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JD Power Survey – New Car Quality Improves In 2011. But what about FIAT

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by PaddleShifter, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    JD Power – New Car Quality Improves In 2011

    The recent study by JD Power says that the quality of cars have improved in 2011 and the problems faced in new cars are down 16%. I have been thinking about this since long but the article made me think again. At TFI, you would find many threads where members are facing problems in their cars. A major part of it is because a FIAT owners goes near his car with a magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes, eyes of an eagle, hearing capability of a bat. :p

    How do you see the general quality of Punto/Linea in 2009 vs 2010 vs 2011?

    I believe old TFI members like RoyJ, Ravi, VP, J Ravi etc. can especially give good inputs as they have been at TFI since June 2010 so know the approx trend of problems faced by various new car owners throughout this time.

    Every generation of car has seen some common niggles like Clutch slave cylinder, plastics, AC gas leak, link rod etc. I, for one, am not very satisfied with the quality control and PDI system of FIAT and have actually moved away from What car section for this reason.

    I invite the views of forum members on the topic.

    What do you think? Is FIAT QC and PDI for newly manufactured cars improving, at the same level or deteriorating?

    How would you rate it with other cars?
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  2. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    3,989
    Punjab
    I cannot comment on the '09 vs '10 vs '11 debate, but on the following comment i can share my experience.

    Firstly, our Linea was bought in March 2011 and till today it has been a zero issue ownership experience. So, top marks to FIAT there in the case of this Linea.

    Then, there is the case of our relative's Punto. As most of you would've read, within a week of purchase there started a noise when the steering was turned either way. After two days at the workshop, no solution could be found and the Works Manager simply said this is normal.

    And , he showed me a brand new Punto Multijet Active which too was making a similar noise, and said this is normal and will come from every car. The Works Manager there is a dumb moron , so i did not pay much heed to what he said.

    TFIan Vijay Khasa provided me the contact information of the regional FIAT co-ordinator who handles complaints, but my relative has decided to continue driving the Punto as is for some time being. Since a new car having spent two days at the workshop is a pretty sad experience itself. And if the matter is pursued further, then i'm sure the Punto will be spending a few days more at the workshop. So, the owner just wants to drive and enjoy the Punto as is, for now atleast. Apart from the steering noise, that Punto drives perfect.

    So, it's been a mixed bag really. On one hand , the Linea continues to provide happiness and joy, whereas the Punto , which was bought on my insistence, has not really provided the zero issue ownership experience.

    Cheers.
  3. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

    Messages:
    2,878
    Goa
    The more one discuss more problems come to surface, otherwise it never get noticed. Each and every finest details are discussed in TFI. When I look back(more than one year) I think fiat cars are good. Every cars will have problems. I have seen many of my friends using alto with silencer problems. They use it happily even without noticing the problems. Recently after servicing my alto there was a rattling noise coming from gear. I simply neglected it since I didn't get time to go to service station. Now the problem disappeared. If the problem were with fiat I would immediately post it to forum or call the customer care.
  4. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    Yashik, since you pulled me into the ring :boxer ... Here I am :D

    I tend to agree with your observation that "FIAT owners goes near his car with a magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes, eyes of an eagle, hearing capability of a bat."
    I personally don't think it would be appropriate to make an estimate of the amount of problems in a vehicle just be looking at the posts in a forum like this. My reasoning is that these forums are not truly representative of the population and not all problems gets reported here and those who report tend to be the Sherlock Holmes type. Some vague inferences can be made but avoid generalizing across brands or models.

    The year I bought my Santro, the JD power put the Initial Quality for Santro as something around 1.5 or 1.75 defects per car which would cause the owner to take the car to the service center within 30 days of purchase. In my case I took it once within this period to rectify a minor electrical fault.

    With Punto, I am not aware of the JD Power figures, but I don't remember taking it to service center for resolving any issue within this period. However the overall fit and finish of the plastics and rubber could be improved. Over the two years of my ownership, I have taken my Punto only twice to workshop for repairs other than regular service / checkup camps or accident repairs. Once for replacing a blown fuse and other for fixing a leaking Clutch Master cylinder.

    So my take is that there is a lot of scope for improvement for Fiat in the quality area compared to its competitors and over the years they have remained more or less at the same level.
  5. pioneeraaron

    pioneeraaron Superiore

    Messages:
    716
    Mulund/Mumbai
    I can definately vouch that the quality in '10 & '11 have been improved to an extent.I own a '09 manufactured hence i could make out some minute changes and some cost cutting in the newer vehicles too.Poor QC and PDi still persist.I find the '09(atleast mine is rattle free) vehicles to be niggle free than the '10 & '11(seen a few Tfi members vehicles esp MJD are prone to rattles and squeeks) Roads might also be playing an important factor here and obviously the way one drives.FIAT needs to improve the centre fascia looks,fit and finish too.
  6. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Messages:
    1,599
    Bangalore/Kasargod
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Mine is a July 2009 Punto 1.4.
    One of the indicator bulbs fused in the first few weeks. I don't think any quality check could have made any difference when it comes parts like bulbs. When close to two years, the glove box spring breaks, it is yet to be replaced as FIAT is not sending the spare part (according to TATA SA). Then comes the locking system of the fuse box, next to the steering. The metal clips and the box itself are of too poor quality. I definitely believe that quality of parts that are used regularly could have been better. All these (minor) issues were resolved quickly within an hour’s time at the service center. I never had to leave my car at the service center even for a day, praying it should not happen ever.

    My first (official) visit to the service station was for the first service, that is, around 3-4 months after taking delivery. The car had only one issue to be reported then, that was the rattling from somewhere near the passenger side door. This was fixed during the first service and never turned up again. Minor issues that came up afterwards were mainly due to bad handling (manhandling) of the car by the service center.

    Overall, my experience has been of good, barring these minor worries noted above.
  7. With a 2009 November Punto 1.4 EP in hand, I have had a trouble free experience other than the regular services and 1 accident check. For this I will give full marks to reliability of Punto.
    .
    .
    .
    Great Product...!

    But my regular services case is totally different - I would any day consider it nothing short of nightmares.
    .
    .
    .
    So, it is a Yuccccccccky Service...!

    List of visits:::
    I went for 3 regular services

    (Within a few weeks from delivery I too got a blown indicator warning and straight away got it replaced during 1st service only- as it was only few days before the service.)

    During travel I had a jolt as an aftermath of falling into a crater and got a dead ignition - towed it - later diagnosed to be a lambda sensor dis-engagement on ECU diagnosis at the SC. More like an accident case.

    As part of the hard clutch issue I visited SC twice. One was part of 2nd service itself, and another follow up to get it changed as well as the AC/fan system replacement for petrol cars.
  8. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    The focus is more on the QC and PDI of newly manufactured car. e.g. Khat khat sound appearing days after purchase in a few cases because the link rod was loose, AC going kaput etc, a loose pipe connection leading to loss of power in a new car.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  9. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Mine is a Jun 09 model Punto 1.3 EP bought in Dec 09.

    Firstly, it came with the Blaupunkt music system. Secondly it had a six speaker setup. Ash tray was standard fitment. I understand that the new models have cost cutting measures in these three areas.

    Last week I did my third servicing at 27k . All three servicing have been with Auto Sterling NOIDA. In between the three servicing, I have taken the car three more times to the workshop. Firstly for low AC cooling. Sorted out with pollen filter cleaning & gas charging. Secondly, for air & pollen filter cleaning, about six months later. The third time was for a lube & oils checkup, before driving from Greater NOIDA to Mumbai. During this visit, I also got the right front power window rectified. It was making a slight sound during operation. It was rectified without any problems. I have had absolutely no problems with the ASS provided by Auto Sterling so far.

    As far as I am concerned, the car is giving me very good & reliable service, and I have no cause for complaint. Three aspects of the car I do not like are: large turn radius, 'low' ground clearance, and internal plastics quality. But none of these are 'deal breakers' in my opinion.

    I was in Thailand from 1996 to 1999. I had a fully loaded Toyota Corolla, which I drove all over Thailand - the roads are excellent. I consider the Punto to be as good if not better than the Corolla for highway driving. During my recent drive back from Mumbai, on Day-2, I was at the wheel for over 18 hrs. I do not think that I could have handled this in any other car, priced anywhere near the Punto's price bracket.

    Regards
    Johnny
  10. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    Messages:
    969
    Chennai
    Hi, Mine is a Aug 09 model Punto and my experience has been quite niggle free except for self induced repair stuff. I participated in the initial recall for Link rod, CSC. Other than that I've gone to the Sc only for regular service and accepted wear and tear . My car has done 46K and it is yet to go for the 4th service due to lack of time.
    My advice is drive the car sensibly, don't attend to all symptoms immediately.( for instance my odo is blinking, I dont care as along it is coming back and showing the figures while I wait for reporting the problem at my 4th service). Wait for a while and see whether it increases. In most cases it will go away. Hard grinding noises should be attended immediately. As Royj said, It will be ideal to give some rest to the magnifying glass. Nothing can be perfect to the T. After all a car is thousands of parts put together.

    Abdul

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