Why aren't Fiat garages permitted to do warranty work on Abarth 500s?

I was pleased to note that you had singled out the Abarth 500 as one of your favourite cars in a recent Telegraph Motoring feature. I'm still very much enjoying mine. Can you advise me about fuel? I have been running the car on Shell V-Power, but it's pretty expensive stuff. Would it run just as happily on ordinary unleaded? With regard to the Abarth warranty, I'm still up against the old conundrum about Fiat garages not being authorised to carry out warranty work on Abarths. There was a crazy example a few months ago when I had my car serviced by the local Fiat garage in Colchester (D. Salmon Cars Ltd.) and they found two tiny faults - a number plate light out, and a faulty windscreen washer. They told me they couldn't fix those things because they were warranty issues. It simply wasn't economical for me to make the 100-mile round trip to my nearest Abarth dealership (Glyn Hopkin in Romford) so in the end I took the car to my old mates at Graham Richardson & Son in Colchester and they did the job for the price of the parts. But I still think Fiat UK Ltd should do something about this silly anomaly. What's your view?
Continue to run on V-Power. It keeps the fuel system clean as well as giving better performance and slightly better fuel economy. And you are absolutely right about the warranty. I wrote to the head of PR of Fiat twice with your complaints about Glyn Hopkin, on 15 May 2010 and on 4 November 2011, but he did not respond.
Answered by Honest John on

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