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Old 02-06-2002, 02:31 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 14009
Join Date: Jan 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Twin Cities, MN
2002 WRX wagon

Default my letter to SOA

Let me first state that I really enjoy my WRX. I haven't had any mechanical issues with it so far. I did have a finish issue which was resolved (though not in an easy or 100% satisfactory manner)...but resolved eventually.

The reason for this email now is about what I have been reading about transmission problems. I haven't really experienced anything with my vehicle aside from cold mornings making it next to impossible to get into 1st until the car warms up. But there are literally dozens of people all mentioning the same issue.

Oftentimes people post their story about their dealer or SOA, many with similar results. Mainly refusal to either fix the problems, directly placing blame on the customer, or refusal to perform additional warranty work on the transmission should it have problems in the future.

Most disturbing is a memo apparently from SOA that one person caught a glimpse of:

A. It should be assumed that vehicles with damaged 1st or 2nd gear have suffered this error due to driver negligence.
B. A repair should not be warrantied if any modifications to the
powertrain/driveline, including non-OEM wheels or suspension
modifications, have been made. The suspension and wheel selections have been made by SOA to protect the driveline.
C. Many symptoms are indicative of customer abuse, including a shuddering clutch when cold."

I would like to hear SOA's response to this. The person was paraphrasing from memory but claims that is what the actual memo said. This wasn't something told to him, rather it was the actual memo he saw with his own eyes. This person wasn't having any problems with his transmission that I know of and has no reason to make this up.

Here is a word for word quote from another (possibly the same) memo obtained by another Subaru owner:

"With the popularity of our WRX and RS among "enthusiasts" we are seeing an increase in repairs caused by "enthusiastic" driving or unauthorized modifications. One item in particular is the occurrence of severe damage to first gear with all or most of the teeth gone. This repair is not a matter for warranty. You may assume when you see this failure that it is not a warrantable failure but is caused by abuse or modification or both. If you feel there are some mitigating circumstances make a goodwill decision based on the normal parameters with customer participation and as a one time gesture."

How can you categorically claim all first gear damage is due to the fault of the customer? I definitely want a very specific response to this word for word quote.

Also I would like to hear your response to the warranty issues, failure to fulfill warranteed problems, and accusing the customer of driving abusively. That last one really bothers me...to accuse someone, a customer, without any evidence is just horrible. Remember, the customer pays the bills.

-Larry Davis
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Old 02-06-2002, 07:26 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 9015
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: one boring place, WA
2002 Impreza 2.5RS
Platinum Silver Metallic


To be effective, we need to find a way to get our voices heard past the customer care people who answer the e-mails/letters. They often write a (well written) vague response saying that each customer is dealt with on a case by case basis blah blah blah blah.....

I would like to think that they (the soa customer care people) have some sort of weekly meeting with some higher up were they discuss possibly problems customers are having to see if theres a trend of failures going on. Then the higher ups have a meeting with their higher ups, and eventually the message gets to someone who can make an executive decision to actually fix the problem instead of blowing smoke up our arses.

Opie's post (in this forum) about sending Dateline an e-mail is a great idea, as if they get enough responses they may decide to investigate deeper and possibly do a story on the issue. This bypasses the whole SOA thing and puts the pressure on SOA. Bad press equals lost revenue.

This is just my opinion on the issue and I could keep writing, but I'll spare you all for now.

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