Watchdog: Owner demands action over 'sub-standard' Fiat

Jenny wants answers after low-mileage Doblo leaves her and disabled husband stranded

Numerous visits to the garage, a gearbox swap, new driver’s seat and countless mechanical issues in just 28,106 miles: not the outcome you expect from a 2011 car. But this was the reality Jenny Woodman of Lympsham in Somerset faced with her Fiat Doblo.

“We bought the car specifically because it could easily get four passengers, a dog and a wheelchair in the back,” she told Auto Express, Carbuyer’s sister publication. “Bill, my husband, is wheelchair bound so we needed the car to be reliable.”

The Doblo proved anything but, as a blown exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cover recently left Jenny and her husband on the side of the road – again. A quick plastic weld by the RAC helped them get back to dealer Huttons Fiat Ltd in Weston-super-Mare, but Jenny was displeased. “We had just had been told we needed new front brake pads worth £250, and shortly after I was stuck on the side of the road for an entirely different reason,” she told us.

“It’s just one thing after another with this car. I don’t feel comfortable driving with Bill. I’m worried that it’s going to break again. Being stranded for hours isn’t fair on him.”

Jenny felt Fiat should cover the cost of repairing the latest problem – the EGR cover – but a Fiat spokesman argued the flaw was due to wear and tear. Jenny said: “I’m faced with a repair bill of £212 for the EGR cover, which I think is unjustified. The Doblo has been sub-standard from the day we bought it, and I want Fiat to acknowledge this.”

Auto Express called Fiat and asked it to take another look at the case of the EGR cover based on Jenny’s past history with the Doblo. After several weeks, the manufacturer agreed to foot the entire bill for the repair.

A spokesman confirmed: “In light of the customer’s experience, we have reviewed the case file and on this occasion we have made an exception and offered to absorb the cost of the repair in full as a gesture of goodwill.”

Jenny was thrilled with the result, and is now looking forward to trouble-free motoring: “Thank you Auto Express for all your help. You’ve been extremely helpful and patient with my case.”

Recommended

Fiat 500L MPV review
Fiat 500L
Fiat 500L
22 Sep 2021

Fiat 500L MPV review

Fiat Doblo MPV review
Fiat Doblo cornering
Fiat Doblo
14 Sep 2021

Fiat Doblo MPV review

Classic cars to buy in 2021
Classic cars to buy - header image
Tips and advice
29 Jul 2021

Classic cars to buy in 2021

Fiat 500: old vs new
Fiat 500
8 Jan 2021

Fiat 500: old vs new

Most Popular

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks