2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Problems and Top Complaints – Is it Lemon?

Headlights, fuel system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

As a luxury sedan, the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia is meant to provide an executive feel with plenty of power. The automaker claims that newer models are “primed for performance,” but customers are struggling to agree. In fact, this model seems to deal with a defective engine, malfunctioning fuel system and troublesome exterior lighting.

Click on other model year to view more problems:   2018

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
3
Unknown Or Other
3
Fuel/propulsion System
3
Engine
2
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
1
Vehicle Speed Control
1
Air Bags
1
Suspension
1
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
1
Exterior Lighting
1

Problems with the Engine

For a car to be focused on performance, the engine must be potent and reliable, but that’s not the case with this Alfa Romeo sedan.

One NHTSA complaint states, “Engine suddenly stopped working while driving and it prompted me to get the engine serviced. I couldn’t even shift the gear after the vehicle stopped. Worth mentioning, before the vehicle completely broke down, I can’t enter the Apple CarPlay screen even though the option as shown. Besides this, the infotainment system reboots itself every now and then.”

This seems like a major defect for the luxury model. However, this wouldn’t be the first significant fault. Take a look at NHTSA Campaign Number 19V148000, which talks about nearly 20,000 vehicles could be equipped with a defective Brake System Module (BSM) that might prevent deactivation of the ACC, which could lead to a crash.

Problems with the Fuel System

For an engine to work as intended, the fuel system must be reliable and functional, but that seems to be trouble with the Alfa Romeo sedan as well.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint worth reading. “(Vehicle is 2019 with 7404 miles recorded on date of incident). Morning of 18th Aug 2020. The car sat overnight so was ‘cold’ when I started it. I immediately selected Reverse and began backing up (exact speed unknown, but ‘slow’). Approx 10 secs after starting the engine the very strong odor of gasoline entered the cockpit – I immediately shut off the engine. Exiting the vehicle I could see a trail of fluid 10 ft long on the concrete driveway and the scent identified it as gasoline. I lifted the hood and gasoline was over the top of the engine and dripped down off the underside of the hood. Looking closer I could see pools of gas had collected anywhere there was a depression in which liquid could collect on and around the engine. Several liters of gasoline had been ejected over the engine. Car was towed to the nearest Alfa Service Dealership. The dealership replaced a broken/split fuel hose on the passenger side of the engine under warranty. They verbally told me the part was sent to Alfa Corporate and I should contact them to follow the investigation. I contacted Alfa Corporate and through email exchanges, discovered that Alfa Corporate will not be investigating this safety issue at all.”

Aside from this fuel system defect, there’s also an electrical system recall that affects the fuel components. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V551000 states that more than 21,000 vehicles could have been built with a defective Body Control Module (BCM) that indicates a higher fuel level than what’s actually present. This higher reading could cause the engine to stall, which increases the chance of an accident. Whether owners are running out of fuel or having gasoline pour out over the engine, it’s very difficult to experience the “performance” Alfa Romeo promises with this sedan.

Problems with the Headlights

A final look at the exterior lighting reveals even deeper issues with the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

This NHTSA report states, “Exterior lamps (headlamps/tail lamps) do not turn on when windshield wipers are on. As both the exterior lamps and windshield wipers are usually set to automatically turn on and off as appropriate (using dusk and rain sensors), it’s quite probably the driver will forget to turn on the exterior lamps when the wipers turn on, for instance. Furthermore, most all cars I have driven with both rain sensors and automatic headlights, across numerous domestic and foreign brands, do have functionality which turns on the exterior lamps (headlamps/tail lamps) when wipers are activated, further complicating the issue with Alfa Romeo – it is the drivers expectation for exterior lamps to toggle on and off automatically in all situations, based on previous experience and also the expectation that automatic lights will automatic turn on and off when necessary.”

The automaker hasn’t issued any information about this defect. Instead, it has left customers to figure out the problem and solutions on their own. Basically, the Giulia can only be driven in the rain or dark, but not both at the same time. It simply can walk and chew gum at once.

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Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System
DateOct 21, 2021
StateNC
Description
Due to a faulty starter relay, my alfa romeo giulia would intermittently not start or restart. The dashboard illuminated properly but the starter did not engage and the engine did not attempt to crank. Afterwards, a warning lamp would sometimes appear saying "auto start/stop unavailable". This became a safety hazard when the auto start/stop feature shut the engine down at a stop light and the car would not restart when the light turned green. In my case, the light turned green and other cars were approaching the intersection and I could not move out of the way. The problem occurred multiple times on initial startup and while driving in a 3 week period before it the faulty relay was replaced under warranty by my local dealer. The car's ecu recorded p26e4-oo for start stop relay and the dealer had seen the issue before. The part has been upgraded and should proactively be recalled.
CategoryService Brakes, Hydraulic
DateJul 13, 2021
StateNY
Description
The contact owns a 2019 alfa romeo giulia. The contact stated while operating the vehicle, the braking system malfunctioned while depressing the brake pedal and the vehicle would not immediately stop, causing an extended braking distance. On occasion, while depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle failed to stop. The parking brakes were activated to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer and the brake pads and rotors were replaced; however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but no assistance was offered. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000. The vin was not available
CategoryUnknown Or Other, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJul 05, 2021
StateIL
Description
I was pulling into the garage pressed the brakes then released the brakes and the car abruptly went forward and hit the side of garage causing damage to the right side fender . I do have photos
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System
DateApr 08, 2021
StateOK
Description
On 12/30/2020 the car was wrecked into a light pole at 55-60 mph. Major front end damage the seatbelts didn't lock and the airbags did not deploy. The manufacture is not being responsible. The vehical currently has a product liability hold on it for inspection but it has not been inspected as of today. I think they are trying to cover it up and not report it. I was injured and they don't care. They still call for payments but no calls about the vehicals inspection from fca. The vehicals was on a city street.*dt*jb
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateDec 30, 2020
StateMI
Description
Went to start cold car in morning, the engine would not catch. Tried for a second time and again, starter turned over for 10-15 secs then stopped. Thinking it may be the battery I exited the car to get the jump starter - and could smell gasoline. I could see a growing puddle of gasoline on the driveway under the front wheels and when I lifted the hood the entire top of the engine was wet with gasoline. Alfa dealership have determined it is the exact same fuel line that split on this same vehicle in aug 2020. See nhtsa case# 11353843 for the august incident. Alfa dealership tech also noted this is not the only split fuel line he has replaced with exact same part number: 68364747aa. Once again I am incredibly lucky and grateful that this fuel line split, like the first, did not happen over a hot engine.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateOct 09, 2020
StateGA
Description
My car since I have had it has had 1 recall, some type of electrical problem, and 3 times it had to go to the shop because of fuel system failure. I was told it was a lot of water in the system, but I used the same gas station that they use to put gas in the car after it was drained and refilled. Every time I had an issue with my car I was always in motion. Once this car stops you are stuck wherever you are at because you can not put this car in neutral to push it out of the road. I have felt like my life was in jeopardy each time this car has stopped on me. I have no photos because my car is currently in the shop right now. It has been in the shop since 10/03/2020
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateSep 08, 2020
StateMI
Description
(vehicle is 2019 with 7404 miles recorded on date of incident). Morning of 18th aug 2020. The car sat overnight so was 'cold' when I started it. I immediately selected reverse and began backing up (exact speed unknown, but 'slow'). Approx 10 secs after starting the engine the very strong odor of gasoline entered the cockpit - I immediately shut off the engine. Exiting the vehicle I could see a trail of fluid 10 ft long on the concrete driveway and the scent identified it as gasoline. I lifted the hood & gasoline was all over the top of the engine and dripping down off the underside of the hood. Looking closer I could see pools of gas had collected anywhere there was a depression in which liquid could collect on & around the engine. Several liters of gasoline had been ejected over the engine. Car was towed to the nearest alfa service dealership (golling, bloomfield hills). The dealership replaced a broken/split fuel hose on the passenger side of the engine under warranty. They verbally told me the part was sent to alfa corporate and I should contact them to follow the investigation. I contacted alfa corporate and through email exchanges, discovered that alfa corporate will not be investigating this safety issue at all. I attach all the email correspondence below. My very serious concern is that the dealership verbally said they had no idea how this could have happened - "maybe a weak spot" - but alfa corporate would investigate. At that point I was satisfied. Then several days later alfa corporate informed me that the dealership guess of "maybe a weak spot" would be the official conclusion and end of the investigation. I mention it several times in my (attached) emails but it is obvious that I avoided being in a moving fireball by only minutes and maybe luck. An investigation by an engineer is the minimum I would expect from alfa corporate.*dt*dt*jb*dt*jb*as
CategorySuspension
DateJul 27, 2020
StatePA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 alfa romeo giulia. The contact stated that while her husband was driving at 50 mph, the front driver's side tire experienced a blowout. The tpms warning light then became illuminated. The contact had the vehicle towed to an independent mechanic where the driver's side front tire was replaced. After picking up the vehicle, the contact's husband had driven less than 50 miles before a blowout to the driver's side rear tire. The contact's husband inspected the vehicle and became aware that the tires showed extreme wear to the sidewalls. The vehicle was towed to alfa romeo of wilmington pike (99 wilmington pike a, chadds ford, pa 19317) where the dealer acknowledged an alignment issue with the vehicle. The contact was informed that the vehicle owner was responsible for any tire failures. The manufacturer was contacted and informed of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 11,000.
CategoryUnknown Or Other, Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateJul 09, 2020
StateCT
Description
The sunroof of my 2019 alfa romeo giulia exploded while we were driving on i95 in connecticut. There were no overhead trees, overpasses or car ahead that could have kicked up road debris. The temperature was around 90 and humid with no chase of rain or hail. The sunroof made a loud bang and showered everyone in the car with glass, it also showered and cause damage to the car following me. The exact conditions were driving southbound on i95 at 65mph
CategoryExterior Lighting, Visibility/wiper
DateApr 03, 2020
StateNY
Description
Exterior lamps (headlamps/tail lamps) do not turn on when windshield wipers are on. As both the exterior lamps and windshield wipers are usually set to automatically turn on and off as appropriate (using dusk and rain sensors), it's quite probable the driver will forget to turn on the exterior lamps when the wipers turn on, for instance. Furthermore, most all cars I have driven with both rain sensors and automatic headlights, across numerous domestic and foreign brands, do have functionality which turns on the exterior lamps (headlamps/tail lamps) when wipers are activated, further complicating the issue with alfa romeo - it is the drivers expectation for exterior lamps to toggle on and off automatically in all situations, based on previous experience and also the expectation that automatic lights will automatically turn on and off when necessary.
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 20, 2019
StateWA
Description
Takata recall. Engine suddenly stopped working while driving and it prompted me to get the engine serviced. I couldn't even shift the gear after the vehicle stopped. Worth mentioning, before the vehicle completely broke down, I can't enter the apple carplay screen even though the option was shown. Besides this, the infotainment systems reboots itself every now and then.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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