Friday, August 14, 2015

I bought a brand new 2015 STI Sport-tech from Otto’s Subaru last year.

The ECU was never tampered with, and the vehicle was never modified mechanically; in other words, the car was completely bone stock.

On May 30th 2015, when the car was about 8 months old, with approximately 7500 KMs, the engine had a catastrophic failure on a major highway. Basically, the vehicle lost all power and seized up. This forced me to the shoulder of the road.

Seeing that I bought the extended warranty, with all the bells and whistles, I called roadside assistance to have the car towed to Otto’s Subaru in Ottawa, ON.

The tow truck arrived about 1.5 to 2 hours later and proceeded to raise the vehicle onto the flat bed. But, in doing so, the underside of the car’s front skirt was damaged. This was noted by the tow truck driver. Aside from that, the tow went as planned, and the car was brought to the dealership for repair.

About a week later the dealership called and said that the long block (basically the engine) had to be replaced. However, with that said, they still had to wait for a Subaru Canada representative to come by and evaluate the situation and this would take about another week "or two". It was around this time that I requested to have an under spoiler kit installed at no charge to mask the damage that was done during the towing.

After a few days of waiting I called to get a feel for the situation. At that time they had no update, and they felt it would make more sense for me to just wait and not call back. They’d call me when they had more information from the Subaru Canada representative. So I waited...

About two weeks later the service manager called. She simply stated that Subaru Canada didn’t feel that I deserved to be compensated, and that the under spoiler was out of the question. She also stated that the engine replacement wouldn’t normally be covered by the warranty because I was driving the car when it happened and I should have stopped immediately. Logically this made no sense to me since I hadn’t noticed anything that would indicate a catastrophic failure. After voicing this, and having a bit of tense back and forth, she ended up stating that they would fix it as a warranty item anyway; as an act of goodwill.

By July 22nd I was going on week number 8 with no car, no update, and my vehicle was sitting undisturbed next to a dumpster at the back of the shop. It was at this time that I decided to post an online review describing the ongoing situation. They saw this review almost immediately and called the very next day.

The next day, July 23rd, I got the call from the dealership saying that the new engine had arrived and work was well under way. Everything was apparently moving along nicely, and the car was to be ready the following week. And, after reading about my frustrations in the review I posted the previous day they even agreed to give me the under spoiler at no charge. They also requested that I update the review accordingly. Seeing that the situation was still unfolding I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. Although, I did, for a moment, feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel.

On July 27th the new engine was installed, but, when they tried to turn it over they caused another engine failure. I was told that this was caused by leftover engine shavings that were still in the intercooler from the original engine failure. So now, they would have to order and install another new engine, a turbo, and an intercooler. I was to be updated on July 28, 2015 with an approximate turn around. It’s now July 29, 2015 and I have no new information or update.

On August 4th I received an update. They don’t know when the parts will be arriving, but they'll call me when they do and the work gets underway.

On August 11th I received an "update". They don't know when the parts will arrive. But they’ll let me know...

August 12th, crickets...
August 13th, crickets...
August 14th, crickets...

This is now 11 weeks in, so far, and still no car.

To be fair, they did give me a Forester for a loner. The main issue here, aside from the fact that this is not what I’m paying for was the $2500.00 insurance deductible. So, needless to say, I drive it as little as possible to avoid exposing myself to that risk and other potential liabilities.

This is the second STI I buy from Otto’s Subaru, but it’ll be my last. (my previous one was a 2007).

It’s just not practical for me to have a car parked at the dealership for several months out of the year exposed to the elements. Not to mention having it pulled apart and put back together over and over again.

Both Otto’s and Subaru Canada have proven to me that warranty support is just not something they take seriously. Now, as it seems, I’ll be the one left trying to figure out what to do next. And, it’ll almost certainly come at a cost to me personally, both in terms of time and money. It’s quite possible that this car is a complete loss at this point.

Take this review for what it’s worth, but I have a feeling I’m in for a very long and frustrating Subaru ownership experience. It’s as though I threw $45000.00+ in a garbage can. I truly regret purchasing this vehicle.

I felt compelled to tell my (ongoing) story so that perhaps it can be used as a cautionary tale.

Please feel free to share this story or contact me with any comments, questions, or corrections. Any feedback is welcome.

Thanks for reading.