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Old 07-10-2006   #1
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fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Hi, here is a copy of an e mail to fiat uk, basically they dont want to know, its going to cost me £650 with a gearbox specialist for a recon box fitting

This car is currently in reg vardy Castleford with a gearbox problem. the car has covered 40,000 miles, when it was 12 months old it had a service at the malton fiat dealers, when it was 2 years old in April this year it had a service at motosave in Goole, it had a further service last month at motosave, so that makes 3 in total. I have had no other major problems with the car.

Reg vardys are saying that because motosave donít use genuine service parts, that the 3rd year dealer warranty is invalid.

I am extremely upset about this, the fact that the gearbox has failed has GOT NOTHING TO DO with make of oil filter.

A car that suffers a gearbox failure at only 40,000 miles at 2 1/2 years old is not fit for the purpose for which it is sold.

A doblo is based on a commercial van and should be good for 200,000 miles.

If I end up having to pay for this repair, I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER FIAT.

This is the 2nd doblo I have owned, and I was intending to buy another new one next spring.
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Old 07-10-2006   #2
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Quote Originally Posted by bobian81

Reg vardys are saying that because motosave donít use genuine service parts, that the 3rd year dealer warranty is invalid.
Correct,why did you not use a dealer or garage that uses genuine parts?

By the way this applies to all major manufacturers not just Fiat.
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Old 07-10-2006   #3
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

1. where I live the nearest damn fiat dealers is 22 miles !
2. Fiat dealers charge more for service than any other car make.

You and I know that the gearbox failure has nothing to do with the oil and filter change, the gearbox sits in its own static oil.

Fiat are just a set of s.....ts
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Old 07-10-2006   #4
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Worrying.

I understand that the Doblo gearbox has the synchromesh on the first two gears strengthened in some way by Borg Warner. Now these are heavy duty gearbox people and Fiat was obviously aware that the Doblo would get tough usage from the beginning. I missed the start of your thread by the way,so don't know the exact problem. What went wrong with your 'box?

This is just the sort of problem that turns customers off manufacturers. As I just said somewhere else; if Fiat doesn't compete with the Koreans over decent warranties they'll go bust! We love their cars, but ultimately cars are costly, and just transport, and we can buy elsewhere.

Hope you have some joy over this, it could happen to any one of us.
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Old 07-10-2006   #5
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

the gearbox started rumbling,and when you depress the clutch the noise went, vardys diagnosed a gearbox problem BUT could say what it was till they striped it, now because fiat ****s wouldnt pay, I didnt want vardys to strip it as main dealers are very expensive, anyway its gone to gearbox specialist, and its going to cost about 650 including a new clutch
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Old 07-10-2006   #6
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Sounds as much a clutch problem as a gearbox one?

Once a tech at a garage mentioned something about thrust bearings, or something. This was with a Citroen though.

I'm no mechanic - no way - but when you were first discussing the problem did they assure you it was the gearbox mechanism itself, or did they say it might only be the clutch? An experienced mechanic might have been pretty certain of the problem, although without dismantling he couldn't be 100%.

Gearboxes cost almost as much as engines to engineer. We take them for granted because they seldom give trouble, and the engine appears to be the complicated bit. When you think of the torque and load they have to deal with on a reguar basis though its a wonder there aren't more problems. Not much consolation I know, but a friend had to have a Renault automatic rebuilt at just four years, and that cost like new car.

Still. You are right. It sits in its own oil and there isn't much that can be abused by servicing. I think Fiat is being mean. Have you dealt with Fiat UK about this? It isn't an old car...
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Old 07-10-2006   #7
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

If you read my thread you'll see that the e mail went to fiat uk, they couldnt give a **** though, In regard to the clutch, I've had 3 guys diagnose it as gearbox problem and not clutch
1 aa man
2 mechanic at vardys
3 independant gearbox specialist
so what can i do i'm screwed.
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Old 07-10-2006   #8
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Quote Originally Posted by bobian81
1. where I live the nearest damn fiat dealers is 22 miles !
2. Fiat dealers charge more for service than any other car make.

You and I know that the gearbox failure has nothing to do with the oil and filter change, the gearbox sits in its own static oil.

Fiat are just a set of s.....ts
22 miles is not far...we have customers who travel 80 miles.

Fiat do not charge more to service their cars than any other makes...dont know where you got this from?

Vardys are well within their right to refuse repairing your car.

Sounds to me as if you chose to save some money & get servicing done elsewhere & now its backfired you are lashing out at Fiat.The terms of warranty contract is clearly stated & you chose not to get it serviced at a Fiat or VAT registered garage using genuine parts,harsh as it sounds you only have yourself to blame.
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Old 07-10-2006   #9
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

I'm very sorry.

1. Make sure you get to know exactly what the problem was.

2. Tell Fiat.

3. Tell them, politely, that you won't be buying any more of their cars
and that you contribute to this Forum, and have lots of friends.

A contribution on their part would be good customer relations, even if they can prove you are technically in the wrong by using non-authorised parts. Strewth, if they looked after you you'd probably never buy anything but Fiats in future. They are nuts.

Again, sorry, and good luck.
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Old 07-10-2006   #10
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Bobian,

Sorry to hear of your gearbox problem. As far as I know the gearbox isn't touched during routine servicing and so it would seem fiat are getting away with it on a technicality. If it had been an engine problem then fair enough but to invalidate the whole warranty, including parts that fall outside servicing seems unreasonable - something you will soon associate with fiats warranty dept.

Like you I used a non fiat franchise garage to service our Doblo but insisted that they used genuine fiat parts - Had them note it on the invoice as well. This kept us within the terms of the warranty - manufacturers can no longer insist on customers using their 'own' garages thanks to recent EU legislation.

Even if you had used a fiat garage and genuine parts I fear you would have had a fight on your hands. Fiats warranty deptartment seem to be a slippery lot with a starting point of "We're not paying". I would regard any repair carried out under a fiat warranty as very very lucky.

If you genuinely feel that your Doblo is 'not fit for purpose' then this would appear to be a different matter to a warranty claim. This is a matter for court action to recover your loss. You would also be claiming against the dealer that sold you the car rather than fiat. Perhaps you could mention this to the dealer and see if they are willing to help. A trip to your local citizens advice bureau may be time well spent.

Not wanting to stir up trouble but:

1. I did hear of a case where an agreived customer had an AA report done detailing the faults with is vehicle. He stuck the pages on the inside of the vehicle windows and parked it on the road outside the dealers showroom. It didn't take long for the dealer to have a change of heart and agree to rectify the faults.

2. I saw a van a couple of years ago with some 'interesting' signs on the side and across the back doors. It read something like - Don't buy one of these because mine has had the following faults........... It read like a horror story. The Doblo has nice flat sides that could take a bit of signage

I hope you get you Doblo back soon.
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Old 09-10-2006   #11
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

thanks for your kind words of comfort, I'm now holding my breath hoping that the indepent gearbox specialist at
http://www.cleckheaton-gearbox-centre.co.uk/
comes through for me and fixes it at the cost of £550 + a new clutch which is what he quoted, I'll let you know if he does a good job, he says he gives 12000 miles/12 months warranty on it.
Good idea about me parking it outside the fiat agents in leeds though. Hope you dont mind, I've e mailed fiat customer services and quoted some of your informed words.
I fear it will be on deaf ears though, which is sad, because if fiat could be a bit more consumer friendly, increase their dealer servicing network, and bring down the outrageous costs of routine services, then they would have a damn good product, sadly alas I fearnot, and shall be moving off fiats, I do have
1 fiat barchetta, 2 fiat punto, 3 fiat ducato hymer motorhome.
BUT after this experience, as I come up to change the vehicles, I will be looking at other makes.
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Old 09-10-2006   #12
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

T14086 do you by any slim chance work for fiat UK or one of their franchises ?
Afterall YOU KNOW DAMN WELL that the gearbox FAILURE has NOTHING TO DO with the ROUTINE SERVICES !
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Old 09-10-2006   #13
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

You're not going to find any better service at other makes. The price of servicing is not higher than other makes. Try looking at the cost of the first service for a Ford KA... Almost as much as I paid for my Tipo cambelt change!

You seem to have ignored the advice given by one of the best Fiat technicians in the UK.. The deaf ears are not limited to Fiat customer service it seems. The warranty explicitly defines that all servicing must be performed with genuine Fiat parts, by a VAT registered garage. You broke these terms and therefore the warranty is invalid.

What industry do you work in, so that maybe we can explain in terms you could understand easier?
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Old 09-10-2006   #14
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

tell me hellcat, If I'd had it serviced by fiat, what EXACTLY would they have done different, so that the gearbox didnt fail ?
Incidently, vardys had told me that had the claim been excepted fiat would have insisted on a diagnosis on stripe down, and on the last one that vardys did on a gearbox strip down on a punto, fiat got out of it by saying "Driver abuse" leaving the customer high and dry with a HUGE main dealer labour bill. So even if they had excepted my claim initially I wouldnt have been out of the woods.
By the way, Vardys have now pulled out of the fiat franchise at castleford, leaving other poor customers high and dry !
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Old 09-10-2006   #15
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Re: fiat doblo serious reliabilty issue with gearbox

Doesn't matter if they havn't touched the gearbox - other work on the car has been done with non-Fiat parts, that's invalidated the warranty. It doesn't matter who serviced it - just as long as Fiat parts had been used. Can't see why you would risk your warranty by saving a couple of pounds on 3rd party parts.

The same goes for any other brand car, or almost anything else you can buy.

Oh and the punto may well have been abused... Ragged through the gears, not clutched correctly, etc.
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Last edited by Hellcat; 09-10-2006 at 11:10.
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