2019 Fiat 124 Spider Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, suspension and visibility issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

People looking for sleek style and open-air travel gravitated toward the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider. This car was promoted as offering “a sense of safety,” but many owners feel uneasy about driving it. This convertible seems to suffer from a faulty electrical system, unbalanced suspension and poor visibility.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Fuel System, Gasoline
Unknown Or Other
Seat Belts

Problems with the Electrical System

Starting with the electrical system, as an Italian brand, one would think that Fiat would take pride in creating top-notch equipment, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, forums are filled with angry customers hoping to get out of this car.

Here is one comment left on the 124 Spider Forum. “I am dealing with a Samsung S9 that my 2019 Fiat spider won’t connect to without going bonkers. Now I am told by the dealer that in 2020 a car might not be compatible with more than 20% of the market share of phones. My issue is when you first plug in to the USB ports. The Bluetooth works. The screen rotates wildly and you have to poke at the phone for about 20 seconds until you get lucky and hit the allow it to connect. I would just say ignore it but unfortunately there is no other way than the USB to charge a phone.”

Of course, the following comments told this discussion starter that they were not having problems connecting their phones and that it should work. However, the dealership doesn’t seem interested in helping and no company communications illustrate a fix. For now, this person will remain unconnected and unhappy.

Problems with Suspension

Another main point of contention is the suspension system. It doesn’t seem to provide the support or ride people are looking for.

Here’s another complaint from the 124 Spider Forum. “Shortly after buying it I noticed that something was wrong with the suspension, it leaned over to the driver’s side of the car. I brought it up with the dealer and in an attempt to fix it they’ve replaced front and rear springs on the driver’s side of the car, and one strut that was leaking on the driver’s side rear corner. That also appears to be where 90% of the lean is coming from. These repairs have made the problem better, but not fixed it.”

Again, Fiat has nothing remarkable to say about suspension issues either. For now, owners are left on their own to travel in a vehicle that mildly resembles the suspension of a clown car loaded to the brim. Fiat owners that really want to experience “a sense of safety” might consider switching to a bicycle instead.

Problems with the Visibility

Finally, a look at the visibility concerns brings light to more problems that are occurring.

Here is one NHTSA complaint on the matter. “The dashboard is reflected in the windshield to the extent at certain sun angles vision is seriously compromised. There are silver plates on the dash that reflect more than others but the whole dash is a serious problem. I immediately contacted the manufacturer but got no reply. This happens when the vehicle is stationary, moving on a city street or highway, turning etc. I don’t think a picture with my cell phone would help. Someone would have to sit in the driver’s seat and experience this safety issue. It is not as bad at night. A sunny day is the worst.”

Driving down the road and not knowing what is coming ahead can severely compromise the safety of occupants. As has been shown through the lack of manufacturer communications, this company simply doesn’t seem to care. They haven’t even responded to the customer’s concerns, leaving him to fend for himself. It’s time to see clearly and switch brands.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Fiat pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateOct 03, 2022
Component: fuel pump failure defect. Risk: accident with injury/death due to lack of mobility. Manufacturer confirmed: yes, via recall notice y92/nhtsa 21v-879. Component inspected: no!. That's what I want! Warning lamps / symbols: uknown at this time. I am in possession of a letter from fca us llc in regard to my vehicle being subject to a recall, specifically y92 / nhtsa 21v-879 (defective fuel pump). When contacting all dealers in a 50-mile radius for completion of this recall repair, I am told that they don't have the capability to perform the repairs based on the fact that I didn't purchase my vehicle from them (my purchase was a private sale). When contacting fiat customer care, a supervisor said that they can't force the dealers to repair my vehicle being that they are independently owned and operated. Now here I stand with a vehicle that has a safety issue, an issue recognized by the manufacturer who issued the recall notice, an issue that nhtsa is aware of, and the manufacturer saying there is nothing they can do. I am sure I am not the only one having this problem with fca us llc. I want an investigation to be conducted as to how fca us llc is able to issue a recall notice, yet not enforce its completion. But more importantly, I want my vehicle repaired as I should be!
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateAug 24, 2022
I have received multiple letters in regards to a recall on the fuel delivery module. Recall #y92. There are no longer fiat dealerships in my area. The closest chrysler dealership willing to look at the car is 30 miles away and will not pre order the part or let me make a appointment. This would mean days off work, renting a vehicle, and wasted time. Their other option was for me to go to a private mechanic but I have contacted several and they all state they can not get the parts for the repair/replacement. I'm at my wits end trying to get this taken care of and I don't know what to do next.
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline
DateMay 18, 2022
The contact owns a 2019 fiat 124 spider. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 21v879000 (fuel system, gasoline) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Vin tool confirms parts not available.
DateMar 26, 2021
At 15,595 miles I discovered more than an ounce of oil in the intake. I recognize on turbo and supercharged cars some blowby is to be expected. This is typically remedied by an engine oil separator (aka a catch can). The 2019 has a factory installed catch can (mopar part number 68320849aa) yet still shows signs of excessive blowby and oil consumption (google the complaints). The dealer (dayton andrews in clearwater fl) is telling me this is normal. Yet they can provide no service bulletins or any documentation from mopar/fiat stating this is acceptable. This amount of blow by and oil consumption can lead to fouled plugs, pcv system and significantly impacting emissions and overall engine reliability.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 06, 2021
The matte black/heritage strip is absorbing water a d causing discoloration. I tried washing it off thinking it is a water spot but have been informed the protective coating over the matte black is the issue and it was a common problem in europe.
CategorySeat Belts
DateDec 28, 2020
The seat belt retractors are failing at an alarming rate according to fiat forums (and my personal experience). Mine failed 4 months after purchase. I took the car to the dealer on october 15th and they said it would be a couple weeks to get the part. However, as of mid-december, the earliest the fiat dealer said they will ship from italy in february. This poses a severe safety issue as the seatbelt will not restrain a passenger from a sudden stop. Further, it shows the disinterest of fiat as the 124 spider was made on the mazda miata assembly line and the parts are interchangeable. The mazda parts are readily available, but the fiat dealers are refusing to purchase them to protect their customers.
DateNov 14, 2019
The dash board is reflected in the wind shield to the extent at certain sun angles vision is seriously compromised. There are silver plates on the dash that reflects more than others but the whole dash is a serious problem. I immediatly contacted the manufacturer but got no reply. This happens when the vehicle is stationary, moving on a city street or a highway, turning etc. I don't think a picture with my cell phone would help. Someone would have to sit in the driver's seat and experience this safety issue. It is not as bad at night. A sunny day is the worst.

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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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  • Michael F

    The only issue I’ve had with my 2017 Fiat Spider Classica is the transmission, which was replaced under warranty at around 20,000 miles. Since it was a MAZDA transmission, it wasn’t Fiat’s problem. So far, with nearly 30,000 miles, it’s been a peach! (And a much improved ride over my 2000 Miata).

  • Dan

    The problems listed, if they were true, would be the same for Mazda Miata. I doubt the person who wrote this ever even saw a 124 Spider. Journalism is dead and buried.

  • Michael S

    These comments are ridiculous. The car’s radio is a Mazda part, not Fiat. Mine has no problem hooking up to our Samsung phones. But please remember the car does not offer Apple play or Android Car play. As for leaky shocks, these are also stock Mazda MX-5 units. Never heard of a problem. The sport model Abarth has upgraded Bilstein shocks and these are utterly reliable. No history of problems. The car does not have a visibility problem. The dash is no more reflective than any other model. I have never heard of anyone with this problem and mine certainly doesn’t reflect. The entire dash is black and there are no silver items on the dash to reflect. The complaint must have been about another car model. Modern Fiats and Alfa Romeos and some of the most reliable European cars being made. The issues have been mild and are easily repaired. These are not the Italian cars of the past. They have superior reliability and dependably. The Fiat has the lowest cost of ownership of any car and you don’t get that if your brand ahs safety issues.

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