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Hi,

I am considering purchasing a 2018 Subaru Outback tomorrow. I would like to gather some advice from some other owners and Subaru experts.

The specs are it is a 2018 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R, black exterior and black interior. The car has 14,600 miles on it and retail at $26,500. Aesthetically and model wise, I absolutely love this vehicle.

This car has unfortunately been deemed a lemon, but the issues seem both relatively minor and resolved. The reasons the car was lemon status was because the previous owner brought the car in twice for the sunroof material tearing. the first time they tried a cheap $15 dollar fix and it did not work. The car was brought in a second time and they did a $500 repair of the material and the weather stripping which according to dealership has resolved the issue. It looks fine to my eye but if I am to move forward I would hose it down or bring to a car wash before buying.

The previous owner brought the car in a third time because of the infotainment issues that it seems many people have had. The infotainment seemed to work fine today on the test drive and again the dealership has told me it is resolved since the software update has happened which matches up with most owners experiences I have read about.

However as a result of these three instances the previous owner wanted nothing to do with the car and Subaru deemed it a lemon. My main concerns are continued trouble with the infotainment in the future and then secondly what the resale value might look like 5 years from now. Knowing what I have shared and your personal experiences would it make sense to purchase this car?

thank you for the help!
 

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2016 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ EyeSight
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How does Subaru seem it a lemon and still offer it for sale?

How much of a discount are you getting? Free extended warranty?

I'm not an expert, just curious as to why this car, especially if the price is what your post says. I would buy a 2019 or 2020 if I were shopping at that price.

Edit: I'm seeing 2020 Premium Outbacks for 26,459 in my neck of the woods. Greater Boston, MA area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How does Subaru seem it a lemon and still offer it for sale?

How much of a discount are you getting? Free extended warranty?

I'm not an expert, just curious as to why this car, especially if the price is what your post says. I would buy a 2019 or 2020 if I were shopping at that price.

It is a "buy-back" from the previous owner but is technically a lemon status, they were very clear about that. We have not gotten down to negotiations yet, but I would hope I could get it down to the $23K range. It is still within its original 5 year/ 60K mile warranty, but perhaps an extended warranty is also something I could negotiate
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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I'd offer them around $18k for the car to start and go from there. And tell them you want the super long gold warranty thrown in. Maybe if you can pay cash that might create a little more leverage for you.
 

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I'd offer them around $18k for the car to start and go from there. And tell them you want the super long gold warranty thrown in. Maybe if you can pay cash that might create a little more leverage for you.
Thanks that seems smart. would you be apprehensive about pulling the trigger on this car given the infotainment issues?
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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Thanks that seems smart. would you be apprehensive about pulling the trigger on this car given the infotainment issues?
I think most of that has been resolved. My 18 is an early one, bought in Aug 2017. I had a couple of infotainment hiccups real early on, did the couple of updates, and it's been all good since. Note that I don't use android auto or apple play, or plug anything into my system so not sure if that's the trigger for the systems troubles. I suspected that once but one of the forums so called experts shot that down. Just throwing that out there. If that is a concern I'd go to the dealer with your phone and plug in in and try it.
 

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Hi,

I am considering purchasing a 2018 Subaru Outback tomorrow. I would like to gather some advice from some other owners and Subaru experts.

The specs are it is a 2018 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R, black exterior and black interior. The car has 14,600 miles on it and retail at $26,500. Aesthetically and model wise, I absolutely love this vehicle.

This car has unfortunately been deemed a lemon, but the issues seem both relatively minor and resolved. The reasons the car was lemon status was because the previous owner brought the car in twice for the sunroof material tearing. the first time they tried a cheap $15 dollar fix and it did not work. The car was brought in a second time and they did a $500 repair of the material and the weather stripping which according to dealership has resolved the issue. It looks fine to my eye but if I am to move forward I would hose it down or bring to a car wash before buying.

The previous owner brought the car in a third time because of the infotainment issues that it seems many people have had. The infotainment seemed to work fine today on the test drive and again the dealership has told me it is resolved since the software update has happened which matches up with most owners experiences I have read about.

However as a result of these three instances the previous owner wanted nothing to do with the car and Subaru deemed it a lemon. My main concerns are continued trouble with the infotainment in the future and then secondly what the resale value might look like 5 years from now. Knowing what I have shared and your personal experiences would it make sense to purchase this car?

thank you for the help!
The HU issues for the 18 should be fine if the latest update has been applied.

And isn't a lemon typically when 3 or more attempts to resolve the same problem fail? How is this designated a lemon?
 

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The HU issues for the 18 should be fine if the latest update has been applied.

And isn't a lemon typically when 3 or more attempts to resolve the same problem fail? How is this designated a lemon?
If truly a buyback there is more to this story. No way I would ever purchase a buyback. I'm surprised Subaru would allow it back in the market.
 

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All lemon/buy-back cars get repaired and resold. That’s what happens to them. You guys didn’t think they crushed them or something, did you?

To the OP - the real question is the resale value in 5 years (or whenever) when you go to sell it. If the car has a buyback or lemon status on either carfax or it’s title, its value will be several thousand dollars less than an equivalent car with a cleaner history. When looking at a buyback Mercedes some years ago (I passed) about a 20% hit to the value seemed typical. So you need to purchase this car about 20% below retail, otherwise it will end up costing you more to own than a clean Outback. It will still be more hassle to get ride of when you are done because fewer people want a used lemon.

In the end I don’t think these are worth messing with because they are a headache and no deal. And that’s assuming he problems are fully repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd offer them around $18k for the car to start and go from there. And tell them you want the super long gold warranty thrown in. Maybe if you can pay cash that might create a little more leverage for you.
Thanks that seems smart. would you be apprehensive about pulling the trigger on this car given the infotainment issues?

I have decided against purchasing this vehicle. thanks for everyones help.
 

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Is the title branded a buy back/lemon? Does it show as such on the Carfax?

Many times cars are bought back more as a courtesy even though they’re not legally considered a lemon. In those cases the title won’t always be branded and long term resale won’t be a major factor.

The current asking price is already thousands below market. That’s about what I was offered on trade for my Touring 3.6 with more than double the miles. Even if the title is branded the impact at five years won’t be as substantial. Either way, with the sunroof issue I would be very skeptical as those kinds of physical issues can be very difficult to solve permanently. The infotainment would be less of a concern. I would not buy this car either way but I just don’t want to deal with thise kinds of problems regardless of the “deal”.
 

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Buy it sounds like a good deal - Don't have Wally World service your Subaru!!!
 

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I purchased 2015 outback 3.6l lemon 2 years ago with 30000 miles on it with 3 year subaru extended warranty. Made almost another 30000 and so far so good, no complains. If you going to keep it long it makes sense to buy it.
 

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Is the title branded a buy back/lemon? Does it show as such on the Carfax?

Many times cars are bought back more as a courtesy even though they’re not legally considered a lemon. In those cases the title won’t always be branded and long term resale won’t be a major factor.

The current asking price is already thousands below market. That’s about what I was offered on trade for my Touring 3.6 with more than double the miles. Even if the title is branded the impact at five years won’t be as substantial. Either way, with the sunroof issue I would be very skeptical as those kinds of physical issues can be very difficult to solve permanently. The infotainment would be less of a concern. I would not buy this car either way but I just don’t want to deal with thise kinds of problems regardless of the “deal”.
Is there such a thing as a title being marked somehow as a lemon or a buyback? I've never heard of any kind of legal requirement for such a thing, though that would likely be a state-by-state issue. I would think lemon laws are just mostly about getting the owner out of the car and being made whole financially. What happens to the car from there is probably up to the dealer or manufacturer. Repairs done while the car still belonged to the original buyer should show up on a Carfax. Repairs done after the buyback may or may not show up on a Carfax.

Depending on the problems involved the cars may just be sold at an auction without being repaired at all.
 

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Is there such a thing as a title being marked somehow as a lemon or a buyback? I've never heard of any kind of legal requirement for such a thing, though that would likely be a state-by-state issue. I would think lemon laws are just mostly about getting the owner out of the car and being made whole financially. What happens to the car from there is probably up to the dealer or manufacturer. Repairs done while the car still belonged to the original buyer should show up on a Carfax. Repairs done after the buyback may or may not show up on a Carfax.

Depending on the problems involved the cars may just be sold at an auction without being repaired at all.
You're right that it varies from state to state. Most that I'm familiar require the title be branded "Buyback" if the vehicle was purchased by the manufacturer. The titling process is similar to if the vehicle was totaled by your insurance company and resold with a "salvage" title. The important bit here is "purchased by the manufacturer". Vehicles that go through the lemon process (arbitration or court) are almost always bought back by the manufacturer and then would be fixed/sold/scrapped with the applicable title branding. However, many times if a customer is upset and wants out of the car the dealer will actually work with the manufacturer to get some sort of support to put them in a new car.

I would find it quite strange that a Subaru (or any brand franchise) dealer was offering an actual branded title car for sale. Branded title cars usually are sent to lower-tier auctions and end up on smaller used lots. When my family owned franchise dealerships we would never put a branded title car on the retail lot.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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I have lemon lawed a vehicle before. Although the laws are different in each state, the explanation does not meet the requirements for a lemon law buyback. Most states have a time out of service (i.e 30 days or longer) or 4 or more attempts to repair the issue and it cannot be resolved. Also, it usually has to affect the safety or substantially affect resale value. The issues that you described do not meet those requirements.

I would ask the dealer for a detailed printout of the service history to confirm the issue. If the vehicle was bought back and resold in the same state, it is likely the issue may have branded your title. CarFax will not show it if the dealer recently purchased the vehicle. I doubt you will be protected by the lemon law program if you buy used. I purchased a brand new 2019 Outback Limited with Option Package 24 and Popular Package Two for about $31700 so $26000 sounds high to me.

Check here https://oppositelock.kinja.com/you-should-never-ever-ever-purchase-a-manufacturer-buyb-1682862688
 

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Please don’t do it. Auto manufacturers don’t like to repurchase vehicles and only do so after they techs and most like their zone rep has attempted to fix the problem. Additionally, buying used means you most likely won’t have any lemon law protection.

Subaru bought back my 2018 Outback in April and I’m truly sorry for the person that ends up with it.
 
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