Troubled Harrier ownership since day 1: No proper fix even after 1500km

Most of the running in the SUV to date has been to & fro the service centre and test drives.

Thanks to Dr Aman Veer Singh for sending this in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP share page!

Dear Team-BHP,

I am a specialist Doctor working in Chandigarh and also a car enthusiast as I have been your regular follower for a long time.

I did my research and after understanding that I need a no-frills SUV with good mileage, zeroed onto Harrier XTA+ with on road price of approx Rs 22 lakhs, and bought it from Tata Chandigarh on 31 Aug 2022.

Since that day my Nightmare started.

I noticed bad rumbling and vibrations on every turn which I informed the dealership of the very next day.

Then started their showdown of repeated repairs of the steering pump, rack and column. Now it’s been more than a month and they have not been able to rectify it. And haven’t given any confirmation whether they will pay back my money or replace the vehicle or just keep making a monkey out of me.

The car has done about 1500 km and is mostly due to test drives and to the service centre.

Kindly suggest.

Badly in need of your support during this hard time. Cancelled all my plans as cannot take this car for trips. The family is tense about the loss of such a big amount and getting involved in court cases.

Bulleted summary with all the details:

Defective product sold without PDI- Steering rack vibration and malfunction in brand new harrier since Day 1. Now the dealership does not want to replace or repay the money even after repeated attempts to fix the defect failed.

  • I bought a Tata Harrier XTA plus variant with an ex-showroom price of Rs 19.5 lakhs on 31 August 2022 from tata Berkeley phase I Chandigarh. I was assured that proper PDI has been completed and the car is in perfect condition.
  • The day I took the car home, I could feel that the steering was a bit heavy and not well-balanced on turns. The next day when I started driving to work I could feel grunting and vibrations on some turns. I immediately bought it to the notice of the dealership.
  • They asked me to bring the car for a checkup at the dealership, where they tested it and agreed that there was vibration and grunting on turning the steering even when the car was idle with the engine on. I have a job card for the same dated 4th September 2022.
  • So I was asked to visit the workshop where they confirmed my fears, made a video recording of the manufacturing defect and checked the steering rack pump assembly by taking the car into the garage.
  • I was informed that there was a manufacturing defect in the steering rack with metal pieces detected in the pump filter and that they will replace the parts in my brand-new Harrier.
  • I was told that the part would be shipped from Pune and it took 10 days for the parts to arrive. The whole steering rack assembly and Steering pump were changed on 14 September 2022 as they told me that the company has noticed some issues with the old pump system and a new modified part is being fitted. But to my disappointment, the sound and vibrations persisted the same as before.
  • I persisted that I don’t need such a headache-causing car, I need my money back and I no longer trust their product quality. Then they told me that it was just a part causing problem and let us call the Tata plant team from Pune and this time we will definitely sort the issue. Again new parts were ordered and a person from the plant came in September end. They tried everything from changing the pump assembly thrice and even changing the steering column borrowing from a demo car. But nothing changed and the sound persisted.
  • Now they are again telling me that we will call the vendor and another Tata engineer to see the issue.
  • I have had a harrowing experience leaving my patients and job and making regular visits to the workshop and every time they just make another excuse.
  • I have already paid 30000 in EMI and have not enjoyed any road trips in the much-awaited car. Now with the festive season around, I am just stuck with the thought what if this issue is not resolved? Will my 22 lakhs just go to waste?
  • Despite my repeated requests they just keep saying we are talking with the authorities. I have recorded the on-table conversations where they can be heard accepting the manufacturing defect.

My heart goes out to ask?

Now after what I have gone through I would like to make a difference in the whole scenario where dealers and companies just push customers around like scum bags. And I would like to know from team BHP what can be done.

Regards from your hardworking doctor who has toiled so hard to earn a specialization after 15 years of studies, worked day and night for 5 years to save enough to buy an SUV and is now stuck with a car which does not even run without a grunt on tarred city roads.

Please Help!

Vehicle details:

  • Tata Harrier
  • XTA plus, Orc White
  • Date of purchase 31-08-2022
  • Owner name- Dr Aman Veer Singh, Consultant Radiologist.

Here’s what BHPian Benoit had to say on the matter:

I always discourage people from buying a harrier or safari. These 2 cars are a mess. Absolutely unreliable. I am losing track of how many new threads are created for harrier/safari issues. (I swayed 3 people away, for the record.)

The only reason they sell is because of the long waiting periods for xuv700, Creta and Seltos. With these many cars on the road, discontinuing the products will make customers lose trust in Tata. Tata needs to own these issues and fix them asap. And improve the Quality checks on further production.

They can also consider moving away from the platform for the next generation. A home-built platform from scratch seems more reliable with Tata. Like the ALFA.

Harrier/Safari seems like a reboot of the Indica/Indigo nightmares.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

I think there was a thread earlier where someone else had posted videos on youtube about their never-ending sorrows brought upon by a brand new Tata Harrier I feel anyone on this forum would be pretty alert by now and tread cautiously when it comes to all things Tata. Nevertheless, Dr Aman is in a really serious pickle and I hope Tata comes to his rescue and sorts him out either by fixing everything once and for all or with a replacement/refund.

I remember when my Kizashi was hardly 6 months old and it felt like the steering vibrated when braking at high speeds. When I reported the issue to the SVC, I was told it was normal but when I insisted that it may be normal in my WagonR but it is not in the Kizashi, they got some regional service technician, zeroed in on the steering rack, replaced the rack within a week and returned the car in perfect order allowing me to continue with good ownership of it. Considering this issue has been verified and documented I am shocked that it has not been fixed by now I mean is Tata really that callous?

Considering what Dr Aman has pointed out about how difficult it is to get proper justice on the matter and the fact that a brand new 20lac expenditure will obviously sting, I think the best strategy would be to have Dr Aman buy himself a brand new (or used even) S-Presso and experience what a reliable “no-frills SUV with good mileage” is while these harrowing events take their course.

Here’s what BHPian ishan12 had to say on the matter:

For people here saying that such steering vibrations and noise are normal for Safari and Harrier, do you also think that the TATA technicians and folks at the dealership are stupid enough to acknowledge the problem and replace it with a new rack for what is supposed to be normal? I am quite sure they have a better understanding of what is normal and what is not. In fact, most of the time, their behaviour is the opposite, trying to pass off minor issues and niggles saying it’s normal and that all cars in the brand/ model have it.

I was also once looking forward to the facelifted Harrier that’s coming up next year, but after reading multiple such horror stories of owners facing issues in brand-new cars, I guess I would stay clear of TATA and book the XUV700.

Here’s what BHPian i74js had to say on the matter:

Tata is missing the big thing. They do not have multiple products in INR 2 million categories, while Mahindra has. Both Harrier and Safari duo are borrowed products with a platform from JLR, an engine from FCA, and a slushbox from Hyundai. The skills were required in putting it together so that the components can work in sync offering a VFM product to the customers.

When products are built from scratch, essentially complete onus is on the OEM; while in this case, it is more of assembly, testing and calibration of performance. How come a well-placed and well-experienced auto sector player is not able to deliver on the expectation of customers or rather premium customers? If this is how the company is behaving, it will remain as a fallback or plan B for buyers in this category resulting in unpredicted and dwindling sales of otherwise beautiful thought/product ideas.

I believe this will also trigger a loss of brand value of the name “Safari” very similar to how MSIL did with “Zen” and Hyundai did with “Santro”.

Poor show Tata.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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