Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Subaru says NO GO for warranty

For the past few years I have been a proud Subaru owner. Recently this year (Sept 07) I had problems with my Impreza. Coming home from work one night after a long traffic delay on the Dan Ryan I started to hear a knocking sound. Aware of the sound from buddies cars, I knew what it was. Luckily I was blocks from home. The next morning I had the car towed to local Subaru dealership.
When the car reached the dealership, Sept 24th they informed me (by listening to the car idle) that there was knocking and to further investigate the damages they would have to drop the oil pan. Before this was done, I explained to both customer care (800-Subaru3) and service manger at dealership that I read a article online from turbo magazine about issue with the Impreza motor with cylinder 3. He then requested for the article which I sent to there account. See link

After this work was done the dealership informed me that I spun rod bearing #3. This date was September 27th 2007. The service manger then requested for all my oil change receipts so that when the regional service manager came in on October 1st. He would "have some ammo to fight with so Subaru of America (SOA) would cover my 5 year/60k warranty on my power train. He did make it clear that IF I did have these receipts that it doesn't mean 100% Subaru would honor my warranty. The service manager then requested either to leave the car with the oil pan dropped or pull out the motor. I informed him to go ahead and pull the motor so when the regional service manger came in the following week, he can assess the damages further.
On Oct 1st I called SOA and also the dealership they informed me that the regional service manager did not show up, and that he would be there first thing Tuesday morning. I didn't receive any call till Wednesday, when I called SOA directly. They informed me that the regional service manger didn't get to see all the damage since the motor wasn't pulled. I then informed SOA for the 2nd time to go ahead and pull the motor. The following day the motor was removed from the car and the regional service manager was then able to see the full extent of the damages.
The dealership informed me that I would need a whole new short block ($3k for parts) plus labor ($2k). The service manager informed me that SOA regional service manager seen no abuse that I caused and would give me a "goodwill credit" (which coves only 1/2 of parts cost). This was on Oct. 4th.
The following week I played phone tag with SOA (Oct. 7th-13th). When attempting to follow up on your open case (mine is 1041225) you can only speak with that individual. If that person is on another call and/or gone for the day who ever answers the phone takes a message and enters it into the case. They inform you your rep will call you back, which never happened this week. Finally On Oct. 11th I called SOA again, they informed me that she was on a call, customer service rep then requested if I would like to leave a message. I then requested to speak to a manager/supervisor. SOA informed me that they would escalate my case to a manager. For this request, they first would have to review my case and call me back in 24-48 hours. This was at 2pm CST (lunch break).
Afterwards, I called and spoke to the dealership who had my car. I requested the service manager pertaining to 2 questions. First question was after this all was said and done, what would be my warranty on the motor. My second question was "What caused this and was it something I did?"
The service manager made it clear to me that they had "no clue" what caused cylinder 3 to go. And that there were NO signs of abuse from me, and from what he can and the regional service manager can tell the oil was changed regularly and there was no sludge build up. He informed me that the oil that was in the motor was still clean (recently just changed 1500 miles previous to this).
The following week after waiting 48 hours for a call back from SOA/manger. I called SOA on Monday Oct. 15th and spoke to the manager who was reviewing my case. She informed me that she is still waiting to hear from the regional service manager about the damages, and that spoke to the dealership earlier in the morning. I then informed her that I spoke to the dealership the previous week (Oct. 11th) and stated above that they had no idea what caused the motor to fail. I stated why should I have to pay for something that I may of not caused. SOA manager informed me that only the oil pan has been dropped and she is waiting to hear from the regional rep to hear more about the damages once the motor is pulled. This going forward I informed her to have the dealership for the 3rd time now, to pull the motor(1st time Sept. 27th, 2nd time Oct. 3rd, and 3rd time now Oct. 15th)
SOA manager then informed me that if I would have kept my receipts from the purchases of oil from Auto Zone (IE where ever) that this would have all been taken care of and my car would have been fixed. I then questioned her that I was told a different story by the dealership and that just because I did have them didn't mean I was in the clear. She then informed me that she would give me a call back the following day.
Here I am Oct 17th with no call back from the SOA (Subaru of America) I am also writing a letter to the President, Vice President, and VP of Marketing about my service/experience with Subaru.
I have always been a loyal customer, after my recent experience I have nothing positive to say about Subaru.


jfrancis said...

There is no question that Subaru owes you another car or the one you have purchased back in excelent running order. I trust they are paying for your rented transportation in the meantime. It is a consumer's worst nightmare to be left hanging while communications are juggled and the buck is passed. Subaru: don't disappoint this person and your potential buyers.I say, treat this situation in a manner that leaves your buyer impressed with your ability to own up to a warranty. He's already unimpressed with your service. There is no doubt that I will remember and share this incident with people I know and will cringe at the mention of Subaru. It's one car I'll never consider buying. I hope this buyer finds satisfaction after his insult to injury.

Vert5oh said...

As a mechanic I see this all the time. The thing is, is that being under "basic" powertrain warranty, not and extended contract, it should be covered. No sludge no problem. The only time I see problems with coverage is on a neglected motor. Nissan would have covered it no question!

Clint said...

Sounds like an absolute nightmare. I can't believe this situation has dragged out so long already. I'm not sure what I would do, but it is clear that you, as a customer, have not been treated fairly - keep this updated so I can follow what happens. I pray nothing goes wrong with my wrx each day, I've heard too many bad stories. Best of luck.

Nick said...

I had a warranty issue with Subaru on the rear case and axles. They tried to deny my claim and he only reason I got the ok for parts only was the manager at the dealership really pushed the rep to give me the parts. If you dont have someone batting for you on the inside seems like you are screwed with SOA. I was pretty suprised with my experience. The warranty is basically a wasted piece of paper. I got lucky. I hope your luck changes.

Derrick said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the reason you buy a warranty on a new vehicle, to insure that if something happens you won't have to worry about spending loads of cash getting it fixed. It’s a shame that you are having so much trouble with Subaru. You would think a company who prides themselves on off-road rally car races would do a better job in pleasing their customers.

molson said...

I have read this story over and over and it is riduclous that a car company would leave a customer hanging in the wind! What kind of customer service are they provding?! None that I see.
It is obvious that neither the dealership nor rep want to take responsiblity for has happened to the car, they want the customer to pay for the entire amount. From all the phone tag and non returned messages, it seems like subaru is trying to figure out a way to avoid paying any, if not all, of the damages. Explain to me how showing proof of changing the oil would make or break a case?? It seems like they were searching for straws so to avoid having to pay for anything! If Subaru cannot handle this problem in a timely manner then why, as a potential buyer, would I consider buying a car from them?? Best of luck.

Vert5oh said...

That estimate sounds extremely high. How is the dealer chargin $3k for the shortblock when it retails for $1800?! And 2K for the labor? According to alldata, the labor time for a shortblock, including R&R and transfer of all parts and adjustments, is only 10.6 warranty time and 14.7 standar or customer pay time. Being as the car is still under warranty the dealer should be charging warranty time and the parts should be at subaru's cost. The dealer is probably only able to charge $1500 or so to subaru warranty, thats the price that should be put into the estimate. Hell a long block doesnt go for 3K! I've been a mechanic for 8 years and this is that way i've seen it done, if a customer ends up with any cost to them. If they don't atleast come WAY down on the price or pay for the whole thing, I would be seek a lawyer.

Vincent said...

I know I won't be purchasing a Subaru as my next vehicle. I was checking out a nice 08' Legacy on the e-way from work too. That's just wrong how they are giving you the runaround like that. Stay ony them about it man. I pray you get this resolved. Customer service in the States has really gone down the tube! What's the use in paying for a warranty if this crap is gonna happen? I will make sure to post this on a couple of message boards frequent.

God Bless in your efforts!

Alex said...

Yeah thats really ridiculous. I was looking at purchasing a used Subaru but I guess I can forget it now. I mean whats the point in having a warranty that isn't going to be honored. "Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time." They might as well had. Thats all they're giving you anyways.

Michael said...

Wow. I find it hard to imagine that a company like Subaru would be doing this to you. Obviously this is a warranty problem and I'm sure that the "exceptional warranty" was a big selling point when you purchased your vehicle. Now you have a broke car and they are trying to weasel their way out of the obligation that they promised you when you bought it. I wish you nothing but the best of luck here, don't give up the fight!! Keep taking it higher and higher up the food chain, someone will answer!

Anonymous said...

From a possible and future, Subaru owner, I am very uncomfortable with the treatment that you've been given. Obviously many things come to mind such as disappointment and disbelief - not to mention the point of unethical practices.

The bottom line...consumers chose Subaru for its reputation of excellent performance and the continuing effort to improve. Based on this event, including similar situations, SOA should be taking a "look in the mirror" to correctly redefine themselves.

You bought the car w/ warranty...The manufacturer is not sure of why the damage occurred, so why not just correct the issue by conforming to the warranty and making the repairs with little OR no cost to the customer?

Please do not tarnish the reputation of Subaru, as a whole! Especially to a potential buyer!!


jfrancis said...

Dear Subaru: You are a disgrace. Stop embarrassing yourselves and fix this guys car and honor it's warranty or better yet, present him with a brand new car with an extended warranty. Do someting so he can report back with some positive results eventhough I doubt he can find any after all of this time and run around. We're watching and paying attention out here! A person doesn't buy a car so they can be totally preoccupied with chasing around warranty agreements. Shouldn't you consider selling pain and suffering insurance in different degrees? Then a buyer could choose on what level of inconvenience they like to be when they have to tap into the warranty they paid for. could be a whole new profit makking venture for YOU SUBARU! I hope the next thing I read involves some success on this young man's part. He works, pays taxes and deserves some service today.

Anonymous said...

So yeah thats pretty shitty, i also thought subaru's were a quality car, i know you took great care of your car, along with oil changes. Subaru should definetly cover this. P.s. should have bought a honda

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should consider contacting local media. Maybe some bad publicity would help your case. Corporate America could give a damn about the little guys until the little guys cause a big enough ripple to hit them in their pockets. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever have any success? I am having issues with Subaru myself right now with my 05 Sti, which is my 2nd new Subaru (also had an 02 WRX). Long story short, it started making noise on the way to work a couple of weeks ago, so I pulled over and had it towed to the dealer. Subaru looked at it, tore the engine apart and said it failed due to lack of lubrication and are saying it isn't coverered under warranty claiming I didn't properly maintain it. I have been religious about changing the oil before it ever gets to the 3750 miles they recommend. I have a receipt for the last oil change that I know was done properly, because I checked it when the place that did the change was done. I looked at the motor myself last Friday and it is pretty obvious that it burned all the oil that was in it. I have a call into Subaru again to give them one more chance to change their mind before I file a complaint with the local Attory General's office.

Anonymous said...

Subaru puts a lot of effort in avoiding any responsibility for the junk it produces. I had a 2003 subaru baja, which would not start up when it was wet outside, and it was definitely under warranty. I was charged an 80.00 checkout fee, plus over 200.00 to change the spark plugs -- HHHMMMM 280.00 for 4 spark plugs -- 70 bucks a plug!!!!. Additionally they changed my head gaskets, my water pump, and my catalytic converter. While they did not charge me (other than the 280 - plus the warranty work still goes on the mechanics labor sheet, so who cares if it has anything to do with the issue?) I'm curious --- Was the water pump the reason it wouldn't start when it rained???? Apparently not (nor the head gaskets or cat con) as it continued to leave me stuck anytime it rained. I opened a case with Subaru. Some militant woman took great pride in informing me that she contacted the dealer, and the dealer has no record that I had my 15,000 mile service performed there --- so "how can we do anything for you when we have no proof you did the proper PM".
Of course she was too dumb to even have a story like -- well since the belt tension wasn't checked by a subaru dealer 9 months ago it's understandable that the car won't start in the rain. Maybe it's the anti-wet-weather valve that is standardly replaced at 15000 miles thats the issue. Well the good nesws is I got it fixed. Yup -- traded it in on a Nissan --- issue resolved. Thanks Subaru -- you suck
Boobaru -- the worst Japenese car in existence. --

Anonymous said...

yes my friend has a subaru wrx with 30k miles and all of a sudden the car is stuck in 2nd gear. he gets it towed to subaru and his clutch and tranny are gone. they said that its 5k to fix nd it comin out his pocket cuz the cars "looks and shows signs of mistreat and has bin raced" therefore the warranty is voided and they arnt fixing his car. FUCK SUBARU!!!!

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owen said...

My Mother has a 2003 subaru L wagon with 97,000 miles got in an acceident and the motor is out of balance now and her insurance (Country Financial ) is telling me that the vibration wasn't caused by the acceident because it wasn't that big of an Impact so they don't want to cover it and told my good luck in getting it to court what a bunch of Fin B#$%^Ds

renderd said...

I'm having the exact same experience. Only when I bought my car it had a leaking issue as well. They withheld information that there had been no previous claims to my car yet after a year I noticed the car fogging up easily so I had a professional look at it and he stripped the whole interior, we found a major leak. Which made me go visit the dealership, they informed me that it had been In a $15 000 hail damage claim. But they offered no help to me whatsoever.

A year later (now) I am faced with another problem, my engine needs to be swapped out because of a faulting connecting rod or something of that nature. The service manager called me up and informed me it was still on drivetrain warranty but I needed to produce 16 oil change records. I only have the ones I had done. Not the previous owners. So I am informed that they wanted those as well. But I bought it from them still under warranty and that should already guarantee the car to the new buyer, right? If they are certifying the car upon purchase, then why would I be responsible for the past recods which I have no access to? I believe that in order to warranty something in the beginning means it's still ellige to be on warranty or it should not be "certified" it's a messy situation with that company. They are horrible to deal with and service does not exist with them whatsoever.

I'm sorry you're going through the same process. It's heartbraking and bank breaking as well. Why do they punish people for loving their cars?!? I too was a diehard subaru fan and probably sold a few for them as well. Best advice is to never buy a subaru.