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Old 07-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 321664
Join Date: May 2012
Default SOA Goodwill Gestures? Blown engine. 15' WRX

Bought my 2015 WRX CPO ~2.5 years ago. The car has about 50k on it and is completely stock.

A little over 6 weeks ago i was sitting at idle and the engine died. I had the car towed to the dealership and it turns out one of the exhaust valves exploded. The head with the faulty valve was completely wrecked and there was damage inside the timing cover as well.

Since the car was CPO when I purchased it, the dealership said they would rebuild the engine under warranty. They would replace the damaged head, replace the short block, rebuild the other head, and reuse any internal components that don't appear damaged, "since they aren't 'wear' parts."

I'm not 100% okay with this approach, since the exhaust valve exploded, there is the possibility of debris circulating in the engine, causing unforeseen damage and potential issues down the line. I call SOA to voice my concerns. They tell me when it comes to repairs, it's up to the dealer, they can just make sure the dealer is doing what the recommended repair is at this point.

Okay, no new long block, as long as I don't have issues with the rebuild, i'll go with it. Lo and behold, a little over a week later, I pick the car up.

Sometimes it runs great. When it doesn't run great, there is either no boost, or it feels like I am in fast and furious with how hard it 'kicks'. When it feels like there is no boost, I look at the boost gauge, and it's spiking to 22.1 psi, while under <10% throttle.

These weird acceleration issues cause me to almost get into 2 accidents, one while I'm accelerating at a light, and almost rear end someone because of the jerky power, the other while I am getting on the interstate, because I can barely accelerate to match the flow of traffic.

I originally picked up the car on a Saturday morning, and these issues present themselves over the weekend. The following Monday, I bring my car back in the shop.

At this point, the dealer takes it for a test drive and says there's no issues, car is running great. I told them, take it for a longer drive, it's not 'fine'. After taking it for a longer drive, they confirm the issue and start inspecting the car.

Turns out my ECM needed a software update, and this update magically fixed my car. Great! I picked up the car, and as I am driving home, the issue comes back. WTF! I take it back in, get a loaner reissued, and we start the process over again.

They replaced the MAF, no fix. Inspected my gas, and it appeared a little dirty, drained it and replaced, no fix. They check the knock sensor, and find out it wasn't installed to the 45 degree spec that's required, and boom! Car is fixed! Finally.

But wait. I pick up the car again, and this time my service advisor comes for a drive with me before sending me on my way. I'm not 100 yards out of the dealer when the issue reappears. Face to palm moment for both of us.

This was last Saturday. Immediately after, I called SOA to express my concerns. They should have replaced the long block, instead of this low cost approach, which is costing way more for them in the long run. They say they're going to engage the dealership and get updated from the service tech.

Yesterday I got an urgent text from my service advisor to bring my loaner back in. Apparently it was being retired and I needed to get reissued a different loaner. While I'm there, I ask, 'so what's the game plan at this point?' She said "at this point, the manager is engaging the district manager, and I would like to just see subaru buy back your car, and get you into a new one." You can imagine my response, is that even an option? Apparently it is in very rare circumstances. Well, I'd be pretty happy with this resolution, but we have to wait a couple days for management to hash it out, so I take off in my new loaner.

Today I get a text from my service advisor. They had their Subaru engineer out to look at the car (this is the 3rd time), logged a bunch of data (3rd time as well), and took it for a test drive, and it's running fine. No issues. The oil was a little over-filled, so we did an oil change, and that must have fixed it. They tell me to take the car, drive it for 1000 miles to break in the new engine and these problems will go away. Just to make sure it's okay, they're going to test drive it tomorrow 2x and thursday 1x.

In the beginning, I was very chill about the situation. I appreciated they were doing the warranty work, and there weren't and hoops. But now I've been back and forth to the dealership countless times for the same issue, and they are telling me an oil change fixed the problem? And to drive it for a while to break it in? Brand new engines don't behave like this, and I drive my car on very extended road trips. If the engine fails on one of these trips, I'm going to be seriously SOL.

I called SOA today to follow-up and they said that there may be an option to give me a goodwill trade-in on my car. But they can't go into details on that yet. They may also be able to cover me for the car payments I made while not having the car. But we have to wait for the additional test drives to take place before being able offer that kind of solution.

I'm just curious, what kind of goodwill trade in are we talking about? I'm slightly net positive on my note, but I shouldn't be financially burdened by this situation at all. I bought the car CPO, paid a little more because of that, but that was to give me peace of mind that the powertrain would last until 100k. My wife and I are planning to buy our first house in the foreseeable future, so taking out a loan and jacking up our DTI ratio at this point isn't an option.

Overall, really frustrating process. The ideal situation is for them to just put a new engine in the car and cut our losses with the rebuilt one, but I'm starting to lose confidence in the dealer after telling me all these problems went away after an oil change.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:52 PM   #2
Samurai Jack
Scooby Guru
Member#: 21145
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Not in my own time
2002 Enemy of Aku


Given all that has happened, they changed the oil and the problems went away, but maybe they just drove it around the block seeing as last time it happened in less than 100 yards.

Hence the additional test drives.

As for the goodwill trade-in, only the dealer knows what that means right now.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:53 PM   #3
Add Lightness
Member#: 13699
Join Date: Dec 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Hopkinton, MA
2021 Building
It Better


SOA has lots of options, including used cars at dealers that might be slight upgrades from what you currently have. I have no inside info, but I'd expect if you've got a 15 premium with 50k miles on it, I wouldn't be surprised for them to offer you a CPO 16 with 30k miles on it where your loan terms don't change. They'd also likely give you the choice of a new car for a very good price, taking your car in trade. Just see what they do offer. I've had a transmission in a car replaced under warranty and later the engine. I enjoy the loaner, which costs me nothing for the miles I put on it and just wait for their call.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:53 AM   #4
NASIOC Supporter
Member#: 516262
Join Date: Jun 2020
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Florida
2020 STi


Glad to hear that they actually are willing to do some type of good will for you on a CPO purchase. More I am involved in business I feel like the rarer it is for this type of customer service these days
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Old 07-22-2020, 12:38 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 513643
Join Date: Apr 2020
2006 WRX


Yeah. I definitely would not want to be in more debt than before when this is all worked out. "Trade your car in and give us more money" would not be an option for me.
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:38 PM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 170780
Join Date: Feb 2008
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Orange County
2018 Type RA #350
2021 Honda Civic Type R


If there's still a possibility of them buying it back, run with that. Either put down money another used car, or opt for a new car.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:21 AM   #7
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 23313
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Collegeville,Pa
99' 2.5Rs


Subaru typically doesn't do long blocks. In rare cases where say it's a brand new car and they want to tear down the engine and figure out the problem they will send a long block but again that's generally on a brand new car, not a 15'. You're at the mercy of the skill of the technician.
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:47 AM   #8
Scooby Guru
Member#: 22412
Join Date: Aug 2002
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
2012 Legacy 2.5GT
Ice Silver Metallic


Hopefully they help you out. I have a 12 LGT and a year ago it spun a bearing with only 58k miles on the clock - same engine and internals as the WRX, etc. getting everything covered by the class action suit - since the Legacy GT isn't listed as a car covered by the suit, I was sol (it was also not listed as a car specifically not covered - along with the Forester XT - basically anything with the EJ25T isn't listed as an excluded vehicle) - they helped a bit, but I was still out a big chunk of change to keep driving a car that had under 60k miles on it...

Unfortunately, if you are out of warranty, they can choose to do or not do whatever they want.
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