2000 Fiat Punto ELX 1.3 Speedgear from Malaysia
A liability to own Fiat cars in Malaysia where spare-parts are scarce as it will become a liability
Maintenance-Free Battery is not available in any of the car accessories or batteries shop in Malaysia. Fiat Malaysia sells Fiat Punto, but does not carry original spare parts. As a last resort, I have to replace with water-based battery that Fiat Malaysia carries which is much under-powered. I was further disappointed to find out from the Fiat service staff that I have to constantly check and fill water every 2 weeks. Further, the steel plate holding the battery is designed only for maintenance-free batteries, and is not suitable for water-based batteries. This is because in order to fill water into the battery, the steel plate will have to be unscrewed every 2 weeks to open the battery caps. Such inefficiencies defeats the convenience which the new technology of Fiat Punto is being designed to satisfy customer needs.
Difficulties in obtaining replacement of battery was not made known to me at the point when I purchased the car, but instead was being misrepresented by the Fiat salesman who mentioned that Fiat uses maintenance-free batteries operated cars which are designed for the convenience of drivers.
Another flaw is that the original size of the Punto tyres is not available in the Malaysia market and not even Fiat, Malaysia carries that. One of the tyres of my car punctured and had to be replaced. To my surprise and disappointment, I was informed by Fiat service centre here that the replacement tyres are not imported. Hence, I had to replace either all 4 or at least 2 of the tyres with non-original imported tyres of different size in addition to the extra unnecessary costs incurred. This occured when my tyre was only 10 month's old and traveled less than 20,000 kilometers.
The radio and air-conditional boards rattled.
Unless and until such problems are ironed out, I would not consider buying a second Fiat car nor recommend Fiat cars to others.
Instead, I would forewarn them of the inconvenience and inefficiencies in having Fiat cars.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 25th September, 2002