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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to start my 500e La Prima yesterday morning and was confronted with two alternating red warnings on the dashboard. The car was still drivable but I chose not to risk it. I contacted Fiat Roadside Assistance who responded promptly and despatched a technician who I was told would arrive within 90 minutes. It was a bit more than that but I did receive a phone call apologising with a new eta.

Unfortunately it was not a Fiat technician who arrived but a mechanic from a local breakdown company. He plugged in a reader to my car’s OBD socket but could not find an error report. He admitted that his generic device and software was not as sophisticated as the proper Fiat equipment. His next course of action was to disconnect the 12v battery for a while then reconnect it. I’d seen discussions about this technique on this forum so I wasn’t too concerned. However, the battery disconnect/connect procedure only succeeded in lighting up every warning light and error message you can imagine. He did the disconnection procedure twice without making any improvement. On the “technician’s” suggestion I drove the car round the block, the controls, lights, horn etc worked as normal and the car drove as normal. He then deemed it safe to drive to the Fiat dealership for them to sort it out.

I have now got the car booked into the dealership for next Tuesday. The telephone receptionist was able to tell me that my car was overdue a software update anyway. Hopefully that will sort it out.

Roadside assistance offered when I bought my car was a key point for me. I mistakenly thought that a Fiat mechanic with the proper equipment would come to provide assistance should I ever suffer a breakdown. That is clearly not the case.

I’ll update after next Tuesday.

Car Vehicle Automotive design Steering part Steering wheel

Steering part Automotive design Vehicle Steering wheel Personal luxury car
 

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This could point to a failing 12v battery. Most likely though is just a software burp and you could switch off and on and carry on as normal.
To be fair to Fiat how could they have their own tech and equipment close enough to every car that could breakdown? No car manufacturer offers that to every break down. Some lucky people yes but never all.
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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254 Posts
Elsewhere, a couple of 500e owners in this country have reported they got the 'Service Traction Battery' warning and a replacement main battery was needed. Their cars were off the road for weeks waiting for the part.
I very much doubt that the cause of your warning is anything to do with the 12V battery.
I hope it does turn out to be simpler in your case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This could point to a failing 12v battery. Most likely though is just a software burp and you could switch off and on and carry on as normal.
To be fair to Fiat how could they have their own tech and equipment close enough to every car that could breakdown? No car manufacturer offers that to every break down. Some lucky people yes but never all.

Perhaps I was expecting too much for there to be a team of Fiat technicians to be on call but how about Fiat allowing their contracted company to have the correct software and dongles. My man was using his own phone linked to his dongle wirelessly. The software on his phone was inadequate for the purpose.
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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I think you'd find Fiat don't have contracted companies. They just arrange any old local breakdown team to visit you.

When my La Prima wouldn't start, a breakdown mechanic arranged by Fiat Customer Care arrived and his first remark was "Oh it's Electric!"
All he could do was a few basics which confirmed car needed to be recovered.
I then had to speak to Fiat Customer Care again to arrange recovery. Amazingly, they didn't have a list of the UK Fiat dealers equipped and trained to work on the 500e, leaving me to ring around local dealers to identify one which was.

Yes, you were expecting a bit much!

I hope your problem doesn't require a replacement main battery, but I fear it might.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Today I am glad to be able to report that my La Prima has been fixed 🤞.

The handover document I was given says,
“Carried out available campaign 6475.
Error codes found were B1A00-68 and C0529-00, steering angle sensor calibration.
Extended road test carried out, all ok.”

I asked about 6475, this is not a software version number, it’s merely a FIAT campaign to update all customer cars with the latest version of the software.

I didn’t notice any difference in driving the car on the 15 mile journey home. My saved radio channels, home address and phone profiles have all been preserved. What I have lost is the Trip A data which recorded performance since delivery date.

Whilst my car was being updated 3.5 hours, I was given a 500e Red courtesy car. This seemed to have a noticeably smoother ride than my La Prima which is fitted with lower profile and wider tyres than the Red.
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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Really good news that the cause wasn't a faulty main battery as I had feared.
It does emphasise the importance of all 500e's built before about April '22 getting Recall 6475 done without waiting for the next routine service.
My La Prima failed totally a few months ago requiring recovery and the only action needed was this software update.
Fiat and dealers don't seem to be bothering to advise owners that the recall is needed.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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getting Recall 6475 done without waiting
That is VERY good advice.

I stupidly waited a year to get an optional "campaign" update, but I was lucky: Other owners had their 500e completely killed by severe main drive battery damage due to failing to get that same update # U69 on the 1st-gen car.

It was considered "optional" because it didn't involve a hazard to the occupants, "just" a hazard to the car itself.
 

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500 La Prima (Sept 21)
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Had I known, I would have been on the dealer’s case to get the update at the earliest possible date.
One of the first things I did when I got the car in September 21 was to register on eLum to get the online manuals and also register for MyFiat (I hardly ever use this because the site is basically useless!) as per the Quick Start guide.

I first heard of the 6475 campaign back in early June when calling Fiat Customer Services about one of the many early software bugs. My local dealer knew nothing about it. I checked on MyFiat and sure enough the campaign notice was there. It was four weeks before my dealer knew of it (and I had to call them!)

Once the dealer had (to the best of my knowledge) carried out the software updates the notice on MyFiat went away.

So, Fiat did try and let owners know - it just used a rather obscure channel to do so! The upshot of this is that I check MyFiat every so often now just in case there are other "campaigns" or similar messages - none so far.
 
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