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Discussion Starter #1
Been lurking for a while. Finally joined and was motivated to purchase a white 118" Wheelbase Low Roof Diesel. From the comments here on the forum it seemed that most of the bugs had been worked out so was pretty excited. I travel on occasion and to save a bit of money I stay in the back of my 2000 Ford Ranger long bed pickup. The Promaster seemed like a dream upgrade so sold the Ranger when I took delivery of my new Promaster on 1/7/16.

Didn't make it a mile from the dealer before I had a "DEF System Fault return to dealer for service" message.:( Headed back to the dealer and from what they said it was a NOx sensor and it would take them a day or two to get the part and make the repairs. Pretty surprised when they called the next afternoon and said all was well and come get my new vehicle.

Made it home without incident and the next morning, a Saturday, I headed to the beach about 15 miles away to meet some friends. On the way home got a "Critical Emissions Failure return to dealer for service" message so headed back to the dealer. :( This time they said it needed a new DEF pump assembly, and several other parts. Hmmmmm, this is not looking good. Thought all these issues were fixed in the newer vehicles. Mine had a build date of 12/20/15. Maybe they were doing some early holiday partying when they built my van. Anyway, dealer had the vehicle for 6 days to make the necessary repairs.

Got my new toy back on 1/14/16 and drove around for a couple of weeks (400+ miles) and all was well so on 1/26/16 I headed up to San Francisco to visit friends and show of my new vehicle. Was having so much fun I decided to head for Portland, OR, then Coeur d'alene ID, Billings MO, Denver CO, Dallas TX, Sedona AZ, and finally back to LA., 6000 miles in all. What a dream to drive, though the automatic manual tranny took some getting used too. :D Averaged 28+mpg over the whole trip with two fill-ups getting right at 30 mpg calculated.

Wasn't home more than 24 hours and got another "DEF System Fault return for service". That was on 2/8/16. Back to the dealer.:( This time they said it was a bad wiring harness. Corroded connectors associated with the DEF system. They didn't have one in stock but said they'd order one and it would take a week or so for them to get it and install. Called on 2/18 and was told that no wiring harnesses were available in any of the lower 48 states and they would have to escalate to FCA. Checked back on 2/23 and was told that FCA gave them a date of 3/24 for the wiring harness. That's a month!:eek:

The wiring harness came in a few days early so got the vehicle back a couple of days ago. So far so good, but up to now the dealer has had it longer than I have. Hope this breaks the trend.

Absolutely love this vehicle. Mileage is amazing and it's just plain fun to drive. Really looking forward to doing a small camper conversion but a little gun shy about getting started with heavy mods. I have another trip planned in April, and if all goes well, I'll give it a go when I return.

Lex
 

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Thanks for the report. Earlier we saw a few of the "corroded wires" issue and I would bet that is the real cause of all your codes, but I am just guessing, or they got DEF on the wires when the DEF injector pump was changed out? I hope you have great luck now that it has gotten so much attention. Yours is the first such complaint with a build date beyond March-April of 2015 IIRC. There will always be a few issues with both the diesel and gas vans as there is so much that must be done perfectly to have them trouble free. I hope yours is an anomaly both for other buyers and for you. Not having the part in a day or two is frustrating to hear. FCA really needs to stock. This is not right!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It appears that part of the reason the wiring harness took so long is that they redesigned it. The dealer told me that when they received the new harness the connectors looked different and it had a different part number than the original.

All problems so far have been with the DEF system. They've now changed out everything related to that system so I have my fingers crossed that I'm good to go. My neighbor has an early 2015 159" WB Extended Diesel. He's a freight expediter and has put 50K miles on it in the last 6 months with no problems at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
An update on my 118" Diesel Promaster. Got it back from the last repair adventure (at the dealer for 36 days) on 3/15. One day later, 3/16, got another critical emissions fault with a warning to return to dealer for service within 200 miles. Took it in the next day and they worked on it all day telling me that it was another wiring issue. Took it home on 3/17 and all was well until 4/8 and got another critical emissions failure return to dealer within 200 miles alarm.

This time the dealer spent 3 days working on it and then reported that they needed to replace two more wiring harnesses. This would take a week or more as they needed to find the parts and then get them shipped. They estimated that if all went well I should be back on the road around 4/15 or 4/18. If they couldn't find the parts then it was anyone's guess.

By this time I will have had title to the vehicle for 90 days and the dealer will have had it for about 50 of the 90.

I decided that I had been patient enough so called Chrysler yesterday, (4/12) and asked for them to replace the vehicle. It is in the investigation stage right now but the dealer sent all the paperwork to Chrysler HQ this morning and they think it's a done deal. They've never seen a vehicle with this many problems.

My only issue is that it may be another 3-4 months before my replacement vehicle arrives. In the mean time, the dealer has offered me free use of a Dodge Dart which serves my transportation needs.

I can't say enough good things about my dealer. The sales and service folks have been great and have bent over backwards to try to resolve all the issues. So far Chrysler Corporate has been easy to work with as well. I hope it continues.

Lex
 

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You have remained very upbeat considering. If they actually get this van fixed it would be great to know what it is. With so many wireing changes it makes me suspicious they may be barking up the wrong tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I think Chrysler wants to know what is wrong as well. The service manager told me that he received a call from the Mexican assembly plant wanting details of all the problems this vehicle has had. They also asked to speak to the diesel tech that worked on the vehicle. The dealer is very large and has had a couple of other "Lemon" vehicles get bought back but they said that mine is the worst they've ever seen and this is the first time they've gotten a call from Mexico wanting details.

I don't know that I'm upbeat, I just know that getting upset doesn't help much. When I called FCA Customer Service a couple of days ago and recounted all my woes, the agent that took my call ended the call by saying "you're so nice!"

I'm going to replace the vehicle with another diesel Promaster. In the short time I've had the vehicle I've really fallen in love with it. I rented a gas version and drove it 4k miles before putting in my order back in October. It was constantly shifting up and down depending on relatively minor changes in terrain. Driving the diesel version is a completely different experience. It almost never down shifts unless there are radical changes in terrain or you punch the accelerator.

There's some speculation by local PM owners here that very few 118's are built with the diesel and there might be small differences that are causing some of the problems. Their thinking is that the 136 isn't that much larger and is far more common - especially as a diesel build - so they're suggesting I go with a 136 on the reorder. I'm not sure there is any merit to this since it appears that the cab section is the same for all vehicles, but I'm leaning in that direction (I do love that 36' turning diameter of the 118 though).

Lex
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update on my 118 saga. I received a call from Chrysler last Tuesday. They said they reviewed my claim and were in a position to offer me $2,000 for the inconvenience that my vehicle has caused me. I said that I was not willing to accept such an offer. They said they'd continue to review my case and call me back.

On Thursday I received a call from Chrysler stating that they had good news. They were willing to buy back or replace my vehicle, my option. I said this was indeed good news and I was fine with either. I then got an email with the formal offer and once I accepted that, they scheduled a time for someone to contact me next week to work out the specific details.

All in all things are looking up. I assume I must have a very good case because Chrysler is being extremely nice. They made an initial low ball offer to see if I would bite and when I turned that down they immediately came back with the remedy I had requested.
 

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I think Chrysler wants to know what is wrong as well. The service manager told me that he received a call from the Mexican assembly plant wanting details of all the problems this vehicle has had. They also asked to speak to the diesel tech that worked on the vehicle. The dealer is very large and has had a couple of other "Lemon" vehicles get bought back but they said that mine is the worst they've ever seen and this is the first time they've gotten a call from Mexico wanting details.

I don't know that I'm upbeat, I just know that getting upset doesn't help much. When I called FCA Customer Service a couple of days ago and recounted all my woes, the agent that took my call ended the call by saying "you're so nice!"

I'm going to replace the vehicle with another diesel Promaster. In the short time I've had the vehicle I've really fallen in love with it. I rented a gas version and drove it 4k miles before putting in my order back in October. It was constantly shifting up and down depending on relatively minor changes in terrain. Driving the diesel version is a completely different experience. It almost never down shifts unless there are radical changes in terrain or you punch the accelerator.

There's some speculation by local PM owners here that very few 118's are built with the diesel and there might be small differences that are causing some of the problems. Their thinking is that the 136 isn't that much larger and is far more common - especially as a diesel build - so they're suggesting I go with a 136 on the reorder. I'm not sure there is any merit to this since it appears that the cab section is the same for all vehicles, but I'm leaning in that direction (I do love that 36' turning diameter of the 118 though).

Lex
You are right about cab section, just look at this Fiat Ducato model used by motorhome (there is also a version without cabin body panels).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dropped by my dealership this morning to update them on FCA's offer to buyback my ProMaster. While there, the service adviser that's handling my vehicle told me that a factory rep came up from Mexico to take a look at my vehicle and review the repair records.

The result is that they are convinced the problems I'm having are due to moisture getting in the connectors of the wiring harnesses and causing corrosion. This creates higher than normal resistance and the vehicle computer registers it as a failure. The connectors for the various emissions systems are most at risk as they are in the lower areas of the vehicle and subject to moisture kicked up from wet roads.

I understand that new vehicles are using new wiring harnesses with redesigned connectors that are supposed to solve this problem. They supposedly installed these new harnesses in my vehicle and FCA is confident that there should be no more problems, but since a buy-back has been authorized, I'm going to go through with it just to make sure.

I'm pretty impressed that FCA sent a factory rep to investigate my problem child. They seem to be actively working to identify problems and resolve them in the build process.
 

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Wow, This is way to familiar. My original 118" Diesel was down for 5 out of 7 moths I owned it. I also tried to be very patient and went the replacement route. FCA was very easy all be it slow and my replacement 136" has been trouble free. I did receive compensation for the down time and a 7 year bumper to bumper extended warranty along with some no charge options for all the hassles. Never connected the dots on the shorty van having inherent problems, but that's an interesting theory. I went with the 136" for a replacement because in the down time I somehow acquired more motorcycles.
 
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