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Lemon law repurchase - 2016 500X Trekking Plus AWD
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Thread: Lemon law repurchase - 2016 500X Trekking Plus AWD

  1. #1
    Senior Member PLP's Avatar
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    Post Lemon law repurchase - 2016 500X Trekking Plus AWD

    Hi guys,
    it has been several months now, so I think I can talk about it now.

    Our Tricoat Yellow 2016 500X AWD Trekking Plus with Roof and Beats has been having issues from the very first day of ownership.
    We got it in Sept 2016 from our local dealer. Great deal it was. Purchase was overall easy... Brand new.

    Anyway, the main issue (except a few small ones, like front seats leather would "disconnect" from the seat underneath, or some weird electrical gremlins saying all light bulbs are burned out, or radio randomly turn on, or radiator fan running on high speed when engine would not call for it, or thermostat failure, and some others...) was transmission related: gear shifts, especially on cold.
    Symptoms - on cold, going from 1st to 2nd - long pause, like rolling in neutral, and about 1 second later 2nd drops in with a jerk. Same 2-3. You reach 40 mph, start coasting, downshifts take place - same thing for 3-2 and very jerky 2-1.
    On hot days it was barely noticeable.

    First experience was in winter of 2016 (November). Some programming and so on.
    We have been in and out of service multiple times.

    To make sure I am not making it up - senior engineer/technician took a ride with me just to make sure we are seign same things. Even he did not like it although initially was explaining me how the tranny works (yes, I knew about the dog clutches and other features, so I was fine with some roughness).
    Then, I took some other AWD 500X (it was 2017 model) for a ride on a very cold day (-25 C overnight, that is about -15 F). Smooth like a butter from the start (started the engine, let it run for 10 seconds and took off). Same with some other FWD model.
    Both, though, felt much peppier. FWD even more than AWD, of course. But still 2017 AWD was quicker than our 2016.

    Anyway, first visit was at about 3000 miles.
    Since then we spent over 90 days in service over the next 3 years.
    In total we had 9 repairs ranging from programming, through valve body replacement, fluid flush, finally with tranny replacement.
    To my surprise nothing really helped. Valve body seemed to be OK for a moment, but problem came back...

    In the meantime ECU had to be replaced due to the electrical gremlins... No one knows what and why.

    Since then we put nearly 23k miles on it.

    In short the final steps.
    March 2018 my dealer advised me to talk to FCA to have them on board in a sense of probable repurchase.
    I was very patient as the car was overall nice. Cure looking. Wife loved it. Leather was very soft and rich, it was great in winter...
    So got FCA, "last resort" repair (tranny replacement) did not solve the problem. I am in touch with a nice gentleman from FCA who is almost ready to start the process, but waiting for my confirmation.
    I had to ensure it was still acting up.
    I finally called them back - no response for weeks. Turned out he took different job. My case was transferred (Dec 2018) to a very not-nice guy this time, who did not care about all the other repairs and wanted to start over.

    Per the warranty manual I contacted NCDS (National Center for Dispute Settlements (NCDS) Automotive Warranty Dispute Program).
    That was already Feb 2019.
    By Apr 2019 the made a decision saying - all is good. Non of the repairs could make my car unusable and none of them were connected to each other, meaning reprogramming PCM was a separate issue from tranny replacement which was separate valve body replacement... Oh well.

    Then I finally decided to contact an attorney. At this point I was basically pissed and all paperwork (even, unofficially, the dealer said - it is a clean Lemon).
    Mid Apr-2019 attorney started working. By July 2019 had an offer of two thousand dollars for out trouble (actually 4k, minus 2k for the lawyers' fee). I say - nope. Not taking it.
    August 2019 - buy back offer, but it was very twisted as we refinanced the loan in the meantime on better terms and FCA was claiming that the numbers were not matching so they cut us on 5'000. I ended up paying off the loan what finally got everything straight (not to mention my problems with bank giving me detailed payments schedule and statements dated from 3 years ago... somehow it was not possible).

    Finally, on 22-OCT-2019 we surrendered the vehicle.
    Washed it in and out. Looked like a new one. Even better, because we left Husky mats, wind visors...
    Got the check for almost full amount (minus mileage) and left the dealership.

    I did not feel good about it, in a sense that a overall good car needs to end up like that. I was more inclined into maybe getting some cash back (like 5-6 k) and selling it to maybe FL or TX, somewhere where is warm.
    All problems were only when ambient temp were below freezing (0 C or +32 F). From late spring till mid autumn the car was fine. The other part of the year - jerky.

    The more I think of it, the more I convince myself it was more than tranny itself. It must have been relted to engine or communication with it as it seemed like revs were not matched to the gear.

    In the very end.
    This is the VIN: ZFBCFYET0GP337456

    It seems it ended up as a donor for many parts.

    Wife upgraded to 2015 Audi Q5.
    I got 500e in the meantime (awesome car) to "upgrade" to Bolt.

    Still, I find 500X very nice looking car.
    Yes, trunk could be bigger. Engine peppier (something like 2.0 T would be nice for AWD).
    Tranny was very nice overall as it kept the torque converter locked up almost all the time making it very efficient.

    Current rides: 2019 Chevy Bolt LT, 2016 Audi Q5 Premium
    Previous rides: 2014 FIAT 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, A/T, 2016 FIAT 500X Trekking Plus AWD, 2015 KIA Forte5 SX 1.6 T-GDI, M/T, and many more...

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to PLP For This Useful Post:

    5port (05-05-2020)

  3. #2
    AWD enthusiast Lifetime Member 5port's Avatar
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    May 2012
    New York
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    Sounds like the car had many issues PLP. I'm glad your were able to get a resolution thru buy back. I remember you adding LEDs to help troubleshoot the electrical problems. You probably knew more about it than the dealer. Enjoy the Bolt.
    Last edited by 5port; 05-05-2020 at 10:23 PM.
    2016 Fiat 500X Easy

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