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2020 Stelvio Ti Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, 6 months in and less than 2200 miles and I'm back with more Stelvio problems. I'm wondering if others have had this same issue and need to figure out if we have a lemon or if the Stelvio just isn't made well (we've been through the AGM battery and electrical issues). I'm asking for some feedback and help from this group to see if this kind of thing is happening for them.

  1. This week we found the rear wing trim separating from the vehicle (looks like some cheap double-sided 3M tape holding this piece, see pic).

  2. Worse, we walked out and found the tail light housing is cracked with no impact damage. The Stelvio is in our garage or at my wife's place of work. We baby this thing (and for good reason, it's clearly fragile) – and I'm flabbergasted that our tail light developed a crack with no apparent impact. Our best guess is the temperature daily change in our Midwest autumn season. There were some days starting off below freezing and climbing to 70 degrees lately.

    We cannot find any impact damage and seriously doubt something external hit it only in that specific spot (no dents in on the housing and the rest of the rear is perfect). We live in a nice area and my wife's place of business is a bank. We are essentially positive the housing just cracked (see pic). Based on how the rest of the exterior is obviously poorly put together with the trim coming apart, it really looks like it's a poorly built tail light housing.

  3. We have also been having through a myriad of electrical issues, including: the Stelvio randomly and occasionally honking when locking (we have that turned off), Comfort Entry working only when it wants, GPS not showing at times, and my new favorite – the seat setting memory clearing upon startup (the seat memory chime went off, and my seat began moving as far back as it could go automatically).

Now for the fun part – our dealership won't cover the tail light housing: "Alfa Warranty honors part failures such as transmission failure, fuel pump, radiator, etc., if failure is due to the part failing without outside influence. A cracked tail light is viewed as an outside influence caused it to crack and unfortunately, warranty would deny the claim."

I can't overstate how babied and little this vehicle is driven and well cared for. No kids. And it's literally pulling and falling apart with less than 2200 miles. We are deeply disappointed and very knowledgable about Euro SAVs and wanted the Alfa experience – didn't realize it was going to be a quarterly fight with the dealership to not pay for the parts literally falling off the car.

I'm not even going to get into the creaking interior from the roof control panel that sounds like it's been driven 50K miles. Is it just our Stelvio, or are they all this bad?
 

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Sorry to hear of your issues. It is common to use double sided tape to attach lightweight parts to vehicles, especially spoilers; its been de rigeur for years. But it has to be done right in order to last.


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So...I grew up in a house on a hill in San Diego, ocean views, golf courses....lots of money ...(few neighbors that made the news for reselling the same house among friends at inflated numbers to create tax deductions and a school administrator that embezzled a few million from the district. Quality white collar people).. Mom was a corporate CFO who led international expansions.

As a kid did I eff with cars and shoplift for a rush? Yup. Not proud. Think I was an ass. Did it though. My thing was street signs, car emblems. Yeah..teen me sucked.

In my area? Even by the bank? Uh, huh. You think I'm going to risk going to a bad neighborhood as a piece of poop teenager with a superiority complex from never actually having a problem? Hell no. I'll just listen to rap and drive by million dollar houses like an idiot.

Point is being parked at a bank is no guarentee the vehicle wasn't messed with. Or being in good neighborhoods.

To me that looks messed with. The body of the tailight is not lined up with the edge of the hatch. The taillight itself looks misaligned at the break also. Like it was messed with. Specifically pried at like someone thought it could be removed that way (which, in some luxury cars you can remove those pieces because they are held in only by plastic clips. Not the"cheap" Stelvio though.). Tailights for new model cars sell for good money on ebay. Having them in your room can make a person look rebellious and tough too. (To morons)

The trim, may he the same type of thing. Looks like someone pulled it up, maybe to see if there was an easy way to get inside through the window without breaking it (alert the security guard who is his car watching TV on his phone). Or maybe just a kid who want to mess with things. Or maybe the adhesive is defective.

All those elctrical issues too....wierd. most of what you describe is not normal, even with people who have reported electrical issues. Could be a lemon, in terms of the electrical. You'll have to research the laws of your state to find out if the vehicle qualifies.

30k, lots of hard driving, live in a poor-ass military town in the desert. Park outside. None of those problems.
 

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@ALFAOFFROAD Youre like ARs union rep. You are there to speculate, break down, and defend every complaint made by someone. I love it. My21 stelvio is in D1 status and i cant wait to experience the car and share my thoughts and feelings.
 

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That did not crack by itself.....That was hit, poked, pryed etc. I have yet to see a trim piece pop of like that. That is vandalism. I agree that someone molested your car. Example, a pickup truck with pipes backed into you. Or an idiot pickup with the damn trailer hitch attached....that should be a fine IMHO when not in use!!! Surprised insurance industry hasn't mandated it yet! Finally you say babied. My eyes see filthy!
2.5 yrs and these things are quite well built. My 1993 164L was very well built also and reliable for 9 years and 88k miles, except for the seals in the german ZF tranny that had to be replaced at 60K.
Sorry about the electrical gremlins.
1. Have you put vehicle on a tender to make sure its fully charged. 90% of these electrical gremlins occur with discharged batteries on ALL modern vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. The issue is, there is zero impact in (no concave dents or signs of prying) at all, and it happened after we had icy rain/roads and it got very warm later that day. Based on the two places this car sits and how perfectly smooth the taillight is on the outside. I know I can't display that level of detail via pics but I'm telling you the housing feels perfect when you lightly reconnect the crack. As in, it very much looks like the crack initiated from within the housing.

The more I inspect it, the more I think it's the ice melting off of it and the 40 or so degree temperature change very quickly that day (thus the dirty back of the car – welcome to the Midwest).

When I rationally evaluate the chances of vandalism: the fact that it's at a nice bank or in our garage; the fact that we've lived here for 10 years and had nicer cars (X5, AMGs) with the same routine and zero vandalism over those 10 years; and finally, the many issues we've had with the Stelvio during the 5 months we've had it (and only 2200 miles), it just doesn't make statistical sense. There would also be a point of impact and rough parts of the housing on the OUTSIDE – this a little like telling someone it was a break-in when the glass is on the outside of the car on the ground.

I do appreciate the replies and sincerely wished our Alfa experience was as good as all of yours.
 

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I could do it with my hands. No tools, no marks.

Plenty of people have thier cars in similar circumstances tempwise. My temps are varying from 20 at 4am to 75 by 8 with a peak of 85 (great time to be outside) Similar drop after sunset.

The top of the lens assembly where it lines up with the edge of the hatch is pushed in slightly, the edge at the bottom is pushed out, slightly. Follow the line at the top of the plastic assembly from the outside edge inward to the break, you see at the break that line makes a jump and the remaining part of the lens is aligned inside the panel cutout slightly differently.

Only a few ways this happened. Someone reached in the admittedly wide panel gap, grabbed the tail light assembly and yanked around a bit. Or the tailight was installed wrong originally and the misaligninment finally caused a stress break. However, given how the assembly attaches that is pretty much impossible. Another way would be if someone tried to tweak the rear hatch enough to slid in a metal wire and grab the emergency trunk release some manufactures place right on the rear hatch. Pop the back and get in the car no problem. Doing this could cause both the damage to the tailight and the trim panel. As far as leaving damage..again, the gap is big enough to just use hands, not to mention, pro-theives who work wealthy areas don't damage the car. Damage means it is worth less.

Were I, you, I would be getting those electrical issues diagnosed, as they could be a symptom of someone trying to hack the remote starting code, or (if this is a 2020 with remote over-the-air updating, WiFi connectivity and an app that let's you lock/unlock from your phone) trying to hack the system to get the doors open. This could only happen on the newer 2020 models though.

Or maybe you got the worst built Stelvio out there. Either way not representative of the entier brand probably.

Not trying to be a jerk...I really think it is possible a pro tried to steal your car and you are lucky they didn't succeed more. As far as it not happening before, first time for everything.

Regardless you really need to get those electrical.issues taken care of. I would hate the car if mine had those problems, hope it gets solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I could do it with my hands. No tools, no marks.

Plenty of people have thier cars in similar circumstances tempwise. My temps are varying from 20 at 4am to 75 by 8 with a peak of 85 (great time to be outside) Similar drop after sunset.

The top of the lens assembly where it lines up with the edge of the hatch is pushed in slightly, the edge at the bottom is pushed out, slightly. Follow the line at the top of the plastic assembly from the outside edge inward to the break, you see at the break that line makes a jump and the remaining part of the lens is aligned inside the panel cutout slightly differently.

Only a few ways this happened. Someone reached in the admittedly wide panel gap, grabbed the tail light assembly and yanked around a bit. Or the tailight was installed wrong originally and the misaligninment finally caused a stress break. However, given how the assembly attaches that is pretty much impossible. Another way would be if someone tried to tweak the rear hatch enough to slid in a metal wire and grab the emergency trunk release some manufactures place right on the rear hatch. Pop the back and get in the car no problem. Doing this could cause both the damage to the tailight and the trim panel. As far as leaving damage..again, the gap is big enough to just use hands, not to mention, pro-theives who work wealthy areas don't damage the car. Damage means it is worth less.

Were I, you, I would be getting those electrical issues diagnosed, as they could be a symptom of someone trying to hack the remote starting code, or (if this is a 2020 with remote over-the-air updating, WiFi connectivity and an app that let's you lock/unlock from your phone) trying to hack the system to get the doors open. This could only happen on the newer 2020 models though.

Or maybe you got the worst built Stelvio out there. Either way not representative of the entier brand probably.

Not trying to be a jerk...I really think it is possible a pro tried to steal your car and you are lucky they didn't succeed more. As far as it not happening before, first time for everything.

Regardless you really need to get those electrical.issues taken care of. I would hate the car if mine had those problems, hope it gets solved.
Thanks for the thoughts. It's a possibility that it was an attempted theft – even if a small possibility.

With the electrical issues, it's more about inconsistency. There's no "error code" or anything to take to a shop – it's just that it does weird, inconsistent, and odd things with the electrical functions. I've heard Alfa's have "personality" in this area and I guess we've just come to expect it to be electrically inconsistent as it's been that way since the first month. I can't take it to the shop and tell them my seat chime reset upon startup and started sliding my seat back unprovoked – honestly they would stop believing me at some point, but my wife and I have been in the car together during these issues and roll our eyes and are just happy it (for now) gets us from point A to point B. We are probably at fault for expecting BMW X5 quality for this price point, though, and I accept the blame on that.

Our nearest Alfa dealer is an hour away, btw, so we have to weight the cost-benefit to even take it in.
 

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No you are not at fault for expecting "BMW X5" quality.

I expect better.

Alfa Romeo in 1975 had inconsistent electrical issues. 2017 and up not so much. The battery issue is the exception however even that doesn't seem to affect a majority of vehicles, it does effect alot though probably 30% or more. However after replacing the battery the majority of those owners drive the car with no problems.

Totally get the problem not being worth a trip to the dealer, however don't think that is just how the car is. It isn't. Why yours is....that is a question I hope you get solved.

I'de call my insurance agent and see if the trim peice and taillight could be replaced that way too. Depends on deductibles/rates vs cost to just replace though. However the insurance could recommend an inspection at a closer repair shop that can check out the electrical too. Maybe even reflash/install the software which is probably what you need. Body shops tend to be on the cutting edge of stuff as far as aftermarket/non-dealer goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great ideas – a reinstallation of the software sounds somewhat necessary for how wonky the electrical components have been. We'll do a little looking around and get this figured out. Appreciate the input and feedback from other owners. I think we have a model that is having more trouble than the average Stelvio for sure.
 
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