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Major accident 'cos of abnormal behaviour of Punto

Discussion in 'Technical' started by ani1900s, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. ani1900s

    ani1900s Novizio

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hi all Experts & Users,

    I seriously need all you people's attention & assistance to ensure that FIAT India acts proactively to ensure that the life of FIAT owners' are not at stake. I am writing this concern because recently couple of weeks back I met a major accident on Mumbai Pune Expressway while traveling to Mumbai from Pune with my wife & little over 1 year old daughter and this accident 100% has to do with some fault in FIAT car as the car behaved really abnormal and accident prone whilst last few moments before the accident.

    Let me first try to mention in brief the occurrence of the unpleasant event that has changed my total perspective on how I see FIAT brand now; 0n 13[SUP]th[/SUP] April ’14, at around 10am, I started my drive with my Wife & my one year two month old daughter from my house in Pune to Mumbai via Mumbai Pune Expressway in my FIAT Grande Punto. At around 11.15am, around 50km from my house and on Mumbai Pune Expressway, I felt a tremble wherein my car all of a sudden went in left & right direction for couple of seconds and it happened on a straight road when I was holding my steering rock straight. The car moved left right as if the steering had totally no control on the wheels as it was held straight throughout (even when the tyres/car was moving left & right, the steering was steady & straight) and then the steering regained control in 2 seconds after which the car started to follow the directions of my steering; meanwhile the car had shifted to left lane from middle. My wife panicked when car lost control for couple of seconds there. And within next minute, the similar thing occurred where the wheels/ car went out of control automatically again & started to move left right wherein the steering had no control at all over the wheels as the car again started to head towards left lane until it hit the left side concrete barricade. The vehicle after hitting hard on the left side barricade, it went onto the right most lane and only after having another huge impact with right side barricade the car came to a halt. During this course, right from when the car started to tremble, the vehicle seemed to have no response for the steering (exactly as what happened a minute before).

    The good part was that my Wife & Daughter were safe; wife though got some blemishes and sprains but all credit to her to hold the daughter so safe that my daughter came out from near death missing accident almost harmless. My Wife & Daughter were sitting on rear seats. I do not know whether to praise Punto for its sturdy body due to which we were safe to a large extent or to blame the vehicle as it was the cause of the accident as well.

    Now that I am 100% sure on what happened in those 2 minutes was due to some problem that arose in my vehicle and that there was some malfunction, I towed the vehicle to FIAT service centre in Pune, same place where I serviced my vehicle little over month back. My Punto completed 2 yrs in March this year, hence the service in March as well.

    I explained the entire details of my accident to the FIAT service centre & to the FIAT Customer Service Team through an email and urged to find the cause of the accident, but FIAT Service Team has been dead and little they acted to find the cause. On demanding it again, for the formality I received an email from Mangesh Kodalkar (Customer Service) that their Regional Service Manager Mr. Valsan Kumar inspected the vehicle and said that as it is hit from bottom right the jobs will be carried as per accident insurance policy. Now that I was asking the cause and he was telling me the consequences of the accident; just made me think that FIAT is either hiding something serious or they are not at all interested in safety of FIAT owners; therefore not trying to find the cause.

    I have a series of communication on emails and I will be happy to share with anyone, which explains every detail I shared with FIAT and their ignorant behaviour.

    Now can anyone please help me on how to really escalate this matter to the right level or person so that FIAT takes seriousness in finding the fault & the cause of the accident so that such faults if in other vehicles can be worked on. Also provide your expertise if anyone has faced any similar problems in their car or what might be the cause that has caused the accident.

    Please feel free to ask any details that one needs or would like to know. By the way, my estimate cost of repair is expected to be around 3.25 lacs.

    P.S.: Totally satisfied with the car's performance until 12th April '14, but 13th April changed the way I not just look at Punto now but most importantly how FIAT handles such situation; believe me, they have proved to be worst in customer service when the matter was of cars' safety standards.

    Below are some shots of accident & the place where it hit. (apologize, have scratched the vehicle number, thought it was right to do so)
    Img 1 is the left side barricade where the car had its first impact
    Img 2 is the screech marks after having its first impact and then having second impact on right
    Img 3 is the vehicle image moment after crash
    Also attached in PDf is the report that is made by dealer, which totally opposes the facts and pictures; he says the first impact was right bottom and that was the cause.... feels like laughing over their sense of understanding an accident and ignoring the real facts & pictures provided.

    Damaged report below; report is self contradicting when it says first impact on right bottom and then car went to hit left and again came to right. Also let me know if anyone wants me to share the email communications with FIAT.

    View attachment Damaged report.pdf

    Barricade on left where it hit first.jpg Screech Marks post first bang on left and then to right.jpg Moment after crash.jpg
  2. royj

    royj Esperto

    From the look of it the first failure seems to be what is shown in picture 5 of the report. This caused loss of steering control and you hit the left barricade and then the right barricade.

    The cause of this failure can be ascertained only after detailed investigation into the vehicle condition, usage, and maintenance. FIAT service seems to think this failure is due to a hit.

    I can understand this was a really frightening moment for the driver. Glad to hear nobody was seriously hurt.
  3. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Linea 1.3
    Sorry that it has happened to you. Fortunately every one is safe.
    From their report, it is well clear that they have a different account of the incident.
    Mangesh Kodalkar is the customer contact, he has helped resolve many issues (1 for me, though very minor compared to yours).
    Other contacts to FIAT can be found in this thread

    Btw, After the first tremble or uncontrolled veer, you seem to got back control. You could have stopped the car safely before continuing and then a proper examination could have been carried out and lot of savings on time and energy.
    4 people like this.
  4. naruf1

    naruf1 Amatore

    Namma Bengaluru
    The accident indeed looks horrifying and shocking, it is good to know that your family and you are safe.
    I would like to ask approximately at what speed were you travelling? As per Damaged report.pdf file attached, there is a bend on the inner side of the RIM (right front wheel).
  5. shashanknathani

    shashanknathani Superiore

    What was the speed? I see no mention of the speed in the explanation.
    I faced an accident on expressway sometime back and it had nothing to do with the vehicle.

    FIAT Punto proved again that it can save lifes for sure. god bless you and your family.

    My two cents:
    1. You should have definitely stopped after the first trembling or atleast slowed down till 20kmph.
    2. Was any part related to Steering or Suspension changed in the recent past?
    3. What was the km's reading on the ODO when this happened and how old were the tires.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  6. Italia-Linea

    Italia-Linea Staff Member Janitor

    Sorry to hear about your strange accident. The very first ever heard on a Fiat. I have few points and few questions for you.

    1. Point 1 - dont keep any apprehensions about FIAT, and the safety. I bet you will be hard pressed to find a safer car than a punto/linea period.

    2. I see a curve before you hit the median - i have traveled this road so many times and i know this specific area. What speeds were you at on this curve ? was it too hot? i have seen many times the tar melts in this patch.

    3. What tyres are fitted on your punto and how old are they.

    4. Has your clutch been changed ever?

    5. Point 2: if all the above is adequately answered and still the car behaved this way there can only be 1 reason - the differential malfunctioned and the distribution of speed to left and right tyre messed up, else the ball joint gave up and so the car swerved and hit the median.
    6 people like this.
  7. shashanknathani

    shashanknathani Superiore

  8. shams

    shams Esperto

    ani1900s, first of all glad to know that all of you came out safe.

    from the pictures in the pdf doc, it certainly looks like service center's explanation is correct. did your car's underbody hit a large stone or something. the damage to inner part of right tyre doesn't look like it would have happened in any of the events you have decribed in your first post. are you sure you have not missed something that might have happened just before the accident in which the underbody might have been hit?

    Also i guess you were not using a child seat for your daughter. please use it going forward.
  9. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Though it looks from pics, something got hit, but I am surprised how the steering connecting rod got broken.

    Glad that you and family is safe, on this account Punto rocks.
  10. pabhishek

    pabhishek Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    Omg!! thats Very Bad!! Glad to know you and all your family members are safe. As suggested by members above those points should be known such as speed, recent under body hit, tread on Tyre, etc to come for a conclusion/discussion.

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