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Old 05-10-2001, 06:12 PM   #1
lewscour
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Lightbulb SOA official position on race use and modifications of your car.

Ok folks here is subarus position on moding and racing your car. I contacted subaru after a little experiance at a local dealer. I think it is a pretty fair stance and i appreciate there timely reply.
Have fun fellas and let me know what you think.

oh the part about the Car show was legit. We have a big show coming up and a few guys are so nervous about Warrenty Voiding that they are actually suggesting covering the Vins and Tags on the cars since the sponsor of the event is the one of the biggest subaru dealerships in the country.

The Reply:


Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site and for your message. We
are sorry to hear of your experiences with your dealer. However, one
thing that you and all other Subaru owners should realize is that the
warranties on your vehicle are supported by Subaru of America, Inc, not
Subaru dealers. Only Subaru of America, Inc. would be able to void a
warranty, and I am not aware of this ever happening.

Competing in race events with your '01 Impreza 2.5RS Sedan will NOT
automatically void your warranties, as you know. The following are the
specifics for warranty coverage for a previous SCCA member, who was
purchasing a WRX. He was also concerned with warranty coverage while racing
his WRX. The following information would also pertain to your
situation:

General Statement of Warranty Coverage

Warranty coverage provided on this vehicle is not voided by
participation in competitive or racing events, however, any failure of a
component(s) caused by participation in these events is not a matter for
warranty.

Damage or Malfunction Due to Improper Repair or Unauthorized Parts

These warranties do not cover any part which malfunctions, fails or is
damaged due to any unauthorized alteration or modification made to the
car such as the removal of parts or the installation of parts,
equipment or accessories or improper repairs or adjustments not approved or
recommended by SOA.

Damage or Malfunction Due to Abuse, Neglect, Accident or Fire

These warranties do not cover any part which malfunctions, fails or is
damaged due to objects striking the car, road hazards, whether on or
off the road, accident, fire, neglect, abuse or any other cause beyond
the control of SOA.

Damage Caused By a Non-Covered, Unauthorized Part

These warranties do not cover damage to a covered component directly
caused by the failure of a non-covered part, accessory or occurrence of
event.

Damage Caused Due to Use of Vehicle in Competitive Events

These warranties do not cover damage to any component that is the
result of operating the vehicle in any competition or racing event.

Now, for the situation with aftermarket parts and the Aircraft and Car
show this weekend. Subaru of America, Inc. does not recommend the
installation of any aftermarket parts in any of our vehicles. Doing so
will NOT automatically void your warranty. But any problems caused would
not be covered by your warranty. You know the truth, as you indicate
in your message with the SEMA reference. This is a government
regulation that cannot be altered.

I am now going to try and explain Subaru dealers'
concerns. They are afraid that you are going to put an aftermarket
part (something like a turbo engine) on your RS, which could cause a
problem. When and if a problem arises, dealers are afraid that you will
take your RS to your dealer for service, but first removing the
aftermarket part to make the appearance that a Subaru part failed. Then your
Subaru warranty would cover the repair and not yourself or the
manufacturer of the aftermarket part.

I seriously doubt that (the dealer) will do as you and your fellow
owners suspect. I hope that I have calmed your concerns. Enjoy the
festivities!!

John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.


[This message has been edited by lewscour (edited May 11, 2001).]
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Old 05-10-2001, 06:29 PM   #2
WRC666
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Thumbs up

Whow!
Not too bad, is it?
666
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Old 05-10-2001, 07:37 PM   #3
Jon Bogert
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That's VERY cool. Especially compared to the Audi dealers who, when they suspect you've chipped your ECU, remove it and send it to Germany for testing without telling you...

It could be much worse!
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Old 05-10-2001, 07:41 PM   #4
JJTheSubeDriver
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You know I was half-kidding about the plates and VIN's. That is a very fair stance, I believe. They would however have to prove that the failure was caused by racing, however. And autocross is not racing it is a non-competitive driver skill challange.

JJ
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Old 05-10-2001, 07:41 PM   #5
Fido
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Rock on SOA!
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Old 05-10-2001, 07:49 PM   #6
JC
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Thumbs up

Good things to know, props to Subaru.
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Old 05-10-2001, 07:57 PM   #7
lewscour
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Oh i forgot a funny extra twist in this story.

I was at the dealer ship Yesterday for my 3000 oil change.

I talked to the senior sales manager, and the Service manager, Both named Mike by the way.

They were way cool. In fact we zoomed over to the parts dept and I got 4 sheets of the Rally car stickers, A 2001 world Rally Poster(very awesome in my garage and Ill mount it and bring it to the show) and about 10 SPT stickers.

LOL I guess word travels fast. They were pretty cool about the earlier incident and Were pretty excited about having a bunch of subarus woopin everone at the SCCA Events.

Later
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Old 05-11-2001, 05:14 AM   #8
Retsyn
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That's a pretty well reasoned response from them. They have to be a little more mod tolerant than other car companies because they ummmm sell mods. In fact at least one of the New England dealers is a BPM reseller. The DEALERSHIP will install that Act clutch for you. So how could they possibly justify selling you a car and void it's warranty on the same day?
Guess I don't have to remove the ganzflow before service after all.
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Old 05-11-2001, 05:26 AM   #9
jlyttle
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Not sure I understand, it seems like they are still saying that any part that fails during a competition is not covered. What if the part was failing anyway? What if something breaks at a drag-race(other than clutch )? That is no different than hard acceleration down the highway. I am not sure how this can be enforced.
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Old 05-11-2001, 05:57 AM   #10
Retsyn
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Simple, if you're racing autox and one of your struts ends up lying on the side of the road, it's not their problem. If I'm installing an aftermarket intercooler and a screw falls into the engine, it's not their problem. If I chip a WRX to 50psi and my head gets launced into orbit, it's not their problem. If I take the car in there because the timing is off and I have a Ganzflow on the car and an amsoil filter it IS their problem. My intake has no relation to the timing belt slipping. I can live with that. What I wouldn't be able to accept is driving into Subaru for an oil change and having my warranty voided because they see my CAI.
BTW: If something IS failing on your car, you probably shouldn't be racing it. Just use some common sense.

[This message has been edited by Retsyn (edited May 11, 2001).]
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Old 05-11-2001, 06:08 AM   #11
jlyttle
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Have a Nice Day?

Of course I understand that changes and aftermarket parts MAY void certain parts of the warranty. I did not mean to come accross as slow.

But, why WOULDN"T they cover me if my strut ended up on the side of the road. I could just as easily have taken a sharp corner on any given road. All stock parts, subjected to conditions that they very easily might see outside of a "race".
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Old 05-11-2001, 07:25 AM   #12
JayP
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Just to add to SOA and dealers wanting to support Subaru owners within reason--

When I bought my RS, the salesguy took me to meet one of the owners of the shop, who was over the parts and service areas. He immediately asked what hotrod parts I was looking for, suspensions, and brakes. He got it-- We want to have fun with our cars! Sell us the parts to do it!

I was impressed. I took a tech sheet for an driving event to him-- inspected my car and signed it without question.

Why promote Subaru rallying unless you want to promote durabilty? We can abuse our race cars but you cannot autox your streeter?

As far as Audi goes, the local shops are pretty open to mods. Both have active ties to driving events. But that doesn't stop the fact they build crap cars.

BMW- the guys local who run BMWs cover their plates and go by 'racerX' on the results page. Legend has it a BMW owner was denied warranty because the service manager saw a pic of that car on the internet in an autox or driving event. He recognised the plate number and denied warranty-- since the car was raced. Legend or real? It has more than a few guys worried.

At least SOA gets it-- another reason for owning a Subaru.
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Old 05-11-2001, 06:03 PM   #13
ndmorespd
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Thumbs down

Sorry ladies and gentlemen but experience speaks volumes more than emails...

I had my transmission lockup on me (while shifting from reverse to 1st) and get stuck in neutral. SOA was nice enough to have towed me to the nearest dealer... @ approx 3 pm on a Saturday. Peachy as it sounds this left my fiance and 4 year old sun stuck over 50 miles from home without transportation. Had this been in a big city I am sure arrangements could have been made. But alas this was a smaller town that grew around an Air Force base and most of the town was closed by 4 pm...

Anyway after calling SOA and going back and forth with them I paid AAA to haul my car back to my dealership (Uncle is the GM...) and get a cap home. it took the next week and a half to get them to even inspect the car because the service crew knows I race (Solo II). Anyway the last race my car had been in was over 3 months prior to this event. SOA finally ok'd the inspection after getting regional permission for the dealership...

Two and a half weeks later I get my car back finally and get a letter from SOA telling me that I should be forewarned. They had direct quotes out of the warranty about how "Any competitive event will void your Subaru's warranty." I called and complained and was shrugged off eventually.

I went BACK to the service department and asked for the complete list of test/inspection results. Too the broken parts to the local Transmission shop (fellow racer) and he said they were full of it. He says the parts that broke are not wear and tear parts and have a less than 2% chance to have been caused by my autocross time...

In closing [/RANT] all I have to say is:
1) BE CAREFUL AROUND SOA!!!
2) Be ready to pay for your own repairs unless you have a GOOD service Dept!

Mke
#25
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Old 05-11-2001, 06:15 PM   #14
JJTheSubeDriver
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Well, Mike, what they sent via email and is at the top of this post now becomes a legally binding agreement on warranty (if there is a lawyer around here, jump on on this. It is my understanding that you can legally hold them to the words of John Mergen, a employee for SOA.

JJ
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Old 05-11-2001, 09:27 PM   #15
ImprezaRS dot com
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ndmorespd - that happened to me too. I posted last September that the district service managaer tried to void my warrantee for autocrossing, and when I looked over the parts with the dealership's owner he agreed the failure wasn't abuse or autocrossing.

Larry
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Old 05-11-2001, 09:47 PM   #16
Blindeye_03
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I have a ganzflow and a custom cat back exhaust w/ an apexi N1 and I was having problems with MAJOR squeaks and my service rep took it for a spin & heard the squeaks and they took care of it for me...The cool thing is that they never once asked me about my mods and didnt say anything to me about them...
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Old 05-11-2001, 11:08 PM   #17
Nordstone
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If this content is actually posted in any official SOA material, it is legally binding. However, to say something is legally binding and to actually get compensation for a failed part with an uncooperative service department are often two different things.

The service department may be legally liable for the part/service but may still refuse to do it. Getting compensation may require legal action. Financially, it may not be worth it to pursue legal action. You might be better off just paying for the repair and forgetting about it. However, assuming this is legitimate, having a resource from which you can print a statement like this will greatly enhance your argumentative stance at the service department.
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Old 05-11-2001, 11:57 PM   #18
MiXer
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jlyttle,

First of all, let's pretend we are SOA and somebody races the Suburu and the differential goes out. Would you pay for the warranty?

1 hour of racing is literally about 1000 hours of daily driving as far as wear and tear on the car. Inertial load upon the engine goes up exponentially with RPM (specifically, it's proportional to the rpm of the engine squared). Picture your engine accelerating/decelerating at 4000-7000rpm consistently for an hour... would you want to warranty that?
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Old 05-12-2001, 01:57 AM   #19
ivbdn
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I think that's pretty fair. Chalk up another one for Subaru!
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Old 05-12-2001, 11:10 AM   #20
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MiXer-

I drive my car like that, all day every day. I abuse the crap out of it, and I've just broken 161,000 miles without any major problems other than a timing chain replacement at 90k. I've autocrossed, I've driven it on the track. I've burned up many sets of brake pads and tend to wind it to redline when I'm in a hurry. I occasionally shift without using the clutch (rev matching).

I don't think it's to much to expect a nearly brand new Subaru to be able to take some serious abuse without failing. I think if it's in the warranty period, it's completely reasonable to expect warranty service for failures. The fact that someone goes "racing" on occasion has nothing to do with how they drive normally. I know guys that are nicer to their cars at the autocross than I am to mine when I drive on country backroads.

Give me a break! It's a performance vehicle, one that they are now advertising as a performance vehicle. Denying warranty service for driving spiritedly is like denying medical coverage to someone who runs 2 miles every day. It doesn't make any sense!

-Porter
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Old 05-12-2001, 03:43 PM   #21
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You guys haven't seen half the extent they will go to in order to void a warranty. The dealerships where I am use security tape over the ECU, metal foil on bolts with a stamp on them and even keeping track of if you've changed your fluids regularly.
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Old 05-12-2001, 09:50 PM   #22
ndmorespd
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I don't suppose you live in some sort of communist country, or some sort of prude dictatorship do you??

Mike
#25

(Too late to fret spelling/typing...)
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Old 05-12-2001, 11:35 PM   #23
Tarmac Terror
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My tranny was making weird noises at a BMW track day shifting from 4th to 5th at redline....

I think it was like 105 mph....

Then a couple months later the clutch went out at like 10,000 miles

I took it to Carr Subaru in Beaverton, OR.

Told them I raced in the BMW event...they said no problem.

They opened up the tranny replaced the clutch and fifth gear. No questions asked. They did it in like 2 days too. They are awesome. There is 3 dealers that are closer to me.

But I will always go there first.

They even got me a rental car.

Nate
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