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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all -

First, a thanks for the thoughtful posts by others regarding their beloved Abarths - this has been a helpful forum for browsing and learning.

Second, a disclaimer - I have greatly enjoyed my 2013 Abarth in so many ways. Even completed the Track Day in New Jersey this summer (Old Bridge Township, Aug. 18th), and had a blast. As I write, I'm even wearing an Abarth t-shirt my son had given me.

Having said this, I have had two issues with my Abarth, one minor and one seemingly simple-to-fix but ongoing. The first, the one I can live with, is the "doesn't turn over on first crank" problem. It's random, can't easily be replicated, and a performance diagnostic by the dealer turned up nothing (though I have noticed elsewhere that there are service bulletins about such matters). Since it always turns over on the second crank, I've chalked this up to an unusual quirk, and can deal with it.

The more annoying recurring issue has sought to drain much of the pleasure of this fun car as I try to deal with it - the separation of the passenger side skirt (rocker cladding). This is the gap where visible table is stretched between the body and the side skirt. The short outline:

1. Purchased new Jan. 2014.
2. February '14 - body shop reattached side skirt with new adhesive. Started to separate in the back.
3. May '14 - 2nd attempt to reattach side skirt. Started to separate again in the back.
4. Nov. '14 - 3rd attempt to reattach side skirt with new part. Started to separate a week later in the front. About this time, I received a survey from Chrysler, and I wrote at length about the issue. I was assigned a Customer Assistance Case Manager, and have been in communication with the Manager for the past two months off and on.
5. Dec. '14 - wrote to Chrysler and dealer for lemon law notification with request that repair be completed in 30 days. Soon after I received contact from the Case Manager that I should bring my car to the dealership, and the dealership notified me of a date. Frustratingly, no repair was made, but photos taken "to be sent to Italy".
6. Jan. '15 - after some back-and-forth communications from Case Manager, I was notified that the planned repair would be the same as had been done the first time, and therefore there was no action at present while they investigate further.

I'm now at the stage of writing to Chrysler again (as per lemon law guidelines) to request a replacement of the vehicle. I'll be contacting my state attorney general's office for guidance beyond what's on the website. On principle, it makes no sense that I should pay out-of-pocket for a repair that seems trivial, and significantly detracts from the appearance of the vehicle.

So, my questions for the group:
- is the side skirt / rocker cladding issue unique to 2013 or older vehicles? has this come up in the 2014 or 2015 models?
- has anyone gone through lemon law claims regarding the same issue?
- if so, how did it turn out?
- if a replacement vehicle was offered, what defines "replacement vehicle"? In other words, will this be the same year with the same potential issue?

Many thanks.
 

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lemon laws vary from state to state.some only include safety and running issues while others include cosmetics as in your's.
seems all year vehicles are involved until further info says otherwise.
most lemon involve a buy back of vehicle with deduction for mileage.rarely does it involve an outright exchange especially in your case were no new 13's are available.you could negotiate a placement into a 15 with greater payment?
 

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FWIW I had multiple side skirt issues. In the end the solution seemed to point to how the dealership was dealing with the new skirt. The skirt was arriving to them un-painted. They were painting it to match and then using tape to attached it to the car. The **** thing kept pealing off towards the back end. After a couple attempts the solution seemed to be "not baking" the side skirt when they paint it. It seems the "baking" process was altering the shape or warping it so that the tape could not keep things together properly.
Good luck getting the issue resolved. If it wasn't such a miserable waste of time going to a studio getting issues addressed it would not be so bad.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I love my Abarth but I have the same issue with the peeling skirts. I know it sucks to have to fix it yourself or pay to have it done but I couldn't give up the car so I'd check into the dealer using windshield adhesive or I'd possibly explore repair options myself. I had read of people having their skirts fixed and their dealers using this adhesive and finding it a permanent fix so it's just a thought.
 

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I've had the same issue with the side skirts on the T I traded a few months ago. My Abarth was examined thouroughly before I took delivery. So far, all is well.

I was told that only the T and Abarths are having this issue because the side skirts are taller than the Sport. Whether this is accurate or not, I don't know, but my previous Sport and my wife's Sport were/are both fine.
 

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I got tired dealing with the Service Dept. over the Side Skirt after the 3rd Fix it again Tony. It came off after a Week. So I fixed it myself:) It stayed on for over a Year so far. Honestly if you love the Car bring the Car to a Body Shop and have the Skirt fixed and forget about it. As far as not starting on the 1st Crank the Blue Forum lists all the SB and Recalls you might want to check it out.
 

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The crank issues, is a software update. Got mine fixed. Not sure the side skirt issues, could be filed under a lemon law. Usaully that something major mehcanially wrong, or electrical. Not cosmetic issues.

A good dose of 3M clear trim glue, is the answer to your body panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the thoughts and recommendations. In talking with my state's consumer protection division, they indicated that given it's been over 30 days since they received notification about the side skirts, and that a repair has not been made, that I was within my rights to submit a claim for a replacement vehicle. They also indicated that body work, even cosmetic, can impact a vehicle's value, and that there could be reasonable claim. They also said that should a replacement be offered, it might be a newer year with the same features. Of course, all of these are "best case" scenarios...

Letters sent to Chrysler, the dealership, and the state Consumer Protection Division, with the request to be contacted by Chrysler within 14 days as per lemon law practice. I'll try to keep you updated if I can.
 

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Guys have been using a 3M double stick tape which has solved their issues once and for all.
 

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Hello all, a quick update. Literally the day after I sent lemon law letters to FIAT and the dealership, before the letters could have possibly reached them, I got the call from the dealership that they would replace the side skirt. Dropped it off, apparently they tried to replace the tape, discovered that wouldn't work, and ordered a new side skirt which they painted and applied. Got the car back three days later than expected, but at least, for now, it looks like a proper fix. However, I've been down this road, so I'll be keeping an eye out to see if it stays on. This makes the fourth repair in a year, so I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful and (for now) happy.
 

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Hello all, a quick update. Literally the day after I sent lemon law letters to FIAT and the dealership, before the letters could have possibly reached them, I got the call from the dealership that they would replace the side skirt. Dropped it off, apparently they tried to replace the tape, discovered that wouldn't work, and ordered a new side skirt which they painted and applied. Got the car back three days later than expected, but at least, for now, it looks like a proper fix. However, I've been down this road, so I'll be keeping an eye out to see if it stays on. This makes the fourth repair in a year, so I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful and (for now) happy.
Hope it works out long term...mine was already peeling the day I got to the dealer to pick it up...crazy stuff!
 

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Guys have been using a 3M double stick tape which has solved their issues once and for all.
That is supposedly what FIAT is using to apply them at the factory. I still find it difficult to believe this is the same method they use in Europe to secure the cladding to the body.
 
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