Downtown Subaru, Oakland, Ca. - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Downtown Subaru, Oakland, Ca.

Downtown Subaru attempted to have me pay $8,000 for a transmission I didn't need.

I took my car in with a stalling issue - a known problem for 2010-2012 Outbacks (failed torque converter). I did my research beforehand and told the service dept about the issue when I first brought my car in. I have a 2010 with 74,000 miles and I am the first owner - bought it 5 years and 3 months ago (so 3 months out of warranty).

A few hours after bringing the car in I was contacted by the service dept and they told me I'd need a new transmission. They told me the torque converter had broken apart and pieces were inside of the transmission. They told me they could replace the torque converter but that it would simply be a patch and that I would likely have trouble 4 or 5 more times down the road.

I contacted Subaru of America who eventually offered to pay $4,300 of the cost. After a week of my car being in the shop, Downtown Subaru said that the new transmission wouldn't arrive for 4 weeks and that SoA would have to authorize a long term loaner for me. I immediately called SoA and in turn they contacted the dealership. Obviously I don't know exact details, but I assume SoA asked the dealership about what the actual diagnosis had been when they looked at the transmission. Turns out Downtown Subaru had never even LOOKED at the torque converter OR the transmission. They never even looked.

After 9 days of my car just sitting in their shop, they called me to let me know that the problem was in fact the torque converter and that I didn't need a new transmission. At that point I was livid. I had to go back to the dealership to get a loaner and it was then that I talked to the service manager - smarmy as heck - who told me his guys had made a mistake and this was the first he was hearing of it. I call BS because I'd been talking to everyone and their mother at the dealership the previous week and had actually tried to get him on the phone and he wouldn't talk to me.

SoA agreed to pay about half of the cost for a new torque converter and my balance was supposed to be around $800. The dealership didn't offer to cover ANY of the cost even though they'd lied and kept my car for over a week (without a loaner). I eventually got my cost down to $300 and they acted like they'd done me a favor. The service manager, Von Seiler, actually asked me what I thought was a fair portion for me to pay.

When the work was eventually finished, I went to pick up my car and was dismayed that not only had they not washed my car, but there were greasy fingerprints both inside and outside of the car. Ugh, gross.

STAY AWAY from the service dept of this dealership. They are liars, cheats and will try and steal from you.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 05:50 PM
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I had a similar experience with Oakland VW a few years ago. I would put money on it that both dealers are owned by the same parent company. Auto groups owning many of the dealers in a region is a huge issue in CA. They run the very very ragged line of price fixing new car values in given regions of CA and I would not be surprised if Service Ethics or lacking Ethics carry across all the dealers owned by the same parent company.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 02:04 PM
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Location: NorCal, but SLC in a few weeks :)
Car: 2013, OB Limited, 2.5, dark gray. July 2016 - approx 55,000 miles.
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I've used Diablo Subaru, and am not particularly impressed. I need a 60k service ($1000), and am thinking a good independent garage would be better, but I'm only really interested if it's a subaru specialist. Friends with Audi's/VW's and BMW's have all found amazing independent service places over the years who know the cars and fix them (rather than just the dealership replacing whole modules when a single component breaks), but I don't know of a Subaru independent around the East Bay. Failing that, if Oakland are terrible, Diablo are so-so, is Sierra-Monte or Livermore a better bet?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 03:26 AM
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Oakland Subaru is part of Broadway (Oakland) Toyota. I will never buy anything from them.

I took a Toyota in for service and asked them to do a check on everything, was concerned about brakes.

Perfectly fine 50% left is what they told me.

Within two months one caliper frozen, both fronts below min and hitting sensors.

They did not even look at it and I had paid them at the time about 600- for the service they did.

I was pissed. Will not cross their door except for info. Ever again. A disgrace to the profession.

Now Oakland One Toyota by the airport has a decent shop. Expensive - but no real complaints.
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