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Old 02-01-2007   #16
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Quote Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
Well, I just found your thread... four minutes after your latest news - that's timing for you.

Sorry I can't be of any help but it is indeed a great shame that FIAT kicks off in Australia with issues like this, though I can't help but think that it's the care and attention of dealers that will make or break this, not just the product. Remember that FIAT have been selling plenty of cars in the last 20 years; just not in Australia. I hope they don't ruin their reputation (again).

My three-year-old Selespeed Stilo is going fine, but I've heard of one locally that needed the brake light switch adjusted/replaced. T14086 did well to identify that. Just a shame that no-one closer to you could do so on the first time the warning appeared? Though being a public holiday was appalling timing for trying to get it fixed, don't you think? I think next time this happens, keep driving regardless... I don't think that would void the warranty - maybe check this point with your dealer?

At least you won't have the old problems of bodywork corrosion...

Do you have Sat-Nav maps for Australia?

Thanks,
-Alex
Cheers mate for your comments. You're quite right; there are several factors that contributed to this situation:
  • It was the weekend before the new year and almost impossible to get any services anywhere.
  • It happened at a location that was so far from home. If it was just a few km then sure I would have risked driving it to the local dealer.
  • I didn't want to risk driving it any further in case there was something wrong with it. If I did drive it then sure it would have been less inconvenient, but me being a conservative non-gambler, I took the long way
  • If by chance my local dealer had been able to diagnose/fix this the first time it happened, obviously it would not have happened the second time.
  • If I had the Dualogic manual with me (which the dealer told me didn't exist), this might have somehow helped.
  • And obviously because of the faulty part.
So I guess in a nutshell, a wide range of factors that were, really, beyond my control. My top priority now is of course get my car back and fixed

(Yep we have sat nav here, though you'll have to buy it as a separate unit, which is quite expensive...)
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Old 02-01-2007   #17
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Quote Originally Posted by luvduvs View Post
Here's an update on this. Got a call from the dealer where my car ended up and he said when the car was started this morning by the tow truck driver (when delivering), there was no flashing transmission symbol or any other warning lights/sounds
Isn't that always the case? Well at least they called you back.

Just out of curiosity, what colour/model GP do you own? I've only seen one
on the road and that was on my way to work near Wollongong.
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Last edited by Turbodiesel; 02-01-2007 at 13:06.
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Old 03-01-2007   #18
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Quote Originally Posted by Turbodiesel View Post
Isn't that always the case? Well at least they called you back.

Just out of curiosity, what colour/model GP do you own? I've only seen one
on the road and that was on my way to work near Wollongong.
Good old Murphy's Law..

To be honest I have been quite satisfied with the level of service I've been getting from both the local and Wollongong dealers. They've been friendly and fairly efficient in getting back to me - got to give credit where its due!

Doubt that was me.. mine's a Dynamic 1.4 petrol in New Orleans blue..
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Old 06-01-2007   #19
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Take it car is now ok mate?
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Old 06-01-2007   #20
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Just got the car back. No beeping sounds, no flashing lights

This dealer is excellent - he said they had downloaded some software updates for the transmission which will help ease the problem - all without having me to ask him. Also washed and vacuumed my baby for me. Shame I couldn't meet with him face to face today, so left him a box of chocolate as a small token of appreciation
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Old 06-01-2007   #21
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Another happy ending
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Old 14-01-2007   #22
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

I just thought I'll share with everyone the complaint letter that I'll be sending to Fiat AU tomorrow (BTW that bit 'extremely dissatisfied' is font size 20). Any comments/feedback is greatly appreciated

**************************************************
Dear Sir/Madam,

On Wednesday 25th October 06 I bought a Dualogic Fiat Punto from Rick Damelian (Leichhardt) and I would like to lodge a formal complaint about the car.

On Wednesday 26th December 06 I returned my car to the dealer to have the top demister replaced as it was not fitted properly. In addition I had the Service department check and rectify two other problems: [1] noticeable juddering when moving from first to second gear, and [2] steering makes knocking noise/thud when turning either to the left or right.

I collected my car on Friday 28th December 06, and the top demister was replaced promptly. Regarding the juddering from first to second gear, I was told that the transmission had been recalibrated and a software patch from Fiat Australia due soon would rectify this problem. Regarding the steering knock, I was told this was due to a loose bolt, which has since been tightened. NB: both problems have still not been resolved.

The following day my partner and I drove from Sydney to Wollongong and about three kilometers from our destination the transmission warning light came on, along with a warning sound. I pulled over to the side of the highway, turned the car off for several minutes, then attempted to start the car again. However, with the warning sound and light still flashing, the car refused to start. After five minutes of attempting, I called Fiat Care, who arranged for a mechanic to inspect the car.

(This has already happened once before on Saturday 1st November 06 whilst we were sitting in traffic in the middle of the city. Again the car refused to start, and eventually after ten minutes the warning light and sound went away, in which I took the car straight back to the dealer. I was promptly dismissed because he couldn’t replicate the problem and had no Service team available to inspect the car.)

After waiting for two hours in the searing heat on the side of the highway, the mechanic arrived. He was unable to diagnose the problem, but suspected if the electrics were restarted this could potentially resolve the issue. However he did not have the Fiat equipment with him so he was unable to help. Again Fiat Care was called to arrange a tow truck to have the car towed away. However they could only have the car towed to the nearest Fiat dealer and refused to have it towed back to Sydney.

After another hour of waiting, the tow truck arrived and we were dropped off at a nearby train station to make our own way back to Sydney. Being a weekend/public holiday, the trip back to Sydney was more than two hours and extremely unpleasant.

During the following week I was in contact with Brett from the Corban Automotive Group, who I would like to point out has been excellent and extremely helpful. He and his team diagnosed the problem to be a faulty brake switch sending a false signal (when in fact there was nothing wrong with the transmission). This was replaced on Thursday 4th January 07. He also took the initiative to download a software update to the car, which was greatly appreciated.

Finally on Saturday 6th January 07, we traveled back to Wollongong by train at our own expense to collect the car.

There are several questions I would like answers to:
  • I was under the assumption that Fiat Care provided 24-hour/7 day roadside assistance, which to me implies that if there’s a problem with the car, no matter how trivial, the mechanic being dispatched should be able to at least offer his assistance. Why was this mechanic sent when he clearly did not understand the mechanics of the car, and more importantly, did not have the appropriate equipment to resolve the issue?
  • Having to have the car towed to Wollongong instead of Sydney and to have to make our own way home was absolutely appalling. When speaking to the operator at Fiat Care, I offered to pay to have the car towed back to Sydney, in which I was told this was not impossible. In other words, if this incident occurred whilst we were in Western Australia, does that mean we had to fly ourselves back to Sydney, then fly back to collect the car? This is both outrageous and a complete farce!!
  • The warning message ‘Check transmission manual’ appeared in the above incident, in which I do not have one. After I bought the car I had been in contact with several UK Fiat drivers and have been told that owners of a Dualogic transmission should have been given a supplementary manual specifically on this. I have already asked my dealer if he could supply me with one, in which he replied that this doesn’t actually exist. If I had this manual with me at the time of the incident, a very different outcome may have resulted. My question is, can Fiat Australia provide me with a copy of this manual?
Not only has this incident completely ruined the entire week for us, it has also meant a waste of time and money in traveling, and more importantly having to go without a car for the entire week. Since owning the (new) car for less than three months, I have already had numerous issues as mentioned above, but this has been the turning point in which I have become extremely dissatisfied with the Fiat brand.

I can be contacted on xxxx xxx xxx should you wish to discuss any of the above with me. Thank you for taking the time to read this and depending on how you exercise your customer relationship management skills you can be assured that I will go out of my way to broadcast my poor experience with your brand to all my family & friends to ensure they never, ever, buy a Fiat.

Best regards,
Kevin
**************************************************
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Old 14-01-2007   #23
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

'broadcasting & telling people never to buy a Fiat' wont get you a favourable response from Fiat Kevin I fear.

You should of put 'how can you restore my faith in Fiat in the future' anyway good luck but not entirely sure what you hope to achieve by this?

p.s.we knew what the problem was all along.......

"2 Weeks Ago 01:37
T14086 I'm concerned about the non-start thing to be honest,got to start at the basics & check that brake switch first."
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Old 14-01-2007   #24
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

I agree about the last sentence, it does sound a bit...threatening.

I'd change it to something more diplomatic, but it's up to you. I'll be interested to see if you get a response.
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Old 15-01-2007   #25
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Thanks guys for your comments - most appreciated

Yes it does sound threatening at the end, but there's a Chinese saying that 'people don't shed tears unless they see their coffins'. In other words, a lot of companies can't/won't be bother to do something about their problems unless their consumers are really upset. Believe me, if I didn't put the bit at the end they would just have a good laugh at what I wrote and throw the letter away. I could have integrated loads of profanities within the letter, but I chose not to. Believe it or not I gave it a lot of thought when writing the letter to incorporate: [1] facts, [2] questions to be answered, and [3] what will happen if this is not resolved to my satisfaction.

Having said that, you really have to be me in order to understand what I went through. Having to sit in the heat for more than three hours, wasted time and money, no car to use for a week, a ruined day with my partner, and just a general sense of disappointment -> I believe I have every right to vent my frustration/anger at those who are more or less responsible to my misadventures.

In terms of what I'm trying to achieve by sending them this letter, I'm not looking for monetary compensation, or compensation for the time wasted (which is hard to quantify). I could have chosen not to bother telling Fiat AU about this and just never buy a Fiat again. This is probably the most problematic type of customer - those who vote with their feet rather than voice their complaint. Rather, because I like the Fiat brand and I want it to do well, I chose to complain and let them know in a stern yet (relatively) polite way.
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Old 22-01-2007   #26
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

No response from Ateco (Fiat AU) whatsoever...

Oh well, just have to assume that they don't care :shakehead
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Old 22-01-2007   #27
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Quote Originally Posted by luvduvs View Post
No response from Ateco (Fiat AU) whatsoever...

Oh well, just have to assume that they don't care :shakehead
If you were Fiat AU what would you say in reply?
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Old 22-01-2007   #28
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

I agree, far too harsh and the last para` killed it. They must get letters like that everyday. I can well appreciate the fact your annoyed, you had far more inconvenience than I did. However in fairness, and I hope you will accept my comments in a positive light as I mean no offence, Fiat did provide roadside assistance, but its unreasonable to expect them to be able to handle every possible scenario and carry out ALL repairs by the roadside, thats impossible. At times like that you have to put yourself in the hands of others and cannot expect everything you want. Likewise expect them to meet alternative travel costs as part of the warranty, its far too open for abuse and would wipe out their profits. The fact that you didnt recieve the manual is down to the dealer, not Fiat AU and should be taken up with them. Finaly lets be realistic...the idle threats of 1 dissatisfied customer are are very very unlikely to compromise their business interests, and they well know it. Fiat are under no obligation to even acknowledge your letter let alone provide the answers you want, and a hostile tone doesnt help matters.

If you dont mind me saying, and with respect, my view is you went wrong when you left the dealer when the the fault first occurred. You should have insisted the car was faulty and left it with them for repair/investigation when they could get to it regardless of the inconvenience.

Fiat in their defence could now say:
Ok the car had a fault which proved to be intermittant, we dont deny the fact We dealt with it in accordance with our warranty terms and its now been rectified, but why did you...knowing the car could be potentialy faulty carry on with your journey knowing you would be greatly inconvenienced if the fault occured again and why should we be liable as a result of a decision made by yourself?
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Old 22-01-2007   #29
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Must admit Sledge I agree with your every word there!!!
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Old 23-01-2007   #30
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Re: Our 5.5 hour ordeal with two month old GP Dualogic

Sorry to say but i agree with you there.
The car should have stayed with the delaer if you were not completely satisfied with it.
On the flip side of the coin thoguht the dealer shouldnt have let the car go back to you with the fault still on it. I wouldnt have let me service dept do it as it only agitates the customer when it happens again.

Ateco Automotive are the main distributors for more than just Fiat in Oz. They are quite meticulous about their business and i think there will be a reason for the delayed reply (I work with Ateco NZ BTW, note, not FOR them but WITH them)

Luvduvs i think you shot yourself in the foot with your letter. it was very emotional that's for sure, but i think that is all it was, emotional. sorry!
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