Last post on Feb 26, 2008 at 11:18 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Outback, Subaru SVX, Car Warranties
#89 of 140 Subaru Extended Warrany issue
Apr 04, 2007 (11:22 pm)
I'm having a problem getting coverage under the Subaru Extended Warranty, I'm hoping to get some constructive feedback here.
The extended Warranty expired in late Dec., 2005.
I purchased a new Outback in Dec, 1999.
All was well (mostly) until March, 2004 (odometer:40K). Then one day I turned the AC on and there was no cooling until after 15-20 minutes of driving. The-compressor-was-not-engaged (trust me on this). As it was a very intermittent problem, and because going to the dealer was a real pain, I did not bring it to the dealer's attention until mid Nov, 2005. They said the refrigerant level was very low and recharged the system for which they charged me $200, which I paid, figuring that if it fixed the problem I was getting off cheap. Afterwards the frequency of malfunctions actually increased. I took the car back, more than once, in 2006. After several visits (most ended as "all OK, no problem found"), eventually I proved to them that it was still not working and they replaced some parts for no charge but the repairs did not do the job and now they say additional parts need to be replaced...expensive ones. These they want me to pay for.
Am I unreasonable to expect this to be covered by the warranty? If so, how does one "motivate" them to take care of this? Is it reasonable for me to pay part of this (as they seem about to suggest)? I have been in contact with a Subaru customer service rep but they don't seem to be on "my" side.
#90 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [larryak]
Apr 05, 2007 (3:42 am)
Let me get this straight, it took you a year and a half (March 2004 to Nov 2005) to bring this in for a problem? Unfortunately as much as I would like to side with you, if you read your warranty you are required to bring the problem to their attention ASAP as continued driving could (not necessarily did) cause more damage.
In the case of your compressor, if it was not kicking on, the parts were not being lubricated, and thus some of the parts that you would like them to cover under warranty, could have actually broken due to your lack of bringing it in in a timely fashion to be repaired.
Sorry but you are SOL with SOA on this one, and I'm the biggest advocate of having an extended warranty, but if you don't hold up your end of the agreement I can't hold them responsible for it.
#91 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [larryak]
Apr 05, 2007 (6:21 am)
From a practical stand point, the repairs done in Nov. 2005 should come with a one year warranty, i.e. that extended your coverage until Nov. 2006.
Given we're well into 2007, it's quite a stretch.
Hindsight is 20/20, but I would have tried to document the problem some how, maybe with a home video, before Nov. '06.
It's kind of late now.
Call 800-SUBARU3 and be REAL nice, plead your case. Ask them to check their records to see how many times you went in before Nov. 06, so they can understand your frustration.
At best I imagine they'll share the cost, but even that's not guaranteed.
Good luck and keep us posted.
#92 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [paisan]
Apr 05, 2007 (7:38 am)
Yep, in hindsight I should have brought it to their attention sooner than Nov' 05 but circumstances at the time made that difficult. Also, the very infrequent (at the time) occurrence of the problem made it unlikely that they would be able to fix it. Anyway, subsequent events proved me correct on this as they were unable, on their own, to get the problem to occur at the shop despite several attempts during 2006 (starting in Feb). In the end I was forced to drive the car over to the dealer during the day (unscheduled) to demonstrate the problem. The same thing happened last month...they had the car for 3.5 days, could not replicate, I returned to pick the car up and it malfunctioned for *me* right there at the shop. Then they said it was because it was in "fresh" mode rather than "recirculate" (!!!). Now it hasn't worked at all for the last two weeks (they did another recharge a month ago, I guess it couldn't take it).
As for if the compressor was damaged by lack of lubrication, keep in mind that most of the time prior to Nov, 2005 it did kick in, so I think it got an average amount of lubrication.
So far they haven't given me any rationale for their position other than that the warranty expired in Nov, 2005 and it's now March, 2007. The problem with this, of course, is that it implies that you're SOL of they can't properly diagnose and fix the problem within the warranty period.
#93 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [larryak]
Apr 05, 2007 (7:43 am)
Sounds like the dealer could never figure out what was really broken, and they've given up now that the warranty has expired.
Problem is, that's tough to prove. They're not going to admit their repairs weren't done properly, as that would be shooting themselves in the foot.
#94 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [ateixeira]
Apr 05, 2007 (7:51 am)
Thanks for you comments.
After the events of last month I contacted Subaru primarily to get some technical help for the dealer...they are clueless (fresh vs. recirculate??). The technical help didn't seem to happen but now I'm discussing the issue of covering the cost with them. The rep I've been in contact with has essentially said that it's up to the dealer to decide what will be covered by "goodwill". The fact that I did bring it to their attention before the warranty expired does not seem to carry much weight.
Although it was functioning at the Nov, 2005 service, they say that the refrigerant was very low and recharged it. So they know that a.) I claim that sometimes it doesn't work, and b.) It was low on refrigerant. So something wasn't right prior to that date.
BTW...I don't have a video camera.
#95 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [larryak]
Apr 05, 2007 (8:00 am)
If the problem wasn't occurring when you brought it to them, it's pretty hard for them to diagnose the problem and bringing it to them so late which may be due to circumstances, doesn't really help the matter.
#96 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [paisan]
Apr 05, 2007 (9:29 am)
Even with all of that granted (timeliness of the original service call on it being the most pertinent point), the fact remains that the "recharge" did not help the situation, so whatever the problem was, it occurred prior to warranty expiration and was not fixed by the dealer's initial attempt. If you have made a committed effort to have the problem fixed after their initial failed attempt, then it should not matter when the warranty expired as the problem existed prior to warranty expiration - they know it existed because you brought it to a dealer for that reason. Heck, if the system was working properly, why would it have needed a major recharge with so few miles? My '96 had 220,000 miles on it and the A/C worked just fine without ever having had a recharge! The fact that the system either works fine or not at all points away from the "freon" as a potential culprit anyway. As the system loses charge, it will not cool as well, but it is not going to work perfectly once and then not at all the next time around.
So, the issue now is to find a shop that can diagnose the problem. Without knowing the problem, there is no way that SOA is going to agree, at any level, to address it. Your refrigeration system aside, the problem now is that the service department you are dealing with currently is incapable of addressing the car's malfunction. If you keep bantering with them, they are going to keep wasting your time, and before you know it another year or two have gone by...... Time is a critical factor at this point since you are in the "goodwill" phase....
I expect that, regardless of the outcome, at least some repair expense will be borne from your pocket.
By the way, as far as fresh vs. recirculate goes, recirculate will ultimately allow the system to achieve a lower cabin temperature since the intake air through the cooling fins has already been cooled by them and is thus lower than fresh, hot, air. If the system is not cooling at all though, how could it make any difference?
#97 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [xwesx]
Apr 05, 2007 (9:32 am)
But it's not a week or 2 or a month past the warranty expiration. It's significantly past it at this point.
#98 of 140 Re: Subaru Extended Warrany issue [paisan]
Apr 05, 2007 (9:36 am)
No, I agree. It is significantly past. But, much of the problem is due to the dealer being unable to diagnose the problem even when it is occurring! Obviously, the owner cannot beheld faultless here that he is at this phase more than a year past expiration. But, even if he took it to the dealer when the problem first started, it is very possible that he could still be right at the same point today considering that the dealer has not addressed the problem at all.
He would just have a much better "goodwill" case.
It is all a moot point though unless the problem can actually be diagnosed. Otherwise, everyone is just speculating.