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Old 12-19-2001, 07:11 PM   #1
Stallion
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Default Warranty service denied on completly stock WRX

Hi everyone. Well, I took my car in for the second round of tranny problems. I had the mechanic drive the car, who agreed there was definatly a problem with the syncros of 1st and 3rd gear, not allowing me to downshift into first unless completly stopped and creating a grinding sound on the upshift from 3rd to 4th.
Now, they say that because they have replaced my transmission once (for a blown REVERSE gear, completly different situation) that they will not perform the service on the car unless I pay for it. This is a load of crap, being that the car is not abused and completly stock. The first tranny never had the problems that the second one had, and now the new one has all new problems.
Any suggestions? what the hell am I going to do. I dont have the money to fix the car. I am sure it will be upwards of $1500 for the work and parts. Any suggestions. I am probably going to bring a lawyer into this if I have to, it will be cheaper than fixing the car. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2001, 07:50 PM   #2
GRWRX
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Didn't you drag race your car?
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Old 12-19-2001, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by GRWRX
Didn't you drag race your car?
What gave you that idea?

http://i-club.com/forums/showthread....threadid=38579
http://i-club.com/forums/showthread....threadid=39705
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:00 PM   #4
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See if the lawyer can get rid of the posts about drag racing.
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:06 PM   #5
Stallion
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So you tell me how a drag race and accelerating quickly are different, other than you are next to another car. Then think about how many times you accelerate quickly every day. Then tell me that you were there to see that the car was abused. The car was never abused, never clutch dropped, and never driven in any way to cause wear of the syncros, which the service manager said was caused by downshifting at high speeds (which I NEVER do either.
What the hell is wrong with you people, this car has no modifications and has not been through one, half or even .001% of a clutch drop, which anyway are completly unrelated to the problems I am having.
When you actually know what you are talking about, then you can feel free to post on my thread. There was no gear breakage or any other problems related to "spirited street driving" which is what the freakin car was built for anyway. The mechanic who test drove the car said I should "be able to beat the s**t out of the car", even though I dont and are conservative in everyday driving. Thanks for saying something constructive, a$$.:monkey:
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:08 PM   #6
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Good luck.
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:09 PM   #7
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There, thats better
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Old 12-19-2001, 09:23 PM   #8
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Default Warranty help.

You need to visit SEMA's website--that's the Specialty Equipment Market Association, which is the central organizational body for the whole aftermarket. Not that you were running aftermarket parts, but there's a ton of good legal info there on why what your dealer did was ILLEGAL. Check SEMA's sub-site too, which is called www.enjoythedrive.com

I used to be in the dealer's position, and have seen this happen a million times (whether legitimately or not), and in every case, the same legal truth stands. The dealer must PROVE that you either abused the car in a manner outlined in your sales agreement or that the aftermarket parts you installed (not an issue?) caused the failure you are trying to warranty.

Otherwise, the dealer is setting himself and Subaru up for a big fat lawsuit. Happens all the time.

Stick it to 'em.

jf

dragnutter@aol.com
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Old 12-20-2001, 12:39 AM   #9
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Write to the dealer, cc the SOA warranty address in your warranty book, asking for a written explanation of why the warranty repair was denied.

Glenn
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:04 AM   #10
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Stallion -

In addition to what others had said to do you should also contact the federal Consumer Protection agency. They will investigate and work to resolve the situation free of charge. Also look up any state government agencies that you might have available. California has an agency that specifically deals with netogiating with Manufacturers and dealerships about warranty service and claims. The government will be able to do a lot more damage to the company than you would with a lawyer. They can slap a **** load of fines etc on subaru for not complying with federal and or state law. And who knows the laws better than the federal government? Hell if its in the best interest of everyone in the US they can change the law to accomodate you, the what is subaru gonna do? They will either have to stop selling cars in the US or comply with the law. As a consumer YOU have a lot more rights than the manufacturer and maybe you should just try reminding your local dealership about this fact too.
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:31 AM   #11
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Asking for a statement in writing forces them to back up their position. 95% of the time it is a verbal bluff from the dealer.

When it comes to putting it down in writing, you'll find they'd need to be pretty sure of their position before doing that.

Also, whatever they write is great material should you need to pursue legal action to get your car fixed (they know that too).

A lot of car companies have warranty labor and parts quotas (limits) in a given area per quarter and they apply a lot of pressure to dealers to help them stay within budget.

The car manufacturers and dealers should realise they will make more money by giving better service than they'll lose on the few fraudulent claims that might slip through.

Glenn
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:31 AM   #12
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Thank you all so much for your help!! I have contacted the Better Business Bureau and filed a complaint and I tried to get a written denial from the dealer tonight when I picked up the car but all service people had gone home already (I do have the service ticket that shows the work uncompleted but no written denial) . I plan to get written denial tomorrow and contact the Federal Consumer Protection Agency as Evaider has suggested. I have also filed a written complaint via the Subaru website (where I have gotten responses before) and also I plan to call the 1800-SUBARU3 number tomorrow during their operating hours.

Sharp stick.... I will definately check out the website, as I am sure there is some useful legal information. But I doubt its absolute relevance due to the fact that I definately dont have any mods and never have (I do have a Subaru body kit and 17" wheels but these are obviously irrelevant to the situation) . Now, I do want to modify my car, but only after my warranty has expired * NATURALLY * (3 years, 36K miles) I have been lurking the board for quite a while now and have a complete game plan for the modifications, but I do not have the money to buy them or the desire to void my warranty.

The reason I am so mad here is because the reason for the denial is not because they are accusing me of abusing the car (although I am sure they think I have, whatever!) but solely because they have already replaced the transmission. No other reason. This is verbatim from the service manager at my dealer. And being that it is the same part (the tranny) that broke, yet two completly different problems (reverse gear explosion vs. syncros wearing out) and also the fact that my cousin got his syncros replaced under warranty (whose dealer also noted the problem, yet did fix it) I think they should warranty the problem. It is obvious my driving style has no relevance to these transmission problems and that it is some kind of design flaw. I would like to thank anyone else for their input and will keep everyone updated.
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Old 12-20-2001, 01:40 AM   #13
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And I just realized this, but the thread Horatio and GRWRX are referring was during the time I had the original transmission in my WRX, which had no problems untill reverse gear blew in the end of July. The problems I am having now are with the second transmission which was replaced in August 2001, a long time after the date of that post concerning the race between myself and the Trans Am.
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Old 12-20-2001, 02:20 AM   #14
Evaider
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Thumbs up

Sounds like you should do pretty well getting this resolved. BBB was a good move too I forgot about them. There is also a BBB Automotive sub division if I recall correctly. There is quite a few other agencies that deal with this sort of stuff. Try and look them up on the internet and write complaints to all of them. I had to go through all this crap when ford put a bad engine in my Tbird. I managed to find a few sights on the net that had a lot of good advice on what agencies to contact.

Try doing a google for consumer protection laws and warranty laws you should find some good info. Write down or print what is relevant to you and try reciting it to the service manager at the dealership and watch his jaw drop, then watch him stutter and try and apologize and try and come of with a reason why he was jerkin you around before. They usually say something like, let me look at the car again. When they look at it they will come back with something like. "The problem that was originally describe to me by one of our mechanics was incorrect. I will make sure this is fixed immediatly. He will probably hand you a set of rental car keys and say here take this for now. =) That is best case scenario.

You just need to make yourself heard and ensure that the service manager knows that you know what your talking about and that you've done your research.

Good Luck To You! Hope you get it figured out!

The squeaky wheel gets the grease!
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Old 12-20-2001, 03:06 AM   #15
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Hey man, don't go getting your panties all in a bunch at me. I was just giving you a little friendly razzing.

One of the very few ways that a manufacturer (not dealer) can void your warranty is if you race the car. Not a street race, which isn't a sanctioned event, but I'd think that the weekend drags might constitute entering in a race.
I personally think it's crap they your synchros are going tits up. I drive fairly hard (although I like to think I'm also fairly smooth, which helps) and I haven't had any problems.

It's also possible that the dealership screwed something up when they put the second tranny in. I know a guy who got his tranny replaced and some mechanic managed to get a big chunk of his latex glove stuck between a nut and bolt on the shift linkage.

Here's a little piece of advice.

Throw a damned fit. Write a letter to the service manager, and CC it to the General Manager and the Owner of the dealership. I've done it before and it works. Stuff gets fixed. You may come off as a prick, but who cares? Be really cool with the service advisors (so they don't hammer on your car in the back lot), but get tough with the managers. They're getting paid to put up with it.
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Old 12-20-2001, 09:45 AM   #16
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be sure to send Mr.Mergen at SOA an email...he's a really nice guy & should be able to point you in the right direction...

here's his email: JMergen@subaru.com
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Old 12-20-2001, 11:28 AM   #17
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I would go straight to the Management of the dealership since he has final say over anything the dealership does.
Some service managers are just plain as#holes.
If that doesn’t work request to speak with a rep from SOA.
More things you put in writing the better it will be for you.
Threatening legal action is always use as it forces the dealer to take action since bad publicity will just kill them.

Gary
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Old 12-20-2001, 07:37 PM   #18
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You can also contact one of those reporters that does the consumer advocate programs on the news or in a newspaper.

Nothing puts the fear of god into a car dealership then reporters with cameras floowing the managers around. You can't buy that type of bad coverage.

P.S. It also works real well in the court-room
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Old 12-20-2001, 08:12 PM   #19
Stallion
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Dont worry Horatio, my panties are just fine. I can usually handle some razzling, but I am already having a hard enough time with this situation and posting one or two out of my 300 some posts that shows I drove fast doesnt help matters (being that SOA checks the i-club). Thanks for the info though.

I asked for written confirmation and they said they will not give me anything written or signed saying they will not fix my car. This has gone over and above the dealer, and there is nothing they can do, so no use in calling the local news station and hurting their business. I am sure if they had their way they would fix it. I have to wait for my meeting with the factory rep (who is responsible for denying my warranty claim) which hopefully I will be able to record on tape with his permission as well as have my lawyer present.

I discovered there are different factory reps for different regions, which may be a reason for my cousin being able to get his syncros replaced down in Florida and me not having the same luck up here. What I need to investigate is why the factory reps have different opinions when they both represent Subaru.
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Old 12-21-2001, 04:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
I asked for written confirmation and they said they will not give me anything written or signed saying they will not fix my car.
You should write to the dealer, and cc the warranty address in your warranty book.

They are compelled to reply in writing with the reason for denying the claim.

They are still bluffing you. Don't fall for it.

Another alternative is to ask for a meeting with the regional Subaru tech rep.

Glenn
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Old 12-21-2001, 07:55 PM   #21
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I am having the meeting scheduled at this time, but because of the holiday, things are going to be put on hold until after new years.

I had a subaru representative call me in reference to the claim, and it is now evident that the reason the warranty is being disputed by subaru is because they believe the vehicle has been driven in an abusive manner, which is not true. They say that the warranty will not be upheld if they believe the vehicle has been driven in any other manner than a "normal passanger car". Driving the car fast, and using its 227 stock horsepower, is apparently not what the car was meant for. I have been told the car is a simple passenger car and shold not be used for any other purpose, or driven in a similar manner as in the commercials, if we drivers wish to keep our warranty. Meanwhile I am waiting for my meeting and contacting as many consumer protection agencies as possible, I am sure I will need it.
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Old 12-21-2001, 08:06 PM   #22
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Good luck.

I find it hard to believe that they sell this WRX with the comercials of rallying, spirted driving, Magazine articles with 5.8 0-60 times and to top it off with a SCCA membership then they pull the carpet out from undernieght the people that have warrenty claims. I think I'll keep the VWs in my mind when it comes time for another car.

I wish you the best of luck with your car.
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Old 12-22-2001, 01:21 AM   #23
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yes keep us posted.. if this is really the way they are
I probably will get rid of my wrx.. this is bs..

I never had any such crap with my eagle talon tsi and I got
quite a few things replaced under warranty.
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Old 12-22-2001, 03:47 PM   #24
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A few things to note:

Indeed, Subaru does seem to be cracking down on warranty claims, but I imagine that they can tell when a car has been abused.

Indeed, they do check the i-Club, and monitor it regularly. It's simple enough to find when someone's been drag racing, or whatever.

I think that the SCCA thing was more of a profile, since they also refuse to warranty the car if it was used in any sanctioned competitive event. Also, drag racing is harder on a car than an autocross. Or, drag racing is harder on the engine and tranny, while autocross is harder on the brakes/tires/suspension.

Keep us posted, Stallion. Your case, I'm sure, will be an instructive one. I don't think that Subaru doesn't want people to drive the cars hard. Hell, they show it being driven in a spirited manner on the adverts. But I imagine that 1/4-mile stuff is another matter.

Kevin
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Old 12-22-2001, 06:35 PM   #25
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The easy answer to SOA checking the i-club is to 1) not join the member's section, 2) not post your real name, 3) never post pictures of your car, 4) don't list all of your mods & car info, and 5) don't post about your warranty problems if you have posted about racing. If they can't link a username to a warranty claim, they can't link the problem to a possible claim through the i-club.
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