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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This will be long but here it goes.

I purchased a 2011 Outback 3.6R Limited in Sept 2010. I traded a Mazda 6 wagon and a Yukon XL in for it and I was quite happy the day I drove off with it.

I enjoy outdoor sports and the Outback seemed to fit my need and was able to replace both my Mazda and the Yukon. It was able to pull my small [email protected] camper trailer and possibly get what was advertised as up to 25mpg on the highway gas mileage for everyday use. The Mazda 6 got 29mpg and the Yukon XL 8.1L motor got 13mpg. My Outback did not have the steering wheel shake problems others were reporting so all seemed good.

Every car has its quirks and I quickly learned what they were on the Outback. None were show stoppers and I learned to live with them and I was still good with the car.

1) Car shuts off when remote started if a door is opened. Also the remote start turns everything on like the headlights and stereo. So as you are waiting for it to warm up the headlights are shining in your windows and your Ipod is playing songs.
2) The steering wheel controls cycle through all channels not preset channels.
3) Gas mileage doesn't come close to 25 on highway 20.7 is average I get.
4) Roof rack approaches worthless for real use. I cant carry near as much as my Mazda 6 could put on the roof rack.
5) The backup camera being at an angle makes it dificult to use when hooking up a camper. In the middle would be nice.
6) The fenders are door ding magnets because they stick out I think.
7) Bluetooth handsfree is poor I leave it off now.
8) Stereo sound quality is not very good.
9) The USB ipod port has noise in it.
10) The car doesn't corner very well. (Sway bar)
11) I wish the black leather was offered in other exterior colors. Red or Green
12) No charge wire on the factory tow wiring harness. 4-pin only

Thats the short list but even with all that the car in Snow, Ice and rain is awesome and is very comfortable to drive. So i am content with the car also hoping gas mileage will pick up after it breaks in. The gas mileage never changed I am able to get 21.4 if I baby the car on the highway driving very slow. When I am pulling my camper 10 mpg in flat Kansas is normal. This makes long trips with the camper expensive.

Now for the problems starting two weeks ago.

I had some minor cosmetic issues but hadn't got around to getting it in the shop. Then one morning I got up to go to work and after starting the Outback all the lights on the dash were flashing. I grabbed someone at the office and headed to my local Subaru dealer where I purchased it. When I got there I was told I needed to make an appointment for the repairs but the mechanic hooked his diagnostic computer to it and reported that the issue was the gas cap loose. I checked it and it didn't seem loose but he also double checked it and clicked it close again. He cleared the coded and made an appointment in 2 days for the remaining issues.

1) Driver seat bolster leather(actually vinyl) is worn through
2) Bottom plastic trim is loose
3) leather trim stripes on doors have come loose in the front on 3 doors
4) Steering wheel controls no longer function
5) take care of recall notices
6) Mechanic reported that the tires were wearing and it needed an alignment.

The appointment day arrives I deliver the car and wait for the phone call. When he called I was told bad news. Only the bottom plastic trim repair was made and another appointment needed to be set for the actual repairs. Then the kicker I was told the seat would not be repaired under warranty. They considered it abnormal wear. I was floored how could leather seats on a car with 25K miles and only <2 years old not be covered under warranty??? The mechanic said that he would have his upholsterer dye the area black so it would hide the damage. Dye the damage??? it has a hole in it!!! Its a brand new car a week under 2 years old!!!!

I immediately asked who i needed to talk to so this issue could be remedied. He gave me the phone number for Subaru of America. I called and spoke to Amy I can say that Amy was very professional and I felt she wanted to give me the help I needed. She agreed the seat should be covered and would call the dealer.

I took this time to bring up the other issues I have with the car and Amy said she might have a solution for the roof rack. She sent me pictures of the Cargo Basket and offered to cover the purchase price if it would help. Nice to have options.

Amy called back and said that after talking to the dealer she would not be covering the seat repair under warranty the mechanic said the dye job would be an adequate repair and she was backing the dealer on the repair. I agree that the damage is caused by the driver getting in and out but how can you drive the car without getting in and out? Again I was floored I just cant understand how the seats could not be anything other than poor quality materials that need to be replaced. The brake pads are covered to 36K miles but not the seats? I informed Amy that I wasn't dropping this and suggest for her to let me send her pictures so she could decide herself instead of the explanation from the mechanic. She agreed and I took some pictures and sent them to her along with a few questions. Amy was very professional from the start to end of this communication. She didn't stop listening and working with me even after I am showing signs of frustration i'm sure.

The questions I asked along with the pictures:
1) How will further seat deterioration be handled during warranty period?
2) How much of the black vinyl gone would be considered a defect?
3) If the seats are not under warranty then what is the warranty on 2011
Subaru Outback seats? Where can I find the info in the vehicle warranty?
4) I had all plans to trade this car in on a 2013+ Outback to fix my roof
rack issue I am having. How does this damage not properly repaired effect
the guaranteed trade in value?
5) Does the 2013 have the same material for the seats?

Amy called back the following week and said that the seat would be repaired this one time as a good will repair. I don't understand that completely but Im getting a new seat so I am moving forward. I made another appointment to get all the work complete.

The day before my repair my dash lights started blinking again. I haven't refilled the gas tank so I guess clearing the code didn't repair that problem. The mechanic was the last one to close the gas cap.

When I took it in I reported the lights were blinking again and they said they would need the car for a couple days to get all the repairs done. I waited for the call that it was done which was this morning. The mechanic said its all done except for the dash light error. When they went to repair the steering wheel controls the battery was unhooked which cleared the trouble code before they read it. So that problem went unrepaired. Wonderful! That will be a 4th trip in for the original problem that started this mess. He told me I could pick it up anytime after 1pm.

I had lunch with a friend that dropped me off at Subaru. I didn't see my car anywhere and when I asked the manager where it was he said it was still at the tire shop where it was aligned. Im wondering why I was told I could pick it up when it wasn't even there. He told me I could just run over there and get it. Thank god my friend is bright enough to stay and make sure im ok so I asked my friend if she minded and she said no problem. So over I go to Expert Tire to get my car. Got the keys i'm getting closer happy to get it back I guess.

When I opened the door I was kinda surprised I didn't get the usual quick clean jobs I have gotten from other dealers after a repair. Not only was the car not cleaned which is my job anyway so not a big deal its just a let down but not only is it dirty but the mechanics left their styrofoam coffee cup in the car and the car smells like cheap black coffee. So now instead of getting a clean car back Im throwing away the mechanics trash. Nice!!!

I have not received an answer to any of my questions. If the seat wears out again while there is still warranty it will not be repaired a second time. This is stated clearly on the repair receipt also Hmmm Thats one way to avoid lemon laws just say its not covered.

The only applicable text from the warranty I found:
Whats covered:
These warranties cover any repairs needed to correct defects in material or workmanship reported during the applicable warranty period and which occur under normal use.

Whats not covered:
These warranties do not cover the cost of parts or labor involved in performing any normal maintenance services. There is also no coverage for normal deterioration or fading of paint, soft trim, cosmetic and appearance items.

How is getting in and out of the car anything other than normal use?
Is it considered normal deterioration at under 2 years old?

This car is probably the worst new car experience I have ever had. It was expensive doesn't get close to the mileage advertised and just doesn't hold up. The roof rack on a car I thought was for outdoor enthusiasts is just not capable. My Mazda didn't have one single repair in the 45K miles I had it. Not One!! And got better mileage than advertised. The leather seats were perfect the day I traded it and the factory roof rack was awesome. I could fit my Thule carrier and 2 Mountain bikes on the Mazda. The carrier and one mountain bike sort of fits but you cant open the topper with the bike in the rack on the Subie.

My 1984 Monte Carlo SS gets better mileage(22 mpg) and the seats are still perfect on a 30 year old car with 100K miles.

I don't get this Subaru's have better quality and last longer I guess I got a bad one. Its really too bad it could be an awesome car. I considered trading it in on a 2013 to get the better roof rack but I cant imagine I will ever own Subaru number 2 I just don't want to own a car that isn't warrantied that is why I buy new cars.

At least I have the seat repaired

Back to 2 cars a Mazda and an SUV to pull the [email protected]



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