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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2020 Giulia and the problem started 7 months ago where a tear appeared in the 8 o'clock position of the steering wheel. After 6 months Alfa Romeo of Santa Monica agreed to replace the wheel. After one month the leather ripped again! It so frustrating. The service advisor accused me of scratching the leather with my knee. I don't wear jewelry, nor do I hold the wheel where the damage is. I took the car to an independent Alfa restoration shop called Alfa Italia in Burbank. The owner took pictures and wrote an assessment. I'm just so frustrated. The car is a lease and leather is supposed to be durable. I'm so gentle with the car I didn't damage it and I'm really beside myself. I want it fixed. Here's his assessment and photos.


From your description, the steering wheel on your 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia was replaced approximately 1 month ago. At your request, our visual assessment of the split in this steering wheel is as follows:

There is a split approximately 2 inches in length in the leather wrap at the 8 o'clock position of the wheel (see attached photos). The split shows evidence of continuing to extend along the bottom end as it fades. The area under the split is slightly raised and there is also a faint secondary split to the right and running roughly parallel to it. The jaggedness and irregularity of the split would suggest that this was not a cut but a tear in the leather (see comparison to cut leather sample below). While it is possible that a cut or blunt impact caused these issues, the location, appearance and lack of other surface damage would suggest another cause.

Leather wrapped wheel:
 

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It's really upsetting when there's a problem like that which just won't go away. From personal experience though, I would highly recommend sticking with Alfa Italia. I've been going to them ever since I bought my Giulia a few years ago and all I know is that if someone can take care of this best it will be them. I just take my Giulia there for regular servicing, but I have seen the work they have done restoring cars and they do wonders on not only exteriors but interiors too. These guys genuinely care about cars and fix things right. Don't go back to the Alfa dealerships for servicing and repairs unless you want to get ripped off for a half a** job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's really upsetting when there's a problem like that which just won't go away. From personal experience though, I would highly recommend sticking with Alfa Italia. I've been going to them ever since I bought my Giulia a few years ago and all I know is that if someone can take care of this best it will be them. I just take my Giulia there for regular servicing, but I have seen the work they have done restoring cars and they do wonders on not only exteriors but interiors too. These guys genuinely care about cars and fix things right. Don't go back to the Alfa dealerships for servicing and repairs unless you want to get ripped off for a half a** job.
I agree with you 100% but the steering wheel is a warranty issue and Chuck told me to take it back to the dealer and demand they fix it
 

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2020 Giulia Quattroformaggio, 2020 Stelvio TI Sport
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Those look like cuts to the leather. The last thing I'd think happened is that the leather ripped by itself. Not doubting, but I can see the dealer's skepticism. Especially after the second time in a month...
 

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I believe the dealer is right, unfortunately.

That damage at 8 position is right where your hip touches the steering wheel when going in & out of the car, if you are not careful and you do not use the function which retracts the seats when you open the door.
I also slightly damaged the steering (minor superficial scratch, 0.5 cm) with a rivet in my jeans (the small rivets on the pokets on a regular denim).

This cut/tear can be caused by a belt, a rivet, or something else. And probably once it is cut, the time, heat and use increases the damage. The fact that happened 2 times it makes me believe that the cause is not the leather but might be external.

Of course I can be wrong and I am not accusing anyone, but I relate to my experience, and the steering wheel can be damaged very easily by your hips, also without you noticing it. We are not the only one who happened this, believe me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Those look like cuts to the leather. The last thing I'd think happened is that the leather ripped by itself. Not doubting, but I can see the dealer's skepticism. Especially after the second time in a month...
of course I can understand that. but isn't leather supposed to be durable? Isn't that why they wrap steering wheels with it? or make shoes from it? or jackets? I have a leather jacket from 2006 that I bought that's as good as the day I bought it. People rub their knees and wear jewelry all the time and it hits the wheel and doesn't scratch or tear like that. There's nothing in the manual that says don't wear jeans, and I don't wear any jewelry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe the dealer is right, unfortunately.

That damage at 8 position is right where your hip touches the steering wheel when going in & out of the car, if you are not careful and you do not use the function which retracts the seats when you open the door.
I also slightly damaged the steering (minor superficial scratch, 0.5 cm) with a rivet in my jeans (the small rivets on the pokets on a regular denim).

This cut/tear can be caused by a belt, a rivet, or something else. And probably once it is cut, the time, heat and use increases the damage. The fact that happened 2 times it makes me believe that the cause is not the leather but might be external.

Of course I can be wrong and I am not accusing anyone, but I relate to my experience, and the steering wheel can be damaged very easily by your hips, also without you noticing it. We are not the only one who happened this, believe me.
my hip never touches the wheel. I've had 5 or 6 cars with leather wrapped wheels I've never damaged one from getting in and out of the car, this total bullshit! it doesn't say anywhere in the manual that I shouldn't wear jeans or that I might damage the steering wheel from getting in and out of the car like a normal person. Leather is supposed to be durable! It's total nonsense. The dealer tried make me look stupid. My girlfriend has a 10 year old audi that she bought new, she wears rings all the time and has never damaged the wheel. and I don't wear any jewelry. this whole thing is just a pile of bullshit. They don't want to admit that they put a subpar quality piece of leather on the wheel, and I'll end up having the thing rewrapped at my own expense. There's a reason Alfa isn't selling any cars in America as is on the verge of going under.
 

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Those are two very clear cuts. Material don't rip in a clean straight line.. You are lucky the dealer is going to take care of it for free.
Yes it's soft leather, which I love to the touch, more than I would hard leather. Do you wear any watches by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Those are two very clear cuts. Material don't rip in a clean straight line.. You are lucky the dealer is going to take care of it for free.
Yes it's soft leather, which I love to the touch, more than I would hard leather. Do you wear any watches by chance?
it's not a clean straight line, look at example of cut leather. I've had a 1/2 dozen cars with leather steering wheels and never has my watch cut the wheel. It's an absurd suggestion. My girlfriend wears watches and jewelry and her audi is 10 years old with 100k miles. The wheel is in perfect condition. This is a nonsense suggestion. It says no where in the manual that I shouldn't wear a watch or jewelry or jeans in my car. Even if i did scrape it with my watch it would be horizontal not vertical. Plus this is a deep rip, do you know how hard it would be to cut it with my watch? I even demonstrated that to the dealer yesterday. I'm so fed up with these suggestions that I scratched it with my watch or a ring. It is a flawed piece of leather used in the manufacturing.
 

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2020 Giulia Quattroformaggio, 2020 Stelvio TI Sport
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it's not a clean straight line, look at example of cut leather. I've had a 1/2 dozen cars with leather steering wheels and never has my watch cut the wheel. It's an absurd suggestion. My girlfriend wears watches and jewelry and her audi is 10 years old with 100k miles. The wheel is in perfect condition. This is a nonsense suggestion. It says no where in the manual that I shouldn't wear a watch or jewelry or jeans in my car. Even if i did scrape it with my watch it would be horizontal not vertical. Plus this is a deep rip, do you know how hard it would be to cut it with my watch? I even demonstrated that to the dealer yesterday. I'm so fed up with these suggestions that I scratched it with my watch or a ring. It is a flawed piece of leather used in the manufacturing.
I'm on m 4th Alfa (third Giulia, 1st Stelvio), which are daily drivers between my wife and I, as well as doing track days where I'm using the wheel rather aggressively for a full days at a time. As I said earlier, one occurrence I could chalk up to 'defective leather'. A second, and so soon after replacement, I actually now think you're damaging it somehow and should figure out how before you do it again. If it happens a third time, sell the car and go buy an Audi if it's so much better quality. You're the first to mention ripped leather on steering wheels here, so it's hardly an epidemic on these cars...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm on m 4th Alfa (third Giulia, 1st Stelvio), which are daily drivers between my wife and I, as well as doing track days where I'm using the wheel rather aggressively for a full days at a time. As I said earlier, one occurrence I could chalk up to 'defective leather'. A second, and so soon after replacement, I actually now think you're damaging it somehow and should figure out how before you do it again. If it happens a third time, sell the car and go buy an Audi if it's so much better quality. You're the first to mention ripped leather on steering wheels here, so it's hardly an epidemic on these cars...
I think it's defective but I appreciate your opinion
 

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I have a 2020 Giulia and the problem started 7 months ago where a tear appeared in the 8 o'clock position of the steering wheel. After 6 months Alfa Romeo of Santa Monica agreed to replace the wheel. After one month the leather ripped again! It so frustrating. The service advisor accused me of scratching the leather with my knee. I don't wear jewelry, nor do I hold the wheel where the damage is. I took the car to an independent Alfa restoration shop called Alfa Italia in Burbank. The owner took pictures and wrote an assessment. I'm just so frustrated. The car is a lease and leather is supposed to be durable. I'm so gentle with the car I didn't damage it and I'm really beside myself. I want it fixed. Here's his assessment and photos.


From your description, the steering wheel on your 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia was replaced approximately 1 month ago. At your request, our visual assessment of the split in this steering wheel is as follows:

There is a split approximately 2 inches in length in the leather wrap at the 8 o'clock position of the wheel (see attached photos). The split shows evidence of continuing to extend along the bottom end as it fades. The area under the split is slightly raised and there is also a faint secondary split to the right and running roughly parallel to it. The jaggedness and irregularity of the split would suggest that this was not a cut but a tear in the leather (see comparison to cut leather sample below). While it is possible that a cut or blunt impact caused these issues, the location, appearance and lack of other surface damage would suggest another cause.

Leather wrapped wheel:
You don't have patella piercings do you?😆
 
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