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Old 05-15-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: NY
9,131 posts, read 17,338,625 times
Reputation: 11673

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This is kind of a rant.

I receive an email notification direct from Subaru of America today regarding a recall to the 2013 Outback due to a potential steering column failure which can cause a crash.

A bit alarmed by the potential severity, and also knowing I rely on this vehicle for certain hauling and towing duties (including a camping trip memorial day weekend) I decide to do just as the email says, call the dealer immediately to schedule an appointment, going so far as to saying they would pay for towing if I am uncomfortable driving it in.

The dealer proceeds to blow me off. They "know nothing" about the recall, and therefore, cannot schedule me until I receive something by snail mail.

Since it is a new recall, I can understand that the service writer may not have been notified yet. However, I am surprised I got a brush off instead of the dealer doing some sort of investigative work to find out if they have the parts on hand, or when they could get them, and then give me an appointment.

Am I unjustified in expecting them to be service friendly and do some leg work to get me in?

I did contact my salesperson to see if he can "help" me any with their service. I doubt he wants to lose future sales due to a lazy service writer. Also considering contacting Subaru of America to complain.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Tucson
205 posts, read 684,874 times
Reputation: 376
No, your expectations are not unjustified at all. A good friend bought the new Ford Escape 1.6T and two days after purchase, there was a recall notice in his email that stated "don't drive the car, contact dealer immediately, severe risk of fire". He called the dealer and they admitted they knew about the recall, didn't have time to perform it on his car before delivery! He called Ford and Ford called the dealer and ordered them to cancel the sale, return the full price + taxes, etc. and then had delivered through another dealer the 2.0L version of the Escape at the true factory cost which was about $6K off sticker and then gave him an extended Ford warranty for free.

Once a manufacturer has announced a serious safety recall, they are on the hook big time and are totally dependent upon their dealer network to help limit their liability. Failure of a dealer to do so jeopardizes both the dealership and the manufacturer. I'd call Subaru and raise holy heck, tell them exactly what happened and see what they are willing to do to make it right. At the very least, I'd want the tow truck at my house with a brand new loaner on it which is at least as nice as what they are hauling in for repair. I'd probably pressure Subaru itself for some type of extended warranty on the whole vehicle to make up for either (a) Subaru not notifying their dealers in a timely manner (unlikely) or (b) the dealer not able to take the time to look up a serious issue.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:28 PM
 
359 posts, read 668,124 times
Reputation: 430
try contacting another dealer..

The last time I had an issue when I felt unsafe/uncomfortable about driving the car, I had the dealer send a representative with a loaner car and the same guy drove back my vehicle.

Of-course, that's top notch service. Obviously I don't expect a subaru dealer to do that, but the least you can do is call another one to fix your issue..
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,524 posts, read 19,691,202 times
Reputation: 20189
It's a 2-day old recall. You should print/send Subaru's dealer notification to them: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs...3V194-7623.pdf

Luckily, my Outback's not affected.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,936 posts, read 65,386,926 times
Reputation: 41354
Not unusual. I have been waiting two months for the parts to come in for a recall on our jeep Liberty. The air bag may open unexpectedly while driving down the freeway. The dealers all say to wait for the 2nd letter telling that the parts are in.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:42 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 43,120,931 times
Reputation: 16209
I would walk in and ask to speak with a manager. Ask them why they don't know about this.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:42 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 12,858,065 times
Reputation: 7917
I smell lawyers!

Perhaps they want to notify all the car owners ASAP. Then if they continue to drive the car and get in an accident due to this, they can say you were notified and should not have been driving the car - the accident is partly your fault - thus the manufacturer might have to pay less for the accident.

On the other hand, if they did not notify you until they had all the replacement parts in stock (maybe months?), then that would look REAL bad in a court case. Something like this... "The company KNEW about this problem, but did not notify the car owners", etc.

CYA on their part perhaps?
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:15 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 39,680,749 times
Reputation: 14532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkered24 View Post
This is kind of a rant.

I receive an email notification direct from Subaru of America today regarding a recall to the 2013 Outback due to a potential steering column failure which can cause a crash.

A bit alarmed by the potential severity, and also knowing I rely on this vehicle for certain hauling and towing duties (including a camping trip memorial day weekend) I decide to do just as the email says, call the dealer immediately to schedule an appointment, going so far as to saying they would pay for towing if I am uncomfortable driving it in.

The dealer proceeds to blow me off. They "know nothing" about the recall, and therefore, cannot schedule me until I receive something by snail mail.

Since it is a new recall, I can understand that the service writer may not have been notified yet. However, I am surprised I got a brush off instead of the dealer doing some sort of investigative work to find out if they have the parts on hand, or when they could get them, and then give me an appointment.

Am I unjustified in expecting them to be service friendly and do some leg work to get me in?

I did contact my salesperson to see if he can "help" me any with their service. I doubt he wants to lose future sales due to a lazy service writer. Also considering contacting Subaru of America to complain.
The service writer was wrong for the way he handled it. I believe that they may not have been totally aware of it yet, but that doesn't excuse poor customer service. The manufacturers will now often send out emails if they have that information to their customers informing them that a recall is happening. This helps the manufacturers get the information out before the news cycle picks it up. However, they are still required to send you official recalls via regular mail and the recall generally doesn't go "live" until the letters are sent.

What I would have expected is for the service writer to tell me that they haven't received notice yet, but that he will look into it and get back to me. The service writer would then go to the service manager, find out what was going on and call me back with some answers.

If you have the guys name, complain to the service manager and dealership GM. If they don't handle it, then elevate to Subaru corporate.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:21 AM
 
Location: NY
9,131 posts, read 17,338,625 times
Reputation: 11673
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The service writer was wrong for the way he handled it. I believe that they may not have been totally aware of it yet, but that doesn't excuse poor customer service. The manufacturers will now often send out emails if they have that information to their customers informing them that a recall is happening. This helps the manufacturers get the information out before the news cycle picks it up. However, they are still required to send you official recalls via regular mail and the recall generally doesn't go "live" until the letters are sent.

What I would have expected is for the service writer to tell me that they haven't received notice yet, but that he will look into it and get back to me. The service writer would then go to the service manager, find out what was going on and call me back with some answers.

If you have the guys name, complain to the service manager and dealership GM. If they don't handle it, then elevate to Subaru corporate.
It was exactly the customer service that angered me. I could understand them not having full information. When she said she new nothing I expected her to take my number or put me on hold and try to get some information.

I got the bums rush. That's just improper, and disconcerting when the manufacturer is basically telling you not to drive the vehicle until repaired.

I did contact Subaru who called the service manager on my behalf, and set up a part order for my vehicle. The service manager then left me a message that it is on order, and he will call me to schedule the repair appointment as soon as it arrives.

I hope things go smooth with the dealer from here on out! (I have a healthy lack of trust for dealer service to begin with... and have experienced anything from bumbled repairs to flat out sabatoge to try and inflate the bill)
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: N. NJ, CA, ID, St. Simons Island, GA
3,480 posts, read 9,458,946 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The service writer was wrong for the way he handled it. I believe that they may not have been totally aware of it yet, but that doesn't excuse poor customer service. The manufacturers will now often send out emails if they have that information to their customers informing them that a recall is happening. This helps the manufacturers get the information out before the news cycle picks it up. However, they are still required to send you official recalls via regular mail and the recall generally doesn't go "live" until the letters are sent.

What I would have expected is for the service writer to tell me that they haven't received notice yet, but that he will look into it and get back to me. The service writer would then go to the service manager, find out what was going on and call me back with some answers.

If you have the guys name, complain to the service manager and dealership GM. If they don't handle it, then elevate to Subaru corporate.
This. Sometimes, unfortunately, information is slow to cascade to lower ranks in dealerships. There is a LOT of information pushed from MFG's to dealerships on a daily basis, and some dealers handle it better than others.

As 'Goat said, the writer should have gotten your info, talked to his bosses, his Subaru rep if necessary, and gotten back to you when he had all the info in front of him.

The automotive industry is extremely dynamic, and the amount of information dealers keep up with is staggering, but that doesn't excuse him not, at the very least, attempting to help out.
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