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Bad news for New Swift owners

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http://forbesindia.com/article/special/the-new-maruti-swifts-brakes-dont-work/33388/1

View this link!

It's really Shocking to see how a proud Indian Manufacturer handles their aftersales! It's a common Indian tendency, as sales goes up, servies goes down!

Posting the links contents in next threads!

Please share your views & experiences!

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THOUGH CUSTOMERS are complaining the new Maruti Swift won’t stop in heavy traffic, the company denies any problem with the car’s brakes

Mangalam Singhania, a 31-year-old IT professional based out of Bangalore and the once-proud owner of the new Maruti Swift, was really angry. He had waited 22 days (May 31-June 22) hoping that somebody from Maruti Suzuki would reply to his email and explain why his car wouldn’t stop in bumper to bumper traffic.

But nobody did. And Singhania had already tried everything: Threats of a consumer court case, five visits to authorised Maruti service stations in just six months, and long discussions with the Maruti Regional Service manager in Bangalore. But nothing worked. Maruti refused to acknowledge that there was any problem with the car’s brakes. Frustrated, Singhania sent the company’s customer service department a strongly worded email. That didn’t get a reply either.

Singhania is not the only one with this peculiar problem. In the past six months, several Swift buyers have complained of a braking issue in their new cars. They have complained on car forums, in emails to Maruti, on the Swift’s Facebook fan page. In Kerala, Sibiraj PR even filed a consumer court case against Maruti, but the company has given no explanation. Puzzled customers who complain at the dealership are told to register the complaint directly with Maruti. The total number of consumer complaints, which you can pick up from car enthusiast forums, runs into the hundreds.

So, what’s the problem with the Swift’s brakes? Toms Matthew, who bought the top end ZXi variant in February 2012 and has had a frustrating time since, explains it pretty well. “You need to be in bumper to bumper traffic situation…of which we have a lot in Bangalore, drive in first gear, half clutch, RPM under 1,000 and after two or three presses on the pedal, the brake pedal becomes absolutely hard and there is no braking,” he says. While this typically happens at speeds under 10km/hr, it is not a nice situation to be in. During two separate incidents while driving in heavy traffic, Matthew says his Maruti scratched a Honda City and a Toyota Innova after his brakes failed. A third time, while Matthew was parking in his garage, the Maruti scratched a parked motorcycle.

Though the risk of harm is low at such slow speeds, a car needs to stop when the driver hits the brakes. When it won’t, there’s a problem. Maruti, though, seems to disagree. “There is no impact on braking performance in the cars mentioned. If the customer has experienced hardness in the brake at very low speeds of 5km/hr or less, that may be on account of driving in half clutch and pressing the brake to control speed, which results in engine RPM [revolutions per minute] falling below ‘Idle RPM’ [the speed at which the engine generates enough power to operate smoothly],” said the company’s spokesperson. “The brake is fully functional during such time, irrespective of hardness of pedal. “The correct technique is to press the brake and not crawl at half clutch. Please note that the NVH [noise, vibration and harshness] refinement level of new Swift is so good that the engine does not judder even under such abnormally low RPM conditions.”

Customers say that not only do stop and go traffic conditions require driving in half clutch, the problem surfaced only in the new models. And while Maruti maintains the Swift’s brakes work even when customers drive in half clutch and the pedal becomes hard, customers and experts believe Maruti isn’t coming clean on the problem. “It is not a first brake and then clutch issue. If this has to be done in stop go traffic, more than half the drivers will be stalling their engines... But yes, there could be a problem with the brake pistons which do not release on the third or fourth application [only if this happens rapidly]. This usually manifests itself as brakes getting hard. What you need to understand is, do the brakes still apply or is there no braking? No braking, then we have a serious issue,” says Bertrand D’Souza, editor of Overdrive magazine.

Even Maruti agrees there is some hardness in the brake pedal, and customers swear that when the pedal becomes hard, the brakes don’t work at all. So, is this a serious problem being pushed under the carpet?

Just a few weeks ago, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) issued a voluntary code of conduct by which automobile manufacturers agree to call back vehicles found to have defects defined in the code. But drivers shouldn’t expect Maruti to make the Swift the first car recalled under the new code. Since Maruti does not think there is a problem, customers have been left high and dry.

There is no precedent for recalls in a country where a car maker can change the starter motors in about 1,40,000 cars and still refuse to call it a recall, as Tata did with the Nano. At the SIAM press conference announcing the voluntary code of conduct, SIAM President S Sandilya said whatever Tata Motors wants to call the Tata Nano case, it was a recall. Tata Motors was not happy about this. Their spokesperson responded to Sandilya’s comments in an email to Forbes India, saying, “The installation of the new starter motor, which is a vendor supplied part, began in October 2011 and has been completed. This new starter motor was already installed in the Nano 2012, which was introduced in November 2011…we decided that we will give owners of old Nanos on the road also the option, free of cost. That is how it was done. It was not a recall.”

Recall or no recall, the SIAM initiative is unlikely to live up to expectations because automakers have a vested interest in avoiding costly recalls. In most countries, automobile recalls happen because there is a separate, independent body whose sole job is to set safety standards and ensure that they are followed. These agencies review each and every call, letter and online report they receive of an alleged safety problem. Depending on the number of consumer complaints, they may start an investigation. If safety-related defects are found, it’s up to the independent agency to determine whether or not a safety defect exists. If so, the manufacturer has no choice but to conduct a recall.

The problem with the Indian automotive industry is that there is no such body overseeing auto safety. Instead, it’s up to the manufacturer to issue costly, but perhaps crucial, recalls. Sadly, that means India’s car buyers are usually out of luck.

This article appeared in Forbes India Magazine of 03 August, 2012

Read more: http://forbesindia.com/article/special/the-new-maruti-swifts-brakes-dont-work/33388/1#ixzz21YkQXifO

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Look a Team bhpian is saying,

Moralfire:I bought the Gen 3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi just over a month ago. The car is an excellent package. Arguably the best Diesel Hatch available in the market today. The large number of orders Maruti Suzuki received before launch is a testimony of the success of the product. I have driven my car for 3,500 kms in a month and have been happy in all aspects except the brakes!

As soon as I took delivery of the car, I upgraded the tyres in my car from the skinny 165/80/R14's to 185/70/R14's to have enough grip for highway travel. I thought I was done for many miles of happy motoring. But, I was wrong, the initial impressions showed that the brakes would prove "adequate" but they are NOT. They are simply POOR. To make sure it wasn't just me I did offer test drives to my friends and ALL of them complained that the car doesn't have enough braking power. To put things in perspective I would like to report that the brakes on a non-booster assisted Maruti 800 are better.

humyum:

icon1.gif Swift Diesel - New Brake Booster Design By Maruti

Mod's Don't delete this thread, its for every Swift/Dzire owners benefit and I don't want it to get unnoticed, hence posted this in a new thread rather than my ownership thread

A swift diesel, ever since i ve owned it, I have never been happy with the brakes. They have just about adequate bite when it comes out from a service, after which things start going down and the bite starts deteriorating as km's run.

Take for example a Santro, Brakes remain crisp and bite even after a long run with the brake pads.

So with such a fast car like the swift diesel, the brakes just did not add up and with a loaded car, you better watch out on the highway when you brake, She ll stress your right foot over the constant brakings.

So finally I met the Regional technical head called Mr Mahesh by co incidence who had come to one of the service stations here. He told me that the petrol and diesel had the same brake booster and hence with the more torquier Diesel it was an issue with many owners regarding the braking.

So according to him Maruti redesigned the brake booster for the Swift Diesel and they had sent a circular out to every service station regarding the same some months back.

No one ever mentioned this to me ever. Aren't they suppose to replace it for every owner as an upgrade rather than wait for the customer to complain ?

Most people will live with the less braking efficiency thinking 'its normal'

Some will just adjust their driving style to it.

Anyway he said they ll replace mine with a redesigned one as I 'complained' of weak brakes.

When I mentioned the word 'recall', he said 'its not a recall'

Although I am not going to let them change mine until I am absolutely sure its a 'redesigned' one rather than just a 'new' one as it involves opening the AC gas pipes and I don't want them to touch anything which ain't broken.

I drove to Goa on Thursday and realized that in panic braking situations, the car simply leaps forward instead of coming to a grinding halt screeching its tyres. At one occassion, I almost went into an oncoming Innova because the car refused to stop in time, I had to swerve to avoid collision. This was on a State highway at speeds between 60-80 kmph. The first 40% of brake pedal travel doesn't give any braking feedback, the rest is just like stepping on a hard piece of rubber that isn't holding up. The brakes feel spongy. After about 200 kms of highway driving on NH4, there was brake fade. The brakes wouldn't respond at speeds over 100 kmph unless you literally stepped on them.

If you go through the test drive experiences of fellow bhpians in the official car review, there is just one common echo, "Bad brakes". I haven't driven the ZDi but many posts on this forum confirm that the Z spec has better stopping power compared to the V and L variants.

The Swift simply fails in the braking department and I have changed my driving style to accomodate the lack of brakes on the Swift. I posted a separate thread in order to ensure that this issue is highlighted to fellow bhpians wanting to opt for an LXi/LDi/VXi/VDi Swift. They simply refuse to stop and its time Maruti Suzuki fixes this issue on their assembly line.

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The reason for the above is Smaller break booster in LD & VD version, but here the problem is with ZD also, so is this a problem with all Swifts?

Initially Gen1 Swift Diesels too had this problem, but MSIL recalled and changed the brake boosters. This time, it seems maruti is awaiting lots of accidents to happen to accept its mistake.

Link for Redesign of Gen1 Swift D http://www.team-bhp....ign-maruti.html

Link for faulty booster in New Swift http://www.team-bhp....rake-issue.html

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I wonder if this is a problem just with Swift or Dzzire. Since last weekend I drove my Ritz Ldi from Gurgaon to Wagha Border and back on NH1 and I did not feel that brakes are not effective enough. So it seems only Swift & Dzzire are having this issue.

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The problem lies in the brake booster design because when the car in off if we pump the brakes the braking pedal becomes hard and hence to stop we need to press it more hard. Once we start the car the brakes become soft (the is the work of booster) but in the new Swift and Dzire below 10kmph the booster doesn't gets engaged for some reason and thats why people suffer with hard brakes .

I won't blame the manufacturer too much because this problem is present in the test drive vehicles itself but still people blindly buy the

Swift w/o a proper TD (the car is a great package).

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The car might be a great package but it's absolutely criminal from company's side not to have taken any action against it.

With product selling like hot cakes and current labor unrest, fixing this issue might be the last thing on MS mind.

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The cause of this problem is Indian Govt. & Indian people!

Indian Govt. has no cotroll over MNCs & this is clear from incidents like coke, Union Carbide, cadbury etc. & In addition to that Indian Consumer is very blind! How many people who buys a car does proper research on it? In my observation max. people buys same car as there neighbours or simply go to the nearst Car Showroom or Tata or Maruti Showroom, just buy checking there products buys one! & It's very easy to convince them for expert salesmens presents there!

Unless & Untill India Govt. & Indian Consumers are aware; such incidents will keep on happening!

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M

angalam Singhania, a 31-year-old IT professional based out of Bangalore and the once-proud owner of the new Maruti Swift, was really angry. He had waited 22 days (May 31-June 22) hoping that somebody from Maruti Suzuki would reply to his email and explain why his car wouldn’t stop in bumper to bumper traffic.

But nobody did. And Singhania had already tried everything: Threats of a consumer court case, five visits to authorised Maruti service stations in just six months, and long discussions with the Maruti Regional Service manager in Bangalore. But nothing worked. Maruti refused to acknowledge that there was any problem with the car’s brakes. Frustrated, Singhania sent the company’s customer service department a strongly worded email. That didn’t get a reply either.

Singhania is not the only one with this peculiar problem. In the past six months, several Swift buyers have complained of a braking issue in their new cars. They have complained on car forums, in emails to Maruti, on the Swift’s Facebook fan page. In Kerala, Sibiraj PR even filed a consumer court case against Maruti, but the company has given no explanation. Puzzled customers who complain at the dealership are told to register the complaint directly with Maruti. The total number of consumer complaints, which you can pick up from car enthusiast forums, runs into the hundreds.

So, what’s the problem with the Swift’s brakes? Toms Matthew, who bought the top end ZXi variant in February 2012 and has had a frustrating time since, explains it pretty well. “You need to be in bumper to bumper traffic situation…of which we have a lot in Bangalore, drive in first gear, half clutch, RPM under 1,000 and after two or three presses on the pedal, the brake pedal becomes absolutely hard and there is no braking,” he says. While this typically happens at speeds under 10km/hr, it is not a nice situation to be in. During two separate incidents while driving in heavy traffic, Matthew says his Maruti scratched a Honda City and a Toyota Innova after his brakes failed. A third time, while Matthew was parking in his garage, the Maruti scratched a parked motorcycle.

Though the risk of harm is low at such slow speeds, a car needs to stop when the driver hits the brakes. When it won’t, there’s a problem. Maruti, though, seems to disagree. “There is no impact on braking performance in the cars mentioned. If the customer has experienced hardness in the brake at very low speeds of 5km/hr or less, that may be on account of driving in half clutch and pressing the brake to control speed, which results in engine RPM [revolutions per minute] falling below ‘Idle RPM’ [the speed at which the engine generates enough power to operate smoothly],” said the company’s spokesperson. “The brake is fully functional during such time, irrespective of hardness of pedal. “The correct technique is to press the brake and not crawl at half clutch. Please note that the NVH [noise, vibration and harshness] refinement level of new Swift is so good that the engine does not judder even under such abnormally low RPM conditions.”

Customers say that not only do stop and go traffic conditions require driving in half clutch, the problem surfaced only in the new models. And while Maruti maintains the Swift’s brakes work even when customers drive in half clutch and the pedal becomes hard, customers and experts believe Maruti isn’t coming clean on the problem. “It is not a first brake and then clutch issue. If this has to be done in stop go traffic, more than half the drivers will be stalling their engines... But yes, there could be a problem with the brake pistons which do not release on the third or fourth application [only if this happens rapidly]. This usually manifests itself as brakes getting hard. What you need to understand is, do the brakes still apply or is there no braking? No braking, then we have a serious issue,” says Bertrand D’Souza, editor of Overdrive magazine.

Even Maruti agrees there is some hardness in the brake pedal, and customers swear that when the pedal becomes hard, the brakes don’t work at all. So, is this a serious problem being pushed under the carpet?

Just a few weeks ago, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) issued a voluntary code of conduct by which automobile manufacturers agree to call back vehicles found to have defects defined in the code. But drivers shouldn’t expect Maruti to make the Swift the first car recalled under the new code. Since Maruti does not think there is a problem, customers have been left high and dry.

There is no precedent for recalls in a country where a car maker can change the starter motors in about 1,40,000 cars and still refuse to call it a recall, as Tata did with the Nano. At the SIAM press conference announcing the voluntary code of conduct, SIAM President S Sandilya said whatever Tata Motors wants to call the Tata Nano case, it was a recall. Tata Motors was not happy about this. Their spokesperson responded to Sandilya’s comments in an email to Forbes India, saying, “The installation of the new starter motor, which is a vendor supplied part, began in October 2011 and has been completed. This new starter motor was already installed in the Nano 2012, which was introduced in November 2011…we decided that we will give owners of old Nanos on the road also the option, free of cost. That is how it was done. It was not a recall.”

Recall or no recall, the SIAM initiative is unlikely to live up to expectations because automakers have a vested interest in avoiding costly recalls. In most countries, automobile recalls happen because there is a separate, independent body whose sole job is to set safety standards and ensure that they are followed. These agencies review each and every call, letter and online report they receive of an alleged safety problem. Depending on the number of consumer complaints, they may start an investigation. If safety-related defects are found, it’s up to the independent agency to determine whether or not a safety defect exists. If so, the manufacturer has no choice but to conduct a recall.

The problem with the Indian automotive industry is that there is no such body overseeing auto safety. Instead, it’s up to the manufacturer to issue costly, but perhaps crucial, recalls. Sadly, that means India’s car buyers are usually out of luck.

source:http://forbesindia.com/article/special/the-new-maruti-swifts-brakes-dont-work/33388/0?id=33388&pg=0

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