19th Oct 2006, 13:30
Hello Citymatic owners.
We have seen many more comments added to this forum since we posted our message in the middle of May, and are surprised that there are still people out there that have had to pay for their conversion.
Depending on the age of the car, Fiat should convert your car for free.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of people like Jill and Adam, we managed to persuade Fiat to convert our Seicento under warranty, and we have had virtually trouble free driving ever since.
We have added a page to our website to recount our experiences, and include a copy of THAT LETTER we wrote to Fiat, convincing them to convert our car to a manual.
Our experience was relatively short and hassle free. It should be the same for everyone.
Please feel free to have a look at: (LINK REMOVED AS THE SITE IS DEAD) and read our tale.
Thanks again to Jill for her advice and encouragement, and good luck to all of you.
Chris & Helen Miller.
31st Oct 2006, 08:57
Hi, have same problem as everyone else. only had the car for three months and now cannot get it into gear when engine is on.someone will soon have a serious accident with this car. I would rather scrap it than pay to have it repaired as I don't think the citymatic should be on the road. fiat have been aware of this problem from day one and it will take someone to die before they do something about it.
22nd Nov 2006, 08:15
Fiat are aware of the fault. I spoke with a mechanic (when being repaired) and customer care rep (when I filed my claim); both acknowledging the fault and admitting Fiat's failure. They are repairing my car as we speak.
To make a successful claim against them for repairs and or conversion, do the following:
- Phone customer services and file a claim (see if the rep knows anything about the Citymatic fault).
- Compile all the evidence you have in a nice letter to them use Overlandrover's example (LINK REMOVED AS THE SITE IS DEAD) as a rough idea. Outline that you are not happy and that other Citymatic owners have had the cars repaired regardless of warranty or age.
- Make copies of all service history and MOT documents, including any work done.
- Print out all correspondence from all members on the site you have contacted, and don't forget to list the web research you did.
- Get written advice from a mechanic, preferably an established company and the head of that department (looks good).
- Contact your local trading standards office both by phone, and mail all correspondence and copies to them. Also explain you aren't the only sufferer. web pages etc...
- Lastly, pass all information onto your solicitor if they are still being uncooperative. (IMPORTANT: ONLY SEND COPIES, NOT ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS) not to sound patronising, but even the Fiat rep said things go 'missing in the post', how convenient... LOL.
As my car is still getting repaired, I will leave my name off for now... Don't want an accident, when I get the car back.. But keep pushing them for action. A solicitor group I contacted are quite keen for more information, wonder why? LOL. All those expensive yet useless repairs and problems they have caused.. possibly to sue Fiat?? Don't know...
15th Dec 2006, 13:45
I join the legions of concerned Citymatic owners with the notorious clutch/gearbox problem. Although I agree with everyone that Fiat should take responsibly for what is a poor and dangerous design, I do not have the time to persuade them to do a conversion to manual. I understand that this conversion consists of:
1: Replacing the pedal box with the three pedal version and fitting a clutch cable.
2: Disabling electronics that make the clutch function so car can be started.
Has anyone done this conversion themselves, and if so can they let me know how this can be achieved.
23rd Dec 2006, 01:08
It only took me less than 2 days to do all the paper work and other bits and pieces. Seriously would you rather spend £500 repairing it yourself (And that's local garage prices) or would you rather fiat repair your car for free. Hey I got a free valet and wash as well. Mind they weren't very good in the repair, had to visit again for niggly problems. But now its like a new car. Jon Bramwell.
15th Jan 2007, 14:23
I converted my 1999 (30 thousand mile) Citymatic to a manual clutch (SX) equivalent, with ease. I bought the car specifically with a faulty clutch for £360 after reading all the comments listed here, just to find out what all the fuss was about. I purchased a secondhand three pedal assembly off a popular auction site for £15, and a clutch cable for a similar amount. A minor piece of fabrication was required to produce a fulcrum for the new cable, and a clip to hold cable in place. Simple modifications to the electronics were also required to start the car, and stop the buzzer from annoying me. The mods did not affect the immobiliser in any way, and cost nothing to achieve. There you have it, a perfectly drivable car for less than £400. May I point out that I am an engineer not a motor mechanic, and had absolutely no problem with this conversion. Any competent person can do the same.
12th Feb 2007, 05:14
I purchased a W reg Seicento Citymatic last summer, and the transmission failed in December 2006. I read the comments on this site, and am most grateful for the advice received. I called FIAT UK and asked them to convert the car to a manual transmission. They were not encouraging given the age of the car (mileage about 25K), but required me to take the car to the nearest FIAT dealership. The dealership confirmed that the actuator was broken, and that a replacement would cost a good % of the value of the car, as would conversion to a manual transmission. They undertook to take my case up with the regional manager, who turned down my request for conversion at FIAT's expense. At this stage I wrote a polite letter to FIAT UK, asking them to intervene, and also contacted the Guild of Experienced Motorists, with whom I have breakdown cover. Mr David Williams of GEM kindly undertook to support my case, and he and a colleague contacted the FIAT UK PR organisation. Within 24 hours FIAT UK informed Mr Williams that the conversion had been approved at their expense, and fortunately he told me, because FIAT omitted to do so, although the Dealership was instructed to do the work. It took around a week for the parts to arrive and the conversion to be completed (a two-day job according to the garage). The total cost to FIAT, according to the Warranty Invoice was £792.11, and the car is now running fine. I have written thank you letters to all involved. My advice would be:
1. State your position clearly and politely.
2. Escalate gradually.
3. If possible involve appropriate organisations (AA, RAC, GEM, trading standards, etc) if they are willing to help.
I believe that FIAT will offer resistance initially - any business will wish to resist unwanted expenditure, but a little perseverance will pay off. My experience indicates that FIAT are concerned to avoid negative publicity over the citymatic issue, so the greatest pressure is probably associated with one's ability to get some kind of 'press coverage'. Trust that this is helpful, and that you get your conversion completed by FIAT.