Hi Lads, the 155 failed the nct (MOT) recently on 3 visuals
far side indicator not working
no visible VIN number (Chassis)
Faulty airbag light
Replaced bulb, opened bonnet and could clearly read the chassis number on the suspension turret and rang Ti Autos to book it in and get the airbag light checked. On ringing them Gerry said there is no airbag light in a 155, its a mechanical system but he said he will ring me back because another customer had a failure with the same thing and he was able to get a letter from Fiat Ireland confirming this is the case. He brough it to the test centre who then passed his car and sent a copy of the letter into NCT HQ. So I went down to the test centre and showed the tester the working bulb and chassis number, that wasgrand he was happy the number was clearly legible.,but for the airbag
light I would have to speak to a supervisor so I explained this to the supervisor but they said sorry we will need to see a copy of that letter. I explained to him the previous customers experience and given the fact his local test centre sent in the letter to NCT HQ surely they would have removed this procedure from the test?
He couldnt answer that.
So back on to Gerry in Ti Autos who then promptly faxed me a copy of the letter so armed with it I went into the test centre. The testers responce was the same as previous, how could they not see the chassis number, its clear? He was happy with the letter but to get approval has to show it to his supervisor. The supervisor said yes I agree with this letter but it does not have my reg and chassis number, its somebody
else's so I have to come back with a letter with my details instead. Ok I said given there is three days left on my Inspection report can I not get an extension on the time I have left before having to pay for a new test because none of this is my fault. The tester said of course thats fine ring the NCT customer Service and they can surely extend the time until you get the letter. Great.
I ring NCT customer service and explain this all to them and request the extension, sorry she said but the tester shouldnt have said that because its untrue, the guidelines are set by the RSA, we cant alter that. OK I said but what about the fact you have failed my car on something that doesnt exist? In the meantime I've fixed the other two failures but your testing my car for something that doesnt exist! surely given this has happened before you would have changed your testing procedure to reflect the fact there is no airbag light on this model!
Well she said we sent a request to the manufacturers requesting all this info, basically its not our fault if they dont supply it.
OK but again because you failed me on something that doesnt exist will I be able to get either a free test or indeed a refund if I dont get this letter in time? Sorry she said I couldnt say but you can try writing a letter or email into our customer service department
and see what they say.
But you are customer service, can you not tell me this? No sorry you will have to write in seperately.
It was at this point I decided to ring Alfa Romeo customer service who I have to say have been absolutely brilliant, couldnt fault their efforts to get me sorted out with a letter and any other necessary info. They have been regularly ringing me (direct from Italy) with updates on my
request and have faxed, emailed and posted me the letter. Three copies sent in less than 24 hours. Anyway just today I went into the test centre and have shown the letter and finally they have passed the car.
Just needed to vent my frustration and thought no better place than here. I suppose lads its just something to look out for if any of you have a 155, I reckon there is a few Fiat/Alfa/Lancia and other makes that have the same mechanical system and the testers are not aware of it.
Also I know many of you have slated Alfa Romeo customer service and the dealerships but I have never had a better more satisfying experience ever, dealing with any company customer service. Incredibly helpful, quick and informative. As for the NCT crowd I've said it before, they are a bunch of cowboys, I've never liked their attitude, in fairness some of the testers are sound, they are just doing their job
but the people who run it and how its run just doesnt inspire confidence. We all know there are cars being passed and their is no way they are roadworthy.
Sorry about the long winded rant but I could have been typing all day in fairness with the crap I've had to put up with.
So lads if you encounter a problem like this in your safety tests be prepared for stressful times.