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Discussion Starter #1
I almost lost my life over Christmas when my bonnet catch failed - my car has been written off. Its a 1998 2.0 T Spark. I understand Alfa recalled some 156 because of this problem in 2005.

I contacted Alfa and they say its my fault and my car isn't subject to a recall, even though it has the same bonnet catch. Interesting - it has a full Alfa service record.

It seems that Alfa are covering up the problem and not doing anything about it. I've setup a blog at

http://www.juretic.com/Alfa_Romeo_156/

If this has happened to you please let me know. I'm putting a case together for http://www.vosa.gov.uk/ to get Alfa to take a responsible attitude to the problem and warn all Alfa Romeo 156 owners of the problem.

If I had been warned about the problem I'd still be driving an Alfa....

They are putting peoples lives at risk everyday.

I know everyone loves Alfa here - I'm sure you wouldn't love them as much if a driver was killed because Alfa couldn't be bothered to send out a simple letter - its criminal what they are doing...

:tut:
 

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no problems personally, mine seems as solid as a rock

I test drove one 3 years ago and another couple were about to take a v6 for a spin and the dealer was having trouble with the bonnet

I figured it was maybe a slight mis-alignment caused by a mini-shunt

without wishing to sound callous, this seems a bit alarmist (but I'll be happily put in my place if loads of people substantiate a known fault).

have you searched the threads here?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There has been 3 accidents since Christmas because the bonnet safety catch seizes up. If thats not alarming I'm not sure what you'd consider to be alarming.
 
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Afraid you're a bit late...afaik Alfa HAVE warned owners and given them instruction about lubricating and shutting the bonnet properly.

There actually nothing wrong with the bonnet, it just needs dropping instead of closing gently :D

Sounds like your energy would be better spent challenging Alfa again ;)

wrinx
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ummm, I've been an Alfa owner for 4 years, I have my car serviced by Alfa and I've never been told about the problem and have never been told to dismantle my bonnet catch to lubricate it because it has an inherent design fault that causes it to seize.

I spoke to Alfa at length, they even sent out someone to inspect it.

But that's not the issue - there will be hundreds of people like me who will end up in 70mph crashes this year because they don't know about the problem.

Thats the issue...

All Alfa need to do is contact all drivers and tell them there is a problem.

And by doing this they will save hundreds of people having high speed crashes.

I only found out about the problem after the accident.
 
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No-one said anything about dismantling the lock, simply lubricating them.

We know, from posts here and conversations with owners, that lots of them did receive letters....search the forum and you'll find posts from worried owners who's had "recall" letters.

Sorry, about your accident, but I'm afraid your gripe is probably with your local dealer and not Alfa, who did issue a recall.

Edit: having just glanced at your blog you need to be careful imho, some of the comments are incorrect and may get you in trouble. Yes there are incidents, but Alfa HAVE attempted to do something about it.

wrinx
 

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i guess the issue is raised again and as a result I'll read a few emails about recalls etc. and increase my knowledge of the problem.

i sometimes find that having a word with the local indy dealer is more helpful than anything else........they give you loads of detail that you don't get anywhere else...especially when they are feeling enthusiastic

steve
 
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neverbuyanalfa said:
All Alfa need to do is contact all drivers and tell them there is a problem.
How would you suggest they contact the thousands of owners who bought their cars second hand and don't go near a main dealer?

Unfortunately there will always be some people they will miss...

wrinx
 

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neverbuyanalfa said:
There has been 3 accidents since Christmas because the bonnet safety catch seizes up. If thats not alarming I'm not sure what you'd consider to be alarming.
understand

didn;t mean to trivialise ok
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They recalled a small number of cars but not all. If they had recalled my car there would be know accident. Alfa did not recall my car and have stated to me that there isn't a recall on my car for the bonnet catch.

If you are going to performance maintenance on the safety catch you need to dismantle the cover to get to the safety catch springs. This is not in the manual.

It's a simple problem which requires a simple fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
They can contact every Alfa owner in the country via http://www.vosa.gov.uk/

I have file a report with them and being the Department of Transport they can and do send out recall letters using the Vehicle registration database

You can even check if your car has had an offical recall.

http://www.vosa.gov.uk/vosa/apps/recalls/default.asp

You will notice that Alfa 156 have never had an offical VOSA recall for the bonnet safety catch
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I'm not trying to get back at Alfa or slag them off.

I'm just trying to get them to take the matter seriously as it is a huge problem. And one that could very easily kill someone, but could be solved so simply.

I'm not here to argue, I'm here on the Alfa Owners forum to try and find a solution the problem and try and find someone who can help.

Has anyone had a crash because their bonnet safety catch seized and has never received a recall notice?
 
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neverbuyanalfa said:
I'm not trying to get back at Alfa or slag them off.
With respect....of course you are! Where does "neverbuyanalfa" fit in, and registering complaints? You're intending to get them to change their ways and perhaps pay for your car...fair enough.

The recall was about lubrication and informing owners of the correct way to close the bonnet. No dismantling was required afaik.

As for VOSA, they only deal with a small percentage of recalls. The vast majority are done by the manufaturers. There were three 155 recalls from memory, but none show on their site. 156s have had a few too....again, none show on their site. Manufacturers, I think, are reluctant to go down this route.

I wish you well...

wrinx
 

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I bought my 2002 1.8TS second hand a year ago. Soon after the 1st service at an Alfa dealer I got a recall letter for the bonnet catch. I would say that the process for detecting new owners through the dealers works ok.

All they do on the recall is clean it and lubricate it and give you advice to make sure its closed properly after you had it open. The catch is a tight fitting as its designed and you have to give it a real slam to make it shut correctly, its still like this after the recall work.

To get anything out of Alfa I would think that you will have to prove negligence in the design your looking at an expensive legal battle.

What is your insurance company saying? I would guess if your fully comp you would be covered due to an accident cause by mechanical failure? And if there is any problem that can be pinned on Alfa the insurance company would need no holding back if there is the slightest chance of getting anywhere.

Having the recall done nearly cost me a write off- when I was in for the work I also had some suspension bits changed and they left a number of important looking bolts hanging loose when I got it back. I wont mention the dealer responsible as they was extremely embarrassed and we sorted out the problem to my satisfaction at the time ;)

Though, if I hadn't been untrusting and checked the work they had done and noticed the bolts hanging there. I could have quite easily drove off, got 50 miles down the road hit a corner with the wheels go one way and the car another :wow:
 

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I had recall notices from Alfa regarding bonnet catches on both my old 147 and our current 156. The 156, I might add, we bought second hand. We also had a recall on an old Audi that we'd also bought second hand, so Alfa (like Audi) can clearly contact owners of vehicles that weren't bought from their main dealers if they want to.

That said, I think 'neverbuyanalfa' might be looking for support in the wrong place. All car manufacturers should be accountable when needs be, but I think the majority of people on this site are well aware of the supposed bonnet issues. It's unfortunate if 'neverbuy' slipped through the net and didn't get a letter, but to my mind Alfa have been almost pedantic about this issue. Can't sign any petitions about something I've no experience of, I'm afraid.
 

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Jonwood79 I think Neverbuyanalfa is highlighting a problem and alerting others to his misfortune.I drive a 166 but check this site out for 2.5 156's same engine.Now my first 166 had a different problem form NBA.No matter what I tried I couldn't get the bonnet to open.Eventually did it and works fine...Not wishing to show my age but I brove an old A60 Austin Cambridge in my youth and the bonnet blew up on me.Fortunaletly I was going slow and passed of without incident.I never forgot it though .Years later I had an L regd 1972 Triumph Stag.. the bonnet openned towards the front of the car . SO It could never blow up on you. It seem crazy that this simple method if implemented by manufacturers could prevent many an accident.
 

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In terms of recall, most owners were contacted, also a new page for the service schedule was added detailing the addition of a clean and lube at service and how to close it.

I recieved this in late 2004, its part of the 156 and 147 service schedule.

The catches are not faulty, they can get very dirty though and if you do not drop it home properly, it doesnt always catch properly.

I clean the 147 catch every month or so with compressed air and re-lube it.

I produced a guide for those of you without compressed air early in 2004, but as Alfa acted just after this, it was largely redundant. The link contains the recall notice and the pdf DIY guide.

http://www.alfa156.net/tech/bonnetcatch.html


Edit:

I have looked at your blog and you published the recall notice - so what is your problem - Alfa have acted in line with the SMTA code of conduct, you have fell through the net, a serious accident - and a big scare, no doubt, but these things happen with road vehicles.
 

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Pomeo,

Yes I can quite obviously see he's highlighting a problem, and warning other Alfa owners - that I have no issue with. But setting up a blog site and encouraging people on this site to support his endeavour to bring Alfa to account is more than simply 'highlighting a problem'.

I sympathise with him, really, but I have no grounds at all to get involved in someone else's legal battle, I'm afraid.

As for car bonnets.....I have no idea why most open the way they do, but I agree with you it would seem a sensible solution to a problem that in truth afflicts all manufacturers at times, not just Alfa Romeo.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't care if I never receive a penny from Alfa. The fact is they have let me down as an Alfa owner. And are currently letting thousand of other Alfa driver down because they are not telling them about the design fault with the bonnet catch.

If they had told me about the problem then I wouldn't have had the crash. And many others who will crash this year could also be told about the problem in advance before they crash.

It very simple - Alfa have a duty to their customers.

I loved my Alfa - it was a great drivers car. However Alfa have washed their hands of me and the problem. They are quite happy to no nothing about it. This was really gets me.

Its no wonder they where voted bottom out of 30 cars brand just behind Fiat. All I am asking for is for Alfa to tell their drives there is a problem with the car and tell them how to fix the problem.

I'm not going to let Alfa fob me off with a letter saying the accident was my fault. It takes action like mine to make them take notice; otherwise nothing will be done.

I almost lost my life because of the problem - that's how serious the problem is.

Then again we all could do nothing and watch the accidents roll in and wait until someone is killed before they do something - thats the easy option, but not the right option.

I was going to buy an Alfa 159 this year, but not now, I think its a fantastic car, but I have zero faith in Alfa as a company. I'd rather not but my life in their hands again
 

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neverbuyanalfa said:
I don't care if I never receive a penny from Alfa. The fact is they have let me down as an Alfa owner. And are currently letting thousand of other Alfa driver down because they are not telling them about the design fault with the bonnet catch.
It isn't a design fault, it just needs maintaining like every part of every car ever made!
And make sure you close the bonnet properly.
 
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