General Motors is planning to restart production of the Chevrolet Sail and Sail U-Va hatchback diesel variants, which were temporarily stopped last month owing to a quality defect in the engines of these cars. GM had also stopped production of the Chevrolet Tavera to fix an emissions problem.
GM hasn’t said what exactly the issue was with the Chevrolet Sail sedan and Chevrolet Sail U-Va hatchback, but it halted production and hasn’t issued a recall either for cars that were already sold to customers. Speculation and various unconfirmed reports about the Chevrolet Sail and Sail U-Va point to a problem with the ignition system, but all this will remain speculation until General Motors issues an official statement informing customers of what was wrong and what was fixed. Also read: GM temporarily stops production of Chevrolet Sail and Sail U-Va diesel variants
So far the only word from General Motors has been that production will be restarted by end July for these cars as a “quality issue” was found and has been fixed. Sales of the two cars has obviously plummeted. The Sail sedan sold only 998 cars in June compared to 2,027 cars in May, while the Sail U-Va, which was anyway facing sluggish sales, dropped to just 509 cars from 824 the previous month. Also read:Chevrolet Sail first-drive impression: Practical, but uninteresting sedan
Needs to repair damage ASAP
This is just the kind of poor handling of an issue that the company can do without. The Sail and Sail U-Va are cars that customers actually saw as value-for-money, given the space and features these cars have at a very competitive price point. Also given the fact that the 1.3 litre engine in the diesel variants was co-developed by GM and Fiat, customers had high expectations from the engine. A similar engine (the 1.3 multijet) is present in some of the best-selling cars in India including the Maruti Swift, Maruti Ritz, Maruti Dzire, Maruti SX4, Tata Vista, Tata Manza, Maruti Ertiga, Fiat Punto and Fiat Linea among others. The fact that GM managed to find a flaw in the engine that too post launch doesn’t bode well for the company. Shouldn’t the pre-launch tests have been more rigorous? Also read:Chevrolet Sail U-Va video review – spacious and practical family hatch
No more 5-year warranty
Such was the confidence in the engine that GM was offering a 5 year or 150,000 km warranty on the engine and transmission, and the car was literally selling itself on that point. When we last checked with a Chevrolet dealership a couple of weeks ago about the warranty clause, we were informed that the 5-year warranty has been discontinued and that was only an initial offer during the launch of the car!
And given that the same engine also does duty in the Chevrolet Enjoy, but in a different layout (longitudinal instead of transverse), we are wondering why the Enjoy hasn’t been affected by this problem.
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