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Old 02-05-2015   #1
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2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Hi all,

First post on the forum, looks like a great community and resource.

I'm having some issues with a 500L 1.4 Popstar (64 plate) that I bought new in October. I'll spare you the full details, and try to keep it short.

Originally, I didn't feel it was quite right putting it into first and second (it wouldn't go in sometimes and I had to reselect). It was intermittent, so I took car back in December and was told it was fine. I still wasn't 100% convinced, and we had baby due in March, so I took it to get double checked at beginning of February.

Issue was fixed under warranty (gear box stripped and re-assembled with some parts replaced). When I got the car back, I noticed that I was now having issues selecting reverse. It crunches a lot more (not a massive issue), but quite often the gear stick will not move down far enough to engage the gear - it just gets stuck.

This was back at the end of March. Garage have looked at it twice since (takes weeks to get it booked in), and insist there is no fault, and that this is simply a "feature" of these gearboxes. They refuse to accept that the problem was introduced when they worked on the car. They can't compare with any other 500Ls they have, because (apparently) the newest models have different gearboxes.

Because the first garage take so long to do things, I've already taken it to another Fiat approved garage, and they said there was a problem, but they couldn't work on it since the other garage had handled the first issue.

I'm very interested to hear if anyone else has this "feature" on their 500L, i.e., similar problems selecting reverse, especially on a 500L that has barely done 3000 miles!

It's a real shame we're having these issues, the car is perfect for us otherwise!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-05-2015   #2
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Sorry to hear about your problem and fortunately I have so far not experienced any of your problems .
I have a '14 1.4 Lounge built in June '13 which I presume would have the same box as yours ? Have they really changed them so early in the life cycle ? Do you know your build date?
Also I presume that your car is still under Fiat's (manufacturer's warranty) rather than the dealer warranty(years 2&3) so it should not matter who fixes it ,should it?
I think that you will have to persue this quite hard with Fiat and I wish you luck
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Old 03-05-2015   #3
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Quote Originally Posted by Faraday1786 View Post
Hi all,

First post on the forum, looks like a great community and resource.

I'm having some issues with a 500L 1.4 Popstar (64 plate) that I bought new in October. I'll spare you the full details, and try to keep it short.

Originally, I didn't feel it was quite right putting it into first and second (it wouldn't go in sometimes and I had to reselect). It was intermittent, so I took car back in December and was told it was fine. I still wasn't 100% convinced, and we had baby due in March, so I took it to get double checked at beginning of February.

Issue was fixed under warranty (gear box stripped and re-assembled with some parts replaced). When I got the car back, I noticed that I was now having issues selecting reverse. It crunches a lot more (not a massive issue), but quite often the gear stick will not move down far enough to engage the gear - it just gets stuck.

This was back at the end of March. Garage have looked at it twice since (takes weeks to get it booked in), and insist there is no fault, and that this is simply a "feature" of these gearboxes. They refuse to accept that the problem was introduced when they worked on the car. They can't compare with any other 500Ls they have, because (apparently) the newest models have different gearboxes.

Because the first garage take so long to do things, I've already taken it to another Fiat approved garage, and they said there was a problem, but they couldn't work on it since the other garage had handled the first issue.

I'm very interested to hear if anyone else has this "feature" on their 500L, i.e., similar problems selecting reverse, especially on a 500L that has barely done 3000 miles!

It's a real shame we're having these issues, the car is perfect for us otherwise!

Thanks in advance!
Firstly I cant say for sure but I too don't think the box has been changed, that would seem very unlikely so early in a model run, however it may have been.

That aside however problems selecting reverse (or any other gear) are not a 'feature' of this vehicle at all, the most likely cause would be to do with the selector cables that act between the lever and the box and how they are set up and adjusted, or something they have done wrong during the repair.

To suggest it is 'normal' is I am afraid BS.

Take it back and insist they sort it, if they do not contact FIAT UK HQ.
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Old 03-05-2015   #4
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Quote Originally Posted by matizman View Post
Sorry to hear about your problem and fortunately I have so far not experienced any of your problems .
I have a '14 1.4 Lounge built in June '13 which I presume would have the same box as yours ? Have they really changed them so early in the life cycle ? Do you know your build date?
Also I presume that your car is still under Fiat's (manufacturer's warranty) rather than the dealer warranty(years 2&3) so it should not matter who fixes it ,should it?
I think that you will have to persue this quite hard with Fiat and I wish you luck
Thanks - so not a feature of all cars then!

I don't know the build date, but presumably easy to find out.

I have had the car for 7 months now, so I should be allowed to go to any Fiat approved garage. Fiat Customer Care originally told me I could take it to any Fiat approved garage (since I was pretty unhappy with the first - I didn't want to go back), only to then be told that the first garage had to assess and repair the vehicle, since they had performed the original repair.
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Old 03-05-2015   #5
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Quote Originally Posted by MJG View Post
Firstly I cant say for sure but I too don't think the box has been changed, that would seem very unlikely so early in a model run, however it may have been.

That aside however problems selecting reverse (or any other gear) are not a 'feature' of this vehicle at all, the most likely cause would be to do with the selector cables that act between the lever and the box and how they are set up and adjusted, or something they have done wrong during the repair.

To suggest it is 'normal' is I am afraid BS.

Take it back and insist they sort it, if they do not contact FIAT UK HQ.
They did fiddle with the cables a bit, but it didn't make any difference. The second garage suggested that the problem may be caused by wear and tear (unlikely after only 3k miles), or that the gear may be put on the wrong way round (apparently it is tapered on one side?), but made it clear that since they had not opened the gear box, they could not say if this was the case.

I tried calling them on the BS both times they looked at the vehicle. I asked why the other Fiat garage said there was a problem "we wouldn't know about that". I asked why, if it was characteristic of the vehicle, the problem did not happen once prior to them working on it "we wouldn't know about that". I asked them, if the gearboxes have been changed on newer models, why Fiat have not issued a recall on all the gearboxes with the issue "well it's not a fault, so they wouldn't recall it".

They have basically said there is nothing they can do. Apparently, even if they did open the gearbox up, they wouldn't be able to see anything.

I'm now waiting to see if Fiat Technical will send someone to assess the vehicle, if that doesn't happen, then I might have to pay to get it sorted myself.

By FIAT UK, do you mean the FIAT customer care, or do you mean to go further than that?

Cheers.
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Old 03-05-2015   #6
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Quote Originally Posted by Faraday1786 View Post
They did fiddle with the cables a bit, but it didn't make any difference. The second garage suggested that the problem may be caused by wear and tear (unlikely after only 3k miles), or that the gear may be put on the wrong way round (apparently it is tapered on one side?), but made it clear that since they had not opened the gear box, they could not say if this was the case.

I tried calling them on the BS both times they looked at the vehicle. I asked why the other Fiat garage said there was a problem "we wouldn't know about that". I asked why, if it was characteristic of the vehicle, the problem did not happen once prior to them working on it "we wouldn't know about that". I asked them, if the gearboxes have been changed on newer models, why Fiat have not issued a recall on all the gearboxes with the issue "well it's not a fault, so they wouldn't recall it".

They have basically said there is nothing they can do. Apparently, even if they did open the gearbox up, they wouldn't be able to see anything.

I'm now waiting to see if Fiat Technical will send someone to assess the vehicle, if that doesn't happen, then I might have to pay to get it sorted myself.

By FIAT UK, do you mean the FIAT customer care, or do you mean to go further than that?

Cheers.
Try Customer Service first and if you get no joy ask how you can escalate it to Head Office, make it totally clear you wont stop until the issue is totally resolved. Don't arrange for a repair for yourself otherwise you give them something else to blame.

The car is under warranty and needs to be sorted by them it really is that simple, mine doesn't do it nor does anybody else's on here AFAIK they are I'm afraid giving you the run around.
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Last edited by MJG; 03-05-2015 at 10:47.
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Old 11-05-2015   #7
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Quote Originally Posted by MJG View Post
Try Customer Service first and if you get no joy ask how you can escalate it to Head Office, make it totally clear you wont stop until the issue is totally resolved. Don't arrange for a repair for yourself otherwise you give them something else to blame.

The car is under warranty and needs to be sorted by them it really is that simple, mine doesn't do it nor does anybody else's on here AFAIK they are I'm afraid giving you the run around.
Thanks. Latest is that Fiat have told the dealership to compare the vehicle to another Fiat 500L, the dealership insist that this isn't possible, as they don't have any (did I mention they lost the Fiat franchise after I bought the vehicle)?

Driving me mad! Have asked Fiat Customer Care to escalate this, as they don't appear to be able to do anything about it, as much as they are trying to help. Also planning on making things more formal with a letter.
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Old 18-05-2015   #8
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

Hi Faraday, can you go in other Fiat dealer service?
I had problems with 2 Fiat (authorized) service so I change both them and wrote not so polite email to FIAT about those "service", found 3rd which is not so close to my home but they act as professionals.
Change service and say that must check selector cables which is problem for sure
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Old 19-05-2015   #9
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Re: 2014 500L Popstar 1.4 Gearbox Issue

So if they lost their contract you should be free to go to another service ? Without contract they most probably won't be able to do repairs covered by Fiat warranty anyway ?
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