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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

A little advice would be appreciated for our situation.

Bought the wife a brand new 2013 Outback three weeks ago, loaded up, and she managed to spin out and hit a guard rail this AM because of some ice on the road. Fine, it happens, it's why we have insurance, and the car won't always be pristine and new... as long as she's OK, it's OK.

However, I am having quite another feeling about what happened after that. She felt concerned that the back was wobbling; I didn't see it or drive it, so I can't be more specific. When she told me this, I told her to have the car towed under our insurance policy to the collision center... no point risking more damage. She called the insurance company, who called a tow truck company, and I suddenly realized that AWDs need to be towed on flat beds. I figured the insurance company and the tow truck company would know this, but thought it would be prudent to call and confirm.

When I called the insurance company, they said the tow truck had been dispatched, but hadn't arrived there yet. A flat bed truck had not been sent, the insurance and towing companies reported. I started searching the internet while on hold and became very concerned about not towing on a flat bed... so I demanded this of the insurance company. They agreed, talked to the tow truck company, told them not to tow with the regular truck, and told them to send a flat bed. The tow truck company dispatched a flat bed.

In the meantime, the original tow truck driver arrived and convinced my wife that he'd use dollies so towing on his truck would be OK. I wasn't able to get a hold of my wife to warn her, so she took his word.

They towed our car on a dolly 20+ miles at highway speed to the body shop. I haven't confirmed that they did it with one set of wheels up (and the other on the dolly) rather than one set on the dolly and one on the ground. I presume the latter would have left the transmission smoking, and they wouldn't be that stupid.

I called Subaru's corporate HQ who said that the ONLY recommended way to tow the 2013 is on a flat bed. They said that it was a serious risk/problem to tow the way they did, even with one set of wheels in the air and the other on the dolly. Local dealer's service manager confirmed.

I went ape-you know what on the insurance company and they agree the situation was unacceptable. Questions for you all:

1) Does anyone know if towing with one end up and the other on the dolly is safe/acceptable? Subaru says the only way to tow is on flat bed, but I want to understand why, and if the towing company's choice could at all be deemed a reasonable alternative.

2) Is there any chance that immediate testing of transmission fluid etc would show no problems, but that problems could emerge years later from this?

3) I have demanded that the insurance company pay for transport to the dealer (properly), and that they pay for the dealer to check transmission fluid and diagnostics. I have demanded that the insurance company stop working with this tower. Does this seem like a reasonable course? What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for reading...:mad:
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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I can't see how a dolly on two wheels and the other two off the ground could hurt anything. The wheels aren't turning...
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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I would suspect that Subarus suggestion of flatbed is a CYA. If the wheels aren't rolling (no wheels on ground rolling), then no damage can happen. But those wheel dollies aren't very stout and i've never seen them used on the interstate before, I'm surprised that was done. They're usually used around town.

I don't know if those wheel dolly's are legal in all states or on highways, but I could understand Subaru basically making no mention or not having regard for those in their statements and just leaning on a one-size-fits-all statement like "flat bed only". they'd never want to say "yes those are fine" if they represent liability or legal repercussions...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I asked the guy at corporate this. He said that in most states this isn't legal, because of the risk the car will spin off. I don't know if this is correct or even makes sense. At the dealer, the service manager said the worry in that dolly will bend or buckle allowing some contact of the tires to the road. I don't know if I buy either explanation, but there must be some reason that the owner's manual says "a flatbed truck is the ONLY recommended way to properly transport your AWD vehicle." The guy at corporate was equally adamant.
 

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2011,premium,2.5
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646 Posts
So long as the a set of wheels are not rolling on the road its fine if it was rolling the back wheels check transfer case and trans dont know what the damage can do to it but i am sure its not good,other then that that suck man sorry glad ur wife is ok,i had a problem with the earth so i hit the ground with my front end and really mest it up,i called the insurance company (usaa) told them i what i did they had everything under controlled asap,had a flat bed when i got the outback out the dunes they paid for a rental and had to a 500$ for a 5k job, and came back...ok lol, had some problems with the collision company though but oh well everything seems fine now
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Premium
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232 Posts
It is done all the time. The vehicle is lifted in the front and the rear wheels are trailing on independent dollies. Had it done with my old Outback and my Audi. If the truck driver knew what he was doing, you will not have any troubles.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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The only thing wrong with dolly tows is that they are harder to do. More chance of the car bouncing off. If that didn't happen then you're in the clear.

The car's wheels weren't turning, so there will be true dead zero impact on the AWD & trans.

Glad to hear it was a mild crash, humans ok etc!
 

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2013 Outback 3.6R Limited w/SAP
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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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847 Posts
I like this sticker but where would you put it? I wouldn't want to put it anywhere visible because it is ugly lol.
Make your own, print it out and laminate it. Put it in the glovebox where it is easy to find. If you break down, leave it lying on the dash near the VIN plate.

This won't work unless every driver is educated about the issue, and you trust them to remember about the placard.....

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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14 ob limited
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A vehicle properly attatched to the dollies has no change of coming off! The dollies are what in contact with the road and turning, so you should be fine, as long as the driver did what he said he was going to do!
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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i had one of those stickers on my evo. you're right it is ugly. i put it on the door jam right next to the tire inflation placard or whatever. that way it looks as though its supposed to be there. id like to put it in a place where someone would see if the car ever needs towing, but most tow truck drivers are the kind that "know everything" so a sticker would only help the owner hopefully. i think ill put one of those on both of my subies.
 

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Hi all,

A little advice would be appreciated for our situation.

Bought the wife a brand new 2013 Outback three weeks ago, loaded up, and she managed to spin out and hit a guard rail this AM because of some ice on the road. Fine, it happens, it's why we have insurance, and the car won't always be pristine and new... as long as she's OK, it's OK.

However, I am having quite another feeling about what happened after that. She felt concerned that the back was wobbling; I didn't see it or drive it, so I can't be more specific. When she told me this, I told her to have the car towed under our insurance policy to the collision center... no point risking more damage. She called the insurance company, who called a tow truck company, and I suddenly realized that AWDs need to be towed on flat beds. I figured the insurance company and the tow truck company would know this, but thought it would be prudent to call and confirm.

When I called the insurance company, they said the tow truck had been dispatched, but hadn't arrived there yet. A flat bed truck had not been sent, the insurance and towing companies reported. I started searching the internet while on hold and became very concerned about not towing on a flat bed... so I demanded this of the insurance company. They agreed, talked to the tow truck company, told them not to tow with the regular truck, and told them to send a flat bed. The tow truck company dispatched a flat bed.

In the meantime, the original tow truck driver arrived and convinced my wife that he'd use dollies so towing on his truck would be OK. I wasn't able to get a hold of my wife to warn her, so she took his word.

They towed our car on a dolly 20+ miles at highway speed to the body shop. I haven't confirmed that they did it with one set of wheels up (and the other on the dolly) rather than one set on the dolly and one on the ground. I presume the latter would have left the transmission smoking, and they wouldn't be that stupid.

I called Subaru's corporate HQ who said that the ONLY recommended way to tow the 2013 is on a flat bed. They said that it was a serious risk/problem to tow the way they did, even with one set of wheels in the air and the other on the dolly. Local dealer's service manager confirmed.

I went ape-you know what on the insurance company and they agree the situation was unacceptable. Questions for you all:

1) Does anyone know if towing with one end up and the other on the dolly is safe/acceptable? Subaru says the only way to tow is on flat bed, but I want to understand why, and if the towing company's choice could at all be deemed a reasonable alternative.

2) Is there any chance that immediate testing of transmission fluid etc would show no problems, but that problems could emerge years later from this?

3) I have demanded that the insurance company pay for transport to the dealer (properly), and that they pay for the dealer to check transmission fluid and diagnostics. I have demanded that the insurance company stop working with this tower. Does this seem like a reasonable course? What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for reading...:mad:
Dolly towing is standard protocol for standard trucks towing AWD vehicles. Not a big deal none of the cars wheels are on the ground turning no different than riding on a flat bed.

Be sure to check the tire pressure on the car. Part of your wifes accident could have been contributed by over inflated tires. Subaru ships the tires at 40+PSI the dealers during their post delivery inspection are required to make sure all systems and tires are properly set this includes proper tire pressure.
 
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