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Old 03-23-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
izzay
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Default Denied Warranty Claim for Damaged Stud/Lug

I brought my 2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i into a local dealership today for an oil change and tire rotation. When rotating the tires, the technician encountered a frozen lug nut on one of the tires. The repair was initially refused, with my intention being to do it myself at home, however the service advisor stated the lug nut was halfway off, and unable to be moved in either direction. I reluctantly agreed to the $120 repair, which was reduced to $70, knowing it was likely a repair covered by my Subaru Gold extended warranty.

The service advisor denied the warranty claim, citing that the issue involves a "routine maintenance item," related to the tires, which are explicitly excluded under Subaru Gold. My counter argument to this assertion relies on the fact that lug nuts and studs are not quoted in the maintenance guide (nor 30k, 60k, 120k services) as being items routinely replaced, nor are they wear and tear items. There is also the concern that the lug nut was partially removed before it seized. This dealership was the sole maintaining entity for my car, and I've encountered issues once before in removing a flat tire for repair. The removal was abandoned upon noting it only possible to remove 1 lug nut by hand, and subsequently repairing the tire in situ.

Clear terms for what is covered under the Gold warranty are difficult to locate, thus I'd like to know what such an item would fall under. It is certainly not a routine maintenance item, unless it is automatically coupled to the routine maintenance of wheels (tire rotation). In the mean time, Subaru has been contacted, and an appeal has been initiated.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:41 AM   #2
dingobite
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However you go about replacing the stud id do the other 4 at the same time theres no telling if the rest of them have been fouled, i had two seperate wheels do this to me a trough my first winter 3rd tire rotation.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 AM   #3
Armyofcase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzay View Post
I brought my 2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i into a local dealership today for an oil change and tire rotation. When rotating the tires, the technician encountered a frozen lug nut on one of the tires. The repair was initially refused, with my intention being to do it myself at home, however the service advisor stated the lug nut was halfway off, and unable to be moved in either direction. I reluctantly agreed to the $120 repair, which was reduced to $70, knowing it was likely a repair covered by my Subaru Gold extended warranty.

The service advisor denied the warranty claim, citing that the issue involves a "routine maintenance item," related to the tires, which are explicitly excluded under Subaru Gold. My counter argument to this assertion relies on the fact that lug nuts and studs are not quoted in the maintenance guide (nor 30k, 60k, 120k services) as being items routinely replaced, nor are they wear and tear items. There is also the concern that the lug nut was partially removed before it seized. This dealership was the sole maintaining entity for my car, and I've encountered issues once before in removing a flat tire for repair. The removal was abandoned upon noting it only possible to remove 1 lug nut by hand, and subsequently repairing the tire in situ.

Clear terms for what is covered under the Gold warranty are difficult to locate, thus I'd like to know what such an item would fall under. It is certainly not a routine maintenance item, unless it is automatically coupled to the routine maintenance of wheels (tire rotation). In the mean time, Subaru has been contacted, and an appeal has been initiated.
Yeah, sounds like you got hosed. One the bright side the lug bolt and a new lug nut run you about $5.00 for the pair. A couple of washers and a matching threaded nut about $3.00 from Advance Auto Parts. Add in 5-10 minutes to remove tire and brake caliper and viola! Dealership charges an astronomical amount. Wow...I would never pay that! Make sure your tires aren't being over torqued; especially from an impact gun.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:54 AM   #4
blackfang
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IIRC, a damaged stud is NOT covered under an extended warranty. Studs do not fail by themselves at that mileage. They fail from the repeated removal and installation of a lug nut during a tire rotation which is part of routine maintenance. Sometimes they are torqued too tight, sometimes they aren't, sometimes they are threaded wrong, who knows. Welcome to owning a vehicle and the costs involved of owning one. I would never even attempt to try and get that covered. I have had to replace a few studs on my vehicles and it is very easy to do especially with a c clamp(screw the washer and nut method which damages threads on both the new lug nut and stud anyways)

Now with that said, I think that is a little high for a replacement. $50-60 is more reasonable. My philosophy is this. If my technician breaks a bolt/lugnut/etc when we are taking it off and we have not touched that before the visit, the customer is on the hook for the repairs. If we break it putting it back on or we have removed that in the last visit, then we are on the hook for the repairs.

Is this the same dealership you have repeated problems with in the past?
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
izzay
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The arbitrary wording on the covered/excluded items is quite unhelpful, as it appears the warranty is trying to explicitly exclude items regularly maintained by the dealer, that would be the responsibility of the dealer's maintenance warranty if they fail before 12mos. It's a shame the issue was discovered when the lug nut was halfway off: as many of you have stated, this could be easily repaired for a few dollars. My dependence on the dealership for maintenance has lead to over-tightened lugs may times, once when attempting to change the tire. If the failure occurred during routine maintenance, it would have been the dealership doing all of the tire removal and reinstallation, and they will not cover this damage. The studs look to be of some sort of steel alloy, and could have potentially corroded internally? Otherwise, the damage was from over-torqueing or crossthreading.

The answer to your last question is yes. My issues with the dealership revolved around the delivery condition of the car, and issues with the service manager/advisor, who has since departed. I assumed service issues would resolve once he was gone. Shawn, one of the mechanics there, does excellent work when he's working on my car, however I cannot control the technician assigned to the car. Same dealership quoted 3.0 hours for spark plug swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfang View Post
IIRC, a damaged stud is NOT covered under an extended warranty. Studs do not fail by themselves at that mileage. They fail from the repeated removal and installation of a lug nut during a tire rotation which is part of routine maintenance. Sometimes they are torqued too tight, sometimes they aren't, sometimes they are threaded wrong, who knows. Welcome to owning a vehicle and the costs involved of owning one. I would never even attempt to try and get that covered. I have had to replace a few studs on my vehicles and it is very easy to do especially with a c clamp(screw the washer and nut method which damages threads on both the new lug nut and stud anyways)

Now with that said, I think that is a little high for a replacement. $50-60 is more reasonable. My philosophy is this. If my technician breaks a bolt/lugnut/etc when we are taking it off and we have not touched that before the visit, the customer is on the hook for the repairs. If we break it putting it back on or we have removed that in the last visit, then we are on the hook for the repairs.

Is this the same dealership you have repeated problems with in the past?

Last edited by izzay; 03-23-2013 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
aeoporta
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stop going to the dealership. If i read your post correctly they have screwed up on your lugs prior. time for a change
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #7
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I've been working at a dealership for nearly 10 yrs and have yet to break a lug stud. How do people manage to screw up such easy tasks? Most of the studs that I encounter that are damaged come from Walmart/Quick lube places. Sorry about your luck.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
izzay
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Interestingly, I'm unable to find a new lug nut on the car. Is it possible the old lug nut was recovered when the stud was cut out?
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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It's $5 and a couple minutes of your time...

You're appealing that?
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
izzay
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I'm appealing a $70 charge that resulted from the dealership getting a lug nut stuck halfway off the stud, and refusing to allow me to leave with the car to do it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoapBox View Post
It's $5 and a couple minutes of your time...

You're appealing that?
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #11
blackfang
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Yes Peter has since left(now works for Dominion Chevrolet). As for who works on your vehicle, it is not hard to simply say I want technician A to work on my car nobody else. I do it all the time for my customers who have a specific technician they want. In many cases you can even walk back there with them to ensure that it happens. They probably had an extra lug nut laying around and used that instead of charging you for a new one. Now if they charged you for one, then you should complain.

3 hours? Dear god. When I worked for Pence we were doing turbo engine spark plugs for less than that
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
izzay
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Well, even with some experimentation on the spark plug removal, it took me 90 minutes, WITH repair beer. The dealership said the time is necessary so they can jack up the engine for easy access (is this a joke?).

I will wait to hear back on the appeal to Subaru. I contested the dealership's refusal to file the costs under the warranty on the basis of the warranty paperwork. On the basis of the conversation with the Subaru CSR, it likely has a 50% chance of being covered (CSR: "such a repair should be covered by the warranty or at the least the dealership that damaged the lug nut").

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfang View Post
Yes Peter has since left but it is not hard to simply say I want technician A to work on my car nobody else. You can even walk back there with them to ensure that it happens. They probably had an extra lug nut laying around and used that instead of charging you for a new one. Now if they charged you for one, then you should complain.

3 hours? Dear god. When I worked for Pence we were doing turbo engine spark plugs for less than that
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #13
blackfang
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We would charge 1.5 hours labor for NA spark plugs. There is NO need to jack up the engine. If they have to jack up the engine, they suck as a technician. A turbo engine is more difficult which you do not have.

The dealership should cover the cost being they were the last ones to have that wheel off and when they were taking it off, they damaged the stud(hence see my reasoning in my first reply).
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfang View Post
We would charge 1.5 hours labor for NA spark plugs. There is NO need to jack up the engine. If they have to jack up the engine, they suck as a technician. A turbo engine is more difficult which you do not have.

The dealership should cover the cost being they were the last ones to have that wheel off and when they were taking it off, they damaged the stud(hence see my reasoning in my first reply).
3 hours for plugs on a turbo engine? Seriously? You don't need to jack the engine on a turbo motor either. So what's the extra 1.5 hours for? Unbolting the washer bottle?

A good tech can pull the damn engine in under that.

Last edited by SoapBox; 03-23-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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This isn't a warranty claim, this is a workmanship claim from a prior service visit. And at the end of the day, if they want to stick you with the $70 to lose a customer, I'd be inclined to accept it and move on. Everyone's different, but it'd have to be a lot more than 70 bucks for me to spend time crabbing on the phone.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #16
blackfang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boilermaker29 View Post
This isn't a warranty claim, this is a workmanship claim from a prior service visit. And at the end of the day, if they want to stick you with the $70 to lose a customer, I'd be inclined to accept it and move on. Everyone's different, but it'd have to be a lot more than 70 bucks for me to spend time crabbing on the phone.
Spot on.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:56 PM   #17
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i agree
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