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AbarthNut
10-21-2012, 10:21 AM
Dear Sig. Sergio Marchionne;

Yesterday, while driving my '78 124 Spider around town running errands, I was engaged in three conversations with strangers.

Each time the subject of the new 500 came up. I had to be honest: "My Abarth is a great car, the US operation is scum. They can't find a Chrysler guy in New England who knows what a centered steering wheel looks like and can re-set the front alignment appropriately, and I can't find one single person at 'FIAT' who 'give a rat's ass'."

I'm off for another great day in my Spider, good luck with your retro dirtbag asshat business model.

Screwed in NY,
Mark

panther76
10-21-2012, 10:51 AM
sorry you have had a bad experience thus far....yes, some studios/delaers have some work to do.

luckily, i added about 10 potential customers on my trip to detroit last week by relaying my positive experience with my car and the studios that i have dealt with.

deathshead
10-21-2012, 11:36 AM
Funny thing is that you cannot even contact fiatusa via email at all, the site is broken...

sjmst
10-21-2012, 12:13 PM
That's a shame. No excuse for poor communication. I am FIAT fan and always recommend the car, but I see why you would not based on your experience.

FiatGusto
10-21-2012, 05:17 PM
Hey Fiat Central, let's get this bad press fixed ASAP......like many here, I love my car and have had -0- bad experiences with my dealer. They are out there, I am truly sorry to read this origina post.

AbarthNut
10-21-2012, 11:03 PM
Funny thing is that you cannot even contact fiatusa via email at all, the site is broken...

ME: "I've called more than half a dozen times and my concerns are still not being addressed, may I please speak with someone in a management capacity?"

Ciao FIAT Weasels*: "No."

..."No."

*Ramsey/Bergen fiat/Chrysler weasels, too.

panther76
10-22-2012, 06:40 AM
ME: "I've called more than half a dozen times and my concerns are still not being addressed, may I please speak with someone in a management capacity?"

Ciao FIAT Weasels*: "No."

..."No."

*Ramsey/Bergen fiat/Chrysler weasels, too.

have you contacted FiatCares (Jonathon) via PM regarding your issues?

FiatCares
10-22-2012, 12:26 PM
Funny thing is that you cannot even contact fiatusa via email at all, the site is broken...

Im always available...

FiatCares
10-22-2012, 12:40 PM
ME: "I've called more than half a dozen times and my concerns are still not being addressed, may I please speak with someone in a management capacity?"

Ciao FIAT Weasels*: "No."

..."No."

*Ramsey/Bergen fiat/Chrysler weasels, too.

Feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help. Please PM me with your VIN

AbarthNut
10-24-2012, 12:20 AM
Feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help. Please PM me with your VIN

Hi...

Here's the deal: My Abarth was delivered with the steering wheel off-center and a snap to the right under hard braking.

When the CEL lit up on my way to work at ~1200miles, P04AC-00, I brought it in to Ramsey Fiat, who fobbed it off to Ramsey Chrysler, who did nothing.

"Snaps to right under hard braking" was written as "Pull[s] hard to right"...

When Ramsey Chrysler found a loaner about a week later I brought it back, again and after two days, they did nothing...

"Snaps to right under hard braking" written as "pulls to right"...

They claimed they brought it to a 3rd party alignment shop but could present no alignment report, the wheel was still off to the right and the car still tracked wrong. They again did nothing about the CEL, were "not able to verify" the deafening wind noise, "unable to verify" the washer dribble, and "found no problem" with the hatch latch. In old-school parlance, they gave me a two-day "wall job".

I tried several times to contact anyone at Ramsey and Ciao Fiat who would listen and address my problem with Ramsey Chrysler.

When I got the ECU flash notice I gave in and brought the car to Larchmont Fiat, under duress as they had previously demonstrated less than professional comportment in their sales office and had bungled a brake repair on my 124 Spider leaving me stranded on the side of the road waiting for a flatbed.

They, again, fobbed the car off to a 3rd party alignment shop who didn't center the wheel. They could and did, however, provide an alignment report which shows clearly that Ramsey Chrysler did nothing, NOTHING: The toe was originally out by .28 and asymmetric, hence the wheel off-center; the camber was and still is not to advertised spec and asymmetric, exceeding the stated cross camber tolerance. They gave me the standard "non-adjustable" BS regarding the camber, and said "are you sure?" when I immediately reported the wheel was now even more off center to the right, and the car tracks to the left, after a drive around the block, because they zeroed the toe without centering the wheel first and at all.

They also double-billed me for the oil change I'd requested... just to make sure I knew my place I suppose.

THEN, the little weasel service clown no-showed on the next business day, when we'd agreed I'd bring the car back for remediation of the alignment, with no one in the office to cover and costing me yet another vacation day, because they "don't do loaners for Fiats", and has as of yet (two weeks) not returned my call.

I have since tried several times to get someone at Fiat to let me take the car to professional mechanics and get reimbursed, only to be treated with disdain, contempt and negligent incompetence.

Please, if you can, break this chain of fools.

With the Camber out of spec as delivered and three attempts to have it corrected unrewarded I'm now investigating lemon-law action.

And I tell ANYONE who asks exactly why they should never buy a Fiat.

VIN PM'd. I tried but couldn't attach documents...

Mark

Fiat500USA
10-24-2012, 12:55 AM
I don't know if this helps, but here are the Abarth wheel alignment specs if you need them (http://www.fiat500usa.com/2012/06/fiat-500-and-500-abarth-wheel-alignment.html). Camber is not adjustable as the car comes from the factory. However, there are or will be aftermarket camber kits that can be added to tune a car.

MarkG
10-24-2012, 08:54 AM
Iam sorry to here of folks having problems with their studios. I lost an arguement at my studio yesterday-They insisted on washing the bugs off the front on my car when I told them I was headed back home and it wasn't necessary. Colby( Sweeeney Fiat) is a super nice guy!

AbarthNut
10-24-2012, 12:13 PM
I don't know if this helps, but here are the Abarth wheel alignment specs if you need them (http://www.fiat500usa.com/2012/06/fiat-500-and-500-abarth-wheel-alignment.html). Camber is not adjustable as the car comes from the factory. However, there are or will be aftermarket camber kits that can be added to tune a car.

Hi,

I appreciate that, and have them from another reference from you. That's how I know the cross camber spec is out of range, which unfortunately indicates my car has bigger problems than just a toe issue.

Camber is adjustable, just not a lot, not a simple twist of anything, and definitely requiring the skills of a professional mechanic rather than a parts-swapping yob.

In my case shifting the subframe toward the driver's side should be the cure, getting anyone from Chrysler to understand that without having to quite my job to free up the time is another matter.

Thanks,
Mark

AbarthNut
10-24-2012, 09:47 PM
I've heard from "Jonathan"...

I dare him to post his response to me, I won't, but "Jonathan" at "Fiat cares" essentially followed the party line and told me to go **** myself, like all those before him: 'We see no problems and dare you to try again'...

These Chrysler people are scum; not one I've dealt with understands the principle of satisfaction in a job well done. NOT ONE has any intention of repairing my ABARTH to the state it SHOULD have been delivered in.

They also seem not to comprehend the power of social media in the hands of a man unfairly wronged.

Ciao,
Mark

AbarthNut
10-24-2012, 10:47 PM
They won't agree to the repairs my car needs because that would be an admission that they delivered the car in less than contracted condition: It did not meet "the implied warranty of marketability".

They don't seem to comprehend that not repairing the car does not erase the fact that they did not deliver the car meeting "the implied warranty of marketability".

...To be continued.

AbarthNut
10-24-2012, 10:56 PM
DON'T buy a Fiat.

I'm an old car guy, when I suddenly needed a car in June I had a wide range of choices: Despite pretentious and incompetent sales people I bought a 500, not just any, "The ABARTH".

It wasn't delivered 'in good shape', the front end was out of spec from day one. It's been in the shop three times so far and the MOPAR Monkeys still can't CENTER THE STEERING WHEEL.

After four months my ABARTH still doesn't steer correctly, and does not meet the ADVERTISED specifications.

Fiat/Chrysler sales and service managers and Fiat "troubleshooters" all delight in telling me to 'go screw myself' and dare me to press further.

Do yourself a favor, buy the Subaru BRZ instead: These Chrysler people are scum from top to bottom.

PM me if you need more specific information.

Mark

Fiat500USA
10-24-2012, 11:03 PM
I've heard from "Jonathan"...

I dare him to post his response to me, I won't, but "Jonathan" at "Fiat cares" essentially followed the party line and told me to go **** myself, like all those before him: 'We see no problems and dare you to try again'...

These Chrysler people are scum; not one I've dealt with understands the principle of satisfaction in a job well done. NOT ONE has any intention of repairing my ABARTH to the state it SHOULD have been delivered in.

They also seem not to comprehend the power of social media in the hands of a man unfairly wronged.

Ciao,
Mark



Please, let's just keep the rhetoric down to reasonable levels. I understand you're upset but the name calling, etc., isn't helping the argument.

Thanks

AbarthNut
10-25-2012, 12:07 AM
AND DO NOT DO IT.

Don't take my word for it, easy enough to find, "AbarthNut"...

This site is rife with first hand stories of similarly honest and earnest Fiat fans (I myself have a '78 Spider) and car nuts being treated like rubes by Chrysler "managers", "technicians" and "troubleshooters".

The last thing they'll do with any competence and desire to perform with excellence is cash your check.

...After that it's Lord of the Flies, Detroit-style.

Mark

EugeneS
10-25-2012, 12:11 AM
Hey man, I am sorry you've got issues with the car and studio, but negativity won't take you far...

AbarthNut
10-25-2012, 12:21 AM
Hey man, I am sorry you've got issues with the car and studio, but negativity won't take you far...

Let me know what you think when you've got a problem and the only option they leave you is short sell at half what you've paid.

...You may enjoy being taken, I do not.

Berliner
10-25-2012, 01:17 AM
Sorry to hear you have Problems with your Fiat and the Studio but can we get the whole Story here?

Honestly it is not fair to post angry Thoughts here without getting the whole Pic. I too have some Issues with my Fiat and Dealer but i refuse to slam a Brand a Studio or Sales Person or a Tech. here on this Site.

I try to be objective even if i got the short end of the Stick in my Hand. So pls try help us to understand your anger.

Just my 2 Cents

AbarthNut
10-25-2012, 07:43 AM
Sorry to hear you have Problems with your Fiat and the Studio but can we get the whole Story here?

Honestly it is not fair to post angry Thoughts here without getting the whole Pic. I too have some Issues with my Fiat and Dealer but i refuse to slam a Brand a Studio or Sales Person or a Tech. here on this Site.

I try to be objective even if i got the short end of the Stick in my Hand. So pls try help us to understand your anger.

Just my 2 Cents

Hi,

I've posted the abridged version elsewhere; the one-line version is I have a seriously flawed four month-old car and no effective warranty.

My car was delivered with what I now know to be serious flaws in the construction and/or assembly of the front suspension and/or unibody. I've been patiently reporting symptoms, and enduring abusive, dismissive and dishonest service personnel, incompetent "repairs", and outright fraud, since two weeks from taking delivery in early July.

About a week ago an afternoon of interactions with Ciao Fiat left me despairing of ever getting this matter sorted properly. The latest unhelpful and dismissive response from a "Fiat" rep has broken my composure: There is simply no one at "Fiat", on any level, who is listening, they are all performing a script and playing a role.

The last time anyone from Fiat was responsive and cooperative was when they took my check off of me. Only two weeks later I was rudely awakened to the reality that I'd really only bought a Chrysler.

Don't let the espresso machine fool you: It's a damned Chrysler. And they went bankrupt selling almost nothing but the most profitable vehicles you can buy. ...I can now, from first hand experience, tell you exactly how they conjured that wizardry.

Mark

cmj912
10-25-2012, 08:58 AM
In as much as I have had my little paranoid episodes with my car along with some actual issues here and there, I am still a fan of the brand and the product. I consistently say that it is true testament to how much I like FIAT's product that given the chance I would buy another. Next time, though, I'd probably buy someplace else. I had a feeling in the back of my mind that the Kozy FIAT Repair Korner of the Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealer was going to be a hit or miss as far as positive and negative experiences. As they sell more cars in the area it seems to vary a good deal more now. That is sad. I can tell you that when my Volvo dealer went from independent and high end to being acquired and subsequently getting a little desk in the corner of a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury dealer service (and attention) went from stellar to sullen pretty quickly.

I would agree with you that some of the service and repair leaves things to be desired but I do know that there are dealers out there (FIAT of Austin, for example) that consistently receive very high praise and make things right when they've turned out wrong.

Unfortunately after purchase, you are much more at the mercy of the selling dealer and its modus operandi than anything else. Unfortunately, some of them are more interested in making you a repeat customer than others. Some put more thought into that the FIAT customer might have different needs and expectations than your average Dodge Caravan driver. And they not only built the Studio separately but also modified their behavior appropriately.

My best successes have come from being specific and assertive while reminding who I'm talking to that if they are interested in having me as a repeat customer their attention and demeanor are key.

Long-winded as I am, I'd like to gently urge you to get a second opinion. Perhaps it is a bit of a pain, I know, but is there any other dealer you can transfer the car to in your area to have it looked at again? Helping them understand that assisting you with this may mean more money or ultimately another car from you in the future is a key issue.

From your area I can see that you are in the NY area. There are, from what I can see, 4ish dealers in the area. Maybe one of the others would be interested in helping you after being told the story about how a little attention may go a long way...

Best of luck.

NGEN
10-25-2012, 09:43 AM
I have to say I have had great experiences with TWO Fiat Studios. They both went to bat to make sure my experience and deal was the great. I have also had two warranty issues (one on each car) and both Studios have been very accomodating and professional. I guess it really depends on the Studio. Customer service with North America Fiat has also been very good. They follow up and make sure in the end you are happy (unless it has to do with Gucci key fob covers which I believe is now a conspiracy of what supposedly happened lol - oh well). Both of our cars have been great, well built, no crazy issues.

My advice: Kill'em with kindness. If you aren't happy with the Studio you are at, go to one that has better reviews (even if it is a lot further away). Call Fiat Customer Service and start over. With Fiat still being so new in the US (well since being here in the 80's), they want to make sure they avoid as much negative publicity as they can.

Good luck to you. Keep us updated and I hope you will be able to get what ever is going on fixed and you are able to enjoy your new ride. That was the whole point of your purchase anyways!

msjulie33
10-25-2012, 09:52 AM
Let me know what you think when you've got a problem and the only option they leave you is short sell at half what you've paid.

...You may enjoy being taken, I do not.

Completely sucks your car wasn't right day one, and sucks more your dealer isn't competent or caring... I'm happy to say that though my car isn't "honda perfect" <- whatever that means these days - it's great fun and the issues were small and better still the service manager seems to have made it his mission to make sure they do whatever they can to make it right. Even got a little candy in the cup holder when I picked the car up last time... I'm really enjoying having this car.. really sorry you're not.

sjmst
10-25-2012, 10:00 AM
So now this may show up on Google alerts and reinforce people's perceptions of FIAT. And I guess if I had the OP's experience I would be happy about that. I would only add that while there may be a very legitimate gripe here, it is of course not the norm. If it were, FIAT would have closed down already.
Further, almost every brand of car has its detractors.
Abarthnut, I am not in any way minimizing your experience or saying you donít have a right to feel exactly as you do, and to voice your displeasure. You had a bad experience, and FIAT should make good on it. There is no excuse for bad customer service. But again, the car is great and for most people the ownership experience will be good.

FiatCares
10-25-2012, 10:22 AM
I've heard from "Jonathan"...

I dare him to post his response to me, I won't, but "Jonathan" at "Fiat cares" essentially followed the party line and told me to go **** myself, like all those before him: 'We see no problems and dare you to try again'...

These Chrysler people are scum; not one I've dealt with understands the principle of satisfaction in a job well done. NOT ONE has any intention of repairing my ABARTH to the state it SHOULD have been delivered in.

They also seem not to comprehend the power of social media in the hands of a man unfairly wronged.

Ciao,
Mark

Per your request:

"After reading your corporate file 22723534, I do apologize for the problems you are experiencing, but unfortunately, I cannot authorize a warranty repair rendered by someone other than a Fiat studio. If you choose to take your vehicle to a independent mechanic, it would be at your cost. After reviewing your warranty history, it would not qualify for buyback or lemon law based on your own state's requirements at this time. NY state Lemon Law is 4 repair attempts on the same issue AND 30 calendar days out of service. If you choose to bring it back to a Fiat studio of your choosing, I will involve their Factory Representative and our Engineering Facility, STAR, to address your concerns, but the studio must be able to duplicate each concern; this includes the alignment issue. Rental/loaner vehicles are provided by choice of the studio, and are therefore not covered under the manufactures warranty."

FiatCares
10-25-2012, 10:25 AM
Per your request:

"After reading your corporate file 22723534, I do apologize for the problems you are experiencing, but unfortunately, I cannot authorize a warranty repair rendered by someone other than a Fiat studio. If you choose to take your vehicle to a independent mechanic, it would be at your cost. After reviewing your warranty history, it would not qualify for buyback or lemon law based on your own state's requirements at this time. NY state Lemon Law is 4 repair attempts on the same issue AND 30 calendar days out of service. If you choose to bring it back to a Fiat studio of your choosing, I will involve their Factory Representative and our Engineering Facility, STAR, to address your concerns, but the studio must be able to duplicate each concern; this includes the alignment issue. Rental/loaner vehicles are provided by choice of the studio, and are therefore not covered under the manufactures warranty."


Please tell me where in my response, did I provide inaccurate information? You wanted to go to an independent for repairs.. you are welcome to it, but Fiat will not pay for it under warranty. You wanted to apply for Lemon Law/Buyback... you are welcome to it.. but based on your own state.. (NJ or NY or wherever), your vehicle does not qualify for either... I offered to help you.. and based on your reply to me... I believe it is YOU that is telling ME to "buzz off" (to be polite and professional)

sjmst
10-25-2012, 10:34 AM
Two sides to every story. Maybe this can be worked out.

ghostdog
10-25-2012, 11:37 AM
I am really sorry that you are having such a frustrating time. I don't know as much about cars as you do, and I have largely had to depend on good and honest service for all of my past cars, but I have really enjoyed my 500 POP and based on two forums that I attend so have many others.

I have read all of your posts that deal with your concerns because I am interested in learning about Fiat as a brand, and I want to be aware of any potential problems to look out for. I have contacted Jonathan twice with minor concerns, one of which turned out to be my misunderstanding of how "hill assist" was affecting starting from a dead stop, and he has responded quickly and with a great amount humanheartedness. His response to you seems reasonable and within the normal expectations of a car warranty and quite a bit different than your characterization of it. I know being upset can skew our perceptions, especially when we feel like we aren't being heard or getting what we want.

Aside from your current concerns have you been happy with your car? If it was running perfectly would you want to keep it or would you have your eye on a different car?

Fiat500USA
10-25-2012, 11:38 AM
I see two ways to approach this.

One is to try to work things out and find a solution in a reasonable manner.

The other is to proclaim everything sucks, the people suck and I want to cause as much damage and ruin everyone's experience.

I really hope we can go down the first path. Being an Audi owner, I understand the frustrations of having a car continually being brought into the workshop. However, Audi never responded like Fiat with the offer to get engineering involved, etc.

In my mind, to get anywhere in a service department, especially for an elusive problem, you need to establish a relationship. If people are being called names and being insulted, that is probably not going to help further this relationship. I don't know if that is what is happening, but it may be something to contemplate.

These people are afraid of not getting paid for working on your car (if the mechanic spends all day on your car and can't come up with anything, or something that only pays a half hour, he is out that money in his paycheck). On one hand that is not your problem, but then it does effect the situation. Trying to work with the service departments may make them more willing to go above and beyond for you.

I really hope you can work stuff out and get back to enjoying your car.

One other thing is that in my experience, this car does get knocked off course while driving. I won't say it tracks like an arrow, that is the trade off of having a car with extremely quick turn in and wide tires. Could that have something to do with it?

Fiat500USA
10-25-2012, 12:00 PM
I've merged the other thread here so we don't have to jump around.

littlejohn
10-25-2012, 10:17 PM
I'm not one to have much patience with a car that doesn't track right either,...and then some people don't even notice say alignment being out?, etc. This does sound like more serious issue. Are other people all happy with their ABs?

CMW4
10-26-2012, 12:55 AM
I've heard from "Jonathan"...

I dare him to post his response to me, I won't, but "Jonathan" at "Fiat cares" essentially followed the party line and told me to go **** myself, like all those before him: 'We see no problems and dare you to try again'...

These Chrysler people are scum; not one I've dealt with understands the principle of satisfaction in a job well done. NOT ONE has any intention of repairing my ABARTH to the state it SHOULD have been delivered in.

They also seem not to comprehend the power of social media in the hands of a man unfairly wronged.

Ciao,
Mark


Sorry to hear about your troubles, Jonathan (aka fiatcares) did the same thing to me.

panther76
10-26-2012, 07:21 AM
Sorry to hear about your troubles, Jonathan (aka fiatcares) did the same thing to me.

imo, his take on the response was not an accurate characterization of the actual response.

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 07:46 AM
Sorry "Jonathan",

If you've read the file you know exactly what is wrong with my car even better than I do. You do not offer resolution, you offer more of the same ineffective and unprofessional behavior.

This problem could have and should have been fixed months ago, it is not rocket surgery, it is not electronic or digital; it is front end alignment.

The root problem with 'more of the same' is the Chrysler back-ends to the "Fiat" fronts don't have the equipment or trained personnel to effect the required repairs, so they farm the work out to the local day laborers.

Along withe everyone else I've dealt with at Chrysler, you simply refuse to authorize repairs at an alignment shop of known skill and professionalism; even though I can suggest two nearby, one of which I have a relationship with, the other merely a sterling reputation. You are in effect, and actuality, refusing to honor the warranty and forcing me to pay out of pocket to re-manufacture a new car to proper and advertised technical specification...

I have been contacted by Larchmont Chrysler, they have agreed this time to a loaner so I don't have to burn yet another vacation day not getting my car repaired, and I am giving Chrysler one last chance to remediate my car. I will then be taking it to a professional for verification and most likely actual repair; then the lawsuits can begin.

Even if they stumble onto getting it right, it won't change how this problem has been dealt with since mid-July: You can't cleanse the stain of larceny.

I will never buy another Chrysler, modern "Fiat", "Lancia" or "Alfa".

Mark

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 07:54 AM
So now this may show up on Google alerts and reinforce people's perceptions of FIAT.

Hi,

I have exhausted reasonable discourse, and haven't yet even begun to publicize my experience.

And it's not perception: Getting satisfaction on something as simple as a front end alignment has been impossible with these charlatans.

Mark

sjmst
10-26-2012, 09:55 AM
Hi,

I have exhausted reasonable discourse, and haven't yet even begun to publicize my experience.

And it's not perception: Getting satisfaction on something as simple as a front end alignment has been impossible with these charlatans.

Mark


I would no doubt feel the same way as you. Hope it gets resolved. Sorry for all the grief.

FiatCares
10-26-2012, 11:41 AM
imo, his take on the response was not an accurate characterization of the actual response.

Thanks panther.. its nice to see that not everyone' s out for a witch hunt. Hope you all have a great weekend.

ghostdog
10-26-2012, 11:56 AM
Sorry "Jonathan",

If you've read the file you know exactly what is wrong with my car even better than I do. You do not offer resolution, you offer more of the same ineffective and unprofessional behavior.

This problem could have and should have been fixed months ago, it is not rocket surgery, it is not electronic or digital; it is front end alignment.

The root problem with 'more of the same' is the Chrysler back-ends to the "Fiat" fronts don't have the equipment or trained personnel to effect the required repairs, so they farm the work out to the local day laborers.

Along withe everyone else I've dealt with at Chrysler, you simply refuse to authorize repairs at an alignment shop of known skill and professionalism; even though I can suggest two nearby, one of which I have a relationship with, the other merely a sterling reputation. You are in effect, and actuality, refusing to honor the warranty and forcing me to pay out of pocket to re-manufacture a new car to proper and advertised technical specification...

I have been contacted by Larchmont Chrysler, they have agreed this time to a loaner so I don't have to burn yet another vacation day not getting my car repaired, and I am giving Chrysler one last chance to remediate my car. I will then be taking it to a professional for verification and most likely actual repair; then the lawsuits can begin.

Even if they stumble onto getting it right, it won't change how this problem has been dealt with since mid-July: You can't cleanse the stain of larceny.

I will never buy another Chrysler, modern "Fiat", "Lancia" or "Alfa".

Mark

I have a much better understanding of your situation now. It has been your experience that the studio does not have either the right equipment or the expertise to do a proper front end alignment, period. And I see where Jonathan's response would make you feel put off because he is obviously not in a position the authorize an independent repair for any of us, for any reason, because that was not our agreement when we signed the contract with Fiat. That does not mean he is a bad guy or not doing his job, and it does not mean that you are a bad guy and asking for something you are not entitled to according to Fiat corporate, because you are clearly entitled to have a car in perfect working order.

If the studio cannot repair your car to your satisfaction this time, this is what I would do if I were in your position. Obviously you have an open case with Fiat, so any and all service work has and will be documented which will show a history of attempted repairs. If the service dept. does not bring your car up to the designated standard, take it to the best alignment shop you know of, have them give you a very detailed report of the misalignment and what was required to bring it into alignment, and send the bill to Fiat corporate along with copies of all records of attempted repairs and the repair that resolved the problem. If they decline payment, which they probably will, let them know you will begin legal action and give them one more chance to pay. If your case is airtight they will know it and will want to avoid a protracted and costly fight in court.

When consumers reach an impasse with companies, as you might, which happens tens of thousands of times a day, we have legal recourse. It is a drag to have to go through but it exists for our benefit living in a country that very often applies the rule of law.

One more point; stop bashing the brand. It is not getting you what you want and does not benefit you in any way. In fact all the negative emotion is really bad for your health. Along with that, a tremendous amount of Fiat owners love their cars and have had very good experiences with Fiat and Jonathan. Trying to damage Fiat's reputation by defaming them is not helping you.

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 01:13 PM
[...]
In my mind, to get anywhere in a service department, especially for an elusive problem, you need to establish a relationship. If people are being called names and being insulted, that is probably not going to help further this relationship. I don't know if that is what is happening, but it may be something to contemplate.
[...]


Hi,

You'll have to take my word for it, but I've been nothing but cordial and EXTREMELY patient with these people, for over four months now. My experience with Ciao FIAT last Friday, complete and utter dismissal and worse from three reps in one afternoon, and others more recently has proved too much to contain. I'm only Bloody Human.

The service manager at Ramsey Chrysler flat out lied to me about work performed, on top of a service report for the second visit that five times said some permutation of 'could not reproduce complaint'. Specifically once about an OBD code, completely missing the point of OBD. They had my car for two days and did not align the front end. Even with Ciao Fiat's intervention they would not schedule a return service, claiming they'd fixed the problems... Hard to develop a working relationship with such people.

Ciao Fiat proved unable to help any further.

The service rep at Larchmont Fiat induced me take another day off (they'd refused me a loaner) to bring the car back on the next business day to complete the alignment they'd only half done, and then didn't show up for work that day leaving no cover or instructions... He still hasn't returned phone calls over the two weeks since; another difficult communications proposition.

Again, Ciao Fiat proved unreasonable and unhelpful, refusing my attempts to escalate to a service level authorized to execute and effect decisions. One woman was clearly watching Honey Boo Boo episodes during our call, another could not be broken from her script, and the last that day was the guy who refused my attempt to escalate with "No". "No."

It's only through the efforts of a service performance survey person that Larchmont Chrysler have contacted me at all.

Which brings me to the root of this problem: Chrysler dealers apparently do not have alignment racks that can accommodate the Fiats they are selling. Both dealers I've been to had to ship out the car, or so the first even pretends, to an independent alignment shop: How was I to develop a relationship with those people?

I have an excellent alignment guy; he sets my 124 Spider to specs I indicate without drama or complaint. He had my Honda dialed in like a JTCC racer...

As long as Chrysler can't do the work themselves, why can't I pick the independent?

Thanks,
Mark

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 01:30 PM
[...]
One more point; stop bashing the brand. It is not getting you what you want and does not benefit you in any way. In fact all the negative emotion is really bad for your health. Along with that, a tremendous amount of Fiat owners love their cars and have had very good experiences with Fiat and Jonathan. Trying to damage Fiat's reputation by defaming them is not helping you.

Hi there...

This ersatz Fiat is my third in name, I also have a second FIAT 124 Spider. I've wanted the 500 since it was a concept. I think my Abarth is fantastic, even with a half-assed front end alignment it is a joy.

None of that mitigates the fact that Fiat USA as a brand is a dismal failure, and the people I've had the displeasure to have to deal with to resolve a simple mechanical issue have been uniformly unhelpful and incompetent.

Fiat had to do one thing to succeed in their return to the US market: Definitively resolve quality and repair issues as they will occur, with courtesy and good will. ...Dispel the notion of Fix-It-Again-Tony, dispel the impression of imperious and lazy repair goons.

I'm taking my four-month old car in to "Tony" for a fourth time on Monday, to yet again have the steering wheel centered and the front end subsequently aligned to spec, an issue I've complained of consistently from the second week of ownership.

You may think me unreasonable; anyone driving a Japanese car would call me a fool for persisting in the face of overwhelming incompetence and arrogance.

Ciao,
Mark

ghostdog
10-26-2012, 02:11 PM
Fiat had to do one thing to succeed in their return to the US market: Definitively resolve quality and repair issues as they will occur, with courtesy and good will. ...Dispel the notion of Fix-It-Again-Tony, dispel the impression of imperious and lazy repair goons.

I'm taking my four-month old car in to "Tony" for a fourth time on Monday, to yet again have the steering wheel centered and the front end subsequently aligned to spec, an issue I've complained of consistently from the second week of ownership.

You may think me unreasonable; anyone driving a Japanese car would call me a fool for persisting in the face of overwhelming incompetence and arrogance.

Ciao,
Mark

Hey Mark. I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. You bought a new car and it should be in perfect working order. I understand your frustration completely, and when I considered buying a Fiat after having bought Hondas almost exclusively, I had to wrestle with, #1, the studio being far from where I live, and #2, the risk that my experience with Honda was going to be my standard for comparison with Fiat, and that there was no reason to believe it was going to be remotely similar, all things considered. Honda is a well oiled machine.

The reason I risked buying a Fiat was simple; Honda makes ugly cars in the $20,000.00 range. The new 2013 Civic is a joke as far as design. it looks like a Buck Rogers space ship that mated with a stealth fighter that will turn into a giant Japanese robot if need be. The 500 really captured my imagination, risks about location, quality and service included. So far so good with my car, and my dealings with Fiat corporate have been stellar but my concerns have been very superficial.

The gaps between design, engineering, sales and service can be enormous, and you are right in the middle of one of those gaps. Lets hope they get it right come Monday.

Best, Bob

msjulie33
10-26-2012, 02:36 PM
None of that mitigates the fact that Fiat USA as a brand is a dismal failure, and the people I've had the displeasure to have to deal with to resolve a simple mechanical issue have been uniformly unhelpful and incompetent.

Mark - this may be true of your experience but you must realize not everyone feels that way so your statement might be seen as a bit much, over the top - taking away from the focus which should be that these 2 dealers certainly have failed you from what you've described and you deserve to have a working product that you paid good money for..

I had a situation back some years with a Chrysler mini van (thank god never doing that again). Anyway, the steering rack leaked and the dealer tried to blame me for overfilling it - why if it wasn't leaking would anyone ever add anything I said? This is a car with an intact unexpired warranty too!

Basically local dealer was immovable so I said fine, screw this and filed a complaint with the better biz bureau in the area. Took a little bit but I guess they sent a note to the dealer saying solve this with the customer or agree to binding 3rd party arbitration (more annoyance for me but I was determined to not give in)... I guess they knew they were screwed so suddenly they were all "what can we do to make you happy" crap... and they replaced the whole steering rack etc as they should have from day one.

I guess my point was, yes, I was flaming mad but I realized they could care less - I needed to find the pressure point to get them to move. After that the dealer seemed to know they should probably just do the right thing by me for future issues cause I was a thorn in their side otherwise.

Good luck

luckymoi
10-26-2012, 02:45 PM
Hi there...

This ersatz Fiat is my third in name, I also have a second FIAT 124 Spider. I've wanted the 500 since it was a concept. I think my Abarth is fantastic, even with a half-assed front end alignment it is a joy.

None of that mitigates the fact that Fiat USA as a brand is a dismal failure, and the people I've had the displeasure to have to deal with to resolve a simple mechanical issue have been uniformly unhelpful and incompetent.

Fiat had to do one thing to succeed in their return to the US market: Definitively resolve quality and repair issues as they will occur, with courtesy and good will. ...Dispel the notion of Fix-It-Again-Tony, dispel the impression of imperious and lazy repair goons.

I'm taking my four-month old car in to "Tony" for a fourth time on Monday, to yet again have the steering wheel centered and the front end subsequently aligned to spec, an issue I've complained of consistently from the second week of ownership.

You may think me unreasonable; anyone driving a Japanese car would call me a fool for persisting in the face of overwhelming incompetence and arrogance.

Ciao,
Mark
Cut the adverbs, cut the adjectives, cut the personal references, stay objective not subjective...
Turn it into a 5 bullet PowerPoint slide.
(1) fiat service has not centered the steering wheel ( picture attached and repair order numbers cited)
(2) the car, under braking exhibits a dangerous pull to the right
Etc
Maybe someone else in your circle of family or friends can intercede?
Not only is Fiat ineffective in resolving these items, you are as well, get someone to help, its completely out order.
If all else fails, dump it, live longer, be happy. Its a car.
Sometimes things don't turn out well in this life.

13.6 K happy miles here after 15 months, no oil leak on the engine or transmission, no leak on the axle boots, no overheatong, no cabrio leak, no noises or rattles, clock loses time. Mileage is a 50% improvement over my other car and I have access to classical music again. The steering wheel is centered I love the brakes.

Stay sane, keep your friends close and do not tell me to **** off think you..
Moderator: edit as you see fit.

panther76
10-26-2012, 05:38 PM
Mark - this may be true of your experience but you must realize not everyone feels that way so your statement might be seen as a bit much, over the top - taking away from the focus which should be that these 2 dealers certainly have failed you from what you've described and you deserve to have a working product that you paid good money for.

this is an important distinction. when i had my corolla and frequented the toyota nation forums, i saw plenty of situations where there was a complete failure to satisfy a new customers service/repair needs on a new purchase....to the point of lawsuits.

as poorly as they have thus far handled this, that singular experience by one customer does not make FIAT a dismal failure. the way they have handled THIS situation is a failure.

SeaDawg
10-26-2012, 07:09 PM
I have an excellent alignment guy; he sets my 124 Spider to specs I indicate without drama or complaint. He had my Honda dialed in like a JTCC racer...

As long as Chrysler can't do the work themselves, why can't I pick the independent?

Thanks,
Mark

I've been reading this for several days now. You're working yourself into a coronary and not getting any successful resolution. If you have someone who is so skilled at doing alignments, just take it to him and be done with it. JUST DO IT and be done with it.

sjmst
10-26-2012, 08:07 PM
I've been reading this for several days now. You're working yourself into a coronary and not getting any successful resolution. If you have someone who is so skilled at doing alignments, just take it to him and be done with it. JUST DO IT and be done with it.

How much is wheel alignment? It's been a while since I had one done. Maybe get one done to correct specs and take the dealer to small claims court with proof that the alignment was out of spec.

SeaDawg
10-26-2012, 08:14 PM
How much is wheel alignment? It's been a while since I had one done. Maybe get one done to correct specs and take the dealer to small claims court with proof that the alignment was out of spec.

At my LS it's $99.00 last time I checked. I got it done at the local installer for Tire Rack products and it was $69.00.

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 11:38 PM
I've been reading this for several days now. You're working yourself into a coronary and not getting any successful resolution. If you have someone who is so skilled at doing alignments, just take it to him and be done with it. JUST DO IT and be done with it.

I paid full-boat for this car, I expect advertised specification.

You and all the other half-baked apologists are welcome to cover the out of pocket expenses you so glibly dismiss: mjfonline@verizon.net is my paypal account.

Ciao,
Mark

AbarthNut
10-26-2012, 11:54 PM
I paid full-boat for this car, I expect advertised specification.

You and all the other half-baked apologists are welcome to cover the out of pocket expenses you so glibly dismiss: mjfonline@verizon.net is my paypal account.

Ciao,
Mark

Wow... Not one of you brothers-in-law have stepped up.

"Shocked..."

epb
10-27-2012, 04:43 AM
Wow... Not one of you brothers-in-law have stepped up.

"Shocked..."

It seems like the rational course of action would be to fix the issue out of pocket and then seek reimbursement from FIAT through official and/or legal channels. Write a letter to FIAT asking to be reimbursed in a reasonable amount of time, say 30 days, or you will pursue legal action. Include your case number, explain the issue and detail the FIAT employees you've spoken with, attach a copy of your receipt for the repairs and send it via certified mail with return receipt. You may also want to copy your dealership. If you're so inclined, also state that you're filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and your state's Attorney General. And make sure you do so. If your local paper has a consumer advocate/abitrating column, write them as well.

Leave out anything you can't quantify with records - no claims of lost Fiat sales because you spoke to someone at the mall or posted on the internet, no pronouncements of doom and gloom about the companying going under because one out of thousands of customers had an issue, no feelings, emotions, philosophies, opinions. Save that for the Mrs, your therapist, your dog - someone that cares about you. This is business.

If (when) they don't respond, and if your AG won't pursue the issue for you, file a suit in small claims court for the amount and possibly your time dealing with the issue ONLY if you can 1) quantify exactly how you spent the time with records and 2) quantify what it's worth with records (the value of your lost vacation days being 8 hours @ your hourly work rate, for instance, price of court fees, materials, postage, whatever. Be aware small claims court has limits, so asking for more than whatever that is won't help.

Enjoy your car (and your life) while the wheels of justice slowly turn.

These behaviors are what mature adults call "constructive." This solution is what sane people call "reasonable." Your current behavior and expectations are neither. If you're unwilling to take care of the issue in this fashion, further discussion is pointless.

William M Jacocks Jr
10-27-2012, 07:01 AM
Hm... you paid in full for your car but you want US to boot the 100 bucks for an alignment? Stopping there before it goes political. Good luck!

ghostdog
10-27-2012, 09:52 AM
I paid full-boat for this car, I expect advertised specification.

You and all the other half-baked apologists are welcome to cover the out of pocket expenses you so glibly dismiss: mjfonline@verizon.net is my paypal account.

Ciao,
Mark

Wow Mark, that is a pretty mean thing to say. Forum members in this thread are trying to help and support you, and the idea of just resolving the alignment issue yourself is a good idea, whether you pursue reimbursement or not. You can take complete control of this matter and be done with it, in the same way that I am done with this thread.

Pinecone
10-27-2012, 12:07 PM
You might want to actually READ and PAY ATTENTION to what Jonathan said.

Your car does not qualify for a buy back under your state's Lemon laws. AT THIS TIME. He told you the criteria. I know it is a pain, but keep taking the car back until it has been in 4 times for the SAME ISSUE, and out of service for 30 days. THEN, your state's laws kick in and you can Lemon the car. And FORCE a buy back.

The way I see it, you have a horrible example of the brand. But it does happen to ALL brands. USE the laws. But you have to meet the criteria. I see Jonathan having given you the information you needed to proceed.

Another option would be to take the car to the indepedant shop, have them do the repair, and DOCUMENT what was wrong, and file a small claims court action against your studio for the costs. But that is if you want to the keep the car, which does not seem like the case here.

Jim McKenzie
10-27-2012, 01:33 PM
You might want to actually READ and PAY ATTENTION to what Jonathan said.

Your car does not qualify for a buy back under your state's Lemon laws. AT THIS TIME. He told you the criteria. I know it is a pain, but keep taking the car back until it has been in 4 times for the SAME ISSUE, and out of service for 30 days. THEN, your state's laws kick in and you can Lemon the car. And FORCE a buy back.

The way I see it, you have a horrible example of the brand. But it does happen to ALL brands. USE the laws. But you have to meet the criteria. I see Jonathan having given you the information you needed to proceed.

Another option would be to take the car to the indepedant shop, have them do the repair, and DOCUMENT what was wrong, and file a small claims court action against your studio for the costs. But that is if you want to the keep the car, which does not seem like the case here.

+1 Pinecone.

I have never considered myself, nor anyone that has replied to this thread, to be a "half-baked apologist" for Fiat or anything else for that matter, but what Jonathan said is exactly the right response.

It think that if this service problem happened to me, or most other folks on the board, we would have handled this quite a bit differently, even if we got mad about it. I think I would have gone to my personally known alignment guys and had them fix it at maximum, or done a written analysis at minimum. Then I'd go back to the dealer with my documented results and see what they'd offer. My own experts might even fix it for under a hundred bucks, but I'd at least have an independent expert do some real work to fix the issue, instead of taking it to an internet forum.

A six page thread for this? Really?

Fiat500USA
10-27-2012, 02:29 PM
It seems like the rational course of action would be to fix the issue out of pocket and then seek reimbursement from FIAT through official and/or legal channels. Write a letter to FIAT asking to be reimbursed in a reasonable amount of time, say 30 days, or you will pursue legal action. Include your case number, explain the issue and detail the FIAT employees you've spoken with, attach a copy of your receipt for the repairs and send it via certified mail with return receipt. You may also want to copy your dealership. If you're so inclined, also state that you're filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and your state's Attorney General. And make sure you do so. If your local paper has a consumer advocate/abitrating column, write them as well.

Leave out anything you can't quantify with records - no claims of lost Fiat sales because you spoke to someone at the mall or posted on the internet, no pronouncements of doom and gloom about the companying going under because one out of thousands of customers had an issue, no feelings, emotions, philosophies, opinions. Save that for the Mrs, your therapist, your dog - someone that cares about you. This is business.

If (when) they don't respond, and if your AG won't pursue the issue for you, file a suit in small claims court for the amount and possibly your time dealing with the issue ONLY if you can 1) quantify exactly how you spent the time with records and 2) quantify what it's worth with records (the value of your lost vacation days being 8 hours @ your hourly work rate, for instance, price of court fees, materials, postage, whatever. Be aware small claims court has limits, so asking for more than whatever that is won't help.

Enjoy your car (and your life) while the wheels of justice slowly turn.

These behaviors are what mature adults call "constructive." This solution is what sane people call "reasonable." Your current behavior and expectations are neither. If you're unwilling to take care of the issue in this fashion, further discussion is pointless.

Great advice.

Fiat500USA
10-27-2012, 02:32 PM
Based on the disturbing email I have received from our friend, I'll have to say this thread has reached its natural conclusion.

Our friend has been free to post his frustrations and has described his situation fully. The community has offered support and advice. The responses speak for themselves. I think further discusions aren't going to yield anything useful.

I wish our friend the best of luck and adieu...