How I sympathise with Mr Doyle’s troubles with his Fiat 132, in your August issue. In April of this year I purchased, partly as a result of reading your road test, a lesser steed from the Fiat stable, the 128.
On delivery I too, found a noisy speedometer plus poor paintwork, with bad defects on the bootlid and rain guttering, and different locks on the doors!
The bootlid lock jammed (1 week)
Front brakes squealed violently (2.000 miles)
The petrol cap cover spring became loose
The n/s quarter light rubber perished
The oil filter became unscrewed and leaked oil (5.000 miles)
The n/s drive shaft bush failed
The clutch juddered when the cat was laden with four adults (5.300 miles)
The n/s light unit gave main beam occasionally
When left in the rain the car refused to start
The manifold emitted smoke
The n/s light unit failed again at 8.000 miles
Two elderly passengers complained of a burning smell inside the car the garage seemed to think it was my imagination when I mentioned it to them two months previously.
Like Mr Doyle, a car is a necessity in my job, and the cost of hiring cars for the time mine is being repaired is becoming somewhat expensive. I, for one, do not feel I am getting “the backing of Britain’s most conscientious dealers”, if I may quote Fiat’s advertisement in the Observer Colour Supplement of September 9th.
Just think, Mr Doyle, with Datsun becoming the top Import, and Fiat sliding gently down the scale, things might get worse!
Hopwood. Michael Heron