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Thread: How to Deal with a Car Manufacturer for defects?

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    Default How to Deal with a Car Manufacturer for defects?

    Hello, I won't name any names for now but I have a possible situation that I know will get dragged on forever, and I figure I get some advise on here on how to proceed.

    So here is the background:

    1. Bought a brand new 2018 Subaru Crosstrek in Sunshine Orange for myself in July of 2017. From what I was told, it as the first such car in Limited trim in the city.
    2. Started noticing rock chips in the paint. At first mostly on the hood, but now spread all over the car, doors, fenders, roofline, you name it.

    I bought some touchup paint and have been covering up my car for the last few years as I find them. Due to COVID I had a lot of time on my hands and did detailing on my car, finding another 60 or so chips and started looking more into this and see if anyone else is complaining. Turns out, this is a very well known issue for Sunshine Orange color specifically. A google result shows bunch of people complaining about this exact same problem, and all of them are with Sunshine Orange. Well guess this issue is so well known, that Subaru of America released a TSB for it on how to repair (repaint basically) all metal sections of the car.

    Subaru of America TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...54415-9999.pdf

    So after calling a local dealer about this and giving them the TSB, they told me that it doesn't apply in Canada because it's Subaru of America, and basically blaming any chips on rock chips, which I guess is expected. They told me to call Subaru Canada to see if there is any Canadian TSBs about this. I called and told them about my problem, along with another American TSB regarding my stereo system, and the lady basically said the same thing, it's rock chips. I told her that the problem is so bad, that Subaru of America issued a TSB about the problem, saying it's covered under warranty. I still have a few months of warranty left myself by the way. When I told her about the TSB, she was curious on how I got it and that it's usually internal communication. Anyways, after this she said she will send an email to my dealership and have them take pictures and evaluate, but there was nothing official from Subaru Canada on this. She also seemed to be well aware about the stereo TSB and told the dealership to fix that apparently, all via e-mail I guess. Subaru redesigned a new AMP for my RF system due to static from speakers...I brought this up few times at the dealership but they never replaced the amp, instead opting to replace speakers twice....and once in the wrong door...but I digress.

    So to be clear, the Crosstrek is manufactured in Japan for North American market, so the issues that SOA is aware of would apply to SOC one would think.

    I did further reading and found many people who complained to SOA and got their car repainted, with one lady actually making the news and getting a brand new car.

    Lady gets new car: https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/on-ai...artford/45061/

    So I did further diggin on Reddit and found this thread, finally some info about a Subaru of Canada: https://www.reddit.com/r/XVcrosstrek...aint_chipping/

    Here is an interesting post by a guy who had his car repainted in Canada:

    "Hey, so when I approached the dealership initially they looked at it and blamed it on rock chips. I then went to an independent auto body shop and got a quote for the damages. I took pictures of every new chip and even noticed it came off while washing with a microfibre mit. I gave all of this to my local service manager and stayed persistent until someone came and audited my vehicle. They concluded nothing was wrong despite my independent report and refused to give me a copy of their report which I thought was fishy, so I called Subaru Canada customer care. They explained they were looking into it nationally and communicating with Japan. My car is being completely repainted and I am getting better splash guards installed for free."
    So obviously someone at Subaru Canada is aware of the problem, but there doesn't seem to be an official TSB out for this.

    Here is also a tweet from someone to Subaru Canada, has some good pictures of the issue: https://twitter.com/marianbrit55/sta...77545608687616

    So the dealership was contacted by Subaru of Canada just this morning and told me to expect a call back by Tuesday, but I wanted to get the ball rolling because this will become a huge cluster, I just know it. My car has under 35k on it in almost 3 years I have owned it, and being my first new car I have always babied it, and purposefully stay way back so that I don't get rock chips, yet they are on the car by the hundreds. I covered most of them up and only have been out twice last two weeks...and already found 8 more new chips in the paint.

    So anyways, what my question is, assuming they refuse to do anything, what can I do? Is going to the news something I should consider? I always see people bitching on the news and things get resolved when news reporters get involved. I hate most of those people who complain as it's usually for something that's partially their fault, but I feel like here, this is a paint defect that's well documented. My car is less then 3 years old, and it's going to be a rust bucket before I even get a chance to give it to my wife. The color orange was chosen by her as our original plan was for this car to become hers once it gets a bit older. I am currently waiting for the all new 2022 Subaru WRX STI as my next purchase, at which point the Crosstrek goes to the wife, and also am considering buying my dad a Subaru for his retirement within the next 7 months, but if Subaru won't take responsibility, I will just find something else.

    Thanks for all your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eblend View Post
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    So anyways, what my question is, assuming they refuse to do anything, what can I do? Is going to the news something I should consider? I always see people bitching on the news and things get resolved when news reporters get involved. I hate most of those people who complain as it's usually for something that's partially their fault, but I feel like here, this is a paint defect that's well documented. My car is less then 3 years old, and it's going to be a rust bucket before I even get a chance to give it to my wife. The color orange was chosen by her as our original plan was for this car to become hers once it gets a bit older. I am currently waiting for the all new 2022 Subaru WRX STI as my next purchase, at which point the Crosstrek goes to the wife, and also am considering buying my dad a Subaru for his retirement within the next 7 months, but if Subaru won't take responsibility, I will just find something else.

    Thanks for all your input.
    Yes, go public - make as much noise as you can at this point. Park the vehicle near the dealer plastered with signs about the defect.

    I think this has been repeatedly demonstrated here on a few occasions - nothing will get done otherwise. Waiting and lip-service is the norm.

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    Sorry to hear this is happening; nothing worse than spending money on a large purchase like this and finding significant manufacturer defects.

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease as per your examples. I don't think the dealership will take responsibility for it (even if they're aware of the issue) unless Subaru Canada puts the hammer down.

    It's good that there is a American TSB for the issue to set a precedent; I think that would help your case as you continue to persist.

    Unfortunately, manufacturers send you back to the dealer, and the dealer sends you back to the manufacturer which makes me appreciate that I've never had to deal with shit like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rx7boi View Post
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    Unfortunately, manufacturers send you back to the dealer, and the dealer sends you back to the manufacturer which makes me appreciate that I've never had to deal with shit like this.
    Yes I fully expected this part, seems to be a common practice in the auto world, or pretty much most other situations where you get a service from a middle man. Hell I had an experience like this with a pickup Door Dash order just a few weeks ago....ordered for 7:30 pickup...got notified at 5:45 that my order has been picked up for delivery....I called the store and said what the hell happened, why was my order completed and send for delivery...when it's a pickup order and you guys don't even know my address..they told me to deal with Door Dash....bunch of idiots. This was KFC by the way...some dude prolly ordered a Toonie Tuesday and ended up with a meal for 4

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    I had the roof and one side of my car repainted under warranty at 48km from Subaru and their bodyshop didn’t do great work. Hopefully they do better for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin_Cam_Turbo View Post
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    I had the roof and one side of my car repainted under warranty at 48km from Subaru and their bodyshop didn’t do great work. Hopefully they do better for you.
    That's another fear is that the repaint will look like ass. I heard they are repainting with the same trouble paint as well...which is frustrating. I plan on getting the clear film all over my car once this is sorted...if it gets sorted...

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    Looks at all the defects of other cars in the past that were present but acknowledgement by the manufacturer came years later.

    Do as much as you can so they are aware and you might be helping others too. Be the squeaky wheel.

    Takata airbag recalls, Zhariak's caddy brake issues, to name a couple...

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    Still haven't heard back from the dealership, which isn't surprising. Regardless of how this will end, I want to get some kind of protection, either over the newly repainted surface, or over my touch up paint covered surface, I want to stop this from spreading. I have heard alot about the clear film you can get put on cars but don't know much about it. I know before the clear bra one could get was very visible. Has technology advanced to a point where I can get select surfaces done (say hood, fenders, and all 4 doors) without it looking visibility different from the rest of the uncovered paint work? Any recommendations on where to go for such work? Does it actually provide any protection?

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    Reminds me of those old purple Dodge Neon's, every single one of them I saw had huge chunks of paint missing, always wondered what caused it

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    Quote Originally Posted by rx7boi View Post
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    Sorry to hear this is happening; nothing worse than spending money on a large purchase like this and finding significant manufacturer defects.

    Squeaky wheel gets the grease as per your examples. I don't think the dealership will take responsibility for it (even if they're aware of the issue) unless Subaru Canada puts the hammer down.

    It's good that there is a American TSB for the issue to set a precedent; I think that would help your case as you continue to persist.

    Unfortunately, manufacturers send you back to the dealer, and the dealer sends you back to the manufacturer which makes me appreciate that I've never had to deal with shit like this.
    Absolutely this.

    Someone in the biz can correct me here, but Dealers love doing warranty work because they can charge it back to X brand of Canada. I imagine TSBs are the same. But where there is nothing official from Subaru Canada, the dealer may essentially be "eating the cost" to repaint your one-off vehicle, which is more than the $0 they want to dish out.

    I had the same shit with Toyota telling me I needed to replace my entire front differential assembly to get rid of a weird pedal vibration at ~60-70km/h despite many Americans getting their's fixed under warranty or TSB (it's been awhile I can't remember). Needless to say the guys at The Gear Shop fixed one small part and it's fixed, meanwhile those fucks at the dealership couldn't even diagnose the problem and expceted me to pay for their time, and the entire front diff assembly in the hopes it would fix the problem.

    My point is, most Dealers love servicing your vehicle for regular maintenance but as soon as anything deviates from that it's a shit storm and you have to put on your gloves or get taken advantage of.
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    TSB's, American versus Canadian. We discovered a faulty headlight switch on an Astro van we owned a few decades back, discovered as in all lights went out while on the curvy 2 lane TransCanada at night between Golden and Revelstoke. Not once by 5 or 6 times, not something you want happening on a moonless rainy night on that highway. Did some digging a trouble proved to be faulty headlight switch. An American TSB covered it but no such TSB in Canada and the dealer in Kelowna didn't really care.

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    Technically speaking, a TSB is info on common or uncommon issues that’s used to help/provide info to a tech etc. It’s not a warranty in any way. Generally an extended warranty from a manufacturer on specific components or issues is called a special policy. This might help you with your wording approaching dealers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin_Cam_Turbo View Post
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    Technically speaking, a TSB is info on common or uncommon issues that’s used to help/provide info to a tech etc. It’s not a warranty in any way. Generally an extended warranty from a manufacturer on specific components or issues is called a special policy. This might help you with your wording approaching dealers.
    Yes I am aware, but both of the TSBs I'm looking at state that the fix would be covered by Basic Bumper to Bumper warranty. One I think I can get for sure addressed (the new amp for stereo system), the other...i wish they would just repaint my doors and hood...and then I can find some protective film or something to protect it somehow better.

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    I went thru something like this before with my brand new nissan (nissan is trash btw).

    I had a clutch problem and went to the stealership at least 10x in the first 8 months of ownership. They refused to fix anything and lied about replacing teh clutch. I took it up with a middleman entity that is free (forgot the name) and they have act as a unbiased intermediary to assess the situation. Clear enough, my clutch was faulty and case was immediately closed. Nissan bought my car back with the condition that I do not proceed with further legal actions or complaints.


    Thinking back, I should have sued them for my time wasted on taking the car to the stealership and putting my life at risk with a faulty lemon vehicle.
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    Write to your MPs and ask for lemon law legislation. Or would this be provincial? Write to your MLA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Legit2Quit View Post
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    Reminds me of those old purple Dodge Neon's, every single one of them I saw had huge chunks of paint missing, always wondered what caused it
    The concurrent transition to water-based paints and removal of lead from primer is what caused it. It affected many manufacturers around that time and affected mostly whites and blues. The color you are referring to was Lapis Blue. Certain colors wouldn't bond properly to the primer. The primer bonded properly to the metal, which is why you used to see a lot of mid-nineties cars with patches of primer without much rust. Domestics switched to water-based paints later than imports and probably didn't do as much testing to make sure the chemistry was fit for purpose. Something similar could be going on with the OP's orange color. Usually unusual colors will have higher incidence of paint problems since the chemistry isn't as well developed and weird, unexpected results are possible. Sometimes they are also painted at different times and are subject to very specific production issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98brg2d View Post
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    The concurrent transition to water-based paints and removal of lead from primer is what caused it. It affected many manufacturers around that time and affected mostly whites and blues. The color you are referring to was Lapis Blue. Certain colors wouldn't bond properly to the primer. The primer bonded properly to the metal, which is why you used to see a lot of mid-nineties cars with patches of primer without much rust. Domestics switched to water-based paints later than imports and probably didn't do as much testing to make sure the chemistry was fit for purpose. Something similar could be going on with the OP's orange color. Usually unusual colors will have higher incidence of paint problems since the chemistry isn't as well developed and weird, unexpected results are possible. Sometimes they are also painted at different times and are subject to very specific production issues.
    Interesting, that is evidently the color of the Neon's I was talking about after a quick Google. Thanks for the explanation, sucks for anyone who had that paint.

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    Taking her in on Friday....Subaru Canada instructed them to take pictures, I suspect they will tell me to pound sand. Hope they fix my damn stereo at least...but knowing them, I will have to drop the car off.....waste all day, only for them to tell me they placed an order for the amp and I will arrive in 2 weeks....rinse and repeat. Paint issue I am seriously not holding my breath, it's causing me so much stress, going to the dealership is like war....you basically have to see how best not to get screwed.

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    Before you go in to drop the keys at the Dealer, take all the pictures you can while at the Dealer. Time-stamped pictures plus at their location should theoretically mean zero discrepencies between your's and their photos. Sending good vibes your way on this, hopefully it works out.
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    Well dropped the car off at the dealership and talked to the service manager there. Nice guy, was very understanding, told me that its not normal to have that many chips. Interestingly, he said that Subaru looks at the windshield in these cases. As the manager said, if I have 50+ chips on my hood, my windshield should have been destroyed, and its not, I have 1 rock chip on my windshield since like week 2 of ownership (fucking deerfoot). Made a similar point about my doors, how they shouldn't be so bad. Had a good 20 minute chat. We will see what Subaru says about this. He just used his Iphone (looks like the old small one) to take the pictures, so hope some of that comes across. I gave him a printout of the TSB and he said it will be useful when talking to them. Also brought up my concerns with the stereo system again and explained things, and he said Subaru replaced the amp just a week ago for someone so it's possibly the same problem.

    While I waited for my friend to come and give me a ride, I went around the lot looking at other cars there. There is a red crosstrek of the same model as mine parked at the dealer, seen it for the last couple of years, so probably an employee car, so I went around and did my creepy look at the paint, and he as like 2 rock chips, barely visible on the hood, and nothing at all on the doors, very different from mine, so it's definitely an isolated issue to this paint color, just like the internet and SOA TSB show.

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