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Old 01-11-2014   #1
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Israel 
A crack in the dashboard

Hello everyone.

I own a Punto Evo 2010 and I would like to share a small story with everyone, which after will result in a small question.

A few months ago I noticed there was a crack in my dashboard, on the cover of the passenger air bag. You could see the air bag area was a bit inflated and that a crack had appeared on the top.
After 3.5 months of fighting with the official Fiat importer here in Israel, they replaced my dashboard free of charge.
There was one other guy before who had done this, also free of charge, to his Fiat 500.

While i was fighting with them, i started a topic in a major car forum in Israel, only to find out that me and the first are not alone, not alone at all!
We had people commenting about their Fiat cars from various years, and all of them stated they have the same problem.
Eventually, I started looking at Fiat's for sale online, looked at pictures, and on alot of the cars, the dashboard was inflated.
I also started looking into Fiat's while walking the street, and I could barely find 1 Fiat that *DIDN'T* have a cracked or inflated dashboard.
I started looking at other cars made by Fiat, such as Alfa Romeo.
By now I wasn't surprised to see that in the Giulietta the dashboard was inflated as well.
Its important to mention that all the cars that I saw that had inflated or cracked dashboards were 2 years old and older, so my guess is that this issue is age related.

I contacted Fiat's Customer Service by E-Mail, and the bottom line of what they said was that this is not a major issue and that they don't really care. They sent me to deal with the company who imports Fiat's to Israel, which i did of course, and the end result of this story has already been written in the first few lines of this post.

So this is my story, and now to my question.

Has anyone heard of such an issue somewhere else in the world?
I am interested in knowing if we are the only country who suffers from such an issue or is this a global issue?
I uploaded 2 images so you can see what i'm talking about. One of the pictures is my car, and the other one is a Fiat 500 owned by one of the people who commented in the topic i started in the Israeli car forum i mentioned previously.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-11-2014   #2
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United Kingdom 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Interesting!

I would be inclined to suggest it may be something to do with the way the cars are shipped/stored and the climate

As its a sealed unit which is packed extremely tightly any air trapped in the unit with the airbag is susceptible to expansion, which might be what starts the issue

It maybe now the bags are packed in a nitrogen rich environment which is far less susceptible to heat expansion

however I would suggest that it should not interfere with the operation of the airbag unless the bag is hanging out and loose, if it's just bulging with minor cracks then it should still deploy fully and properly
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Old 08-11-2014   #3
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Israel 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Yesterday, in a well known official Fiat garage we began looking at Fiat`s and experienced the same issue in 3 Bravo`s, also well known in the punto.
Although in our case its just a square bump and not a crack.
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Old 14-04-2015   #4
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Singapore 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

My Punto Evo 2011 has the same issues. I live in Singapore where we constantly see temperatures over 30c.

Just noticed today there's a crack along the upper cut-out on the dash where the airbag is. It could be due to the climate.

There's nothing much can be done except for a dashboard replacement. Attempting to glue or epoxy the crack would make it look unsightly and might interfere with the airbag deployment, if it happens.

Many of Fiat plastic parts are significantly inferior as compared to those on Japanese cars and I had convinced myself to live with minor faults like this rather than to burn holes in pockets replacing parts after parts.

Now that I've come across this thread, I know I'm not alone. So I'll live with it.
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Last edited by G78K; 14-04-2015 at 15:47. Reason: Include a pic
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Old 19-04-2015   #5
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United Kingdom 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

i've never heard of any particular problem here in the uk which leads me to suspect it may be more a problem in a hotter climate and the reason i say that is because i spent 3 years in cyprus and alot of the cars had what is best described as a 'sun bleached' dash , i had a mitsubishi colt and because of the sun on it most of the time the dash started to fade in colour and crack
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Old 27-04-2015   #6
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Turkey 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

In Turkey, especially Punto owners are complaining about the same issue. If your car is out of guarantee, Fiat demands money from you to solve the issue. Some lucky owners pay %50 of the cost of the repairment.
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Old 27-04-2015   #7
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United Kingdom 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Quote Originally Posted by G78K View Post
My Punto Evo 2011 has the same issues. I live in Singapore where we constantly see temperatures over 30c.

Just noticed today there's a crack along the upper cut-out on the dash where the airbag is.

Many of Fiat plastic parts are significantly inferior as compared to those on Japanese cars and I had convinced myself to live with minor faults like this rather than to burn holes in pockets replacing parts after parts.

Now that I've come across this thread, I know I'm not alone. So I'll live with it.
I suspect it's partly due to the softer plastics required to comply with "euroNCAP" testing limits

cracking dash boards is not unheard of in the UK,
German built vehicles are not immune to this..,

Japanese?, don't know = would not be seen inside one

Charlie
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Old 26-04-2017   #8
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Greece 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

I own a Fiat 500 2009 model and I have the same problem as well as two other Fiat 500 owners. Fiat Greece demands money for replacing the dashboard. Any ideas how to make them accept their liability?
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Old 26-04-2017   #9
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United Kingdom 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Quote Originally Posted by niktsabgr View Post
I own a Fiat 500 2009 model and I have the same problem as well as two other Fiat 500 owners. Fiat Greece demands money for replacing the dashboard. Any ideas how to make them accept their liability?


These are getting old now, the damage is only cosmetic and is unlikely to affect be function of airbags.

It's unlikely that fiat would agree to replace the dash now and getting them to contribute a little to the repair might be the best you would get.

Replacing a dash in a car is a very expensive job, so if they contributed you'd still be paying out a lot of money yourself and have to consider if it's really worth it given the age and value of the car
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Old 27-04-2017   #10
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Greece 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Thanks a lot AndyRkett. I contacted the local dealer and arranged to take the car next week to them. They will fill a claim to Fiat. They are not optimistic since the car is more than 5 years old.
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Old 03-07-2017   #11
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Greece 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Hey everybody,

The same thing just happened to my 500 (3 y.o.).

Did anyone had any luck with the local dealership or FIAT?
I'm based in Greece, so it would be great if there was a precedence for this case
@niktsabgr - Did you have any luck yourself?
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Old 17-07-2017   #12
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Portugal 
Re: A crack in the dashboard

Hi from sunny and hot Portugal!
Same problem with my wife's 2007 Grande Punto 1.2 Dynamic.
Trying to solve it because we want to sell it this week.

Has anyone got to any solution besides replacing the full dashboard ?
Because I don't believe Fiat will do FOC on a 2007 car...

I too think it's related to sun and heat inside the vehicle.
I did not post any pic because is just like the one we see here...
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Last edited by GambuzinoPT; 17-07-2017 at 10:54.
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Old 19-07-2017   #13
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Cyprus 
Talking Re: A crack in the dashboard

Same here on a 2014 Fiat 500 Cabrio. I am in Cyprus so it is pretty hot - especially when left facing into the sun. Also, my speedometer doesn't read properly on a hot day here as the needle gets jammed at around 60kph due to a bulge caused by the heat. The glue seems to separate the numbers from their backing.
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