Car: Trouble in Paradiso, Pissed Off Prima Owners in Fiat Funk

The honeymoon’s over for some of the Fiat faithful..

Those being the 500 enthusiasts who signed on to become owners of the first new Fiats sold in this country in 28 years. Like me, buyers plunked down $500 deposits last summer and fall – sight unseen, price and options unknown – for a special numbered edition Fiat 500 called the Prima Edizione.

At that tender stage, there were no Fiat dealers. They would be courted and signed 2 months later.

Fast forward to three weeks back when the eight Prima Edizione Fiat 500s arrived at a local rail head for delivery to KC area buyers .

There they remain – in automotive limbo – delivery dates unknown.

"It’s a mess," grouses Prima No. 446 buyer Jeff on a Fiat 500 blog site.

"Nobody could have imagined our cars ready and near our homes – within a couple hundred miles – (then) waiting weeks for delivery. This is not a production problem," says Prima buyer Mike S. "It would be much easier to take if Fiat told us what is going wrong. This is like a bad divorce."

"No question, it is not going great," Prima buyer Sam says. "With this many unhappy people, there is an undeniable problem."

Fiat 500 USA site owner Chris explains it all away like this:

I have alluded to this in other threads, but I want to post it here, so folks that are waiting and wondering what’s going on will know the latest," he writes. "For the Prima owners that are still waiting, the main hold up is that some dealers are waiting for their state licenses. Now, many of these should be arriving shortly, but until then, Fiat cannot legally send cars to dealers without this license."

None of those reasons/excuses do Prima posters find to their liking….

"Fiat called all of us and said it would be 14 to 17 days for delivery! now its been over 3 weeks!!!!" says Prima No. 80 buyer Bill. "And i am pissed !!! Because they can’t even tell us when the cars will be handed out!! They knew these problems when they called!!!! But choose to give us bad info! …And that is why everyone is upset!…I want some type of compensation!!  Our local here in milwaukee is selling cars to any Joe off the street!! I order 8 months ago and was told i would be (one of) the first 500 to get one! And now they can’t even tell me when i can pick it up !!! SHITTY SHITTY SHITTY !!"

"They also said we would be the first 500 Fiat 500 owners in the US…that is far from true at this point," says Prima buyer Gavin. "My car is traveling further and further from me as I type and people are buying non Prima 500s from multiple dealers at this point…even the dealer my car is heading too has sold non Prima cars. I have no thoughts of suing or anything remotely like that…but Fiat clearly dropped the ball with Prima deliveries…and Fiat clearly said the Primas would be first, and that is not happening."

Which brings us to rumors of technical glitches in need of fixing holding up the delivery of some Primas.

"Well, our car – along with seven other Primas -has been sitting at the dealer for over a week, been PDI’d," says Prima buyer SeattleCar. "They got their license on Monday, but still ‘can’t’ sell us our car because of ‘software upgrades’ or some other such nonsense. SUCKS!"

"Same story with my car about software and a bad module of some sort," adds Prima buyer Thad.

Then there is the unhappy matter of the limited edition collector cars being trapped in freight yards waiting to be released.

"Cars sitting for 3 weeks at shipping yards getting bumped into, scratched, sunbaked," grouses Prima No. 23 buyer fredfrey. "Massive confusion. We’re only talking about 500 or so cars! FIAT wants to sell 50,000 a year?  Good luck with that."

"Someone picked up his Prima Edizione here in So Cal, and realized the shift boot trim wasn’t clicked in properly. AC vent wasn’t installed correctly," posts Prima buyer 5*(10)^2. "And also, last Sun, when I saw my PE, a corner of the rear boot trim was damaged. I notified the dealer but I doubt they are replacing that yet."

The bottom line on the chaotic launch of Fiat’s Prima Ediziones to what the company describes as its most loyal, enthusiastic supporters:

"I guess, for me…what is confusing is just how ‘confused’ Fiat themselves have been," Gavin says. "They themselves told me a dealer…had everything worked out…lots of great communication….9 days later Fiat tells me a different dealer…gah…but I call that dealer…dealer doesn’t want my Prima…so I get a different dealer…but now Fiat is telling me that my car is going to the dealer who doesn’t want my Prima – too far at 1000 miles from me But PaulL says the car is going to a different dealer than that one….In the meantime Fiat is selling cars to all kinds of people -Prima people, non Prima people -.it seems I could have gotten a 500 faster by not being an early deposit holder…sigh…

"It is a bit of madness right now…which generally I like a bit of madness…but not usually with my big ticket purchases 🙂 It will likely all work out in the end…but I don’t really know…"

This entry was posted in Car and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Car: Trouble in Paradiso, Pissed Off Prima Owners in Fiat Funk

  1. Tracy Thomas says:

    So Hearne, are you going to bail? Get your $500 back?
    I bet you are bummed. The stories of damaged cars is bad enough, but for an early adopter like you, to find out that you won’t be the first around to have this car must be depressing. Careful, it’s a giant full moon tonight. don’t go postal…

  2. kansas karl says:

    what did you expect?
    It’s an Italian car, from an Italian car company, geez. Good thing they and the french can cook, because thier cars are crap

  3. mrbrown says:

    You can use the $500 for dui lawyers
    I am so glad to see this story..there for a minute I was really worried you were going to be blogging about actual issues…carry on

  4. Brian says:

    Why do we care?
    Really, who gives a shit??

  5. smartman says:

    That’s Amore
    When the car hits the lot oh what have you got not a Prima.

    The stories been told, you all were so bold but no Prima

    Take back your cash while there’s still time to dash from your Prima

    Just go downtown, take a look around for a Scream..aah

    You’ll have lot’s more fun, when all’s said and done with the Scream…aah

    Cause no matter how you look at it now there’s no Prima!!!!

  6. Superdave says:

    So?
    In your haste to be the first it greatly appears you may be the last.

  7. Kyle Rohde says:

    Interesting saga for sure – thanks for the details Hearne. As I said when you and I went back & forth the other day, this is what makes me think it’s going to be a tough go for this car, no matter how good it is (and I think it’s fantastic). Fiat does not have their stuff together and they rushed this thing out way too quick.

  8. tracy says:

    Love your little ditty, Smartman!
    Happy Friday. Hapy full moon. Go KU. Smartman, I love your softer side.

  9. Rogger says:

    If It It Quacks Like a Duck….
    Come on, Hearnie!
    Can you not smell the espresso burning?? This bunch of unorganized unprofessional Italian jaggoffs have you under the ether. Call the Dodge house and use this glaring opportunity to shitcan your deal, which is only going to become uglier from here forward. Get your money back, and throw a party to celebrate your good fortune.
    “Dropping the ball” is 100% typical for FIAT, and nothing’s changed since the 1960’s when they started this cruel game with the tin turds they are so well known for, then and now, as you can plainly see.
    Go play nice with the Mini dealer and maybe they’ll sell you a real car that will perform and have excellent factory and corporate backing, along with great resale. Fiat has none of the former….none.

  10. Tracy Thomas says:

    Yes, get your money back and count your blessings.
    I just returned a Christmas gift, (well, from my dogs) to HSN: a Nextbook3 tablet. And even tho it was more than 30 days, I had extended warranty. Best of all, they are sold out of these pieces of crap, so they cannot repair or replace, so I am getting a REFUND! And calling it good.

    Look at this as your cosmic good fortune. You haven’t sold your Prius. You had all the fun of THINKING you were getting something better, but now can quit the game while you are ahead. It the other 500 are discovering major problems, LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS! Exit gracefully.

    Remember what Hitler said to Mussolini: Benito, I am thinking of invading Italy. My conundrum is this: It will take one division to defeat you, but TWO to defend you.

  11. Tracy Thomas says:

    Yes, get your money back and count your blessings.
    I just returned a Christmas gift, (well, from my dogs) to HSN: a Nextbook3 tablet. And even tho it was more than 30 days, I had extended warranty. Best of all, they are sold out of these pieces of crap, so they cannot repair or replace, so I am getting a REFUND! And calling it good.

    Look at this as your cosmic good fortune. You haven’t sold your Prius. You had all the fun of THINKING you were getting something better, but now can quit the game while you are ahead. It the other 500 are discovering major problems, LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS! Exit gracefully.

    Remember what Hitler said to Mussolini: Benito, I am thinking of invading Italy. My conundrum is this: It will take one division to defeat you, but TWO to defend you.

  12. Rogger says:

    A True Test Indeed
    This debacle is going to be a true test of how deeply FIAT Delusional (Italian Queer) you really are. If you stay the course in the face of all the blatant bumbling and negativity surrounding this Euro hose-down; you do so at your own peril and no sympathy will be extended whatever. Tell those wino coneheads at Olathe Dodge to F.O. and get your money back!

  13. TIAD says:

    Yes, Jr., Get Your Money Back….
    Yes, Jr., get your money back and invest it in Royals tickets for Opening Day instead. I understand the Royals are promising a “better team” this year.

  14. bschloz says:

    010 Camry
    There seems to be a nice Sweet Spot right now….Lease it 36months ..24 months FREE Maint & Oil…blah blah blah
    just sayin..
    @Smart—LOL

  15. Salvatore says:

    Got my Prima and Love it
    Sorry to hear about so many problems. Got mine #316 early last week in Houston and had some mods done this past week. The car is perfect. Runs great and turns a lot of heads. Be patient it is worth it. I drive all high end cars and I think this little guy has great value and puts a smile on your face. A lot has to do with the dealership and Northside Fiat has been great to work with.

  16. BarKeeper says:

    Nice Shill Job, “Salvatore”
    What Gypsy carnival do you normally travel with? Can I get a nice stuffed animal for outing you?

  17. Salvatore says:

    Worth the Wait!
    BarKeeper
    No shill just a happy owner. My third one. Be glad to deliver your stuffed animal to the bar 🙂

Comments are closed.