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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Wed the 5 Oct '11 , I went to Specialty Subaru to service my 2010 WRX that I purchased new at the dealership. I had an extensive to-do list on top of the 72K service.
I have had a drivetrain / hill assist noise from day one, and have mentioned it at every service, yet when I tried to help the Techs with what I believe the problem to be based on peoples help on forums, but before I could finish I was quickly belittled for trying to help ( that was last year). Till this day, I hear it at a specific time of driving every morning.
Regardless, I also requested that the clutch be adjusted due to a cold start whirring, and that my winter tires be installed.

During the service I was told I had hot spots on the clutch and flywheel, and that I would have to pay $2000, on something that should be a warranty item, since it is a throw out bearing issue.
So, naturally being upset that they could not adjust my clutch and wanted me to replace it for 2 grand without investigation, I went and spoke to the General Manager Steve Skinner and Jack the Sales Manager, and reasoned with them.
Mr. Skinner went back to the service dept, and when he came back he said that Specialty subaru, and Subaru of america would cover the cost of the clutch and flywheel in good faith, but I would still have to pay for the disc.
I was ok with that, and thought that he was a true standup guy for helping me out.
SO, got the service done. Paid $815 and started my drive back home.

Car was very quiet, and did not have the light-footedness that it usually does.
The next few days, I noticed that the car wanted to die a few times, and sputtered numerous times on Saturday. Finally on Sunday, I popped the hood and was absolutely shocked to find..... Wait for it..............
A rag, seemed to be folded and neatly stuffed into the exact middle of my air intake!
Can you imagine!!! (picture below)

I promptly took a picture with my phone, and wrote an email with that phone, but did not have the General Managers email, so I waited till I got home.
After I got home, I went out to the car to retrieve some contact info and decided to inflate the tires. What I found next, floored me.
The trained professionals at Specialty Subaru gouged 3 of 4 wheels with their tire mounting machine that obviously had no plastic guard. Also, it looks like the mounting bar that they use, was beat across the rim in numerous places of each wheel too.

Had it been a stray rag, or possibly one wheel, it could be considered an accident. Even then they should have informed me of the damages to the wheels instead of me having to find it.
The fact, that it was a folded rag in the centre of air intake, and 3 scratched wheels at one service is really suspicious.

I contacted Mr Skinner by email on Sunday, and actually had to call him on Tuesday after Thanksgiving, for him to actually acknowledge that he had got the email.
I told him that I believed this to be suspicious, and I would like a new set of wheels and my clutch to be fixed as agreed and we would not have any problems!
He told me that he had never had anything like this come up in the past, and that he stood by his technicians, but he would rectify the issue and that he would call me no later than 2pm yesterday. Which was exactly 1 week after the incident.

When I did not receive his call by 2:45 on that given day, I called him to find out he was at lunch! He called me at 3:15, told me he could not talk to me on the phone since I addressed the issue by email, so he had to respond by email, and that I would have it by the end of the day. It did not come till 1:21pm on Thursday, the following day.

This is the email I recieved................

"Good Morning ######.

Thank you for E-mail regarding your 2010 Subaru WRX.

VIN # [email protected]#$!#%$#!%!#$. 73,691 km

I would like you to please accept our apologies for leaving the cloth under the hood of your vehicle when it was in for service last week. I assure you this was not intentional.

We are also sorry for the scored (gouged) marks on the mounting edge of three of your alloy wheels. Sometimes our tire machine will do that on the larger diameter wheel, we will have the wheels professionally refinished at your convenience. We will not be replacing the wheels for such a minor repair.

Yesterday you told me you had requested that the fuel filter be replaced and it was not carried out. When I told you that the fuel filter was part of the fuel pump assembly in the gas tank you argued with me and told me that the fuel filters are under the hood. I think you will find that you are mistaking the fuel damper and fuel regulator for fuel filters.

Also the reason your vehicle was not washed after the service is because you took the vehicle immediately after it was serviced. I guarantee we will wash your vehicle next time before it is serviced.

Today I reviewed all of your concerns about your vehicle with Subaru Canada’s Regional Service Manager.

(1) When starting the vehicle from cold, a whirring noise can be heard when the clutch is initially disengaged.

(2) Customer also experiencing clutch not engaging at proper point.

(3) Clunking noise from right front or right rear.

Subaru Canada is very concerned about your vehicle. However until we can confirm the various noises then we can do very little to rectify your concerns. Once the noises have been confirmed then we will take the appropriate action to remedy the situation. As you are aware #### the few times you have reported these problems to us they have never ever been duplicated by yourself or by our technicians. However it is very important for Subaru Canada to find out if these are genuine problems or normal operational noises. Therefore at your earliest convenience we would like to have your vehicle overnight and start the engine from cold. Please let me know when this is possible so I can arrange for the Subaru Canada Service Manager to be here to start your vehicle. It is imperative that this is inspected before your warranty expires.

As for the replacement of your Clutch assembly then Subaru Canada states, on page 6 of the warranty / maintenance book that the clutch disc is not covered under warranty as it is a wearable item. It might be worth mentioning that you cannot inspect the clutch without removing the transmission. Without any evidence of a “noise”, it would not be a warrantable operation…..therefore it would be at your expense unless a defect was found in the clutch assembly. Subaru Canada will also not replace the clutch under warranty if there are hot spots on the flywheel or clutch pressure plate.

Yours sincerely.


Steve Skinner
General Manager
Specialty Motor Cars (1970) Ltd.
1235 Marine Drive
North Vancouver, BC V7P 1T3
604 980-2464

C.C. Subaru Canada consumer affairs.

So, essentially he is absolving himself from any accountability for anything that was done at Specialty Subaru. And now appears that they will find a way to make me pay the $2000 for the clutch that he said would be covered by his deaership and SUbaru.

This was not an area of contention. I realized these parts were not changed when I found the rag, so I just wanted to inform them that this issue occurred.
Telling me its my fault that the subaru techs cannot figure out what I meant about the under hood fuel filters, is kinda lame.
Ok, so they are called dampers. So I wanted them replaced since I was told to do so at a Subaru shop while I was on the road, and they did not have parts stocked. When I mentioned it, they questioned me, but I did my best to explain what I meant . The little filters things under the hood in front of the driver that feed into the fuel rails.
I could have shown them, but since they did not figure it out, they neglected it, and failed to inform me of it as with the gouged wheels.

Realistically I do not feel comfortable leaving my baby overnight in a place that seems to damage it a lot.

I asked for clarification to that email, and this is what I got.
Hi #####.

I have been trying to phone you three times but the calls would not go through.

As I said in my previous E-mail, I know you really want new wheels, but I’m sorry we will not replace your wheels for such a minor repair.


Steve Skinner
General Manager
Specialty Motor Cars (1970) Ltd.
1235 Marine Drive
North Vancouver, BC V7P 1T3
604 980-2464



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