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Discussion Starter #1
I’m having an issue with Fiat over my leaking convertible top, and was hoping anyone who has had similar problems or experiences can help me out as far as what are my options and what I can do now. My problem started a few months ago when I noticed my convertible top was leaking on the passenger side. It was nothing major, just the occasional water droplets after a major rain or car wash. Originally I wasn’t planning on doing anything about it, but shortly after I noticed the leak, My drivers seat broke so I had to bring the car into the dealership anyway, so I figured I’d get both problems fixed. The seat felt like it came out of the track on one side, so it would shift whenever I was braking or accelerating. I brought the car to the FCA repair center in Westbury, NY the first week of October. In the beginning the repair center kept me in the loop and told me they were going to replace all the weather stripping on the car to see if that would fix the leak. The seat was to be replaced but that’s a whole separate issue that has been resolved. When they replaced the weather stripping, the leak didn’t stop so they told me they would have to replace the convertible top itself. Since the 3rd week of October when they informed me they were going to replace the convertible top, they have given me 6 different ETA’s as far as when the new top would be coming to them, each time the date would get pushed back another week or 2. Its been almost 11 weeks and I am still driving around in a loaner, and paying a monthly premium for a car I am not driving. After the first month, I decided to contact a lemon lawyer just to see what my options were. The attorney informed me that FCA is by far the worst company to deal with as far as getting a car lemoned, and that although my case is getting stronger as the weeks go by, it still is a gamble. NY lemon laws are not nearly as consumer-friendly as they are in CA. After contacting the lemon lawyer initially in the beginning of November, I also contacted FCA corporate in an attempt to maybe get the car bought back from me so I can get out of the lease. It seemed like a win-win for both parties: I could go about my way and get into a new lease, and FCA could keep my car, take their time to replace the convertible top, and then re-sell the car. This would obviously be saving them money as opposed to the car being lemoned, and them having to dish out all the money I have paid for the car in the last year of leasing, along with now being stuck with a car they cannot resell. After weeks of going back and forth with FCA corporate over the possibility of them buying the car back from me, I was finally told by my case manager that FCA will NOT be buying my vehicle back, and they do not have to give me any explanation as to why. I was also told that if I have a problem with their decision, I could “sue them”. I have since then requested a new case manager and am trying for a second time to have FCA buy my car back. Has anyone had a similar problem or experience, especially in NY? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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In most states, it must materially affect the safety, operation and/or value of the vehicle. My guess is that a small leak in the top is not sufficient in a convertible to justify compromising your safety or the value of the car. Most convertibles do occasionally develop small leaks. It's a very common problem with rag tops. The driver's seat is another issue. If it is a safety issue, you may need to retain an attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes and I’m sure convertible top issues are a dime a dozen, but thats not the specific issue here. The issue is that its taken them over 2 months to fix an issue with a car that is still in production, and they have yet to give me a straight answer as far as when the new convertible top will be delivered to the repair center. Every week they keep pushing me off and giving me a new date for when the new top will come, and then when I call them to see if it came in that day, they tell me it didn't come in, new eta is 10 days later, etc.... I even tried asking if they would swap tops with another vehicle on the lot so I could get my car back sooner, and they told me they can’t do it because they don’t know how to disassemble the top off one vehicle and reassemble it onto mine. Now if that isn’t BS then I don’t know what is.
 

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Yes and I’m sure convertible top issues are a dime a dozen, but thats not the specific issue here. The issue is that its taken them over 2 months to fix an issue with a car that is still in production, and they have yet to give me a straight answer as far as when the new convertible top will be delivered to the repair center. Every week they keep pushing me off and giving me a new date for when the new top will come, and then when I call them to see if it came in that day, they tell me it didn't come in, new eta is 10 days later, etc.... I even tried asking if they would swap tops with another vehicle on the lot so I could get my car back sooner, and they told me they can’t do it because they don’t know how to disassemble the top off one vehicle and reassemble it onto mine. Now if that isn’t BS then I don’t know what is.
Definitely a dealership problem versus a problem that would fall under most states lemon laws. Here's what worked for me with my Mercury that met the standards of being a Lemon. It is the first step in resolving this type of issue.

Sent a certified letter to the dealership owner, general manager, sales manager and service manager. Send a copy of the letter (make sure you list on your original letter that copies are going to them), to the District or Regional Service Manager and the Customer Service Manager for the Manufacturer. Be business like, state the problem, the resolution, the dates and times of service, the name of anyone you spoke with, the resolutions offered. Contact your state's equivalent of the Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair and file a complaint. Give them a copy of the letters and copies of the service records provided to the dealership.
 
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