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Service Manager emailed me and said that Subaru has very strict rust repair guidelines and specific protocols they have to follow to report the issue. He acknowledged he’s working on the issue w the writer and Subaru corporate and he’ll keep me updated. I will post updates as I get them.
 

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2019 Outback Limited 3.6R; Magnetite on Gray Leather, Package 24, Bone Stock for Now
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Update status: I was finally able to get the OB to the dealer today. (I work in anesthesia and d/t Corona my days have been crazy. )

The service writer said with 71,000 miles I was basically on my own. Subaru won’t help past 50,000. I asked about the 5 year unlimited rust perforation warranty since there’s visible rust & pitting inside the door frame and the black B pillar sticker is bubbling on the outside. He said that unless he can “see light through the rust hole” it’s not covered & suggested I take it to the Subaru body shop. He did take some photos and said he would submit it to Subaru, but he doubted anything would happen.

The body shop manager looked at the door and said he sees quite a few of these. He called it a “known issue”. He quoted a price if I had to pay of $700 which included sanding and repairing the rust which makes no sense if it’s coming from the inside. He would also have to remove the Subaru air vent shade on the door and will need a new one to replace it, but they only come in sets of 4 for $250.

I really like my Outback. Best car I’ve owned. But there’s no way I’m paying $1,000 to grind a rust spot from above on a 3.5 year old car. I figured buying new 2017 OB Ltd’s on the same day and having all maintenance & service work done at that dealer would help if something like this ever happened. It seems as if that’s not the case.

If they refuse to fix this, I’m not sure what to do. The doors need to be replaced. I don’t have the time nor energy to go 12 rounds with Subaru like it seems to be heading. Any ideas?
The rust warranty is 5 years regardless of mileage, your dealer is full of BS. Call Subaru of America directly and open a case and while your at it tell them your dealer wasn't very receptive to helping; don't rely on your dealer service dept. to do crap for you. Rust perforation is a very nebulous term in the auto industry. Does the perforation mean a hole in a small bubble or through the whole sheet metal? See my point? Yours wasn't caused by rock chips or scratches, and it does start on one side of the pillar and extend "through" to the other side. That is perforation, not just surface rust. I would argue that until the day I die. Also sanding down and repaint is a band-aid. You have to grind down to bare metal or even cut out to where there's good metal. Rust is cancer, it spreads if you don't take care of it the right way. I had this happen on a Ford Explorer once and it wasn't through the panel. Just a bubble in the paint, and Ford covered it. Stay on them!
 

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Discussion Starter #43
For my claim the body shop had to prove there was rust perforation to replace the doors. They ground the rust to bare metal and sure enough there were all kinds of pin holes. Then Subaru approved replacing the doors, as they should since it was well within the perforation rust warranty. However, in my case they had already approved repairing the door as I reported it prior to my 3/36 warranty expired. So even if they found no holes, they were going to repair it without a door replacement.

I think the only way you will get Subaru to cover this is to prove there is perforation rust. But this method is a gamble. If I were you I'd wait until you hear back from Subaru then make the call. This is a common problem in areas like mine where we see very harsh winters/road salt use. Your dealer might not be familiar with it, but Subaru is aware of this issue.

FWIW, if my car weren't covered under warranty, I still would have fixed it. I probably would have just paid to repair the door rather than the replace the door though. Done right it would have been fine for the time I plan to keep this car. I am very particular about caring for my vehicles though and any rust is unacceptable.
 

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Thank for all of the input. The manager at the Subaru body shop was the only one who suggested I really push for Subaru to warranty the repair as he sees it frequently and it is a known issue. Service acts as if mine is the first one ever.

I had a 2014 Sienna & at 40,000 the engine locked up. Toyota swore “customer had overheated engine” & estimated a $17,000 repair to replace the engine. Long story short, 3 months of fighting and an attorney getting involved, suddenly my van never overheated. Faulty valve cracked & fell into the cylinder. Known Toyota issue. Fully repaired, they paid my attorney fees, new engine...but I’ll never buy another Toyota again. I need to trust my dealer.
 

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For my claim the body shop had to prove there was rust perforation to replace the doors. They ground the rust to bare metal and sure enough there were all kinds of pin holes. Then Subaru approved replacing the doors, as they should since it was well within the perforation rust warranty. However, in my case they had already approved repairing the door as I reported it prior to my 3/36 warranty expired. So even if they found no holes, they were going to repair it without a door replacement.

I think the only way you will get Subaru to cover this is to prove there is perforation rust. But this method is a gamble. If I were you I'd wait until you hear back from Subaru then make the call. This is a common problem in areas like mine where we see very harsh winters/road salt use. Your dealer might not be familiar with it, but Subaru is aware of this issue.

FWIW, if my car weren't covered under warranty, I still would have fixed it. I probably would have just paid to repair the door rather than the replace the door though. Done right it would have been fine for the time I plan to keep this car. I am very particular about caring for my vehicles though and any rust is unacceptable.
After one week, neither the dealer service manager nor the service writer has contacted me regarding the door rust issue that was supposedly forwarded to Subaru corporate along with photos they took. I will be escalating this to Subaru of America and see what happens there.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
That's probably a good idea. In hindsight, I should have got Subaru Canada involved sooner and maybe it wouldn't have taken over a year to get my car fixed.

Good luck and I hope your doors get replaced.
 

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I priced a used driver door from a junk yard coming off a 2017 Outback. The door was just over $1,000 and it did not come with the mirror. Add to that painting and prep, mounting, transferring the interior panel & door mirror from my old car, new door side molding and new Subaru vent visor (which only come in a set of 4 for $275ish). I’m guessing about $2000 parts & labor to swap a used door if Subaru won’t fix this.
 

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Would not trust it. It will likely never fit or close right. With the rest of the car looking like an accordion, I cant imagine the door suffered no damage.
 

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I agree. Plus the price is insane. I was assured by the dealership Service manager today by email that he would have an answer for me tomorrow from Subaru Corporate regarding what and if they will cover any of this repair. This was after a reminder email to him that I’ve been waiting over a week with no response from neither him nor the service writer. A few corona excuses later, I have a promise for an answer by tomorrow. We’ll see.
 

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RUST UPDATE:
After two weeks and several promises by the service manager that the photos taken by the writer were being examined by Subaru of America, I had no responses from my dealer. I called Subaru of America who assured me a rep would contact my dealer & call me the next day.
Suddenly the next morning I get a call from my dealership service writer. His words “Don’t get mad, let me finish first...Subaru Corporate refused the claim. The pictures looked like damage or something. BUT. we here at the dealer think you’re a good customer and we’ll cover the repair.”

Half hour later I get another call from Subaru of America. A very nice lady is asking me who I spoke with at my dealer that claimed to take photos of a rusted door. No one has ever sent any claim for my car into corporate. There’s no claim file, no computer note, no photos. When she called the dealership, nobody knows anything about a claim or a rust issue on my car.

The dealership lied & did nothing. Never sent a claim to corporate. They got caught in a lie when corporate called them asking about my car. To cover, the service writer called me saying Corporate denied the claim but the dealer will come to the rescue!
You can’t make this stuff up!!!!
 

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RUST UPDATE:
After two weeks and several promises by the service manager that the photos taken by the writer were being examined by Subaru of America, I had no responses from my dealer. I called Subaru of America who assured me a rep would contact my dealer & call me the next day.
Suddenly the next morning I get a call from my dealership service writer. His words “Don’t get mad, let me finish first...Subaru Corporate refused the claim. The pictures looked like damage or something. BUT. we here at the dealer think you’re a good customer and we’ll cover the repair.”

Half hour later I get another call from Subaru of America. A very nice lady is asking me who I spoke with at my dealer that claimed to take photos of a rusted door. No one has ever sent any claim for my car into corporate. There’s no claim file, no computer note, no photos. When she called the dealership, nobody knows anything about a claim or a rust issue on my car.

The dealership lied & did nothing. Never sent a claim to corporate. They got caught in a lie when corporate called them asking about my car. To cover, the service writer called me saying Corporate denied the claim but the dealer will come to the rescue!
You can’t make this stuff up!!!!
Wow, that's some story. Just make sure the repair is done professionally. Ask them exactly how it will be done. If they will use body fillers like Bondo, walk away.
 

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The only good thing during this fiasco was when the service writer sent me to the Subaru body shop. It’s about 10 miles from the dealership. Met the manager and he inspected the rust. The Subaru body shop manager told me to fight it. He said he’s seen it before and he’s seen the repair warrantied. I trust him to fix the door the right way and I have backup if it’s not done right.

Now corporate is involved. They have a timeline and narrative of what has happened including the lies that the dealer filed a claim that was rejected. They have names, dates and photos. I have a contact at corporate and she told me to contact her at any point about this repair at any time.

A liar is the lowest life form. It cost this dealership the sale of my next Outback, the service & maintenance of all three and the bad word of mouth I promise you I will spread.
 

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The only good thing during this fiasco was when the service writer sent me to the Subaru body shop. It’s about 10 miles from the dealership. Met the manager and he inspected the rust. The Subaru body shop manager told me to fight it. He said he’s seen it before and he’s seen the repair warrantied. I trust him to fix the door the right way and I have backup if it’s not done right.

Now corporate is involved. They have a timeline and narrative of what has happened including the lies that the dealer filed a claim that was rejected. They have names, dates and photos. I have a contact at corporate and she told me to contact her at any point about this repair at any time.

A liar is the lowest life form. It cost this dealership the sale of my next Outback, the service & maintenance of all three and the bad word of mouth I promise you I will spread.
Lets not get crazy now. Subaru makes a great car. You had a specific problem that is almost never covered under warranty. They told you from the beginning that the only way they would cover it was if you could poke your finger through the rust. This is quite the norm with all cars. If you think you have a rust problem, look at the American cars. This is where the term 'rust bucket' came from.
 

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With all due respect, when the Manager of the Subaru Body Shop tells me this is a common issue and he’s repaired many under warranty, and I have two other 2017 vehicles neither of which have any rust, that tells me it’s a design and/or production problem and the manufacturer of any good product would step up and make it right. I’ll gamble in Vegas, not on whether my Subaru may or may not rust.
 

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I’ll gamble in Vegas, not on whether my Subaru may or may not rust.
It's a safe bet it will rust, just a question of when.

The real gamble is on how long it will take for your repair to rust again.
 
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