Terrible experience with 2018 Giulia Quadrifoglio - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Terrible experience with 2018 Giulia Quadrifoglio

I would like to share my terrible experience with my Giulia Quadrifoglio

I bought a brand new 2018 Giulia QV in March this year at Auto Gallery Santa Monica. Beautiful spec black on black wheels with black interior. Yellow calipers, this car was amazing. 78K USD spec. I am a car collector, I own many Porsche, and I also have a 74 GTV and a 88 Milano verde. I was looking to replace my Cayenne Turbo with something different. When I saw that car in the showroom it was love at first sight.

Took possession of the car in March, and decided to respect a very strict break-in procedure as well as doing an oil change after 1000 miles. After a week only and 60 miles, the engine check light came out. I brought back the car, they diagnosed a bad battery, replaced it, and in a matter of 24h, I had my car back, happy.

3 weeks after, 1100 miles, I started to hear a noise in the steering/suspension, every time I would take a sharp turn. I decided to bring it back to the service as well as changing the oil for the first time. Service advisor on the phone when I told him I wanted an oil change : “what for???, manufacturer does not recommend this, laughing at me”. Well I could have spent 20 min talking about the benefits of changing the oil after 1000 miles but was it really necessary? I want an oil change, that’s my problem right? Anyway, that genius did not propose a loaner, and I came back home hoping to have my car back soon after that.

Well….this was 6 weeks ago, the car is still there, cover with dust, the whole front suspension out, lemon law lawyer involved, and me living with my frustration and waiting for my money back.

First week, communication by SMS with Mr Genius, “I have no news for you, we didn’t start the car, we are busy” (why did you ask me to bring the car on a tuesday then?). Second week “we take the whole front suspension appart, didn’t find anything wrong” Third week “we had to fly a special mechanic to LA who thinks we need to change the whole front subframe/suspension” Fouth week “waiting for parts” Fifth week “waiting for parts” Sixth Week “waiting for tooling, we never fixed that part so we don’t have the right tools”. At that point I lost my passion for that lemon of a car and decided it was over.

The whole time, I had to insist to have updates on the car, I always felt I was bothering that service advisor. Talking with service Manager, and Auto Gallery CEO, they both agreed at one point that the car would never be or feel the same, and I should ask for a replacement or my money back. I got in touch with Alfa Service Care department, telling them the whole story, they didn’t seem to realize the gravity if the situation. You buy a 80K + USD new car, drive it less than a month, and it’s blocked for 6 weeks for a problem they can’t fix. They call me back telling me “we are going to try our best to fix the car” after I clearly mentioned I wanted my money back OR a replacement.

At that point I contacted a Lemon Law lawyer who took my case quickly, told me it was an easy case, and Alfa was not very clever not to try to deal directly with me, as now they will also have to pay the lawyer fees.

But the whole process will still take time, I don’t expect to have my money back before September, it’s extremely frustrating… I am furious.

I told Auto Gallery CEO, I still loved that car and would even be ok to try my luck with another one, once I would get my money back, he then found the same spec, told me he would hold it for me, but come on….if I need to wait few months to get my money back… do I really want to give my money to Alfa again?

Plus Alfa won’t cover the 1600 usd front clear bra I installed after I bought the car…

I leave the best for the end. When I told the service advisor that I would stop by to pick up the stuff in my car, he answered “don’t forget to bring back the loaner car”…. That genius knew my case so well that he even didn’t remember that he never proposed one…

Well done Alfa Romeo …. your come back in USA is a success, you are following the path of Fiat and their wonderful consumers rating in this country!
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post #2 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:19 PM
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You should not change the oil at 1,000 miles on a modern engine. The engines are designed to run at least 5,000 miles from new without an oil change. Changing the oil early can actually reduce engine performance in future. The last three cars I've bought new did not require a break in period nor a break in oil change.

The engines are basically broken in when manufactured. No special break in procedure is required. Just drive.

A check engine light is no big deal.

Suspension issue is strange, the setup is quite ordinary. There have been reports of tire interference with fender liners.

Nothing especially wrong with the FIAT Cassino plant as far as anyone has reported. The engines are made by Ferrari for Alfa.

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Last edited by Michael Smith; 06-04-2018 at 09:23 PM.
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post #3 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-04-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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You should not change the oil at 1,000 miles on a modern engine. The engines are basically broken in when manufactured. No special break in procedure is required.

A check engine light is no big deal.

Suspension issue is strange, the setup is quite ordinary.

Nothing especially wrong with the FIAT Cassino plant as far as anyone has reported. The engines are made by Ferrari for Alfa.
Thanks for your input Michael, you are totally right I complain to much, I should just swallow the pill...
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post #4 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 02:19 AM
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There has been much talk in Europe about the Ackerman steering geometry set up plus ultra grippy tyres meaning that there's a bit of scrub and judder from the front wheels on tight lock. Could that have been the issue? That's not a fault but just the way the car is set up. I had a Porsche 928 used to do the same.
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post #5 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bertiebloke View Post
There has been much talk in Europe about the Ackerman steering geometry set up plus ultra grippy tyres meaning that there's a bit of scrub and judder from the front wheels on tight lock. Could that have been the issue? That's not a fault but just the way the car is set up. I had a Porsche 928 used to do the same.

Alfa doesn't use Ackerman geometry and most makers of high performance and racing cars do not use theoretical Ackerman. Indeed, the only reason to use Ackerman is to prevent front wheel judder in sharp low speed turns. Most suspension engineers prefer reduced Ackerman angles. Pneumatic tires must run at slip angles in order to generate cornering thrust. Ackerman geometry was devised to eliminate tire slip in corners but for carriage wheels using wooden or iron tires. Ackerman reduces the forces creating slip angles required to initiate a turn in a vehicle with front steered pneumatic tires.

My GTV6 and my 164 both exhibited front tire judder during parking maneuvers especially on smooth garage floors or lower friction surfaces. Reduced Ackerman improves front axle grip and gives much better steering feel at speed due to the interesting properties of pneumatic tires not present in rigid tired carriage steered front wheels for which the Ackerman geometry was devised.

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White on grey leather 230K km, owned from new

Last edited by Michael Smith; 06-05-2018 at 06:47 AM.
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post #6 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for your input Michael, you are totally right I complain to much, I should just swallow the pill...
We would all be interested to know two facts:

What exactly was the noise the front axle of your car making and what is your dealerships diagnosis of the fault.

Reports indicate that the entire front suspension complete with engine can be dropped out of the Giulia, just as for mid engined Ferraris such as the 308/328/348 and other models. Since all of the front suspension functions are dictated by their installation on this subframe and are not adjustable in that respect it is difficult to understand how the noise you report can have anything to do with defects in the front suspension, including the steering.

Since the Giulia probably uses non Ackerman steering geometry it will make scrubbing noises and cause vibration in sharp low speed turns. Front tire wear is very rapid on the QV model and this will be due in great part to this suspension geometry. The trade off is exceptionally sharp steering, pronounced initial turn in and the ability to configure the rear suspension to give very high grip without inducing disappointing understeer.

High grip tires will make the noise and vibration from non Ackerman geometry more pronounced and more frequent as grippy tires will jump across the road surface more abruptly than less grippy tires could. The contact patch of a pneumatic tire actually slips and grips across the road continuously which is how it develops far more grip than the coefficient of friction would theoretically indicate. When the tires are not free to roll, as in locked up four wheel drive for example or when constrained by non Ackerman steering geometry, the grippier they are relative to the road surface the more likely it is they will judder and vibrate in low speed tight turns.

From the on track performance delivered by the Giulia QV it seems obvious that the chassis will exhibit some lack of civilized behaviour at lower speeds. That's just the trade off. And everyone who drives a Giulia and is reasonably competent reports that the handling and steering are phenomenally good.

1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 5 spd
White on grey leather 230K km, owned from new

Last edited by Michael Smith; 06-05-2018 at 07:01 AM.
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post #7 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 07:54 AM
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Michael

As interesting as your points are, to me it seems like you're missing the forest through the trees here - the customer has had a terrible experience with the dealer that is his interface for the entire ordeal. It's a brand new, expensive car and the customer had an issue - the issue is not being handled satisfactorily (and by the poster's content, at all by any measure!).

All cars have issues - it is how they are remedied that makes a customer happy or not. One of my colleagues has a Tacoma, which is somewhat legendary in the realm of no-excuses reliability and consistency I suppose being a Toyota truck, but he just had to have a relatively major repair and recall done - a big problem. Guess what? They treated him like royalty so it was a non issue as it was fixed and returned promptly. And the truck is 10 years old. I wager that Alfas don't currently nor have they previously had greater issues than any other car (hello, Porsche 911 GT3 engine replacement?? Hello BMW rod bearing and subframe anchor failures?) but it has historically been handled very poorly by Alfa compared to the others. This case from the original poster seems to be no different.

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post #8 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Michael

As interesting as your points are, to me it seems like you're missing the forest through the trees here - the customer has had a terrible experience with the dealer that is his interface for the entire ordeal. It's a brand new, expensive car and the customer had an issue - the issue is not being handled satisfactorily (and by the poster's content, at all by any measure!).

All cars have issues - it is how they are remedied that makes a customer happy or not. One of my colleagues has a Tacoma, which is somewhat legendary in the realm of no-excuses reliability and consistency I suppose being a Toyota truck, but he just had to have a relatively major repair and recall done - a big problem. Guess what? They treated him like royalty so it was a non issue as it was fixed and returned promptly. And the truck is 10 years old. I wager that Alfas don't currently nor have they previously had greater issues than any other car (hello, Porsche 911 GT3 engine replacement?? Hello BMW rod bearing and subframe anchor failures?) but it has historically been handled very poorly by Alfa compared to the others. This case from the original poster seems to be no different.
Thanks, that's precisely my point here.

Then the science about breaking-in the engine, changing the oil after 1000 miles, is another point that could be debated for a long time (actually service manager of AF Santa Monica DO recommend 1500 miles breaking in period and first oil change) but that was not a big problem.

You buy an expensive car, you car has an issue after less than a month, spend 6 weeks in service with a service advisor that is unprofessional and arrogant, nobody seem to understand what they are doing or what they are dealing with.

To that day they still don't really know what is the problem, they just don't have the right tools to replace the whole front subframe/suspension. It might as well have been front wheels touching front liner, but they were unable to diagnose the problem. Car is parked outside, full of dust, wheel arches plastic liners lying on the rear leather seats, swirl marks all over the black paint. Car has 1100 miles, I drove it for less than a month.

What an experience... It's really hard to swallow. You would think in 2018 this kind of things would not happen...

I was like a kid when I took that car out of the showroom, documented the whole thing, came with my son who was as excited as me. What a nightmare.
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post #9 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 10:26 AM
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I have read this story with great interest. After reading all of the posts, racingswim20 has made some good comments. I put the experience directly on the dealership and service manager. No one seems to be pushing this car along to resolve the problem with Alfa Romeo. This is a warranty issue and typically shops don't make a lot of money on warranty repairs. FCA should bring in a knowledgeable tech from another dealer and get this car back together.

I would get my lawyer, owner of the dealership, service manager, and the FCA district rep to sit at the table and get this resolved "like right now". I would want a new car, at a new dealer, in addition making Alfa Romeo treat me like I am the best customer in the world.

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post #10 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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I have read this story with great interest. After reading all of the posts, racingswim20 has made some good comments. I put the experience directly on the dealership and service manager. No one seems to be pushing this car along to resolve the problem with Alfa Romeo. This is a warranty issue and typically shops don't make a lot of money on warranty repairs. FCA should bring in a knowledgeable tech from another dealer and get this car back together.

I would get my lawyer, owner of the dealership, service manager, and the FCA district rep to sit at the table and get this resolved "like right now". I would want a new car, at a new dealer, in addition making Alfa Romeo treat me like I am the best customer in the world.
Thanks for your answer, I wanted to go down that road at one point, and ask for a replacement car, same spec yes...
But considering the lack of professionalism of everybody involved here (minus Auto Gallery CEO who was actually very helpful), do I want to take the risk of doing that again? Do I want to give back my money to Alfa? T I want to swallow the 1600 usd front clear bra?
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post #11 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 12:04 PM
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Yeah, I'd be turning my back on a new Alfa after that experience.

This story is very similar to the stories you read of Ducati's, some have no issues while others cannot get out of the shop ... I can only assume becoming an Italian car/motorcycle dealer means you make no money servicing them so you put all your efforts into selling them and praying ...
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post #12 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 01:02 PM
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Michael Smith Post

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Since the Giulia probably uses non Ackerman steering geometry it will make scrubbing noises and cause vibration in sharp low speed turns. Front tire wear is very rapid on the QV model and this will be due in great part to this suspension geometry. The trade off is exceptionally sharp steering, pronounced initial turn in and the ability to configure the rear suspension to give very high grip without inducing disappointing understeer.

High grip tires will make the noise and vibration from non Ackerman geometry more pronounced and more frequent as grippy tires will jump across the road surface more abruptly than less grippy tires could. The contact patch of a pneumatic tire actually slips and grips across the road continuously which is how it develops far more grip than the coefficient of friction would theoretically indicate. When the tires are not free to roll, as in locked up four wheel drive for example or when constrained by non Ackerman steering geometry, the grippier they are relative to the road surface the more likely it is they will judder and vibrate in low speed tight turns.

From the on track performance delivered by the Giulia QV it seems obvious that the chassis will exhibit some lack of civilized behaviour at lower speeds. That's just the trade off. And everyone who drives a Giulia and is reasonably competent reports that the handling and steering are phenomenally good.
Totally incorrect regarding Ackerman.

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You should not change the oil at 1,000 miles on a modern engine.
Where in hell do you get your information?

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post #13 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 01:30 PM
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How sad to hear such unpleasant experience that the OP had to go through. For sure, I would not survive this kind of heartless treatment. Best that the issue resolved by your lawyer and walk away from this lousy outfit.

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post #14 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 02:14 PM
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If they can't figure out this problem, what makes you think they'll put the car together correctly?
Have you seen the car?? I would like to see it, if it was mine.
80K I'd be fuming. Give me a New one or my Money period.
Smart move! Too long of a time, if they gave you a loaner I wouldn't be so upset.
They seem to be a bunch of B.S.A's
Good luck!
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post #15 of 172 (permalink) Old 06-05-2018, 03:24 PM
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Information from Giulia Q Owners manual: Oil change interval is 16.000km or once a year. In dusty areas its 6500km, so much less but still not 1000 mls.

So understandable that the official wondered why to change the oil that early!

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