Autos

what the first users think

Citroën Friend

Available since last summer, the Citroën Ami electric quadricycle is currently experiencing a very heavy recall campaign. If the list of defects to be corrected gave rise to many criticisms, the first adopters are some to recognize the great professionalism of the manufacturer in managing the crisis. Thus Didier Asso from the surroundings of Montpellier and Jean-Christophe Gigniac installed in the Arcachon basin.


From locks to brakes and battery

The controls around the Citroën Ami relate to 7 points. Regarding the opening and closing systems of the doors, a change of the locks is planned. To solve the problems of airtightness of the passenger compartment: injection of a seal on the roof and adjustment of the doors. The potential blockage of the wiper motor will be cleared with a change of the part. A visit to the base will make it possible to rule out weaknesses in the welds.

Two interventions are programmed on the braking system. With the first, the distributor will be changed if necessary for good efficiency. Ditto concerning the handbrake sensor which could be the cause of a fault in recharging the battery.

Finally, the entire electrical system of the vehicle will be checked. This last operation will include an update of the battery management software. And this, to optimize its operation.

Seasoned users

Our 2 interviewees are regular users of electric vehicles. They each owned and used several trendy models. They also have the Renault Twizy as a common point, bought on occasion in both cases.

Didier Asso used his between 2017 and 2020. “ The Twizy was very convenient to get to Montpellier. No problem to park, I placed it perpendicular to the sidewalk. What I also do with the Citroën Ami. As my daughter grew older, the Twizy was getting too fair. When she had sport, I almost had to choose between taking her with me, or leaving her to carry her bags », He testifies.

At Jean-Christophe Gigniac’s, the Losange quadricycle will only have been for a short stay, no more than 6 months. ” We had just received it when Citroën announced the marketing of the Friend », He explains.

Twizy Match – Friend

Even if this article is not a comparison between the 2 Renault Twizy and Citroën Ami quadricycles, it is difficult to miss the exercise.

Sitting one behind the other in the Twizy makes driving stressful. At least with the Friend, a little more nervous, we can be side by side. And yet, it is not much wider. But its body includes the wheels, making it possible to obtain a relatively spacious interior. An effect accentuated by the windshield away from the occupants, and the glass roof. However, I would have preferred it to be open, as on the concept », Explains Didier Asso.

He is convinced of small electric mobility. ” I work 3 kilometers from home. A quadricycle is enough for me. I also use scooters, gyroroues, gyropods, electric skateboards, favoring French manufacture when possible He continues.

Citroën Friend

Small on the outside but gigantic on board

In short, the Friend looks small from the outside. But it is gigantic on the inside. Its generous storage is well studied. A shopping bag can take the place behind the seats. And another in the place provided for cabin baggage. The empty pocket net is really a storage compartment: I can store my jacket there “, Laughs Didier Asso

Jean-Christophe Gigniac does not like the installation of the occupant seats on Renault’s electric quadricycle either. ” The Twizy is very well finished, very qualitative compared to the Ami. But it’s less fun to use. Due to the absence of windows and the position one behind the other. My daughter prefers Citroën’s quadricycle 100 times He compares.

Number 49

As soon as he knew that pre-orders were open for the Friend, Didier Asso rushed to reserve his copy.

I received number 49 last August. In Vibe finish, with roof bars, the top of the range. I am one of the first to have taken possession of this machine. There was a little hiccup on delivery. The date has been brought forward. Then pushed back to the original one. As I had sold my Twizy in 2 hours, I found myself 15 days without a small car », He reports.

Jean-Christophe Gigniac ordered his later. ” I placed the order on 1er September 2020 at Darty. I received my copy at the end of November or the beginning of December », He recalls.

Problems very quickly

The Friend was barely 200 kilometers away when I first encountered a problem. I plugged in, and nothing was happening. I called Citroën Assistance. The Montpellier dealership picked it up from me. She was immobilized for 15 days. Engineers came from Paris. From there, Citroën decided to change the charger model », Reveals Didier Asso.

Jean-Christophe Gigniac also experienced a first fault very quickly: “ The entire door closing system is malfunctioning. The strike can get stuck. The door therefore does not close. Conversely, the opening button can remain pressed and stuck in the body. We got into the habit of leaving the window ajar to be able to open the door. It’s safer “.

Citroën Friend


Other anomalies encountered

I had a recall from Citroën concerning the handbrake cable. I was advised not to park on a sloping street. While waiting for the room to change. I live in a sloping street. My 3e problem again had to do with recharging. By -4 ° C outside, I had an anomaly message. He was telling me that the temperature was too high. This was a software bug. An update has been made to fix this. However, I did not experience any sealing problem. Even under the severe thunderstorms we experience here in the South », Didier Asso list.

In Gironde, where Jean-Christophe Gigniac lives, the result was very different: “ We have not experienced a charger or battery problem. But headlights that lit too high. Regarding the waterproofing, nothing at the roof. On the other hand, projections that fly inside. Due to the absence of mudguards on the wheel arches “.

Amateurism or professionalism

Our 2 interviewees agree that the Citroën Ami was poorly tested. And probably developed in a hurry. ” Is it because of the Covid-19 pandemic? “Asks Didier Asso.

Personally, I find that the sale was bordering on amateurism. But with the modernization campaign, Citroën is really doing things big. Three centers were mobilized. The Ami will be picked up at home. We can have one on loan while we wait. And I have already received my Fnac reduction voucher of 100 euros », Appreciates Jean-Christophe Gigniac.

Citroën is really putting the means. It’s going to cost them a fortune! All the profits from the first copies sold will go through. They recognize that they were zero, and will review the car from A to Z. The application developed to remotely monitor the progress of work on his Friend is screwed up “, Highlights the Héraultais.

They keep trust

A problem with a charger, I also quickly experienced one with the Renault Twizy. Changed quickly. The Montpellier concession now sends me back to Nîmes. Outside the autonomy of the Friend. The Hérault garage is however approved “Electric vehicles”, but not for the Friend. I also experienced that at Renault. ZE approved establishments did not intervene on the Twizys. I remain optimistic, my friend will be on top when she comes back in 3 or 4 weeks », Assures Didier Asso.

Some are very angry on the Facebook group dedicated to the Citroën Ami. My daughter doesn’t need it to go to work. It helps to be patient more calmly. Problems with cars are nothing new. And on recent thermals, it’s sometimes a headache to find a solution. I experienced a situation not long ago where Jeep engineers were unable to resolve a problem on a Renegade », Concludes Jean-Christophe Gigniac.

Citroën Friend

Automobile Propre and I warmly thank Jean-Christophe Gigniac and Didier Asso. For their availability, and the speed with which they responded to our request for testimony.

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