Brand new 2021 Tata Safari breaks down on delivery day!

The car failed to start upon delivery @ 11:00 AM. Did not recognise the smartkey as it ‘was out of range’.

Thanks to Soorya Kumar for sending this information in on behalf of his cousin, via our share page!

The summary from my cousin’s perspective (owner of the vehicle) is as follows :

  • I had booked a Tata Safari from TAFE Access, Coimbatore on 3/3/2021 (XZA+ variant).
  • The delivery date as allotted by the showroom was 18th Apr 2021.
  • The car failed to start upon delivery @ 11:00 AM. Did not recognise the smartkey as it ‘was out of range’. Replaced the smartkey battery, but that was of no use. The service personnel resorted to a jump start by hooking the car up with a Harrier, in the showroom.
  • At the temple, the car started jerking when switching between Park <-> Neutral <-> Drive gears and the MID displayed “transmission, drive system malfunction”. The reversing cam display never worked in reverse gear, but the reversing display started working in DRIVE mode!! It was a total malfunction.
  • The brand new Safari is towed back to the showroom immediately, as the showroom personnel had followed us in the Harrier to the temple (in case of any emergency). Time is 01:45 PM.
  • They take apart the car piece by piece to search for the issue, but to no avail till 4:00 PM. They decide to check the OBD codes and find some issue behind the glovebox = an electrical short.
  • Car is given back, apparently the problem is solved. The time is around 6:30 PM. I test-drove the car and found it to be working fine. No invoice or documentation provided for the same.
  • After a couple of days of smooth driving, out of the blue, the ICE shows the reverse cam display when driving forward. Date = 21st Apr ’21.
  • Called the service centre. They picked up the car on 22nd Apr, rectified the problem and promised that there won’t be issues anymore. They did not clarify what the problem was…simply told me that it was ‘some loose connection’. The service invoice is attached.
  • Spoke to the Customer Care Manager, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, TAMO who still cannot explain the actual cause. They simply deflect the conversation whenever the topic of replacement is brought up by saying “it won’t happen again”.
  • The car saw more idle time as strict lockdown measures came into effect. Randomly, the MID used to show ‘smartkey out of range’ when the engine was off, on May 2 and May 10.
  • But cranking up the car seems to rectify it, making the procedure of locking the car when it is parked unnecessarily tedious.
  • I decided to wait for the lockdown to ease up before going to the service centre.
  • On 22nd May ’21, when I started the car, the MID threw out another couple of malfunction alerts that included Auto-hold, hill-hold, drive system and transmission system malfunction. The car simply refuses to switch gears, just like day ONE and refuses to move. Pics and video of the same are attached.
  • Called TASS, they promise to send a team of experts to check it out on 24th May.
  • On 24th May, a sales rep from Pollachi comes to my house alone, checks the car out, reports that the issue exists to higher personnel and tells me that the lockdown situation has made getting a towing vehicle quite difficult. I make my own personal inquiries and sure enough, tow vehicles apparently have difficulty getting an e-pass.

In all honesty, between car enthusiasts, this car stinks of being a lemon and TASS just won’t acknowledge it. Why does TATA deliver such a malfunctioning product to its valuable customers?

Here’s what GTO has this to say on the matter:

Tata damaged its reputation with troublesome cars like the Indica, Indigo, Aria etc. It rebuilt a part of that with sorted models such as the Nexon & Hexa, but again, the Harrier & Safari are ruining it. I simply cannot understand why Tata is unable to consistently build trouble-free Harriers & Safaris, and why these products were brought to the market before they were fully ready.

It has been 2+ years since Tata Motors launched the Harrier. Why the heck are the gremlins still unsolved?

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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