to stock a certain inventory of parts, requirements an service training, and maintain a level of professional operation or they get their franchise dissolved. ... be it McDonalds or an auto dealership.

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