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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just Curious has anyone had a dealer service experience like mine?

Last week on Wednesday i dropped my 15 wrx off at the dealer to have the 24,000 mile maintenance done and add 2 items for a warranty claim. The first claim i was trying to make was for my steering wheel in which the leather is peeling off and the other is for my clutch starting to slip at only 23,000 miles. the first day i dropped it off nothing was said to me about how long my car is gonna be there or the status of my vehicle by the end of the day. i though they closed at 6 and not 5 so when i called at 530 they were already gone for the day. on

Thursday i called multiple times in the morning and found that the mech just took it for a test drive to get a feel for the clutch. they also stated that they don't cover clutches because they are a wear item although it specifically covers clutch linings in the standard warranty. the dealer stated they would call back after he returned. i tried calling a few hours later with no reply so i went to the dealer to check. the service advisor stated that the mech said the clutch is definitely slipping and most likely will need replaced and they will get it on a lift as soon as they can but an STI just came in and bumped me in line for some reason. At the end of the night i had to call again to check the status and it just got put on the lift with no work done to it and said they would have to keep it overnight and they would call me in the morning once the trans got taken apart.

On Friday i wound up receiving a call around 2 in the afternoon and said the clutch would indeed need replaced and if i heard someone getting it replaced under warranty it was really a dealer working with them and not the warranty and he couldn't tell me why i needed my clutch replaced. I also told him i would like to talk to the service manager. the service advisor stated he was in a meeting but would call as soon as he got out of the meeting. i heard nothing further from the dealer that day.

on Saturday i called to find out that the service department does't work on weekends so without my permission they kept my car over the weekend.

on Monday The dealer called around 1 and said that the wheel couldn't be warrantied and the clutch couldn't be warrantied. so i said when can i pick my car up and he said i could come by immediately. i went to pick up my car and asked how much i owe for the 24 month maintenance and he stated it hasn't been done. after that i asked for the dealer manager and went to make an appointment for a meeting later in the day. When talking to the service manager and the parts manager in my meeting they kept stating the many ways that my warranty could get rejected without really listening to my problem although they were appalled that the 24 month maintenance didn't get done in the 6 days my car was at the dealer. they also stated that they have a budget amount they could use with longer term customers to help keep their loyalty. i stated i want to be a lifetime customer but their service is leading me away and im sorry i have only had my car a few months. they then stated they would call their rep and see what they can do and asked if i was willing to leave my car to get the 24 month maintenance done which i agreed to.

on the way home i received a call stating they talked to the rep and the wheel wouldn't be covered. then stated they already found the clutch to be normal wear so they wouldn't cover it and if i wanted a further investigation they would be happy to tear apart my clutch and inspect but if no cause to the damage was found it would cost me $1,100 in labor for the service. Also stated was that the 24 month maintenance would cost $150 which i agreed to already before. after that i said i have been pretty patient and with the service and now im starting to get frustrated and would like to know what the dealership is going to do to make it right? the parts manager said an i really gonna be that way? i said yes you guys had my car for 6 days and no work got done to it. He then said that he could just refuse to work on my car and i could come pick up my keys. i then turned right around and went and picked up my car.

has anyone else has crappy service like me? i am currently talking with SOA to resolve this issue. i love my car but if i cant get decent service im gonna have to get a different brand car.
 

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Not trying to be condescending, but the clutch and steering wheel leather wearing off are truly wear and tear items.

Otherwise, no. My local dealership always updates me with a day and time to pick up vehicle and is usually on point, +/- two hours. I'd find a new dealership in the future, or do the maintenance yourself (keeping receipts and records of date/mileage to prove you did it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yes i have contacted SOA although they are majorly supporting the dealership to which it seems like they don't care what i have to say. my main concern was trying to get some form of compensation even a heart felt apology for the way i was treated during the week they had my car with no service being done to my vehicle. yes the book does specifically state that the clutch is covered for wearable items in the warranty they even oddly cover windshield wipers... lol i understand they may not cover the steering wheel may not be covered just trying to throw in that it is a defective material. if it is normal wear and tear then all Subarus with 23,000 miles should have a peeling steering wheel. i don't wear rings or use lotion and my hands are always clean of various oils. and i keep my car in a garage/shade so its not sun damage.
 

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I have dealt with a dealer of a different motor vehicle who was like that. I simply saw it two ways: 1) They definitely did not want my business. 2) they did not care who I told about it. So I never went back. I also posted and told the story anywhere I could. Of course you would have to use their name for it to matter, but you are right in not doing so YET. Give them a chance to make it right. But when there is no more recourse............. And at that point it is not even sour-grapes; it is just consumer awareness.

:soapbox:
Every time I hear something like this I think how stupid people are. It is a widely known thing that the better you treat your customers the more business you will get; even if it means catering to some customers who take advantage of you. In the end you come out further ahead as a business. Wal-Mart pioneered this and became the largest and most lucrative retailer in the world. Yet many businesses to this day still do not understand this. They are worried about the nickles and dimes they spend to cater to customers and question customer's loyalty and stories. And because of this, they are losing many future customers as word gets out about this type of treatment (right or wrong.) Every business owner/manager has to learn this for themselves it seems and some of them simply never do. I actually feel sorry for such business and the individuals running them. They are the ones who don't stay in business long. But what can ya do? We all think we know more than the next guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yea i agree with not releasing their name yet. I am definitely not a name basher unless it is warranted. im waiting to be fully done with this transaction. the only problem i have is the next dealer is an hour away so its not convenient. the feeling i am getting from SOA at the moment as well makes me want to start looking for another vehicle although i love my WRX
 

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Clutch warranty work comes up a lot here so hearing that a dealer will argue about doing it is no surprise. But I would think simple steering wheel peeling would be covered and an easy cheap thing to fix for them. I have heard stories here also of folks dealing with SOA and it always takes a long time and a lot of back-and-forth with them to get results. Don't give up................
 

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First question - are you in the US or Canada?

In the US clutch linings are covered by warranty for the first 3 years or 36,000 miles. I'd start there and have them explain why they think otherwise. Unless they can point to abuse then the problem should be covered if you have simply worn it out. Any other failures such as the TOB could be a warranty item as well - if they pull it apart and claim abuse, ensure there were no problems or unusual wear with throw-out or release bearings, and also that the clutch lining hasn't worn in an odd way (scorching could be explained as abuse, and unless you had previously reported a sticking clutch you are unlikely to get away with it). The big problem is that the dealer can say what they want - for example, a sticking TOB could be caused by the dust created from hard launches. You might simply have to pay up and then make a claim through a small claims court. I'd try a second dealer first, and don't forget to leave a review of your experience on Google!

In Canada the clutch is not covered by warranty unless something has caused premature wear. I have a couple of experiences with this myself, one bad and one good. I reported a hill holder problem with my new 2008 WRX (clutch had to be slipped to avoid stalling because the release timing was out), and when the clutch died after 15,000 miles they called abuse because it had scorch marks on it because of "slipping". After some arguments and a threat of court action we compromised on me paying for the parts but not for the labour.

Needless to say I switched dealers for my 2015 WRX, which developed a sticky TOB problem after a couple of years. Fairly, this dealer said that if they pulled the system apart and found any kind of abuse then I would be on the hook for the work and parts. However, they found a manufacturing flaw with the clutch lining material and therefore replaced the bearings (signs of premature wear) and the clutch lining (not worn) under warranty. So really you need to let them in before they can give you an answer, and then you have to hope they will be honest with you (because they make less on warranty labour).
 

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Best advice here. Follow it!
Let's not forget that many clutches are burnt out because of the way people treat them. Hard launches, poor bedding in procedures, people learning to drive standard etc. are all reasons for clutch wear. In a non AWD cars the tires slip and take the wear when too much power is applied, but because of the additional grip in full AWD other parts of the drive train will take that wear. So the question is, does the US warranty cover wear caused outside of normal driving? If yes then this shouldn't be an issue assuming the OP is in the US. Otherwise why would Subaru cover abnormal wear outside of their warranty? I'll agree that the OP has described a very poor service experience, because the dealer should for sure be explaining the process to him a lot more efficiently.
 

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Go to a different dealer. The clutch IS warrantied until 36K miles, as are most other wear items. I had an issue with my 2014 WRX where a problem with the flywheel "ate" the clutch (as the master tech said). My clutch and flywheel were replaced, under warranty, at over 50K miles.

This is not unheard of if you look around on the net. Seems that despite the dealer's saying they've never heard the issue, there is, in fact, an issue... and quite a few people have posted about it in various forums.

Just speculation, but I'm thinking that perhaps some rather rough test drives may be responsible for the issues. I know my car was the test drive car, and the clutch never felt quite right until they replaced it. I also took a test drive with the dealer I was originally gonna purchase the car from, and the salesman launched it twice, poorly, so that he could "show me what shes capable of..." I'm guessing this is not an isolated incident.
 
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