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View Full Version : US Fiat 500 Earns Top Safety Scores



Fiat500USA
10-18-2011, 05:10 PM
Fiat500USA.com Has Just Posted the Following:



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buysfiat
10-19-2011, 09:49 PM
I have an early 500 (4/11) I wonder if they will have a recall for the danger seat?

Bianco P Sport
10-20-2011, 08:33 PM
I was wondering the same thing. A recall is probably the best thing. I e-mailed Jonathan at Fiat/Chrysler in Michigan regarding this problem, but I haven't gotten a response yet. I asked if there's a way to correct the seat issue to bring the car up to current safety standards. I added that this is not only a safety concern, but this could have a negative impact on resale value. It's surprising Fiat didn't notify anyone once they discovered the problem and began to correct it.

Fiat500USA
10-21-2011, 12:26 AM
I think there is a misunderstanding. The seats meet federal standards, they were redesigned to do better in more severe crashes. They didn't have to do it, but did it anyway. Remember, other car companies had the same rating and didn't bother changing anything.

buysfiat
10-21-2011, 01:10 AM
If Fiat went to all the trouble to redesign the seat to do better in more severe crashes, (even though they didn't have to do it) maybe they will update the old seats (even though they don't have to do it).

Bianco P Sport
10-21-2011, 02:01 PM
Looks like there are two threads about this. Anyway,
I went to my dealer/Studio today and asked them about the seat problem; and they told me that “this is obviously an issue”. They’re going to contact their support people at Fiat and they’ll let me know what they find out, and what options we have. The Marginal rating not only has an effect on us, but on the dealer as well. I looked at the build dates on the cars in the showroom and all of the ones I checked out were built before August, so they’ll probably have a tough time selling these. I know I wouldn’t buy one when I could get a later car with a much better crash test rating. Marginal is two steps below the best “Good” rating. I realize that Fiat probably doesn’t have to make the fix, but when I hire a company or person I expect excellence in both product and customer service. If a “severe” accident injures or kills someone because of faulty design, and Fiat knew about it and didn’t make changes, then there may be some liability issues? And, I do expect more from Fiat than I do from other car companies.

Max
10-22-2011, 10:52 AM
I wonder if the 500C would score the same. If I am not mistaken,from what I understand there were no real changes in the structure to make the C due to the nature/type of roof FIAT chose. Technically a car with a full glass roof or the roll back canvas roof would have the same amount of protection...

As for the seat changes, my car (which is still MIA) was built in September thus I don't have to worry about it, but for the rest of you and as Bianco P Sport pointed ou it should be a concern for both FIAT and the dealer network with respect to how it may affect current inventory sales.

Max

Bianco P Sport
10-25-2011, 03:06 PM
After some frustrating discussion with a Fiat rep on the phone, I think I have a solution to the seat problem. I never got a response from the Fiat person I sent an e-mail to, so I re-sent it along with more supporting info. No response yet. The phone woman ran the usual “it’s safe” program to me, and I could tell it was scripted. They don’t have much interest in bringing the older cars up to the highest safety standards, and the woman offered me no solution except to live with it.

I went to my Studio this morning and talked to the parts and service departments, and I’m ordering a new frame for the driver’s seat. The new part will have the improved crossbar(s). It’s a simple, albeit somewhat pricey, alternative; and I have to pay for it myself, but the superior safety feature outweighs cost.

My car was a gateway into an Abarth, then ultimately an Alfa. Not so much now.

Bianco P Sport
10-28-2011, 11:30 AM
I heard from Fiat this morning, via e-mail, and they're still looking into the seat issue. Here's what I got from them:

Sorry for the delay. I haven’t heard anything back from our engineers that would confirm there is an issue with the seats or if there is a way to improve them. The Fiat dealer will only address those issue that they find a ‘defect.’ Any modifications, if available, would be customer pay and run the risk of voiding the rest of the vehicles warranty.

Wow, I find it hard to believe that an improvement would void the entire warranty, since the fix would make it identical to the newer cars. I'm becoming less and less impressed with Chrysler/Fiat.

Bianco P Sport
11-08-2011, 04:07 PM
Jonathan at Chrysler said that if the seat part is an official Fiat part, then the warranty would not be compromised. Only if it were an aftermarket modification would the warranty be in question. So, I ordered the seat frame and it arrived.

I went to my dealer this morning to have it installed and the service manager said that Fiat actually sent a part identical to the one I have--same part and same part number. He was puzzled as to why they didn't send the new, improved part when he requested it; but he did say it is unavailable. He also said that Fiat will not take back the part they sent, and he's stuck with it. He's looking into it, but he said it would take hours of phone calls to several different people to find an answer.

This can't be good customer service to either the buyer or to the dealer. Jonathan's engineers still haven't gotten back to him. I find that communication and Chrysler's ability to problem solve are lacking, and I'm very frustrated over all of this. All I want is for my car to have a good safety rating, and I'm willing to pay for it. How hard could this be?

Fiat500USA
11-09-2011, 01:24 AM
I wonder if the 500C would score the same. If I am not mistaken,from what I understand there were no real changes in the structure to make the C due to the nature/type of roof FIAT chose. Technically a car with a full glass roof or the roll back canvas roof would have the same amount of protection...

As for the seat changes, my car (which is still MIA) was built in September thus I don't have to worry about it, but for the rest of you and as Bianco P Sport pointed ou it should be a concern for both FIAT and the dealer network with respect to how it may affect current inventory sales.

Max

There were changes to the body structure. One that you can see is in the trunk and runs across the car, the other is where the windshield conceals a reinforced upper-cross member that increases the cabrio’s body rigidity, especially noticed during spirited driving. The bonded in glass roof becomes a structural element, so all things being equal, would be stronger than the canvas top. However, I don't have information on how the Cabrio performed in a 40 mph crash test, this is a much higher speed than is required by US DOT.

IMHO, I think the cars are sufficiently different enough to preclude any assumptions on performance in a crash so severe as this.