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Old 09-24-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
DoomsdayJesus
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"This repair is not covered by Subaru's limited warranty" RE: 4th gear tranny grind

TL;DR: Subaru gave me a "customer goodwill" new tranny, not under warranty, as a way of saying "It your problem, not ours."

It's been pretty well documented at this point that the transmissions are problematic shifting to 4th or 5th gear, sometimes others, at high RPMs. My problem popped up with less than 5000 miles after a meticulous by-the-book break-in. After finally taking it to the dealer, I explained it, went on a test drive with the service rep (not a mechanic), he noticed it too starting at between 3500-4000 RPM and getting progressively worse from there.

Here's where it gets fun. After a fart under 3 weeks in the shop, I finally got the car back today, and I was greeted with this little surprise from Subaru techline on the work summary/receipt

Quote:
Customer states that the vehicle while driving at freeway speed there is a grinding noise when attempting to shift down into 4th gear or shifting up into 4th from third gear, happens when vehicle is above 7000 RPM most obviously, advisor road test with customer to verify concern. Advisor was unabl. . . [weird break]

Inspected and verified customer concern of grinding noise when shifting from 3rd to 4th gear at 7000 RPMS when vehicle speed is around 70 MPH, contacted Subaru techline case# **********, as per subaru techline drained manual transmission fluid and inspected for debris, after draining transmission fluid, found excessive metallic shaving and fluid excessively dark, as per Subaru techline removed and replaced manual transmission assembly and added GL-5 fluid, test drove vehicle to verify repair [lonng story short problem solved for now]
And here's where they have me grab my ankles:

Quote:
This repair is not covered by Subarus limited warranty due to abusive or aggressive driving habits and/or vehicle modifications. the service advisor has fully explained why the subject repair is not covered and that Subaru has agreed to pay for the repair on this one-time basis solely as a matter of customer goodwill. Customer acknowledges, by signature or initials, that this repair is not covered by warranty. No charge.
Of course, I refused to sign that and I had the service adviser annotate that with his signature.

I haven't modified my vehicle at all, spare lights, hood struts, and a tow-hook plate mount. This is an absolute falsification of what I told the service rep. I told him I was starting to get resistance and grinding around 3500-4000 RPM, and that it got progressively worse as the RPMs increased. At no point did we exceed 70MPH on the test drive, in fact I showed him the grinding well under 45 MPH on city streets and he agreed he could hear and feel it in the passenger seat (and again, not a mechanic, a service adviser) They've since turned that into me taking them for a high-revving 70MPH freeway drive and shifting at redline. I don't baby the car, but I certainly don't abuse it. The majority of my miles are a 12-14 mile commute to work that's one of the most heavily patrolled stretches of interstate in the country. It's not unusual to see 3+ state police on the route, so I always keep the asshattery to a minimum.

I am seeing red at this point, because this is at best my words being twisted and at worst clearly Subaru either covering their ass by lying about what I said. I really don't believe the dealer is working against me on this one, but who knows.

The dealer advised my to contact Subaru and contest what they're saying and try to have them remove an obvious black mark from my VINs history, but pending that I'm trying to figure out how to cover my ass. Words can not begin to explain how disappointed I am with Subaru, who I largely bought the BRZ from because of how much my family loves our 2011 Outback. Any upgrade plans I had for this car are now dead until I know Subaru will back it, or until I lemon law the thing (it's already met state requirements, but after a tint job and 3M film I'm not anxious to piss away ~$1000).

Overdue update:
I've been in extensive contact with SOA over this. It got elevated from the first guy I talked to to some higher indeterminate level.

She told me that while they can't change what the work order says, they're amending the "record" to state what happened, my immense displeasure with the outcome, and gave me her phone number to call before I take it in for any additional repairs so I don't get boned again. It's not the exact answer I was hoping for, but it'll definitely do considering she's essentially told me they'd rather stand by their warranty (at least in my case) rather than the nameless asshat regional parts manager who hijacked the repair. I told her that person should be re-educated, transferred, or fired because she didn't have the slightest clue as to what she was talking about or how manual transmissions/redlines work. Not to mention, she essentially lied.

I'm still debating whether or not to lemon law that car, but really happy I'm not going to have problems with them covering the tranny in the future.

Last edited by DoomsdayJesus; 10-18-2013 at 04:13 PM. Reason: updated information
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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Cute, considering FR-S transmissions have been replaced without the disclaimer. Now I KNOW they won't warranty it when it blows up so I have no misgivings about doing tranny mods.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by OrbitalEllipses View Post
Cute, considering FR-S transmissions have been replaced without the disclaimer. Now I KNOW they won't warranty it when it blows up so I have no misgivings about doing tranny mods.
I love all the limited creature comforts and my WRBlue, but if I had to do it again I'd skip Subaru in a heartbeat for that exact reason.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Subaru - selling cars 'as is'
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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I understand your frustration, but shouldn't you be frustrated with the dealership who wrote up your reply to make it sound like you were downshifting at 7000 rpm? It seems to me that the dealership falsely reported to Subaru the nature of your problem, and the nature of the ride-along and Subaru responded somewhat as expected.

You mentioned lemon law...what else is wrong with the car?
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superhatch View Post
I understand your frustration, but shouldn't you be frustrated with the dealership who wrote up your reply to make it sound like you were downshifting at 7000 rpm? It seems to me that the dealership falsely reported to Subaru the nature of your problem, and the nature of the ride-along and Subaru responded somewhat as expected.

You mentioned lemon law...what else is wrong with the car?
I sat there as they typed up the problem when I turned it in, they pretty much typed it verbatim as far as I know. I could be wrong. I do know one of the mechanics failed to replicate the grind, and I told him to try again until he got it, because I was getting it every single time over 4k RPM. It's possible that's when the story changed, and they put his words in my mouth.

The other problems I've had fixed were speakers, one replaced, crickets with parts replaced and problem returning, and over a total of 30 days out of service/at the dealer, which alone in the state of Washington is enough to trip eligibility for Lemon Law. I realize the crickets and speakers are relatively trivial, but a transmission eating itself alive isn't.

New cars aren't supposed to have problems like this. And I don't want to wait until the warranty expires or they deny my next claim to regret not getting my money out. Especially with them treating the warranty like this after less than 6,000 miles. It really sucks because I love this car otherwise, but I love getting my money's worth, too.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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I forgot to mention, one of the gems the service rep told me the techline related, is that "the car's not meant to be driven that way," i.e. shifted around 7k RPM. You can imagine the look of incredulity on my face, and when I laughed out loud he told me he knew that was a load of crap, especially after having poured through all of their promotionals. I haven't even tracked the car once for Pete's sake.

That's like BMW calling their cars the "ultimate driving machine" and then denying warranty claims claiming they aren't meant to be driven as such.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Wasn't there a tsb or something like it for BRZ's in regards to gear grinding? I might have seen it while I was on my school's auto-tech computers but I shall double check tmr.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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subaru thinks you suck at shifting

Did they ask you if they can replace the transmission out of warranty? If they didn't you have a new free trans, seek a lawyer and get your car back plus damages including fees, rental, time spent talking to the dealership, etc...
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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I really hate hearing about these stories. If the car has that few miles and no mods, they should cover the issue under warranty and kiss your ass the whole way through.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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oh wow

as per subaru techline drained manual transmission fluid and inspected for debris, after draining transmission fluid, found excessive metallic shaving and fluid excessively dark, as per Subaru techline removed and replaced manual transmission assembly and added GL-5 fluid, test drove vehicle to verify repair [lonng story short problem solved for now]
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciro View Post
subaru thinks you suck at shifting

Did they ask you if they can replace the transmission out of warranty? If they didn't you have a new free trans, seek a lawyer and get your car back plus damages including fees, rental, time spent talking to the dealership, etc...
I didn't pay for it, but they said they were covering it on a one-time basis out of "customer goodwill," quoting abuse and/or vehicle mods, neither of which occurred. But I've been driving stick for over 11 years, so I'd say they suck at selecting transmissions and fluid.

I just spoke to SOA, they didn't have any record of it yet, but they mentioned I should talk to the service manager at Hanson, and clearly pointed the finger at them as calling abuse. They said they can't just make claims like that, and have to clearly demonstrate that the car was abused or failed as a result of modification, neither of which they can do. They didn't make any mentions of the tech line at all aside from saying they didn't represent them. Now it's burning my ass that they pointed at SOA/techline as the ones making the call, right now I'm getting the runaround.

On the plus side, they made a notation of my claims and I followed up on an earlier chat about getting new 2013 GPS maps for free. Whee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bach415 View Post
Wasn't there a tsb or something like it for BRZ's in regards to gear grinding? I might have seen it while I was on my school's auto-tech computers but I shall double check tmr.
I think that may have been Toyota, but I'd be interested to hear if that was the case. Hanson made it clear that I'm pretty much the only BRZ they service, so it could be time to find a better shop (which would suck, because they're 12 miles away from me).
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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This is fucking stupid. My fourth always grinds above 4500 regardless of throttle position. My have my tranny rebuilt to fix the faulty syncro. Then I will ejaculate all over the old one and mail that to Subaru of America
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:27 PM   #14
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But I thought all of you bought Subaru because of the name and maturity it brings.

So glad I went with Scion. Had crickets replaced, rubber weather striping, drivers side rear axle, both tail lights and the drivers side window visor replaced. Nothing denied so far. Even had the car on springs and koni shocks and was not denied axle warranty.
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