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Old 02-09-2018, 01:39 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member Sales Rating: (1)
Member#: 447895
Join Date: May 2016
Default :Storytime: Budd Baer, Buyer Beware

Hello! I'd like to start by saying that I am not typically the type of person to complain online about things I purchase. This will be the first, and hopefully the last time. I am writing this to inform/remind the fine folks of NASIOC that when buying a used car that you should never buy it without putting the car through its paces, and if there are issues address them with the seller before signing anything. If no one reads this at all, that is fine, but to those that do I hope it helps. I have addressed these issues with Subaru of America and the Management of the dealership.

This is my experience of purchasing a CPO 2015 Forester XT from Budd Baer Subaru in Washington, PA in January of 2018.

Here's the story: I crash my 06 WRX after hitting ice on the road in early Jan, totalling it. I then have a few weeks with an insurance provided rental to give me time to find another car. I spend lots of my days surfing craigslist, Cars.com, and autotrader seeking a Forester XT, and I found one!! Approximately 2 1/2 hrs away in Washington, PA at Budd Baer Subaru. By the time that I find the car, my time is running out with my rental. I had to return it (the rental) on monday and so I spend the week before calling Budd Baer and my bank and insurance companies to be able to drive up to Washington on Saturday to get the car before I need to return the rental on Monday. So there is some pressure and I was hoping that this car would work out. I put all my chips in this one pot, and maybe that was my first mistake. It was stressful because Budd Baer didn't share more than 4 exterior images of the car with me and a carfax. On top of that they kept passing me from salesman to salesman amd from manager to manager as I was asking questions about the car (very stressful). So you can see the risk involved.. BUT this car is a CPO so I had peace of mind as a buyer that no matter what I know that I have a warranty (the forester only had 57k miles). BUT I had not yet seen the CPO paperwork because Budd was still "processing it". So when friday comes and I still don't have it I email the salesman and say "if I don't see the CPO paperwork by tomorrow morning I am not going to buy this car". SO what do ya know, I get an email lickety split saturday morning with a CPO checklist attached and all the boxes are checked! GREAT! So here we go, I drive up to Washington with a friend to get my shiny CPO approved forester XT. We pull in the lot and right away I notice a good size chip in the front bumper's paint (thats the first ding in the CPO checklist, as it states that the car be free of scratches/chips in paint longer that 1/4 inch). Then walk in and talk to a very preoccupied overworked sales staff who walks out to show me the car. And folks, THE SMELL!!! It smelled as if a poker club had been meeting weekly in that car since its original purchase date hotboxing stogies until the sun came up... meaning, it smelled like smoke BAD. So bad that the headliner and other light colored interior parts were stained, sticky, and spotted (that is ding #2 in the CPO, as it states that the car be free of harsh smells). Then I request a test drive, and my very testy salesman only says he has time to let me drive it around the block.... This was my next mistake.. As to not ruffle his feathers any further I agreed and just put all my trust in the letters C.P.O... At the end of that day Budd agreed to pay to have the headliner replaced, on their dime, at my local sube dealer. GREAT! I was fine with that... But that smell and paint issue really should have been taken care of by them.. nonetheless I drove the car home, getting back to Ohio smelling like a bar.. The car seemed fine other than what I thought at the time sounded like a boost leak under max throttle (ding #3 in the CPO, the car should not make unexpected sounds under normal operation). I thought I could fix that myself with some soapy water and an afternoon, so no worries.. Well folks, that sound turned out to be the sound of a failing CVT...... That's right, I bought a car with a bad transmission.. So I schedule the soonest appt. with my local sube dealer to get the issue fixed, for free because those models have and extended powertrain warranty on the trans. Great. Well as the days go on the car gets worse and worse leading up to me limping the car into the dealer's parking lot 2 days before my appt because it was no longer safe to drive. It stalled at stop signs and shook violently under throttle. Not to mention that while I was driving the car during that time the brakes felt quite squishy, I got a brake fluid level low information light on two separate occasions, great that's just one more thing for the local guys to fix (CPO ding #4, all fluid levels should be topped off). But I managed to get it to the local dealer. --Just a quick note to add at this point in the story. While I had the car I took it to a hyundai dealership to detail it "again" to try and rid it of the smoke smell. The detail guy was amazed.. He said that the car looked like it was never actually detailed by the dealer. He shampooed the carpets and he said the water turned black from the smoke damage-- HERE'S WHERE IT GETS JUICY!! I call Budd Baer to let them know the news (bad trans, bad detailing, bad brakes). A few days later Budd Baer mechanic calls me and says "hey we got your part in" I thought "what part", "i didn't order a part from you?". Turns out Budd Bear saw that the car was leaking oil while they were inspecting it from an oil pressure sensor AND NEVER TOLD ME!?!?!? I drove off their lot with a CPO car that was "leaking oil" WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!! I was livid.. The mechanic explained that there was oil covering the sensor, so that prompted them to just replace it (we will get to that point later).. The part was not in their stock so they ordered it, I came and got the car before the sensor came in, so it was NEVER PUT ON....... SO I tell the mechanic at my local dealership about this (he was quite upset about the matter as well) and I sent them the part to put it on while they were replacing the trans. So a few more days go by, and I get a call from the locals and they say "hey you know the problem you were having with the brakes, well, Budd Baer put the incorrect diameter rotors on the car while they had it which means we need permission to replace them and the ruined pads that these rotors grooved incorrectly." So I call Budd and get lots of apologies and they promise to pay to have the correct parts installed. So time comes that the trans gets delivered and the local guys start working. They QUICKLY realized that the sensor was NOT leaking oil, the trans was just spewing fluid all over it because it was overpressuring. So (forgive me for stretching this) instead of Budd Bear DOING THEIR JOB and replace the broken (thousand dollar) parts they decide to replace the $176.62 part that happened to be on the business end of a very angry little CVT. Now, isn't that mechanic school 101? To not assume that the parts that appear bad are broken, and to dig deep and find the root cause of the problem before throwing money at the car?? I'm no mechanic (although I am a mechanical engineer) that's just my 2 cents... Anyway today is the day that I go pick her up.. Lets hope that I have had my last phone call with the dealer up north. And as it says in the title, buyer beware of The Baer!

Feel free to add what you would have done, or other mistakes I/Budd Bear made so that futures buyers will avoid these types of situations.

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Old 02-09-2018, 02:41 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 479690
Join Date: Dec 2017

This doesn't surprise me one bit. I was shopping for an STI and went to look at one that Budd Baer had on their lot. Whole place seemed sketchy from the moment I walked in. The showroom had a popcorn machine that looked like it hadn't been cleaned in some time, with no other snacks around it. No one came up and greeted me, so I had to hunt down the desk clerk. She finally told me the saleperson I had arranged to talk to wasn't in, so she handed me off to some other sales person who seemed completely annoyed that I was bothering him. He took me and my friend out to see the car and basically pointed at it and said "there it is" then stood off to the side while we looked at it. You'd think a sales person would be eager to point out the features of their flagship car, but I had to ask questions I already knew the answer to just to get him talking a little.

At some point, i think the point got across that I actually was looking to buy an STI and not just trying to coax him into a joyride and he opened up some. But by the point, I already made my mind up that I was buying somewhere else and decided to just use that time to explore the car in person and waste his time out of spite. Zero chance of me ever going back to that place.

Contrast it to Day Apollo Subaru, who has been absolutey wonderful. Beautiful, clean showroom with donuts, coffee, water bottles, and other stuff. Free wifi with working stations so you can get work done on your laptop while your car is being serviced. Attentive sales people who seem to actually give a crap.

It's like night and day.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
Scooby Guru
Member Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 428511
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: philadelphia
2016 STI


That's a lot of emoji's strategically placed throughout that story
I didn't read the words, just glanced over the emoji's, but it seems you got screwed somehow according to their faces.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:15 PM   #4
Obviously Tyler
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (5)
Member#: 395955
Join Date: Jul 2014
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Bucks County, PA
2019 Mazda 3 Premium
1999 Miata 5MT


Not to defend shady dealer actions, but it sounds like you had a handful of red flags from the beginning and still proceeded to purchase the car and deal with them.

I agree, you rushed into it a bit too much.
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