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Subaru Impreza 2018 Hatch Manual 5-speed

Purchased vehicle used at 17,000 miles in late 2019. 1 previous owner no accidents reported

first month amazing. Had so much fun learning how to drive a manual. The months following were horrible. Loss of power, weird abnormal engine sounds, and engine knocking. I took it to the dealer 5 or 6 times and every single trip was unsuccessful because they “could not replicate issue.” Eventually on one trip to the dealer they identified a leak which caused the loss of power.

but the noises, and overall feeling of this engine had something seriously wrong with it..
Even had a local mechanic drive it after getting it aligned and he agreed there was something off.
Feeling helpless I ended up just getting used to the poor performance because what else was I going to do? I even started to doubt there was even anything wrong until..
Fast forward two years and the engine throws a rod at 53,000 miles. Was there oil in it? Yes of course until it spilled out everywhere because I threw a rod through the damn engine.
I have never missed an oil change and I can get every record if it. Service record reports at Subaru dealership is another story. Because the dealership I initially went to changed ownership, I was unable to retrieve the service reports from the complaint(s). Really unfortunate but I can probably get those too.
Now, at a DIFFERENT Subaru Dealership the car was towed to.. They take 3 weeks to tell me they needed an inspector to investigate further because they’ve “never seen damage like this.” 40 days to get an inspector out to give a verdict of why the engine seized. Inspector says “Catastrophic internal engine damage is a result of a lack of proper lubrication (quality and quantity) and appears to have begun with the spinning of #2-3 rod bearings with continued operation causing extensive internal damage.”

THERES A HOLE IN MY ENGINE BECAUSE IT THREW A ROD. THE OIL WAS ALL OVER THE ROAD WHEN IT HAPPENED. THIS IS COMMON SENSE. No oil leak prior to incident either. Provided service manager with the last three oil changes per request. All on time. Another week passes. They somehow still deny my powertrain warranty. I immediately went to SOA. They said they would look into it. I also provided them with oil record histories. We’re at 63 days without my car. Fast forward another 2 weeks and they deny again but weirdly OFFER TO CUT THE BILL FROM 9000$ to 5000$ on a “goodwill” thing. I declined because I’m confident my car should be covered under warranty. I ask the case manager for IN WRITING “why my vehicle is not covered and what evidence supports that claim?” SOA provides a link to their warranties section on SOA’s websiteand says it wasn’t caused by a “manufacturer defect” so it isn’t covered. Then essentially tells me to contact the retailer from on. I feel they failed to provide proper documentation but why?
Backtracking to when the inspector submitted his results.. the dealership initially texted me saying the engine failure was “due to mis-shift”!! Wow. The inspection report says nothing about that. Neither did the service manager when I asked him why it wasn’t covered. He insisted it was because of lack of oil.
I know how to drive my car. I take care of my car. Did all my recalls. 30,000 mile recommended service too. They were 100% trying to intimidate me over text and I have record of it. Even SOA added “in conjunction with how the vehicle was being operated” in one of their emails. I take care of my car. If they found signs of abuse or thrown codes they would’ve shown their hand by now. What should I do? Should I pursue the service records from wayyy back in the day? That a whole can of worms I want to avoid. This entire situation seems really straight forward but I’m a know nothing apparently.
Should I take their deal? I have nothing in official writing why the 5year/60,000 mile warranty coverage is being denied. No evidence other than a now irrelevant inspection report because I provided my oil change histories.

We’ve owned 5 subarus and have loved all of them.
This is just heartbreaking to see how Subaru is treating their loyal consumers. They’ve had my car for months. I requested a loaner and they said they weren’t able to until SOA made their decision of coverage. A lawyer said I had no case today because it wasn’t CPO by subaru when I purchased the vehicle. If that’s true I’m ruined. Really crushed me. Are they right?
Thank you for reading.
 

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2017 Subaru Impreza Sport Hatch 5spd Manual
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Ouch. That's tough, everything will work out one way or another.

I too suffer from dealerships that can't hear obvious noises who then deny any responsibility. I haven't got it as bad as you do, but I do fear I'm not far off (47k and getting awfully noisy, but "all operating as designed and within specification"

Again, wishing you the best. Please let me know if you find a cure for the SubaFlu.
 

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2019 Base CVT + Eyesight + Fogs
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What's the small claims limit in your state? If it's $10,000 you have an easy case and an independent mechanic can source and put in a used engine for a lot less.
 

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Eventually on one trip to the dealer they identified a leak which caused the loss of power.
Exactly what kind of "leak" causes loss of power?
What did they do to resolve?
Do you have all the documentation for this?

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Additionally -- I sure hope that you have ALL the printed documentation of previous visits to dealership when you were complaining about 'loss of power" These may be your leverage to help convince SOA to cover your repairs.

If you do not have said documents.... suggest you go to dealership and ask them to reprint for you everything they have regarding your previous visits to dealer.

The proof that you had a problem and took it to dealership in the past is a pretty STRONG case.

In the end, If it comes to it, they have to PROVE that you somehow did not follow the owners-manual maintenance or were negligent.
 

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2022 Sport 5-Door
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To add to what BruceP said, since you have proof of maintenance already, start with that, as well as your prior issues brought to the dealer.

"Leaks" that cause loss of power sounds like a vacuum leak... But not guaranteed to be the case.
 

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2021 Subaru Impreza 5-Door Sport 5MT
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@ranenhicks Contact SOA directly via the Customer Support Link on their website. You can easily build a case around your cars engine with the multiple warranty claims its had in its history (Quite a bit actually from what I can see). They need to prove to you that you caused the issue, or else they need to replace it. Your dealership is the one telling SOA possible mis-shift, btw. Make them prove it. If they say you went beyond redline, make them prove it. If you only went up to redline, that is within the allowable RPM range set by Subaru.

Now, if you have a tune on your car, thats on you.

Customer Support | Subaru
 

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Inspector says “Catastrophic internal engine damage is a result of a lack of proper lubrication (quality and quantity) and appears to have begun with the spinning of #2-3 rod bearings with continued operation causing extensive internal damage.”
Can we assume you have ALL the documentation of oil-changes? In that case, this failure is NOT YOUR FAULT.

A lawyer said I had no case today because it wasn’t CPO by subaru when I purchased the vehicle.
Did you buy this vehicle with warantee? Again, you need the documentation to back this up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Can we assume you have ALL the documentation of oil-changes? In that case, this failure is NOT YOUR FAULT.


Did you buy this vehicle with warantee? Again, you need the documentation to back this up.
Can we assume you have ALL the documentation of oil-changes? In that case, this failure is NOT YOUR FAULT.


Did you buy this vehicle with warantee? Again, you need the documentation to back this up.
What's the small claims limit in your state? If it's $10,000 you have an easy case and an independent mechanic can source and put in a used engine for a lot less.
thats definitely something to consider and I will look into it. Seems like 5000$ for corporations in California. Is this my best option? Very tempting
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can we assume you have ALL the documentation of oil-changes? In that case, this failure is NOT YOUR FAULT.


Did you buy this vehicle with warantee? Again, you need the documentation to back this up.
I have all oil record history in physical copy. Service record pertaining to the initial engine complaints (knocking loss of power) are missing. I’m young and dumb and didn’t keep my paperwork.
I attempted to contact the dealership I brought it to in an effort to obtain those old service records. They said I’d have to go through corporate to retrieve the documents because the retailer changed owners. “Your files are no longer in our system you have to call Subaru of America.

I just got off the phone with SOA and they essentially told me they aren’t able to retrieve those records whatsoever. I explained that theyre “LEGAL DOCUMENTS” and they can’t just vaporize. That’s ridiculously illegal. The customer service rep on the phone understood, and put me on hold for 20 minutes. When he came back on the line he said I need to contact the case manager that was originally working with me to attempt to retrieve those documents. I left a message.


how does this make any sense?

I’m so paranoid that they’re burning books. Is there any other way to get those documents? I’ve learned from my mistakes.. I will from now on keep copies of everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Can we assume you have ALL the documentation of oil-changes? In that case, this failure is NOT YOUR FAULT.


Did you buy this vehicle with warantee? Again, you need the documentation to back this up.
I purchased this vehicle at a Chevy dealership in Irvine California. Wouldn’t the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty just transfer? Seems to be the case because if it didn’t, the dealership would have outright declined my coverage straight away. Similarly, if there were any codes for signs of abuse/misuse they would’ve told me to F off with my warranty.

but instead they attempted to CUT A DEAL. That is the most suspect part of this whole thing. Why would they do that if they declined coverage at first? Why wouldn’t they keep insisting that claim rather than trying to negotiate?

I’ve done literally nothing wrong. Except lose my damn paperwork. I’ve definitely learned the hard way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Called Subaru of America to try and retrieve those service records from when I brought it in for engine problems.

Rep answers the phone and I explain what’s going on. I’m always respectful, and patient. The rep then says they don’t have access to those documents. I immediately stated those are legal documents. They can’t just vaporize.

He proceeds to put me on hold for 20 minutes

when he comes back on the line he directs me BACK to the case manager who denied my warranty. The rep said that’ll be my best bet to retrieve those documents.

this is RIDICULOUS. There’s simply no proof. Little to no information on anything.
I have no idea how to proceed. Any day now the dealership is going to contact me saying “get your car off this lot now.” And I’ll be left with a car chassis and no deal. Time is of the essence and I’m ignorant. What should I do?
Take the deal? Small claims court? Persist with the records and then hope they change their mind about coverage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What's the small claims limit in your state? If it's $10,000 you have an easy case and an independent mechanic can source and put in a used engine for a lot less.
What’s the process like? Just a form online or?
Exactly what kind of "leak" causes loss of power?
What did they do to resolve?
Do you have all the documentation for this?

----------------------
Additionally -- I sure hope that you have ALL the printed documentation of previous visits to dealership when you were complaining about 'loss of power" These may be your leverage to help convince SOA to cover your repairs.

If you do not have said documents.... suggest you go to dealership and ask them to reprint for you everything they have regarding your previous visits to dealer.

The proof that you had a problem and took it to dealership in the past is a pretty STRONG case.

In the end, If it comes to it, they have to PROVE that you somehow did not follow the owners-manual maintenance or were negligent.
It was a vacuum leak. I’d have to retrieve those records too. They’re at the current dealership my car is that though, and the owner hasn’t changed. Definitely can get those.
 

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What’s the process like? Just a form online or?
Demand a fix from SoA, if they refuse demand $10,000. If they refuse go to your county small claims court website, find the small claims packet PDF, fill out SC-100 and print three copies of SC-100 on single-sided paper.

Look up Subaru of America on your secretary of state business search. Mine is Secretary of State . Verify the information displayed is the same as below:

For defendant put:
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.
ONE SUBARU DRIVE CAMDEN NJ 08103

For agent of service, below, put
881833 CT CORPORATION SYSTEM .. job: Agent of Service
330 N. BRAND BLVD GLENDALE CA 91203-2336

Then go to the small claims courthouse and talk to a clerk. Give her three copies of the documents and tell her to do service by mail. They will charge you about $100, which you get back from SoA if you win.

This is the form for my county: https://www.cc-courts.org/forms/packets/SC01-SmallClaimsPacket.pdf

I'm not a lawyer and I'm stupid sometimes so double check that what I wrote is accurate.

Lots of states have smaller small claims limits, florida is $5k, so if you don't have a $10k limit its not worthwhile considering the $11k estimate.

You'll want to organize your evidence into exhibits, print triplicates of them (one for you one for judge one for defendant), and lay out your case in a concise matter on a text document that references exhibits as you tell your grievance to the judge.

Probably wortwhile to drop in on a small claims preceding, which is open to public, and see how they play out.
 

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You can get these engines from a wreck with low millage (under 10k miles) for around $1000 to $2000. They are not expensive. Now the labor is the pricey part. I was quoted 5k on my last impreza (with San Francisco high labor prices at that). According to a subaru mechanic on reddit, he talked about how they under paid warranty work to their mechanics, and the time they were expected to do the engine replacement in were impossible with out cutting corners. This mechanic talked about how he often spent a day or more of work to finish the replacement properly, taking that day unpaid.

The more you research this, you more you'll realize your warranty is a sales tactic, not a safety net. Cars are a gamble... They say 1 in 4 cars are a lemon. My last 2014 impreza was just like this. Head gaskets failed at 62k, so they denied warranty claim (2k out of warranty). Unfortunately, the CVT is cooled from the same coolant that cools the engine, so when the engine overheated, that caused the coolant to get really hot, which failed to keep the CVT fluid cool, leading to the CVT belt slipping, and then I needed a new engine and a new CVT. I traded it in because it wasn't worth fixing it.

Now with this car, the dealers kept refusing to look at problems, caliming my window tints could cause the window motors to overwork, causing a power surge that could damage the engine, and thus, they won't look at anything related to the engine. I contacted SOA and talked to the guy who runs SOA (really nice guy btw). He said this line of logic is a new one he's never heard of before and is absurd, but also said any moddification (including window tints) gives dealers the right to refuse to do warranty work on your car. I then went and got my money back for the extended warranty, realizing they would not fix my car if something goes wrong and I was throwing my money away with the extended warranty.

I feel for you. I've since heavily modified this car (headers, high flow cat, mid pipe, muffler, and so much more), and now at 72k, she's still running like a champ. I beat the snot out of her every day (5-6k shifts are normal for me), and besides not having enough power, I'm happy enough with the car. It's really just down to luck whether you got a well built one or one with a defect waiting to show itself. I will probably do my own engine/cvt replacement when the time comes since they are so cheap to buy lightly used.

My experience with the service center has pushed me away from buying another subaru. I've been a life long subaru customer, but SOA seems to not get that sales and service are linked, and if you don't want to stand behind your quality and honor your warranty, than I can't buy your car. So as much as I love the subaru cars and brand, this will probably be my last subaru.
 

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but instead they attempted to CUT A DEAL. That is the most suspect part of this whole thing. Why would they do that if they declined coverage at first? Why wouldn’t they keep insisting that claim rather than trying to negotiate?
Because Subaru is one of the more generous manufacturers offering help outside of warranty.
From your current view point it's bad, but trust me it's not.
 

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But they’ve given me no proof that it’s out of warranty! Zero evidence
They depend on the mechanics looking at the car- they can't diagnose your car from a phone call.
Unfortunately, you got a tech that, in his opinion, the damage was done before the catastrophic loss of oil and to him shows that you didn't maintain the oil level properly.
So, in Subaru's eyes you aren't covered, and they made a good will gesture.

You could ask for the regional rep's number and try and get them involved.

There is a false narrative out there that a manufacturer has to prove things- while technically true- what is an average person going to do?
Get a lawyer and go to court all the while you're out a vehicle?

I watched it happen when the new CR Diesel Jettas came out. HPFP after HPFP were failing and dealers were saying bad fuel- no warranty. At first it was a 10k+ repair on a 20K something vehicle.
It went on for about a year or so, I think it was finally a class action that something done.
The tread on the forum I was on had 1000s of posts.

I had a similar thing happen with my Dual Mass flywheel on a VW. Years later, after a class action, they admitted the things were defective, but because I did mine on my own and replaced it with a SMF, I wasn't eligible for reimbursement.
 
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