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View Full Version : Danger! Locked Clutch Pedal! WHAT!!!



thekgb
06-26-2013, 05:17 PM
Last night I'm driving home in my 2012 500 Pop (23,000 miles on the OD) and all of a sudden I cannot press down the clutch pedal. I mean. . . it's LOCKED UP! I try with all my might to press it down and it won't budge. I'm thinking that maybe the hydraulics with the clutch have gone haywire. I'm on the freeway (Spaghetti Junction at rush hour--for all of you folks in Atlanta) and I cannot get my Fiat to stop! The clutch would not disengage. I had to pull over on the shoulder to keep from hitting the car in front of me. I shut the engine down. I was then able to then depress the clutch pedal with all of my force by pushing against the back of the seat.

Anyway, I was able to nurse it two miles into the Landmark Fiat dealership here in Atlanta. I just got a call from the service person at the dealership and he tells me that the clutch is BURNED OUT!! He tells me that the clutch is only warrantied for 12,000 miles. Chrysler will not replace the clutch unless there was a mechanical issue. The cost: $2,000! I am hoping that this dealer will be more cooperative. From my communications with the service manager, they have not looked at my car on the rack. He seemed unconcerned with the clutch pedal incident--or maybe he doesn't believe me.

Look, I'm a 55 year old guy who has driven a manual shift all of my life. I can get 80,000 miles out of a clutch with no problem. I love my little Fiat and I drive it like the old man that I am. I'm gentle and I nurse it. I don't hot-rod or drag race at all. I don't ride the clutch at stop lights. I don't ride the clutch on hills.

A couple of months ago, there was an article in Automobile Magazine regarding their long-term test of the new Dodge Dart which uses the same engine and clutch as the Fiat 500. Oddly enough, their long-term test car had a similar issue; yes, a burned-out clutch at less than 20,000 miles!

Questions: Has anyone else had a similar problem? Any problem with the clutch pedal locking up? Anyone aware of clutch failures at low mileage? Do I need to contact an attorney? Help!

Andree
06-26-2013, 06:58 PM
Not seeing any complaints here: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners

You can file one, though.

You can also search other areas, if you want: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/

Fiat500USA
06-26-2013, 08:47 PM
Sorry to hear about your clutch. I am wondering how the dealer determined the clutch is burned out? Through the inspection plate? I'm sure they didn't take it out. Did the clutch ever slip? I would guess if you can't depress the pedal and it is the clutch, something came apart inside the assembly. That *may* be covered, especially if the lining isn't worn.

A clutch can be worn out prematurely by folks who rest their foot on the clutch pedal while driving or who keep the car from rolling back on hills with the clutch. I assume that is not the case, but it has to be mentioned. Good luck and let us know.

thekgb
06-26-2013, 09:13 PM
Sorry to hear about your clutch. I am wondering how the dealer determined the clutch is burned out? Through the inspection plate? I'm sure they didn't take it out. Did the clutch ever slip? I would guess if you can't depress the pedal and it is the clutch, something came apart inside the assembly. That *may* be covered, especially if the lining isn't worn.

A clutch can be worn out prematurely by folks who rest their foot on the clutch pedal while driving or who keep the car from rolling back on hills with the clutch. I assume that is not the case, but it has to be mentioned. Good luck and let us know.

The clutch has never slipped. I never smelled the clutch burning. I never squealed the wheels or raced it.

I learned to drive on an old VW bug. Put the tranny in neutral at stop lights, keep my foot off of the clutch, let it out slowly, etc. My dad taught me well. I even learned to shift gears when the clutch cable broke.

When this happened, the odd thing is that the pedal would not depress at all--not even an inch. It was as if something was wedged in the assembly. I was standing on the pedal and it would not budge. I've never had that happen in 39 years of driving. Hopefully, I will have a chance to meet with the Chrysler tech tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

NGEN
06-27-2013, 11:49 AM
Sorry to hear this! If they end up not covering the repair under warranty, you might as well upgrade to the Eurocompulsion R3T Clutch Kit. Will probably end up costing you less than $2000 and the clutch will last a lot longer anyways. Just a thought. I would need to check to see if it would work for the Pop or not. Chris or Rick from EC would know. Guys?

Thomas
06-27-2013, 04:06 PM
Sorry to hear of your clutch problem. You need to take this further with the dealer. Even if the clutch had worn out prematurely due to driver ineptitude, you would have had some degree of advanced warning with clutch performance etc....sounds like some kind of part failure to me.

thekgb
06-28-2013, 09:34 AM
Sorry to hear this! If they end up not covering the repair under warranty, you might as well upgrade to the Eurocompulsion R3T Clutch Kit. Will probably end up costing you less than $2000 and the clutch will last a lot longer anyways. Just a thought. I would need to check to see if it would work for the Pop or not. Chris or Rick from EC would know. Guys?


Yes, I thought about the Eurocompulsion clutch. First, I have to see if Chrysler will do the right thing and cover this under warranty.

I agree that IF the clutch was going bad due to driver ineptitude, I would have had some indication such as a slipping, burning, etc. This was a sudden failure.

I did meet with the mechanic, Randy, at Landmark Fiat. He's a good guy. He believes that something went wrong internally. He also had difficulty pressing the pedal all the way down and getting the clutch to fully disengage. We are still waiting on the Chrysler rep to show up and give his blessing. For what it's worth, Randy said that he has not seen a clutch failure on a Fiat at just 23,000 miles. This includes the stupid drivers that have no experience with a manual tranny. He figures that its a defective part.

I do hope that Chrysler will cover this under warranty. Otherwise, I'll get it fixed and trade for a Toyota Corolla. Then, I won't have nice things to say about Fiat. . .

BigDaddySRT
06-28-2013, 10:16 AM
I do hope that Chrysler will cover this under warranty. Otherwise, I'll get it fixed and trade for a Toyota Corolla. Then, I won't have nice things to say about Fiat. . .

Ohhhhhh Noz.... not another one of those guys.

You have a 12,000 Mile/ 12 month Manufacture Warranty on the Clutch Assembly.
Let the Studio and Chrysler do their procedures.... and don't jump to conclusions.

I am sure the Studio will do what they can, but at least you realize that there isn't any Clutch Warranty after the Manufacture Warranty.

blackabarth13
06-29-2013, 07:44 PM
I would classify the incident as a catastrophic clutch failure and not a wear issue. I would get in touch with Fiat as they call them salons as opposed to dealerships so they won't be associated with run of the mill dealerships. I would complain about the way the salon is treating you. Hold Fiats feet to the fire and see if they really different. The car hasn't even put on the rack yet and they say its a wear issue without even doing an inspection. If it is a failed clutch and the wear is at a normal level the only reason it failed is because a component(s) failed. The clutch is still out of warranty but with that few of miles they should work with you.

thekgb
07-02-2013, 01:16 PM
The car hasn't even put on the rack yet and they say its a wear issue without even doing an inspection. If it is a failed clutch and the wear is at a normal level the only reason it failed is because a component(s) failed. The clutch is still out of warranty but with that few of miles they should work with you.

I agree with you completely.

As of July 2, the car is still at Landmark Fiat of Atlanta. Frankly, I am surprised at the apathy of the service manager. Apparently, I'm supposed to pay $2,000 to have them put it on the rack and take a look. I know more than a few Fiat owners in the metro Atlanta area that are having problems with the lack of service at this particular dealership. I've been taking my Fiat there for service ever since I purchased the car 18 months ago. They used to provide stellar service; I don't know what has happened.

I have sent letters (via FedEx) to Jason Stoicevich, President of Fiat USA, and Doug Betts, Senior Vice President of Quality, Fiat/Chrysler Group. I will keep you posted on what happens next.

Robert Nixon
07-02-2013, 02:24 PM
Good luck with this, I'm not a mechanic but it sure sounds like a part failure and not just wear.

blackabarth--I thought it was a "studio"?

Chico Valdez
07-03-2013, 03:23 PM
blackabarth--I thought it was a "studio"?
Was talking with a rep at a Chrysler dealership recently, who didn't get a Fiat line 'cause they had no land to place one, and she called it a 'Salon' also. Maybe Fiat changed it up so it wouldn't sound so 'girly'?

William M Jacocks Jr
07-03-2013, 04:55 PM
Did you talk to FiatCares here on the forums?
I agree with you completely.

As of July 2, the car is still at Landmark Fiat of Atlanta. Frankly, I am surprised at the apathy of the service manager. Apparently, I'm supposed to pay $2,000 to have them put it on the rack and take a look. I know more than a few Fiat owners in the metro Atlanta area that are having problems with the lack of service at this particular dealership. I've been taking my Fiat there for service ever since I purchased the car 18 months ago. They used to provide stellar service; I don't know what has happened.

I have sent letters (via FedEx) to Jason Stoicevich, President of Fiat USA, and Doug Betts, Senior Vice President of Quality, Fiat/Chrysler Group. I will keep you posted on what happens next.

Mike S
07-03-2013, 05:24 PM
If you could not push the clutch pedal down does not indicate a worn clutch, it's some other mechanical problem. I'll bet the clutch shows little wear.

FTY
07-03-2013, 08:03 PM
The clutch has never slipped. I never smelled the clutch burning. I never squealed the wheels or raced it.

I learned to drive on an old VW bug. Put the tranny in neutral at stop lights, keep my foot off of the clutch, let it out slowly, etc. My dad taught me well. I even learned to shift gears when the clutch cable broke.

When this happened, the odd thing is that the pedal would not depress at all--not even an inch. It was as if something was wedged in the assembly. I was standing on the pedal and it would not budge. I've never had that happen in 39 years of driving. Hopefully, I will have a chance to meet with the Chrysler tech tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.

Sounds like a bad throw-out bearing or catastrophic failure. I think it will be covered under warranty. If it isn't and would like an upgraded clutch kit please contact us. - Chris

Hi-Performance-Store
07-03-2013, 08:40 PM
This is not a wear issue. A worn out clutch will slip, not lock up. If it's the throwout bearing, then it's defective, as variations in driving style couldn't wear one out on a stock car in 23,000 miles. Assuming the 500 pop uses a hydraulic clutch (I have never worked on one) than this is indicative of a failed clutch slave cylinder. That's what I would check first.

GoFiatGo!
07-03-2013, 08:49 PM
A worn out clutch will slip, not lock up.

Sure it can. My clutch pedal locked to the floor and I could not pull it up. Pulled the transmission from the motor and the clutch was thrashed and melted the material through the fingers. Mind you it was in my RX8 but it all works the same. The Fiat does use a hydraulic system. A quick check to narrow between a master and slave is to put vice grips on the clutch line between the Master and slave cylinder. If you have a stiff pedal the master is working, if you can actuate the pedal you have a bad master.

Hi-Performance-Store
07-03-2013, 09:47 PM
Sure it can. My clutch pedal locked to the floor and I could not pull it up. Pulled the transmission from the motor and the clutch was thrashed and melted the material through the fingers. Mind you it was in my RX8 but it all works the same.

My mistake, I wasn't clear. Yes you can melt a clutch and get it to lock up, but I really don't think that's what's happening here. In the case of your RX8 (cool car) the pedal locked down. In this case it's locked up as in the up position. Here is what the op said "I cannot press down the clutch pedal. I mean. . . it's LOCKED UP!" He describes his driving style as " I drive it like the old man that I am. I'm gentle and I nurse it. I don't hot-rod or drag race at all." Considering that I think it's unlikely, although possible that the clutch melted together. More likely it's a failure in the hydraulics, or mechanism due to a defect and not his driving.

Good tip on how to check the slave cylinder!

Bladecutter
07-06-2013, 05:12 PM
Here's the OP's update on the other forum:


Many, many thanks to everyone here at this forum! I could not have resolved this issue without your help!

UPDATE: July 3, 2013

A flat bed wrecker picked up my car at Landmark Fiat of Atlanta. I had it delivered to a reputable, honest dealer, Fiat of South Atlanta, 32 miles away. Chuck, the Service Manager, confirmed that the clutch would not disengage. Based on his hands-on evaluation, he believes this is a mechanical failure. He will have it fixed next week. Anyway, he could not understand how Landmark Fiat could quote me a price of $2,000. Their price for a clutch replacement: $1,100.

At about 4:00, I received a call from a very nice person at Fiat USA Auburn Hills, Michigan. She had already spoken with the Service Manager at Fiat of South Atlanta. She assured me that Fiat USA would take care of everything! She was also baffled that Landmark Fiat would quote me price of $2,000 for a clutch replacement.

Wow! Talk about customer service!! I LOVE Fiat USA!!

More to come. . .


Just though you guys here that don't visit the other forum would want to know the update.

BC.

blackabarth13
07-06-2013, 08:09 PM
Good luck with this, I'm not a mechanic but it sure sounds like a part failure and not just wear.

blackabarth--I thought it was a "studio"?

I think Lexis calls them salons and it stuck in my head. Studio or salon the main point is that Fiat doesn't want to be considered a typical dealership. The studio I purchased from realized that Fiat has a clean slate in the US and wants to prove its all about the customer.. The people I work with and some family members think Fiat is a high quality European brand that going make Chrysler the quality manufacturer in the US.

Seafarer61
07-06-2013, 08:16 PM
Landmark Fiat has some explaining to do. Good lord.

500ways
07-06-2013, 09:18 PM
Landmark Fiat has some explaining to do. Good lord.

Yes, they have lots of splaining to do. They are either thieves or incompetents.

Fiat500USA
07-06-2013, 10:24 PM
Here's the OP's update on the other forum:




Just though you guys here that don't visit the other forum would want to know the update.

BC.

Thanks for the update. Glad it worked out for our friend.

mike_one2many
01-12-2014, 04:13 PM
Here's the OP's update on the other forum:




Just though you guys here that don't visit the other forum would want to know the update.

BC.

I just went through the same issue with my 2012 500, albeit at 47,000. I suddenly could not get the car into gear, but unfortunately didn't have an option to pick-and-choose dealerships nor to to wait for weeks without a car. The 500 was towed to Heritage Fiat in Owing Mills, MD. The conversation with the service manager went roughly like this:
Service adviser: "Sir, your clutch must be replaced."
Me: "It's under warranty, yes?"
SA: "No, Chrysler won't cover it. It'll be $1,000."
Me: "What's wrong with it?"
SA: "The pressure plate is bent."
Me: "Why isn't it covered?"
SA: "It's a wear-and-tear item."
Me: "But you said it's bent."
SA: "It's worn out."
Me: "But you said it's bent!"
SA: "Sir, I am not going to parse words with you."
Me: "But it's the difference between being and not being under warranty!"

We went around and around for a while. I called Fiat and the gentleman there called the dealer - the outcome pre-determined.

Clearly, it would have been better to wait, and not have the car fixed, and fight it out. But, what's done is done - any advice on getting at least something out of Fiat?

(FWIW, I have the old parts. The disc is about 30% or 40% worn. The fingers of the pressure plate are BENT, visibly so.)

Tweak
01-12-2014, 09:54 PM
Welcome to the forum.

You could try contacting the FIAT rep here on the forum named FiatCares (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?1368-FiatCares) (Jonathan).

dabears
01-12-2014, 10:24 PM
my clutch went out at 46,700 miles..weird. parts only cost $160 at moparonlineparts and you can machine the flywheel for $40. i burned my clutch out in a foot of snow. it was my bad i was shifting for hours.

slowbird
01-13-2014, 06:06 AM
This is awful!!

Even on the Abarths the clutches are wearing out prematurely?!

BigDaddySRT
01-13-2014, 07:58 AM
This is awful!!

Even on the Abarths the clutches are wearing out prematurely?!

What's your definition of "prematurely"?

slowbird
01-13-2014, 04:22 PM
What's your definition of "prematurely"?

The same as Websters.

Before the proper, usual, or intended time.

Razer500
01-15-2014, 10:25 PM
I have no idea how many manual cars I've driven, but I've owned six now. I've never, ever had to work on a clutch at all. 1973 Datsun truck, 83' Porsche, 89 SHO, 97 Ford, 2000 Ford, and finally my Abarth. I owned many if not all of those to the 100,000 mile mark with no issues. The Porsche and SHO I was not gentle on at all, no problems ever. Both were over 100k when I sold them easy, I will be super ticked if I have issues with my Abarth as gentle as I am on it.

It really seems that Fiat needs to address these issues as there are way too many reports of these failures at this point already.

Himesed
01-16-2014, 02:26 AM
hi thekgb, i fell really bad to hear about the failure of your clutch plate. most of the time it is due to the improper functioning of the pressure plate. you should get it check for the pressure plate. Wish you Safe Drive in future....thewave

MAZ
01-16-2014, 10:23 AM
I do not believe that a 'burned out' or otherwise damaged clutch disc or PP will seize the clutch pedal.
Sounds like a hydraulic issue. Slave/Master piston stuck?

(These clutches are hydraulically operated correct?)

BigDaddySRT
01-16-2014, 03:05 PM
The same as Websters.

Before the proper, usual, or intended time.

Then what is your definition of "intended time" and "wearing out prematurely"?

BigDaddySRT
01-16-2014, 03:08 PM
I do not believe that a 'burned out' or otherwise damaged clutch disc or PP will seize the clutch pedal.
Sounds like a hydraulic issue. Slave/Master piston stuck?

(These clutches are hydraulically operated correct?)

Yes... The ABARTH is Hydraulically operated, just like the Manual Transmission DART.

You might have also heard that the first set of DARTs (All the First Run were Manual Transmission Rallye's) had a problem with blowing out the Clutch Master Cylinders.
(Bad Batch of Clutch Masters)

slowbird
01-16-2014, 04:13 PM
I will be super ticked if I have issues with my Abarth as gentle as I am on it.


^^ Yeah, my thoughts exactly. ^^


Then what is your definition of "intended time" and "wearing out prematurely"?

At the mileage that victims of these problems are reporting it occured at.

Mattrstone99
07-07-2014, 12:17 PM
My car has the same problem. Last week this happened to me and they are faulting me for my lack of driving skills. I've driven manual cars for most of my 17 years of driving and haven't lost a clutch yet. Fiat corporate was a joke. When I called them to investigate this failure further they said the dealer said it is wear and tear so that is final. I am frustrated that fiat takes no faith in the fact that this car has a defect and that they are blaming me. I could've crashed my car as the clutch wouldn't disengage at all and kept rolling forward. All the gears still work just fine and they said the plate is worn. But they have to replace the whole clutch not just the plate. Another ridiculous cost for their error. I had to keep my foot on the clutch and brake just to avoid an accident. And that was my fault.... Shame on fiat. I hope you have a better outcome than I do with your clutch.

Braddsten
08-27-2014, 12:03 PM
This exact same thing happened to me this week! I am at 28,000 miles and almost had a horrible car accident on the way home from work because of the clutch locking up. The dealership has told me that the clutch and clutch housing are only covered for 12,000 miles and that it was not their choice but I could call the warranty department at 800-992-1997 if I would like. The warranty department then told me that this had nothing to do with mileage but that since the dealership had decided not to cover the clutch that this was a final decision and there was no appeals process and then claimed she did not have a supervisor. She continued to say that this is a problem that she is familiar with on the Fiat 500 around my mileage. I have never had a clutch go out and clearly did not "burn out" my clutch. I love my car and am a huge fan of the car, but Fiat does not seem to care about their customers or the safety of their customers.

bomba
08-27-2014, 02:36 PM
These stories are insane. Frankly, this is why we have courts and judges. One of you guys should take them to small claims court. I feel for you.

FiatCares
08-27-2014, 05:07 PM
This exact same thing happened to me this week! I am at 28,000 miles and almost had a horrible car accident on the way home from work because of the clutch locking up. The dealership has told me that the clutch and clutch housing are only covered for 12,000 miles and that it was not their choice but I could call the warranty department at 800-992-1997 if I would like. The warranty department then told me that this had nothing to do with mileage but that since the dealership had decided not to cover the clutch that this was a final decision and there was no appeals process and then claimed she did not have a supervisor. She continued to say that this is a problem that she is familiar with on the Fiat 500 around my mileage. I have never had a clutch go out and clearly did not "burn out" my clutch. I love my car and am a huge fan of the car, but Fiat does not seem to care about their customers or the safety of their customers.

Please PM me with your VIN, Id like to look at this file myself.

moosestang
08-27-2014, 06:06 PM
hmmm, I thought the clutch pedal felt very, very light in this car. Maybe because it's weak? I blamed the somewhat jerking acceleration on the turbo, but maybe it's the clutch slipping ever so slightly.

oneflute1oboe
12-05-2014, 05:31 PM
This happened to me yesterday.

I was driving along, went to shift from 3rd to 4th, and the clutch petal wouldn't depress. It would go the first 1/3 or maybe 1/2 way and then encounter great resistance. I was able to shift into neutral and get to the side of the road. It was a terrifying experience- what if I had been on the freeway, or in an area with no shoulder?

I called my mechanic who is excellent. He advised me that since my car is 2 years old and has only 21,000 miles that it would be under warranty and that I should get a tow to the dealer, which I did.

Upon arriving at Champion Fiat in Downey, a service manager informed me that the clutch was no longer under warranty, and if the problem was the disk or another wear-and-tear item, that I would have to pay for repairs. The warranty would only cover a defective part. He wanted me to sign something to authorize an inspection which I would not have to pay for if the problem happened to be one which was covered under the warranty.

I called my own mechanic again and he advised me to call Fiat customer service to verify my warranty terms, which I did. It is correct, the clutch is covered under a more limited 12 month/12,000 mile warranty.

At this point I weighed my options. I am certain that this catastrophic failure is in no way due to wear and tear. However, I felt that the dealership was probably going to claim that it was and stick me with a huge bill. If I authorized them to tear down my transmission "just to find out", what would be my options once it was apart and I was already out a couple of hundred bucks? I had a bad feeling about the place.

I called another tow truck and had the car moved to an independent transmission guy who my mechanic recommended. I am awaiting his diagnosis as I type this. He told me that he did research on forums such as this one and found that other people had had similar problems, and he has a couple of guesses as to what it might be. I am finding that I probably made the right call. His estimate for me so far is less than half of what dealerships have gotten out of some other people.

It appears that this problems is also reported several times on this site: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners

Tweak
12-06-2014, 11:55 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Been reading on the forums about some clutch related issues, sad for such a new vehicle. Good luck with the repairs!

ghostdog
12-07-2014, 12:23 AM
What is the build date of your car? There is a sticker on the side of the driver's door with the month and date your car was built. It is a factor.

oneflute1oboe
12-07-2014, 01:45 PM
I can call the shop tomorrow and have them read that info for me. It is a 2012 Sport but it sounds like you're talking about something much more specific.

ghostdog
12-07-2014, 02:20 PM
I can call the shop tomorrow and have them read that info for me. It is a 2012 Sport but it sounds like you're talking about something much more specific. I own a 2012 pop built in May of that year. So far my clutch is fine, but it concerns me that it could fail. I've been following these clutch failures as long as they've been posted on the two main forums. It seems to happen on earily builds of 2012. I've been collecting build dates of these clutch failures, just as Fiat must be. So far the range is from December of 2011 to March 2012. If I know this Fiat knows this. It is also common for the failure to occur around 24,000 miles.

How long will Fiat ignore this very dangerous failure of the pressure plate? It would be prudent to address it before someone gets hurt, or worse.

oneflute1oboe
12-08-2014, 04:43 PM
I own a 2012 pop built in May of that year. So far my clutch is fine, but it concerns me that it could fail. I've been following these clutch failures as long as they've been posted on the two main forums. It seems to happen on earily builds of 2012. I've been collecting build dates of these clutch failures, just as Fiat must be. So far the range is from December of 2011 to March 2012. If I know this Fiat knows this. It is also common for the failure to occur around 24,000 miles.

How long will Fiat ignore this very dangerous failure of the pressure plate? It would be prudent to address it before someone gets hurt, or worse.

I just heard back from the shop that is doing repairs on my car. Unfortunately I forgot to ask them to read the build date on the car, but I will be able to report that to you after I get the car back. They found that the problem is indeed a bent pressure plate. The dealer who is sending them the replacement part has stated that the new part is "updated" so that it will not fail. Fiat DEFINITELY knows what is going on here and dealerships have ripped off who knows how many of us claiming "wear and tear". I was very nearly one of them and am lucky to have escaped to a competent, knowlegeable, and honest specialist who is charging me way less than what others have paid at dealerships.

If this failure occurs on the freeway or in traffic or in an area with no shoulder, it is extremely dangerous.

We need to make a scene with this. Any ideas? I am going to write to Fiat corporate once I have all of my receipts (repair, rental) and info gathered.

ghostdog
12-08-2014, 08:40 PM
I just heard back from the shop that is doing repairs on my car. Unfortunately I forgot to ask them to read the build date on the car, but I will be able to report that to you after I get the car back. They found that the problem is indeed a bent pressure plate. The dealer who is sending them the replacement part has stated that the new part is "updated" so that it will not fail. Fiat DEFINITELY knows what is going on here and dealerships have ripped off who knows how many of us claiming "wear and tear". I was very nearly one of them and am lucky to have escaped to a competent, knowlegeable, and honest specialist who is charging me way less than what others have paid at dealerships.

If this failure occurs on the freeway or in traffic or in an area with no shoulder, it is extremely dangerous.

We need to make a scene with this. Any ideas? I am going to write to Fiat corporate once I have all of my receipts (repair, rental) and info gathered. I am a big fan of Fiat. I have supported them fully on another forum with lengthy, professionally written pieces, but to any corporation the public is nothing more than statistics. We are the worker bees that keep the corporations solvent. We have no names, we have no faces. We are just lists of numbers, probabilities and projections. If some of the worker bees don't make it back to the hive, well, that's a projection too. We have to take a stand or we will be ignored.

I know that Fair Cares is well aware of the pressure plate problem, but they work for Fiat and are under orders I have to imagine not to say too much. They have a job, they get a check, they are obligated to support Fiat's silence. There are several examples to be found of Fiat Cares being very helpful with owners who have had the pressure plate failure. Good for them, but that does nothing to protect those owners who will have their clutch freeze on a busy highway with no place to pull off and no help in sight.

What can we do? It depends on how many owners speak up. Not many people have an interest in taking a stand, which is another statistic. I suppose someone will take Fiat to court at some point. Maybe there will be a wrongful death lawsuit eventually. Like all corporations I am sure they anticipate it. It's built into their projections. In the meantime they will stay quiet, until they start to feel it in their bottom line via bad publicity.

FiatCares
12-09-2014, 03:37 PM
I just heard back from the shop that is doing repairs on my car. Unfortunately I forgot to ask them to read the build date on the car, but I will be able to report that to you after I get the car back. They found that the problem is indeed a bent pressure plate. The dealer who is sending them the replacement part has stated that the new part is "updated" so that it will not fail. Fiat DEFINITELY knows what is going on here and dealerships have ripped off who knows how many of us claiming "wear and tear". I was very nearly one of them and am lucky to have escaped to a competent, knowlegeable, and honest specialist who is charging me way less than what others have paid at dealerships.

If this failure occurs on the freeway or in traffic or in an area with no shoulder, it is extremely dangerous.

We need to make a scene with this. Any ideas? I am going to write to Fiat corporate once I have all of my receipts (repair, rental) and info gathered.

If the vehicle is beyond the 12/12 warranty , it would not be considered for reimbursement, especially since you had an independent facility do the repair. Feel free to write a letter, with all receipts, proofs of payments and rental, we would be glad to read it and contact you, but its very unlikely that out of warranty reimbursement would be given. If you would like the build date of your vehicle, simply send me a PM with your VIN.

oneflute1oboe
12-09-2014, 10:57 PM
If the vehicle is beyond the 12/12 warranty , it would not be considered for reimbursement, especially since you had an independent facility do the repair. Feel free to write a letter, with all receipts, proofs of payments and rental, we would be glad to read it and contact you, but its very unlikely that out of warranty reimbursement would be given. If you would like the build date of your vehicle, simply send me a PM with your VIN.

Lol. Thanks for playing. ;)

ghostdog
12-09-2014, 11:55 PM
Which parts are you having replaced?

I am seriously thinking of having the pressure plate replaced before it fails, if it is going to fail. I really don't want to go through that senario on the side of the roads that I tend to drive.

doverosx
12-10-2014, 01:04 AM
jesus christ, this is how pressure plates fail in just about every single car ever made. On a hydraulic system, the clutch will not fall if it has failed, that is a bad diagnostic in my opinion.

What if you were driving a Toyota and the same thing happened at the same mileage? I recommend being professional and reasonable, FIAT has proven in more ways in one that they are perfectly reasonable people if you treat them this way.

ghostdog
12-10-2014, 11:19 AM
jesus christ, this is how pressure plates fail in just about every single car ever made. On a hydraulic system, the clutch will not fall if it has failed, that is a bad diagnostic in my opinion.

What if you were driving a Toyota and the same thing happened at the same mileage? I recommend being professional and reasonable, FIAT has proven in more ways in one that they are perfectly reasonable people if you treat them this way. The pressure plate failure is happening is a distinct group of early 2012 builds. I image that the poorly made pressure plate in these cars has a number stamped on it that can be linked to a VIN number, or at least should have. Since the pressure plate in question has been improved upon it would be a simple matter for Fiat to contact owners who have cars with the defective pressure plate and offer to replace it. That seems reasonable and prudent.

This has nothing to do with brand. All car manufactures have parts problems. Just look at GM and the ignition switch fires. They knew about the problem for years and did nothing. 38 people dead so far. All of the deaths preventable if GM had acted responsibly.

I remain as much a fan of Fiat as ever. I have to imagine that at the corporate level they are having discussions about this problem, but I'm sure they have a lot to discuss and this may not be as important to them as it is to an owner who has experienced this dangerous failure, or wonders if they will someday, like me.

oneflute1oboe
12-12-2014, 05:42 PM
I own a 2012 pop built in May of that year. So far my clutch is fine, but it concerns me that it could fail. I've been following these clutch failures as long as they've been posted on the two main forums. It seems to happen on earily builds of 2012. I've been collecting build dates of these clutch failures, just as Fiat must be. So far the range is from December of 2011 to March 2012. If I know this Fiat knows this. It is also common for the failure to occur around 24,000 miles.

How long will Fiat ignore this very dangerous failure of the pressure plate? It would be prudent to address it before someone gets hurt, or worse.

My build date reads September 2011. As I understand it, this is earlier than most of the others that have had this problem.

Now that it is repaired, my transmission feels better than the day I drove it off the lot. The clutch is not as light and shifts from 1-2-3 are smoother.

Off topic, I drove my friend's heavily modded Abarth yesterday. It was a blast!

ghostdog
12-13-2014, 05:21 PM
My build date reads September 2011. As I understand it, this is earlier than most of the others that have had this problem.

Now that it is repaired, my transmission feels better than the day I drove it off the lot. The clutch is not as light and shifts from 1-2-3 are smoother.

Off topic, I drove my friend's heavily modded Abarth yesterday. It was a blast!

Your build date moves the range one month earlier than I had know before. The range is now September 2011 to March 2012. That represents 8 cars. I am still collecting build dates.

What parts were replaced besides the pressure plate?

oneflute1oboe
12-16-2014, 05:16 PM
Your build date moves the range one month earlier than I had know before. The range is now September 2011 to March 2012. That represents 8 cars. I am still collecting build dates.

What parts were replaced besides the pressure plate?

They replaced the clutch bearing as well as the pressure plate.

PrimaWebster
12-26-2014, 12:43 PM
Wow that's not good

oneflute1oboe
01-30-2015, 04:41 PM
I have some news on what happened with my pressure plate failure/repair.

Upon completion of the repairs (~$875) I spent about three hours crafting a letter to Fiat/Chrysler Corporate detailing what had happened and a request to be reimbursed for repairs and for the rental while my car was in the shop. I roughly followed the guidelines here: http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/complaint/complaint-letter.shtml and included copies of receipts.

I expected to be told to go eat a lemon, but they sent me a check!! The guy from Chrysler who called me agreed that the dealership should have handled it as a warranty repair.

I would chalk it up as part luck and part letter-writing skills. I would encourage anyone who has been charged for repairs that should have been warrantied to give it a shot.

jguerdat
01-31-2015, 08:59 AM
A somewhat similar story here - we had a new '88 Civic that started to require frequent valve adjustments. Took it in and was told that there was a TSB on the problem but the dealer wouldn't do it for free because the car was slightly out of warranty. We had an extended warranty (won't ever do that again) and they wouldn't help, either. Called the Honda zone office and they told me, "Of course, we'll fix it for free."

I wouldn't hesitate to call or write for something like this...

White Fang
03-09-2015, 03:54 PM
I'm responding in order to document another clutch failure for a 2012 Fiat 500 (Sport). I took delivery in August 2012, and it has 38,000 miles. Today I'm paying my local Fiat dealership to replace my car's clutch (including pressure plate) today, after it began to cause trouble last Wednesday. It was driving like normal with no indication of a problem, until after I came home from work. Hopped into the vehicle to run an errand, and from the start it was difficult to push in the clutch pedal and get the stick into gear. I managed to drive it to the dealership, where a technician diagnosed the issue. When I looked up clutch failures online, I was surprised to see so many others with the same model and year with the same problem! I drove a Ford with manual transmission for 10 years without any clutch or transmission work required. Feeling disappointed.

oneflute1oboe
03-09-2015, 04:23 PM
I'm responding in order to document another clutch failure for a 2012 Fiat 500 (Sport). I took delivery in August 2012, and it has 38,000 miles. Today I'm paying my local Fiat dealership to replace my car's clutch (including pressure plate) today, after it began to cause trouble last Wednesday. It was driving like normal with no indication of a problem, until after I came home from work. Hopped into the vehicle to run an errand, and from the start it was difficult to push in the clutch pedal and get the stick into gear. I managed to drive it to the dealership, where a technician diagnosed the issue. When I looked up clutch failures online, I was surprised to see so many others with the same model and year with the same problem! I drove a Ford with manual transmission for 10 years without any clutch or transmission work required. Feeling disappointed.

If I were you, I would read up thoroughly on the issue, call them up, state what you have learned and ask that the repair be covered under warranty. If you sound like you are knowledgeable and are going to be a pain in the butt they might do it just to get rid of you/keep you quiet.

little-red-pop-2011
05-09-2015, 11:23 AM
I had a clutch failure last night and am trying to arm myself for a discussion with Fiat this morning by reading and learning. My situation is a little different in that my 500 is 2011 (not sure of build date but has 30,000 miles only). Also, the pedal would go down and I was shifting from second to third, building up some speed on a straight road but the stick would suddenly not go into third—at all, or back to second. Losing speed, it finally went back into second, but not easily. At the side of the road, trying to figure out what was going wrong, I was able to get it to shift into reverse (perhaps stupidly) and there it is now 100% locked and I can't go anywhere. Clutch pedal still goes down though. There was a burning smell when I got out. Never smelled that before and the car has been perfect.

The only other really weird thing that happened was just before this took place I was getting ready to gear down from third to second at at light and my foot slipped off the clutch pedal. It happened super fast—maybe I was being lazy or my shoe soles too slippery— but the car suddenly went back in gear, too low for the speed, and lurched forward. Did I break something with my bad shift? Or did something break and cause my foot to fall off the pedal? I've been driving standard since 1984, don't ride the clutch and am actually good at this, normally. Any ideas what happened? And what it's going to cost me?

Trunkout
05-09-2015, 11:35 AM
I had a clutch failure last night and am trying to arm myself for a discussion with Fiat this morning by reading and learning. My situation is a little different in that my 500 is 2011 (not sure of build date but has 30,000 miles only). Also, the pedal would go down and I was shifting from second to third, building up some speed on a straight road but the stick would suddenly not go into third—at all, or back to second. Losing speed, it finally went back into second, but not easily. At the side of the road, trying to figure out what was going wrong, I was able to get it to shift into reverse (perhaps stupidly) and there it is now 100% locked and I can't go anywhere. Clutch pedal still goes down though. There was a burning smell when I got out. Never smelled that before and the car has been perfect.

The only other really weird thing that happened was just before this took place I was getting ready to gear down from third to second at at light and my foot slipped off the clutch pedal. It happened super fast—maybe I was being lazy or my shoe soles too slippery— but the car suddenly went back in gear, too low for the speed, and lurched forward. Did I break something with my bad shift? Or did something break and cause my foot to fall off the pedal? I've been driving standard since 1984, don't ride the clutch and am actually good at this, normally. Any ideas what happened? And what it's going to cost me?

That's your first post?
"What happened? What's it gonna cost?"
TAKE IT IN.

little-red-pop-2011
05-09-2015, 11:54 AM
I feel that reply was a little rude. Did I break a rule? If you read, my first question is "Any idea what happened?" which is to say, anyone have ideas why the gears are totally jammed. Sorry if I was wasting anyone's time.


That's your first post?
"What happened? What's it gonna cost?"
TAKE IT IN.

Trunkout
05-09-2015, 11:57 AM
I feel that reply was a little rude. Did I break a rule? If you read, my first question is "Any idea what happened?" which is to say, anyone have ideas why the gears are totally jammed. Sorry if I was wasting anyone's time.

It's nearly impossible to diagnose online, let alone estimate repair costs.
You need to take it to the dealer. I don't see another option.

little-red-pop-2011
05-09-2015, 12:41 PM
I understand that, and I intend to take it in today. In the meantime I was hoping to see if there were any shared experiences around this so I'm armed with information in case of BS coming from the services department.


It's nearly impossible to diagnose online, let alone estimate repair costs.
You need to take it to the dealer. I don't see another option.

Tweak
05-09-2015, 03:16 PM
I understand that, and I intend to take it in today. In the meantime I was hoping to see if there were any shared experiences around this so I'm armed with information in case of BS coming from the services department.

Welcome to the forum.

Since you are in a 2011 and at 30K you are beyond the 12K.1yr warranty for the clutch so it'll def cost you something. That amount I am unsure of but I can tell you it'll almost certainly be cheaper if you locate your own parts and get them installed. I know people are upgrading their cars with stronger parts so if they make one that fits the Pop that'd be something to check into so hopefully you do not have this happen again. Maybe (likely) shopping around for a repair facility and sourcing your own parts will save you some $$$. Good luck!

FiatCares
05-11-2015, 02:18 PM
I had a clutch failure last night and am trying to arm myself for a discussion with Fiat this morning by reading and learning. My situation is a little different in that my 500 is 2011 (not sure of build date but has 30,000 miles only). Also, the pedal would go down and I was shifting from second to third, building up some speed on a straight road but the stick would suddenly not go into third—at all, or back to second. Losing speed, it finally went back into second, but not easily. At the side of the road, trying to figure out what was going wrong, I was able to get it to shift into reverse (perhaps stupidly) and there it is now 100% locked and I can't go anywhere. Clutch pedal still goes down though. There was a burning smell when I got out. Never smelled that before and the car has been perfect.

The only other really weird thing that happened was just before this took place I was getting ready to gear down from third to second at at light and my foot slipped off the clutch pedal. It happened super fast—maybe I was being lazy or my shoe soles too slippery— but the car suddenly went back in gear, too low for the speed, and lurched forward. Did I break something with my bad shift? Or did something break and cause my foot to fall off the pedal? I've been driving standard since 1984, don't ride the clutch and am actually good at this, normally. Any ideas what happened? And what it's going to cost me?

Hi little-red-pop-2011,
Could you please PM me your VIN#, contact information, and the name of the FIAT studio you are currently working with so that I can look into your concerns for you?

Doohickie
05-11-2015, 02:46 PM
I feel that reply was a little rude. Did I break a rule? If you read, my first question is "Any idea what happened?" which is to say, anyone have ideas why the gears are totally jammed. Sorry if I was wasting anyone's time.

Your first post was fine. We have had issues from time to time of people popping in and trolling about problems with Fiats that are kind of suspect; the MO is someone posts out of the blue with a major problem and proceeds to bad-mouth the car. That said, work with FiatCares, who's an actual employee of FCA. Good luck.

little-red-pop-2011
05-12-2015, 01:11 PM
Hello Fiat Cares, Thanks for asking. Here is the VIN: 3C3CFFAR8CT111242. Currently it is at Fiat Vancouver on Main Street awaiting diagnosis. I should hear something from them by tomorrow.


Your first post was fine. We have had issues from time to time of people popping in and trolling about problems with Fiats that are kind of suspect; the MO is someone posts out of the blue with a major problem and proceeds to bad-mouth the car. That said, work with FiatCares, who's an actual employee of FCA. Good luck.

little-red-pop-2011
05-16-2015, 04:45 PM
Great news, and thanks for the help everyone. Fiat installed a new clutch assembly and just charged for shop time. They said even though it wasn't under warranty it was "kind of a known problem" so I think I got off lightly. It was about $580 all together in the end.

Tweak
05-16-2015, 07:33 PM
Great news, and thanks for the help everyone. Fiat installed a new clutch assembly and just charged for shop time. They said even though it wasn't under warranty it was "kind of a known problem" so I think I got off lightly. It was about $580 all together in the end.

Great news and appreciate you dropping in to let us know the outcome.

Andrealk
07-07-2015, 10:27 AM
Hi There. I'm new to the forums, but have a 2012 Abarth. Purchased in May 2012. 47K miles, almost entirely highway.

Friday, get into my car, and the clutch pedal goes all the way to the floor, and the car won't go into gear. No warning. No gradual wear. Just, game over. I get it towed to the local studio and they just called to tell me the clutch assembly is completely shot. $2600 repair. (Not warrantied.) I'm in shock. How, if it's not the hydraulics, does the pedal just go to the floor? I don't ride the clutch, and near all those miles were on cruise control. They are saying "Metal on Metal." How is a clutch not made to last longer than 47K miles?

This all sounds like a known issue, and I'm pissed. He tried to tell me it was "all the traffic driving." Yeah, except I didn't drive in traffic. And my other car has 163K miles on the original clutch. I'd like to talk to someone at Fiat on this, but I'm not sure where to start. (Hence, I'm here.)

FiatCares
07-07-2015, 04:02 PM
Hi Andrea,

I'm sorry to hear about this experience! Can you PM me your VIN, contact info, and the name of the studio you're currently working with so that I can look into your concerns further?

ongstad.rick@gmail.com
07-08-2015, 04:55 PM
has anyone else had premature clutch wearing?

SLYTLYPSYCHO
07-14-2015, 05:07 PM
you can add me to the list, i have a 2012 pop and on my way back to work the clutch wouldn't go in at all. managed to get it to the side of the road and tow it to my parents to sit over the weekend because their house was closest and the service department at the dealership was closed. its going to cost $270 for the diagnostic fee. haven't heard back yet on what exactly is wrong with it but it sounds exactly like what everyone else is describing and if its some kind of factory defect id like to know so i can try to get it covered or at least talk down the price.

slowbird
07-14-2015, 05:20 PM
you can add me to the list, i have a 2012 pop and on my way back to work the clutch wouldn't go in at all. managed to get it to the side of the road and tow it to my parents to sit over the weekend because their house was closest and the service department at the dealership was closed. its going to cost $270 for the diagnostic fee. haven't heard back yet on what exactly is wrong with it but it sounds exactly like what everyone else is describing and if its some kind of factory defect id like to know so i can try to get it covered or at least talk down the price.

What's the mileage on your car?

Chances are it's the pressure plate that failed. It's not uncommon but usually not covered.

SLYTLYPSYCHO
07-14-2015, 05:59 PM
25,799 miles

oneflute1oboe
07-15-2015, 12:09 PM
25,799 miles

Yup, that is a pretty typical presentation of the defective pressure plate. Another one bites the dust. Fight them tooth and nail on this.

SLYTLYPSYCHO
07-15-2015, 01:28 PM
i brought this to their attention when i dropped the car off. just heard back from the dealership and its only going to cost me $250 so i'm happy.

bone_chaos
09-15-2015, 10:03 AM
Hello, I'm new to this forum as well, but stumbled upon it while looking up some more information on what happened to me.
Seems like very similar stories, yesterday I was driving and all of a sudden, I couldn't get the clutch in and was not able to shift from 1st to 2nd. Luckily I had enough momentum to get into a grocery store parking lot, and once the car was parked and turned off, I was able to shift into first. So I tried starting again, I COULD NOT move from 1st to 2nd and the clutch was very difficult to push in.

I was towed to the Chrysler Dealership, and I get a call today that they don't know what the issue is and needed my permission to remove the Transmission to see what the deal was. I'm looking at $1300 if it's a worn out Clutch. I have a Fiat 500 Lounge it's a 2012 and has 47,000km on it.

I don't think this will be under warranty however, not 1 month ago, I have my vehicle inspected and it passed with flying colours.... so which is why I'm a little dissapointed regarding it 'maybe' being a worn out clutch.

jsotiris
10-07-2015, 11:55 AM
I'm one more person to add to this common complaint!
My 2012 FIAT500c had clutch failure last week.
I got into my car to run some errands and it started fine although I did feel the clutch was a bit stiff. I got up to 3rd gear and drove 2 blocks toward the intersection. As I tried to shift the gear to neutral at the red light I could not change gears. Luckily I pressed down hard enough pressing on the breaks and managed to bring the gear to neutral. I put my hazard lights on and managed to roll to the side of the road.
I immediately called my FIAT service center in Owings Mills MD and told them what had happened. They instructed me to call the complimentary tow service.

I got a call on Monday morning saying that the pressure plate and clutch needed to be replaced and it would cost ~$1000. I asked the service advisor why it wasn't covered by the warranty and he said that it was considered a wear and tear issue - in other words, it was my fault the clutch froze at 32,000 miles.

I contacted Erica from FIATCares and she asked me to give her the VIN number of my car and said she would look into it.
Her reply:
I spoke with your service advisor and he provided me with the diagnosis for the vehicle. I understand that it needs a new pressure plate and a new clutch, but the diagnosed cause of the failure does not match that of the previous cases that I have assisted in. The technician does not believe that this was caused by a defect on the manufacturer's part and therefore I am unable to provide assistance with the repair.

No clutch should wear out within 3 years and ~30k miles when it has had only one driver with experience in driving a manual transmission vehicle.

Whether or not the problem is exactly the same as those she has previously assisted with, it is quite clear from public accounts that 2012 Fiat 500's exhibit premature clutch wear problems.

In addition to the clutch issue, I've encountered additional issues with my car almost from the very beginning, when it only had a few hundred miles on it. I've had numerous false-start issues with the ignition, I've even had a incident where my engine completely shut off while driving! Luckily this occurred while driving in the city. Imagine how dangerous that would have been if I were driving 70 mph on a highway.

Any advice from the community on how to proceed on this issue would be greatly appreciated!

Tweak
10-08-2015, 07:23 PM
I wanted to welcome you to the forum and say sorry to read of the issues. I don't know what advice to offer however as this is a common situation and the results vary so much with every instance. Hope someone can offer useful advice and it works out in the end.

StevenB
11-02-2015, 07:10 PM
Add me to the list. And stretch out the expected production dates.

I bought a used 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth about 2 months ago. The car had a little more than 7k miles on it and I have babied it ever since. Love my little thing, which to date only has ~9700 miles. I was on a drive yesterday from Boston to NYC. Driving late around 10pm, not many cars on the road, and I was coming up on some construction so I shifted into neutral to coast before hitting the construction. As soon as i pressed on the clutch, it stayed down on the floor completely depressed and I was not able to lift it. I was already in neutral but could not shift into any gear, so I pulled over and shut it off. The clutch finally released, but now I couldn't even start the car because the clutch wouldn't engage. Stepping down as hard as I could, no gears would engage. I was stuck 100+ miles from my home, and it was almost midnight. I was able to tow to the nearest fiat and several hours later, managed my way home. Service department called me today telling me there is definitely clutch issues but it might be wear and tear, and if it is, costs would come out pocket. My confusion is a) what the hell could of happened, and b) how could I have clutch issues with less than 10k on it, with experience, no riding the clutch, that would not be covered under warranty? Please help!

Tweak
11-02-2015, 10:17 PM
Add me to the list. And stretch out the expected production dates.

I bought a used 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth about 2 months ago. The car had a little more than 7k miles on it and I have babied it ever since. Love my little thing, which to date only has ~9700 miles. I was on a drive yesterday from Boston to NYC. Driving late around 10pm, not many cars on the road, and I was coming up on some construction so I shifted into neutral to coast before hitting the construction. As soon as i pressed on the clutch, it stayed down on the floor completely depressed and I was not able to lift it. I was already in neutral but could not shift into any gear, so I pulled over and shut it off. The clutch finally released, but now I couldn't even start the car because the clutch wouldn't engage. Stepping down as hard as I could, no gears would engage. I was stuck 100+ miles from my home, and it was almost midnight. I was able to tow to the nearest fiat and several hours later, managed my way home. Service department called me today telling me there is definitely clutch issues but it might be wear and tear, and if it is, costs would come out pocket. My confusion is a) what the hell could of happened, and b) how could I have clutch issues with less than 10k on it, with experience, no riding the clutch, that would not be covered under warranty? Please help!

Welcome to the forum.

Hope you can get the problem(s) resolved quickly! I thought someone stated they are warranted up to 12K miles but no 100% certain.

StevenB
11-03-2015, 08:06 PM
So just an update. Basically, according to the dealership, the clutch disk tore apart which destroyed the clutch assembly completely and even shred the flywheel. They didn't mention anything about a bad pressure plate, other than the damage that was done by the clutch plate tearing apart. They did deem it mechanical failure. However, they told me about the 12month/12K mile warranty, and since its whatever comes first and my car is a 2013, they would not cover it under the warranty. Obviously this upset me tremendously, and I scrambled to find out if the dealership I bought it from would cover it. Long story short, dealership I bought it from was no help, Fiat called me back saying in NY state, cars are covered for 2yrs/18K miles by law after they are purchased, and that should cover it. So both good and bad news, im glad they're covering it, but I'm a little disappointed that Fiat denied responsibility on a car that hasn't even reached 10K miles on a serious and potentially extremely dangerous mechanical issue.

On another note, picking up a new intake for said vehicle tomorrow, so I hope the repairs are speedy and I can get it back soon!

bone_chaos
11-04-2015, 09:02 AM
Hello, I'm new to this forum as well, but stumbled upon it while looking up some more information on what happened to me.
Seems like very similar stories, yesterday I was driving and all of a sudden, I couldn't get the clutch in and was not able to shift from 1st to 2nd. Luckily I had enough momentum to get into a grocery store parking lot, and once the car was parked and turned off, I was able to shift into first. So I tried starting again, I COULD NOT move from 1st to 2nd and the clutch was very difficult to push in.

I was towed to the Chrysler Dealership, and I get a call today that they don't know what the issue is and needed my permission to remove the Transmission to see what the deal was. I'm looking at $1300 if it's a worn out Clutch. I have a Fiat 500 Lounge it's a 2012 and has 47,000km on it.

I don't think this will be under warranty however, not 1 month ago, I have my vehicle inspected and it passed with flying colours.... so which is why I'm a little dissapointed regarding it 'maybe' being a worn out clutch.

UPDATE
After three days of the dealership looking at my Fiat they had concluded that it was a broken clutch and broken pressure plates. They told me to open a case with Fiat Canada and they would take photos of the parts to prove that it was NOT wear and tear... because it was certainly something that just broke. I spoke with a representative and they opened a case and were waiting for the dealership to send the photos.

Within 3 more days I received a call from Fiat Canada informing me that the coverage for the clutch had expired, but out of good faith and since they did not notice any wear and tear, they were going to pay for the repairs in full.

Honestly, if the dealership wasn't on my side, hadn't told me what to do or taken photographs, I doubt I would have the same story. So my advice to anyone else that this happens to, ask the dealership to take photos for proof!

Also, 2 weeks after I got this all fixed, I got hit by a bus (No one was hurt) but damages were pretty bad, so I ended up with a brand new Fiat in the end. Hopefully the same issue doesn't happen on this 2015 Fiat 500 Lounge.

BBQ Keith
11-19-2015, 08:30 PM
My wife has a 2012 and it is in right now for the same thing. They are trying to charge her $1600.00 for a new clutch and it only has 21K miles on it

John Gorton
12-16-2015, 04:31 AM
Well. Add me to the list. My Fiat 500 is a 2013 with 14,600 miles on it and yesterday I couldnt get it into gear. I was able to push the clutch down no problem but the stick shift was locked. The dealership says if it's the clutch then it won't be covered. After hearing this I was so upset so I called another Fiat dealer and recorded the conversation. I asked him what the warranty was for a brand new Fiat and he replied 45,000 bumper to bumper. I then said oh really, will this include the clutch and he said oh yeah for sure. Haha.. What a lie!! I'm glad I recorded the conversation cause I'm going to fight this in court if comes down to it.. I've had the car for less than 2 years and it's got 14k miles on it.....this is not going to fly with me and my lawyers. It's not even about the money, it's about the principe. I remember asking them when I bought mine if the clutch was included in the warranty for 45k miles and salesman said oh yeah I think so. I just assumed he was being honest.

FiatCares
12-16-2015, 10:25 AM
Well. Add me to the list. My Fiat 500 is a 2013 with 14,600 miles on it and yesterday I couldnt get it into gear. I was able to push the clutch down no problem but the stick shift was locked. The dealership says if it's the clutch then it won't be covered. After hearing this I was so upset so I called another Fiat dealer and recorded the conversation. I asked him what the warranty was for a brand new Fiat and he replied 45,000 bumper to bumper. I then said oh really, will this include the clutch and he said oh yeah for sure. Haha.. What a lie!! I'm glad I recorded the conversation cause I'm going to fight this in court if comes down to it.. I've had the car for less than 2 years and it's got 14k miles on it.....this is not going to fly with me and my lawyers. It's not even about the money, it's about the principe. I remember asking them when I bought mine if the clutch was included in the warranty for 45k miles and salesman said oh yeah I think so. I just assumed he was being honest.

Hi John,

I'm sorry to hear about this experience. FIATs have a 4-Year/50,000 mile limited warranty, but the clutch assembly is a wear item and is thus given a 12-Month/12,000 mile warranty. That being said, warranty coverage is also dependent upon the diagnosis of the failure. Warranty covers manufacturer defects and is thus handled on a case-by-case basis. If you would like me to look into this further for you, you can PM me your contact information, VIN, and the name of the studio you've been working with.

Hangman0327
12-16-2015, 11:46 AM
Great job on following up with Fiat.... cooler heads typically prevail .

Thanks for reporting back to the forum.

Is this something that is mostly with 500 Pops or has it affected other 500s including the Abarths?


I have some news on what happened with my pressure plate failure/repair.

Upon completion of the repairs (~$875) I spent about three hours crafting a letter to Fiat/Chrysler Corporate detailing what had happened and a request to be reimbursed for repairs and for the rental while my car was in the shop. I roughly followed the guidelines here: http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/complaint/complaint-letter.shtml and included copies of receipts.

I expected to be told to go eat a lemon, but they sent me a check!! The guy from Chrysler who called me agreed that the dealership should have handled it as a warranty repair.

I would chalk it up as part luck and part letter-writing skills. I would encourage anyone who has been charged for repairs that should have been warrantied to give it a shot.

Hangman0327
12-16-2015, 11:49 AM
Any idea if it is affecting all 500sincluding the Abarths?


The pressure plate failure is happening is a distinct group of early 2012 builds. I image that the poorly made pressure plate in these cars has a number stamped on it that can be linked to a VIN number, or at least should have. Since the pressure plate in question has been improved upon it would be a simple matter for Fiat to contact owners who have cars with the defective pressure plate and offer to replace it. That seems reasonable and prudent.

This has nothing to do with brand. All car manufactures have parts problems. Just look at GM and the ignition switch fires. They knew about the problem for years and did nothing. 38 people dead so far. All of the deaths preventable if GM had acted responsibly.

I remain as much a fan of Fiat as ever. I have to imagine that at the corporate level they are having discussions about this problem, but I'm sure they have a lot to discuss and this may not be as important to them as it is to an owner who has experienced this dangerous failure, or wonders if they will someday, like me.

otherp
04-07-2016, 05:39 PM
Add me to the list as well! I bought my 2012 Fiat in November 2011. I love this car! But...It has less than 23K miles, and just had the same problem everyone here has described -- as I was coming off the freeway, all of a sudden the clutch pedal was seriously hard to depress, only shifts with the engine turned off, no apparent problem with linkages or leaking fluids. I did manage to roll it into a parking space, but not without a little freakout.

I found this forum while I was trying to diagnose the problem and decide what to do next. Thanks everyone for the benefit of your collective experience!

I called Fiat Cares, gave them my VIN and got the line about 12K/1year warranty on the clutch, and I'm obviously way over that. It sounds like some people on this thread had luck getting Fiat to cover some costs. I'm deciding whether to take it to the dealership, who gave me a high quote ($1500 and a 2 year warranty), or another repair shop that I trust that quoted me more like $1000 with a 5 year warranty. Any idea whether I'm more likely to get Fiat's support if it's in the dealer's shop vs making my case after the repair has been completed by a third party?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

FiatCares
04-08-2016, 10:21 AM
Add me to the list as well! I bought my 2012 Fiat in November 2011. I love this car! But...It has less than 23K miles, and just had the same problem everyone here has described -- as I was coming off the freeway, all of a sudden the clutch pedal was seriously hard to depress, only shifts with the engine turned off, no apparent problem with linkages or leaking fluids. I did manage to roll it into a parking space, but not without a little freakout.

I found this forum while I was trying to diagnose the problem and decide what to do next. Thanks everyone for the benefit of your collective experience!

I called Fiat Cares, gave them my VIN and got the line about 12K/1year warranty on the clutch, and I'm obviously way over that. It sounds like some people on this thread had luck getting Fiat to cover some costs. I'm deciding whether to take it to the dealership, who gave me a high quote ($1500 and a 2 year warranty), or another repair shop that I trust that quoted me more like $1000 with a 5 year warranty. Any idea whether I'm more likely to get Fiat's support if it's in the dealer's shop vs making my case after the repair has been completed by a third party?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Hi otherp,

If you’d like to use your local Fiat Studio, I’d be happy to follow up with them after diagnosis to see if I can assist. Please feel free to PM your VIN and contact information so I can reach out.

Kori
Fiat Social Care Specialist

B3NN3TT
04-10-2016, 07:55 AM
Every time this thread pops up in the New listing, I crack up a little because of the big "WHAT!!!" yelrotflmao-vi

CashMan
04-10-2016, 09:04 PM
I'm thinking the needs to be investigated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

eco7077
04-16-2016, 04:02 PM
that is no good.
i used to do a little trick when i was young to change gears without using the clutch,

I can'r remember right now but i think i stepped on the gas pedal a bit, let it go and shift gears, if i remember correctly.

Fabio13
04-16-2016, 09:40 PM
I'm thinking the needs to be investigated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It is. A previous poster on this or another forum said he was contacted by them regarding the clutch fingers breaking and other stuff.

MarkG
04-18-2016, 08:26 AM
My 2012 Abarth with 38K miles had a slave cylinder go bad dumping dot3 all over the garage floor(great place to have a failure) My studio sent a flat bed for it and replaced the clutch,pressure plate,throw out bearing and slave cylinder. They said that the pressure plate was damaged...all covered under warranty. A word of advise it pays to be calm and nice, and get on a first name bases with your studio manager! P.S. my build date is 5/12/12

jrg1
06-09-2016, 07:36 PM
I have a 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo Sport, not an Abarth. It has only 21,000 miles. 3 weeks ago I noticed a grinding sound,
and some shaking, above 3500 rpm. I took it to Fiat of National City, here in San Diego. The mechanic said this...
"When I put my hand on the clutch, I felt the vibrating. So you need a new clutch". Really? He did not even look
at any of the internal components. I have never owned an automatic, and have never replaced the clutch on
any of my cars. The service manager told me it would be 1500.00$! How did they reach that figure? They don't know
if it is the bearing, the flywheel, or anything at all. I am beyond frustrated. I was considering putting a deposit down on the
124 Spyder, but if this is the way that Fiat service works, I will simply get the new Mazda Miata. Any suggestions?

Trunkout
06-09-2016, 08:06 PM
I have a 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo Sport, not an Abarth. It has only 21,000 miles. 3 weeks ago I noticed a grinding sound,
and some shaking, above 3500 rpm. I took it to Fiat of National City, here in San Diego. The mechanic said this...
"When I put my hand on the clutch, I felt the vibrating. So you need a new clutch". Really? He did not even look
at any of the internal components. I have never owned an automatic, and have never replaced the clutch on
any of my cars. The service manager told me it would be 1500.00$! How did they reach that figure? They don't know
if it is the bearing, the flywheel, or anything at all. I am beyond frustrated. I was considering putting a deposit down on the
124 Spyder, but if this is the way that Fiat service works, I will simply get the new Mazda Miata. Any suggestions?

Nice first post................
Anyway, FiatCares (a user on this forum) IS Fiat Customer Care.
They'll probably reply tomorrow. In the meantime call 1 (888) 242-6342 and open a case.

BBQ Keith
06-09-2016, 09:41 PM
My wife's 2012 POP did the same thing. They told her it would be $1800. We bitched to the dealer a lot, I mean to the point of them just wanting to get rid of us. The dealer has some kind of insurance and the dealers insurance covered the cost of the clutch and all we had to pay was a $200 deductible. I would not by another Fiat. We are selling my wife asap. We live in San Antonio, Texas The 10th largest city in the country. We had 2 Fiat Dealerships when she bought it. They are both out of business now. If we have a service issue we have to drive 90 miles to Austin and they are backed up 6 months. I think its a matter of time before the Austin dealership goes out of business. My neighbor has a POP also. they had major engine problems. Fiat ended up buying it back from them. So many problems with them and Fiat does not want to admit it.

Fabio13
06-10-2016, 01:26 AM
There's a recall on the clutches now coming out.

Lil Blue
06-10-2016, 06:06 AM
We are selling my wife asap. We live in San Antonio, Texas

Didn't know you could do that in San Antonio. If I had to choose between my wife and my Abarth....don't think I would sell her....though I think it would be a tough call between the 2 choices. *sorry...couldn't resist. silly

KellyfromVA
06-13-2016, 10:16 AM
There's a recall on the clutches now coming out.

The recall is to install a rubber stop under the clutch peddle arm to limit the throw. This is supposed to prevent the over-extension of the clutch being depressed, which they determined is stressing the clutch fingers.

From what I can tell, clutch replacement isn't part of the recall:

New Safety Recall Advanced Communication – S34051116
FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) announced a safety recall on certain 2012 through 2016 model year (FF) Fiat 500 vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle (sales code DDF).
Some of the above vehicles have been built with a hydraulic clutch release system which provides up to 10.63 mm of travel. The clutch assembly can only accommodate 9.40 mm of travel by design. Over-travel of the clutch assembly can lead to a fatigued and/or fractured clutch cover diaphragm spring.
A failed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive power. The inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and/or loss of motive power could cause a crash without warning.
FCA US will conduct a voluntary safety recall to implement a clutch pedal limiter and a clutch pedal switch.
Dealers will be notified of the launch of this safety recall by way of established methods used in the past.
We ask that you please take the time to ensure that your personnel are aware of this communication and are prepared to execute a customer friendly process for inquiries on involved vehicles.
Customer Services Field Operations

CashMan
06-14-2016, 10:58 AM
So how are they to know if the clutch pressure plate is not damaged already. Spring steel has no forgiveness, if its damaged its going to crack and come apart.

KellyfromVA
06-15-2016, 09:18 AM
They don't. This merely addresses the clutch throw issue which they have identified as cause of the failure. Considering the cost of labor and parts to replace the clutch being around $1,700 for a $20,000 car, FCA is only going to do the absolute minimum required to address the problem, not the longer-term results.

ghostdog
06-22-2016, 02:42 PM
So how are they to know if the clutch pressure plate is not damaged already. Spring steel has no forgiveness, if its damaged its going to crack and come apart.

That's my question, too.

Fabio13
06-22-2016, 04:22 PM
If the clutch pedal is under recall and the clutch plate fingers break/broke I'd be looking at small claims court at a minimum. I would think cause and effect wouldn't be hard to prove especially with recall documentation, repair receipts and the old part.

Shawnb
06-22-2016, 11:45 PM
If the clutch pedal is under recall and the clutch plate fingers break/broke I'd be looking at small claims court at a minimum. I would think cause and effect wouldn't be hard to prove especially with recall documentation, repair receipts and the old part.


Goodluck. It's a major hassle, and they know this.

My Abarth throw out bearing made noise since the day of purchase, at first they agreed to replace. Waited weeks for parts, and then they claimed it doesn't constantly make the noise so they won't replace it..... It's always noisy....

My car also always felt down on power. Multiple times it was stated during visits. Three weeks out of warranty, I realized cylinder 1 was way down on compression. Fiat completely ignored me. Fiatcares here and corporate. Ended up replacing the motor myself.

My second fiat, and my girlfriend also has one. Due to the way they treat customers it will be our households last.

Amacento
06-23-2016, 06:32 AM
If the clutch pedal is under recall and the clutch plate fingers break/broke I'd be looking at small claims court at a minimum. I would think cause and effect wouldn't be hard to prove especially with recall documentation, repair receipts and the old part.
I'll add those owners with cars included in this recall should ask the Service Advisor to include inspection of the PP at the time of this ordered repair. That'll give you something in your file for a known issue... whether or not they detect a defect at the time of this service. Developing a strong relationship with your local service department goes a long way too.

babelhoo
06-23-2016, 10:49 PM
When someone does this, can she/he please post a picture of the "pedal stop" being fitted?

Fiat500USA
06-24-2016, 12:45 AM
Recall notice. You may be able to submit your repair bill.

IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL S34 / NHTSA 16V-302

"This notice applies to your vehicle (VIN: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx).

This interim notification letter is sent to you in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Dear: (Name)

FCA has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 2012 through 2016model year FIAT 500 vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle.
The problem is... The clutch cover diaphragm spring on your vehicle may fatigue and/or fracture. Afailed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch,shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive power. The inability to disengage theclutch, shift gears and/or loss of motive power could cause a crash without warning.

What your dealerwill do...FCA intends to repair your vehicle free of charge (parts and labor). However, theparts required to provide a permanent remedy for this condition are currently notavailable. FCA is making every effort to obtain these parts as quickly as possible. FCAwill contact you again by mail, with a follow-up recall notice, when the remedy partsare available.

What you must doto ensure yoursafety...Once you receive your follow-up notice in the mail, simply contact your FIAT studio rightaway to schedule a service appointment.

If you need help... If you have questions or concerns which your dealer is unable to resolve, please contact theFCA Recall Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403.Please help us update our records by filling out the attached prepaid postcard if any of the conditions listed on thecard apply to you or your vehicle. If you have further questions go to recalls.mopar.com (http://www.recalls.mopar.com).

If you have already experienced this specific condition and have paid to have it repaired, you may visitwww.fcarecallreimbursement.com to submit your reimbursement request online or you can mail your originalreceipts and proof of payment to the following address for reimbursement consideration: FCA CustomerAssistance, P.O. Box 21-8004, Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8007, Attention: Recall Reimbursement. Once wereceive and verify the required documents, reimbursement will be sent to you within 60 days. If you’ve hadprevious repairs and/or reimbursement you may still need to have the recall repair performed on your vehicle.

If your dealer fails or is unable to remedy this defect without charge and within a reasonable time, you may submit awritten complaint to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave.,S.E., Washington, DC 20590, or you can call the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236(TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

We're sorry for any inconvenience, but we are sincerely concerned about your safety. Thank you for your attentionto this important matter."

Doohickie
06-24-2016, 08:56 AM
I haven't seen the letter yet, but I opened my Mopar app on my phone and it was listed on the main menu. It had a number to call and when I did they basically told me what's in the letter. I'd kind of figured that was just an "early 2012" model issue but maybe the 2013s just haven't had as much time to put fatigue cycles on yet.

josemalone
06-29-2016, 02:09 PM
Not seeing any complaints here: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners

You can file one, though.

You can also search other areas, if you want: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/

You're not searching correctly or something. This is a very well known issue.

"Report Receipt Date: MAY 16, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V302000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)
SUMMARY:
Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2012-2016 Fiat 500 vehicles manufactured June 21, 2010, through January 12, 2016, equipped with a manual transmission. The clutch diaphragm spring may fracture and fail, causing an inability to switch gears.
CONSEQUENCE:
If the clutch diaphragm spring fails, the driver may not be able to shift gears or the vehicle may lose motive power, increasing the risk of a crash.
REMEDY:
The remedy for this recall will include the installation of a clutch pedal limiter and a clutch pedal switch. Interim notices will be mailed to owners in June 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is S34.
NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. "

B3NN3TT
06-29-2016, 02:40 PM
You're not searching correctly or something. This is a very well known issue.

Perhaps in 2013, when that post was made, the issue wasn't so "well-known"...

murphy34
08-28-2016, 03:30 PM
Unfortunately, I didn't find this thread until after I completed repairs and paid nearly $1800 for a clutch repair that went out exactly the same way many have described above. Driving in Los Angeles traffic, my clutch suddenly became stiff and I had to muscle down from 2nd to 1st. The resting RPM showed at nearly 1,000rpm. I managed to drive over to the Glendale Fiat dealership, who said they couldn't look at the car until the following day and quoted a clutch repair at $1600. I took it in 2nd gear (couldn't get down to 1st by this time) over to an AAMCO and they quoted $1200 and said they could get started right away. After they took the car apart, they realized they could not find any after market parts so revised their quote to $1650. This is the first major repair I've ever had done on my 2012 POP, and figured it was a normal thing to replace a clutch at 54,000 miles. I've since been assured that it is not. What can I do??

rustbucket
08-28-2016, 03:58 PM
What can I do??

Check out our administrator's (Fiat500USA) post up above - it tells you what you need to know ...

"If you have already experienced this specific condition and have paid to have it repaired, you may visitwww.fcarecallreimbursement.com to submit your reimbursement request online or you can mail your original receipts and proof of payment to the following address for reimbursement consideration: FCA CustomerAssistance, P.O. Box 21-8004, Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8007, Attention: Recall Reimbursement. Once we receive and verify the required documents, reimbursement will be sent to you within 60 days. If you’ve had previous repairs and/or reimbursement you may still need to have the recall repair performed on your vehicle."

eurodave164
09-15-2016, 08:50 AM
Bad news my friends.............driving in traffic today and clutch became stiff, car wouldnt shift, thank God i was able to coast to the office and have it towed. Ill be waiting for the dealer to call. I received the Recall letter in June.

I can see how this can be dangerous. I was cruising in 5th gear on the highway in rush hour, when i downshifted into 3 so i can get in the service lane, the shifter wouldnt budge out of 3rd. Fortunately I had reached my exit for work and was able to drive it back to the office in first gear......

Sucks.......

Doohickie
09-15-2016, 11:35 AM
I was going to ask, but I found it in your original forum post- you have a '12 Sport with approx. 60,000km (~40k mi) as of January.

eurodave164
09-15-2016, 12:13 PM
Currently 75500km, dealer just called me saying they will diagnose to make sure but that parts are still not available if it is the recall. They may need to pass it off as a warranty claim.

Regards,

eurodave164
09-15-2016, 02:57 PM
Update on the above situation:

It was indeed the clutch spring diaphram, the recall issue.

They will fix it using original parts for the moment free of charge and will eventually need to get the recall done regardless.

FCA care handled the situation commendably in terms of keeping me informed about when the towing would arrive and how the situation would be rectified.

Im not happy about the car at this moment, and will be probably selling it once this is done. It's left me semi-stranded twice in the past month.

Recent costs in that past 12 months have been the following with respect to a used 2012 Sport purchased with 34kmiles and currently with 46kmiles:

- Lower ball joints = 200$
- One front bearing = 300$
- Starter cable connector corroded = 450$
- Front and rear light bulbs = 60$

It's been costing me approx 100$ a month for miscellaneous items, which I find too much for a relatively recent car. If the car had a 4yr/80k warranty like some other manufacturers do, the costs wouldnt be so bad.

babelhoo
09-26-2016, 02:00 PM
Until an oficial solution is out, I added a hard rubber peg to shorten the pedal travel a few mm, not sure if it will help, but already payed to replace one, enough for me.

There is a limiter protruding to the right of the pedal (circled left on the image) which stops at the base (circled right). I just inserted a peg there to shorten the pedal travel.

http://i1350.photobucket.com/albums/p761/babelhoog/IMG_0832_zpsghbodiuc.jpg

mattjk
09-26-2016, 03:25 PM
I have a 2016 abarth and I just purchased a set of 3d floor mats, and they conveniently limit clutch pedal throw because of the thickness of the carpet. win-win! lol

Southernroadrunner
09-26-2016, 05:14 PM
I have a 2016 abarth and I just purchased a set of 3d floor mats, and they conveniently limit clutch pedal throw because of the thickness of the carpet. win-win! lol

So let's see the 3d mats

mattjk
09-26-2016, 05:20 PM
So let's see the 3d mats

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ED6YDKK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=23665&stc=1

mattjk
09-26-2016, 05:23 PM
probably better to put some rubber pads under the clutch pedal pad to limit clutch pedal throw, rather than to stress the plastic arm so close to the fulcrum point

Southernroadrunner
09-26-2016, 07:26 PM
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ED6YDKK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=23665&stc=1

Mattjk. Those r pretty nice.

babelhoo
09-27-2016, 12:14 PM
probably better to put some rubber pads under the clutch pedal pad to limit clutch pedal throw, rather than to stress the plastic arm so close to the fulcrum point

You are probably right, the thing is, the pedal as it is, already stops at this plastic tab! (with the rubber it just stops earlier and softer). The thicker carpets might be a simple and good idea!

LeeFiat
09-27-2016, 10:31 PM
I'm heartbroken, on Monday last week my 2013 Fiat 500 pop had a clutch failure. I was heading in to work which is down a slight hill and luckily only 2 miles away while attempting to shift into third gear my clutch pedal went down and then stayed engaged and wouldn't shift into third. I coasted the rest of the way into the parking lot and I called for a tow to the fiat dealership. I just got a call back from the dealer today saying that the slave cylinder is toast and so is my clutch, fly wheel, pressure plate and throwout bearing are all shot. I drive 4-10 miles a day and have only driven it about 2k miles, it has 69k now which is much later than everyone else here, but I put 150k miles on my previous car's clutch and it was fine up until it got totaled. It didn't show any signs of the clutch wearing out, it wasn't jumpy or difficult to shift in any way until Monday, is there something I could have checked to see that it may be close to going or do they just work fine then all of the sudden you can't shift and the clutch is toast? I'm trying to decide If I should get a second opinion at another Fiat dealer or just leave it at the one I'm at and pay the $1750 they are asking to fix it. I know I just made an account and posted about this today, and honestly I love my Fiat having it in the shop so long is torture, it's so cute and I love driving it. This is my first Fiat and my first issue with this car, I was just hoping for some perspective.

Fiat500USA
09-27-2016, 11:47 PM
I'm heartbroken, on Monday last week my 2013 Fiat 500 pop had a clutch failure. I was heading in to work which is down a slight hill and luckily only 2 miles away while attempting to shift into third gear my clutch pedal went down and then stayed engaged and wouldn't shift into third. I coasted the rest of the way into the parking lot and I called for a tow to the fiat dealership. I just got a call back from the dealer today saying that the slave cylinder is toast and so is my clutch, fly wheel, pressure plate and throwout bearing are all shot. I drive 4-10 miles a day and have only driven it about 2k miles, it has 69k now which is much later than everyone else here, but I put 150k miles on my previous car's clutch and it was fine up until it got totaled. It didn't show any signs of the clutch wearing out, it wasn't jumpy or difficult to shift in any way until Monday, is there something I could have checked to see that it may be close to going or do they just work fine then all of the sudden you can't shift and the clutch is toast? I'm trying to decide If I should get a second opinion at another Fiat dealer or just leave it at the one I'm at and pay the $1750 they are asking to fix it. I know I just made an account and posted about this today, and honestly I love my Fiat having it in the shop so long is torture, it's so cute and I love driving it. This is my first Fiat and my first issue with this car, I was just hoping for some perspective.

Sorry to hear this. Please note there is a recall going on involving clutch operation. Go here and input your VIN to see if your car is part of the recall: https://www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehicle/recalls.html

We also have a Fiat rep here on the forum by the name of FiatCares (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?1368-FiatCares).

Your dealer should know about this recall. Here's a copy of the recall letter:


Recall notice. You may be able to submit your repair bill.

IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL S34 / NHTSA 16V-302

"This notice applies to your vehicle (VIN: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx).

This interim notification letter is sent to you in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Dear: (Name)

FCA has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 2012 through 2016 model year FIAT 500 vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle.
The problem is... The clutch cover diaphragm spring on your vehicle may fatigue and/or fracture. A failed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch,shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive power. The inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and/or loss of motive power could cause a crash without warning.

What your dealerwill do...FCA intends to repair your vehicle free of charge (parts and labor). However, the parts required to provide a permanent remedy for this condition are currently not available. FCA is making every effort to obtain these parts as quickly as possible. FCA will contact you again by mail, with a follow-up recall notice, when the remedy parts are available.

What you must do to ensure your safety...Once you receive your follow-up notice in the mail, simply contact your FIAT studio right away to schedule a service appointment.

If you need help... If you have questions or concerns which your dealer is unable to resolve, please contact the FCA Recall Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403.Please help us update our records by filling out the attached prepaid postcard if any of the conditions listed on the card apply to you or your vehicle. If you have further questions go to recalls.mopar.com (http://www.recalls.mopar.com/).

If you have already experienced this specific condition and have paid to have it repaired, you may visit www.fcarecallreimbursement.com to submit your reimbursement request online or you can mail your original receipts and proof of payment to the following address for reimbursement consideration: FCA Customer Assistance, P.O. Box 21-8004, Auburn Hills, MI 48321-8007, Attention: Recall Reimbursement. Once wereceive and verify the required documents, reimbursement will be sent to you within 60 days. If you’ve had previous repairs and/or reimbursement you may still need to have the recall repair performed on your vehicle.

If your dealer fails or is unable to remedy this defect without charge and within a reasonable time, you may submit a written complaint to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave.,S.E., Washington, DC 20590, or you can call the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236(TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to safercar.gov.

We're sorry for any inconvenience, but we are sincerely concerned about your safety. Thank you for your attention to this important matter."

Fiat500USA
09-27-2016, 11:54 PM
I have a 2016 abarth and I just purchased a set of 3d floor mats, and they conveniently limit clutch pedal throw because of the thickness of the carpet. win-win! lol


The recall doesn't involve the Abarth or Turbo models so you're safe! :thumbsup:

LeeFiat
09-28-2016, 12:45 PM
Sorry to hear this. Please note there is a recall going on involving clutch operation. Go here and input your VIN to see if your car is part of the recall: https://www.mopar.com/en-us/my-vehicle/recalls.html

We also have a Fiat rep here on the forum by the name of FiatCares (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?1368-FiatCares).


Your dealer should know about this recall. Here's a copy of the recall letter:

Thanks for the reply Fiat500USA (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?2-Fiat500USA)! I've been calling and checking on the status of the recall parts since May when I received my letter. As of this morning, they told me it was not caused by the recall and that the flywheel and the Pressure plate are the same part which I though was pretty funny. Needless to say, I'm taking it to a different Fiat dealership for a second opinion. I'm not sure if the Tech thinks I'm dumb or because I'm a woman he can pull one over on me, but now I'm pissed and doing a ton of research.

Fiat500USA
09-28-2016, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the reply Fiat500USA (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?2-Fiat500USA)! I've been calling and checking on the status of the recall parts since May when I received my letter. As of this morning, they told me it was not caused by the recall and that the flywheel and the Pressure plate are the same part which I though was pretty funny. Needless to say, I'm taking it to a different Fiat dealership for a second opinion. I'm not sure if the Tech thinks I'm dumb or because I'm a woman he can pull one over on me, but now I'm pissed and doing a ton of research.


It may be possible that the service advisor bizarrely doesn't know about the details on the recall. Some of them do not know the technical workings of an automobile. I would suggest showing them this and getting in contact with Fiat Cares or the Fiat call center.


The recall is to install a rubber stop under the clutch peddle arm to limit the throw. This is supposed to prevent the over-extension of the clutch being depressed, which they determined is stressing the clutch fingers.

From what I can tell, clutch replacement isn't part of the recall:

New Safety Recall Advanced Communication – S34051116
FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) announced a safety recall on certain 2012 through 2016 model year (FF) Fiat 500 vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle (sales code DDF).
Some of the above vehicles have been built with a hydraulic clutch release system which provides up to 10.63 mm of travel. The clutch assembly can only accommodate 9.40 mm of travel by design. Over-travel of the clutch assembly can lead to a fatigued and/or fractured clutch cover diaphragm spring.
A failed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive power. The inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and/or loss of motive power could cause a crash without warning.
FCA US will conduct a voluntary safety recall to implement a clutch pedal limiter and a clutch pedal switch.
Dealers will be notified of the launch of this safety recall by way of established methods used in the past.
We ask that you please take the time to ensure that your personnel are aware of this communication and are prepared to execute a customer friendly process for inquiries on involved vehicles.
Customer Services Field Operations

LeeFiat
09-28-2016, 06:11 PM
It may be possible that the service advisor bizarrely doesn't know about the details on the recall. Some of them do not know the technical workings of an automobile. I would suggest showing them this and getting in contact with Fiat Cares or the Fiat call center.

Thanks Fiat500USA (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?2-Fiat500USA) for digging up the Quote from KellyfromVA I think when I get my car back I'll get a set of those 3D mats and hope it's good until the recall parts become available.

I have two cases open with Fiat Customer Care, one to deal with the clutch recall, and the other for the poor service from the first dealership in Atlanta. I just got back from having it towed to the Fiat dealership in Cartersville, the tech did some research and says it sounds like it could be the recall that caused my clutch to go. I can't stress enough how happy I am with Fiat Customer Care they have been so very helpful and supportive through the whole process. The best part is the dealership in Cartersville is going to hang on to the broken parts so I can get some photos to Fiat to see if they might reimburse me for the service. It's a bad situation that overall could have been much worse, and after the way the Atlanta Dealer handled me getting a second opinion, I'm really happy I didn't leave it with them. Even with the tow I'm going to save around $600 and have a service tech that can accurately tell me what's wrong with my vehicle and who has looked into the recall.

I can't wait to get my car back so I can start posting some cool photos, and participating more in the forum. :)

eurodave164
10-06-2016, 04:41 AM
After dropping my car off at the dealer and a two week vacation in italy I finally received my car. the recall issues were adressed and they also changed the rear main seal which was leaking, so I'm happy that was done. The car seems to be running great now let's just hope it stays that way lol

Doohickie
11-11-2016, 01:13 AM
I spoke with my dealer today while getting my oil changed. They have the parts to do the recall work. I will take it in next Friday since I have the day off. The repair takes 2 hours, according to them. He said they have to change out the whole clutch pedal assembly, and from the sounds of it, may even include the hydraulics end of it (he said even the battery comes out which makes no sense to me, but... whatever). If I get a chance I'll take some pictures while they're working on it.

msjulie33
11-11-2016, 10:07 AM
According to another forum, though not currently involved in the recall, Abarths are being repaired with the same kit. Something worth paying attention to, maybe...

"Abarths are not included in the recall. I got the car back today. They replaced the complete clutch and brake pedal assembly. The new one has a limiter on the clutch pedal travel. I do not like the feel of the clutch now . The pedal is very light and engages in about a inch and a half of travel off the floor. It is going to take some getting use to. I don't think I could drive it with boots on now. I asked the service manager if the old pedal assembly would have caused premature clutch or throw out bearing wear and he didn't know. He told me that if enough owners clutches failed early and they complained about it to Fiat ,then Fiat would have to do something about it. Mine was the first one that they had repaired."

ice445
11-11-2016, 10:55 PM
According to another forum, though not currently involved in the recall, Abarths are being repaired with the same kit. Something worth paying attention to, maybe...

"Abarths are not included in the recall. I got the car back today. They replaced the complete clutch and brake pedal assembly. The new one has a limiter on the clutch pedal travel. I do not like the feel of the clutch now . The pedal is very light and engages in about a inch and a half of travel off the floor. It is going to take some getting use to. I don't think I could drive it with boots on now. I asked the service manager if the old pedal assembly would have caused premature clutch or throw out bearing wear and he didn't know. He told me that if enough owners clutches failed early and they complained about it to Fiat ,then Fiat would have to do something about it. Mine was the first one that they had repaired."

Why was it repaired if it's not part of the recall? Who footed the bill?

msjulie33
11-12-2016, 02:21 PM
According to the poster, Fiat paid. The damage, I suppose, was equal to what was happening in non-turbo cars. My take from the poster's other comments was that if the count of turbo-engined cars with this failure reaches some (magic?) point, they will be added to the recall

The new pedal assembly, to my thinking, is a bandaid as it prevents the pedal from pressing down too far ie it prevents the current designed slave cylinder from shoving the clutch components too far vs actually replacing the actuator or redesigning the pressure plate or something...

vinylengraver
11-12-2016, 06:49 PM
I believe his car is a Sport, not an Abarth

Doohickie
11-21-2016, 05:17 PM
I got the Recall S34 work done Friday. I couldn't get any pictures of the parts, but the whole clutch pedal assembly, including hydraulics, was replaced. The apparent difference is compared to the old part, the new part has a different pedal and a different stop built in. It is a much more distinctive stop that you can actually hear (hard plastic tapping on hard plastic). It's rather annoying at first but I got used to it pretty quickly and now it's normal to me.

The clutch feel is very similar. The difference is that, with the stop, the bottom of the travel is a little higher than it used to be, and as a result the range over which the clutch is engaged/disengaged is lower compared to the bottom of travel. The reason people don't like it is that muscle memory has to be retrained. The coordination between clutch foot and accelerator foot is a little different. If the clutch is released as quickly from the bottom of travel as previously, with no change to the the accelerator pedal operation, the car will stall.

When driving back from the dealer and for the rest of that day, I was careful and had no problems. I was feeling pretty good about myself, then the next day I stalled it twice in traffic. I'm getting better now as my feet are getting recalibrated. The release point being closer to the floor is actually easier for me; I just have to get used to it.

Doohickie
11-23-2016, 04:16 PM
Almost a week now, and I think I'm ready to say I prefer the new clutch engagement point. I always felt the release point was too high off the floor, now it's just right.

AGScooterryder
11-24-2016, 10:21 AM
I got the Recall S34 work done Friday. I couldn't get any pictures of the parts, but the whole clutch pedal assembly, including hydraulics, was replaced. The apparent difference is compared to the old part, the new part has a different pedal and a different stop built in. It is a much more distinctive stop that you can actually hear (hard plastic tapping on hard plastic). It's rather annoying at first but I got used to it pretty quickly and now it's normal to me.

The clutch feel is very similar. The difference is that, with the stop, the bottom of the travel is a little higher than it used to be, and as a result the range over which the clutch is engaged/disengaged is lower compared to the bottom of travel. The reason people don't like it is that muscle memory has to be retrained. The coordination between clutch foot and accelerator foot is a little different. If the clutch is released as quickly from the bottom of travel as previously, with no change to the the accelerator pedal operation, the car will stall.

When driving back from the dealer and for the rest of that day, I was careful and had no problems. I was feeling pretty good about myself, then the next day I stalled it twice in traffic. I'm getting better now as my feet are getting recalibrated. The release point being closer to the floor is actually easier for me; I just have to get used to it.

I got my car back from the dealer late yesterday afternoon. The clutch engagement is different, but I got on to it after a couple miles. I don't like the plastic on plastic sound when disengaging the clutch completely. I placed a piece of the loop side of Velcro fastener where the clutch pedal contacts the stop. The piece of Velcro is less than 1/32 inch thick. Plastic on plastic sound gone.

kosanovichm
02-21-2017, 07:57 PM
I just had a total and catastrophic failure of my clutch here in buffalo on Friday afternoon. The dealership is saying I have to replace the full clutch and it's not under warranty. I explained that there were absolutely no indicators of catastrophic failure prior to this event. I have a 2013 500 Pop with 6 months left on the warranty and 40K. I purchased the car 13 months ago and baby the heck out of the thing. Follow all the rules. Don't ride the clutch or balance on hills. Dad taught me well...26 years ago too. Please keep me informed of what the dealer does/did and who you wrote to as well. This is absurd. I drove a car 180k miles before my clutch went on an old car. And they are talking to me like I don't know how to drive manual transmission.


QUOTE=thekgb;616971]I agree with you completely.

As of July 2, the car is still at Landmark Fiat of Atlanta. Frankly, I am surprised at the apathy of the service manager. Apparently, I'm supposed to pay $2,000 to have them put it on the rack and take a look. I know more than a few Fiat owners in the metro Atlanta area that are having problems with the lack of service at this particular dealership. I've been taking my Fiat there for service ever since I purchased the car 18 months ago. They used to provide stellar service; I don't know what has happened.

I have sent letters (via FedEx) to Jason Stoicevich, President of Fiat USA, and Doug Betts, Senior Vice President of Quality, Fiat/Chrysler Group. I will keep you posted on what happens next.[/QUOTE]

IggyAZ
02-22-2017, 12:17 AM
I just got the letter for the recall S34 and called my Fiat dealer where I purchased my Pop and they couldn't get me in until April 11th.
Service manager says they have one Fiat stick with the S34 recall in every day until then.
My 2012 has only 25,000 miles on it and hope it doesn't have a total failure between now and April 11th.

Hopefully they will be able to tell me if this issues has reduced the life span of the clutch or clutch plate.
Hate to have to spend $2,000 to have that replaced down the road.

Anyone have any after the recall repair issues?

Tameeks
09-30-2017, 05:32 PM
I bought a used 2012 Fiat 500 pop manual transmission 2 weeks ago with 24,800 miles on it. 200 miles and 9 days later the clutch would not function and the car was stuck in 2nd gear. I had to have it towed 60miles to the dealership and waited 4 days for the repairs. In the meantime I called FCA to check on the status of my VIN in regard to the S34 recall. They confirmed that this vehicle had the recall service on 2/20/17 at a chrysler, dodge, jeep dealer. How on earth has this part failed already? My dealer asked if I was "riding" the clutch, but the mechanic told me the clutch looked new and the pressure plate and throw out bearing were bad (broken teeth or something). He also said the parts looked original and maybe the other dealer lied about the recall.

KellyfromVA
09-30-2017, 06:57 PM
Sounds like a classic clutch failure with the earlier US-delivered Fiat 500's. Welcome to the world of Fiat service departments.

What happens is over time, the clutch release bearing is pushing too far against the pressure plate release fingers. Typically one or more of the pressure plate fingers break off, causing the release bearing to get jammed in the pressure plate. Essentially what the recall does, is physically limit the throw of the clutch peddle, so you can't deflect the pressure plate release fingers further than recommended. The fingers may have already been damaged or cracked despite of the recall being done.

Seems to me if they disassemble the clutch and find broken pressure plate fingers, they can confirm this is a classic over-deflection/failure of the clutch. Because this is a known failure, maybe they would at least meet you somewhere in the middle.

Clutch replacement on these little cars is very expensive, mainly because of the amount of labor involved.

Fiat500USA
09-30-2017, 11:45 PM
Sorry to hear this. Are you at a Fiat dealer? A Fiat dealer would know the recall is for replacement of the clutch and brake pedal assembly. They don't remove the clutch during the recall unless the clutch doesn't release or operate properly when they are doing the recall. The dealer should know about the fractured diaphragm spring issue and what to look for.

If you now have a fractured clutch cover diaphragm spring, and your clutch disc is not worn you may have a shot at recourse. I would take pictures of the fractured diaphragm spring and your not-worn-out clutch disc and submit that immediately to Fiat USA. There is also a Fiat rep on the forum that may be able to help:

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?1368-FiatCares

docmojoman
10-27-2017, 03:27 PM
Model:
2012 Fiat 500 Sport

Purchase Date:
November 14, 2016

ODO:
53,848

Current ODO:
59,132

Safety Recall Performed:
December 28, 2016

By:

Chriswell Euro Imports
Gaithersburg, MD

Description of the Problem:

Soon after buying this vehicle, I had the safety recall on the clutch performed. After the work was done, I did notice an annoying metal to metal sound when depressing the clutch pedal, but I did realize that I'd have to live with it.

Over the course of the year I've owned the car, I started experiencing an intermittent problem where I would attempt to start the car and the starter would not engage. I found that after an unknown amount of attempts, the car would eventually start. About four months ago, I found that when the starting problem came up, if I engaged the clutch firmly, the car would start right up.

This morning when I went to start the car, I experienced the starting problem again. So I depressed the clutch firmly and started the car. This time though, I could not get the car in gear. I found the only way to get the car in gear was to turn off the ignition.

The symptoms seemed familiar to me, so I went to Fiat500USAForum to see if I could find any info on this problem. I found that the problem I am experiencing is what the safety recall solution was to fix! I am pretty sure that my "solution" to the intermittent starting problem - firm pressure on the clutch - defeated the safety recall solution to prevent "Over-travel of the clutch assembly can lead to a fatigued and/or fractured clutch cover diaphragm spring. A failed clutch cover diaphragm spring may result in the inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and the potential for a loss of motive power. The inability to disengage the clutch, shift gears and/or loss of motive power could cause a crash without warning."

It seems to me that the recall solution made it so whatever safety mechanism that senses when the clutch is depressed for startup intermittently would not engage properly (hence the firm pressure on the clutch) - defeated the purpose of the safety recall - - limited throw of the clutch pedal - - this should be covered by Fiat.

@FiatCares (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/member.php?1368-FiatCares) I haven't sent my car in yet, but I wanted to see if I had any recourse before I go in.

KellyfromVA
10-27-2017, 04:44 PM
Over the course of the year I've owned the car, I started experiencing an intermittent problem where I would attempt to start the car and the starter would not engage. I found that after an unknown amount of attempts, the car would eventually start. About four months ago, I found that when the starting problem came up, if I engaged the clutch firmly, the car would start right up.

This morning when I went to start the car, I experienced the starting problem again. So I depressed the clutch firmly and started the car. This time though, I could not get the car in gear. I found the only way to get the car in gear was to turn off the ignition.

It seems to me that the recall solution made it so whatever safety mechanism that senses when the clutch is depressed for startup intermittently would not engage properly (hence the firm pressure on the clutch) - defeated the purpose of the safety recall - - limited throw of the clutch pedal - - this should be covered by Fiat.


From what I've seen, intermittent starting issues seem to involve intermittent or degraded electrical grounding or the starter. It could very well be that your clutch peddle switch is/was intermittent, but that diagnosis is unusual. I'm speculating that these are separate problems.

That said, your theory that pushing down on the clutch peddle forcefully to trigger the clutch switch prior to the new peddle assembly/recall being done, could have caused the pressure plate failure.

docmojoman
10-27-2017, 05:36 PM
From what I've seen, intermittent starting issues seem to involve intermittent or degraded electrical grounding or the starter. It could very well be that your clutch peddle switch is/was intermittent, but that diagnosis is unusual. I'm speculating that these are separate problems.

That said, your theory that pushing down on the clutch peddle forcefully to trigger the clutch switch prior to the new peddle assembly/recall being done, could have caused the pressure plate failure.

Hi KellyfromVA! That's what I thought when I first started experiencing the starting problem! I even posted about it Got Electrical Gremlins *Attempt* (http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?27543-Got-Electrical-Gremlins-*Attempt*&highlight=gremlins) - my attempt a contributing a visual guide to those with the "Gremlin" issue!

When I made that post, my rear hatch had "gremlins" and I thought my ignition/starter had "gremlins". After the gremlins fix I haven't had the hatch issue (knock on wood), but the starter issue would still come up every now and then. That's when I realized that if I firmly depressed the clutch the car would start right up! This leads me to believe that my start up problem was not "gremlins"!


That said, your theory that pushing down on the clutch peddle forcefully to trigger the clutch switch prior to the new peddle assembly/recall being done, could have caused the pressure plate failure.

BTW - I got the recall work done weeks after I bought the car. It took months before I experienced my first hatch problem and even longer for my first start up problem! I didn't come up with the firm pressure solution until fairly recently - about 4 or so months ago.