Subaru - Warranty on car parts purchased over the counter

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Feb 28, 2019
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#1
The below letter was written to Mr Gary Palanjian on 2/12/19
Vice President Parts and Accessories - One Sabaru Drive Camden, NJ 08103
This should help and should explain my issue and why I am posting this ...…
Mr. Palanjian,
I am writing to you about a recent experience which in my opinion requires correction on how Subaru genuine parts are sold to consumers.
Specifically, what is missing is the accompanying documentation on what a consumer needs to know and have ready if the item(s) is
defective.
As an example - if you were to purchase a simple alarm clock. Accompanying the device are both the instructions and warranty which
provides details on function and what the purchaser needs in case a defect is found requiring a return.

If I may add to the above.
My experience with the purchase of two Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) for my 2006 Legacy:
At point of purchase the sensor comes in a bubble wrap packaged in a brown box with no documentation. Specifically, no communication regarding the warranty for this item.
My current situation which is why I am writing to you.
• December 2017 car was getting more difficult to start - occasional check engine.
o Car no longer started and was towed in for service.
• Local mechanic advise MAF is needed - suggested genuine Subaru part as other replacements would not last.
o I purchased the MAF in Feb 2018 - it was installed, and car started with no issue.
• January 2019 same situation - car would not start, no check engine or codes. Mechanic reviewed the issue and advise it was MAF.
o Once again, I went to purchase, and local dealer did not have one - was advise another dealer stocked this and went there to purchase.
• Noting this was the second one in less than one year I questioned is there a warranty and was advise yes 12K miles or 12 months.

This is where the problem starts.
I spoke to the Subaru parts manger asking for a refund and was advised I needed to provide the VIN number, mileage when part was installed and a copy of the invoice and after lots of back and forth was told without the mechanics invoice, there would not be a part replacements or monetary return.
The parts manager then provided the warranty regulations by email (see below).
Again the obvious question why was this information not provided at point of purchase informing the consumer and now that there is an issue Subaru stands firm.
9.9.6 OVER THE COUNTER PARTS SALES
PARTS AND ACESSORIES SOLD OVER THE COUNTER ARE COVERED
UNDER THE TERMS OF THE GENUINE SUBARU REPLACEMENT PARTS AND ACCESSORIES LIMITED WARRANTY CLAIMS FOR DEFECTIVE OVER THE COUNTER PARTS MUST BE MADE THROUGH THE NORMAL WARRANTY CLAIM SUBMISSION PROCEEDURE
A VALID VEHICLE ID NUMBER (VIN) IS REQUIRED -
1) VIN OF THE VEHICLE ON WHICH THE PART WAS INSTALLED,
2) VEHICLE MILAGE AT ORIGINAL PURCHASE.
3) PREVIOUS PARTS PURCHASE INVOICE AND REPAIR ORDER NUMBER
4) PREVIOUS PARTS PURCHASE INVOICE, REPAIR ORDER, VEHICLE CURRENT MILEAGE
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THIS WARRANTY, COVERAGE EXTENDS ONLY TO THE RETAILERS COST OF THE PART OR ACCEASSORY. NO COVERAGE IS
PROVIDED FOR LABOR EXPENCESOR TO ANY OTHER PART ON THE VEHICLE UNLESS THE PART OR ACCESSORY WAS INSTALLED BY AN AUTHORIZED SUBARU RETAILER
So here’s my question.
How can Subaru stand behind a warranty with this level of detail and not provide this information at point of purchase?
Would you agree, having this information indeed allows the consumer to be for-warned of what is expected and will need to provide as and when there is an issue.

I would appreciate your reply and POV on this issue as
your customer service provided no help.

So what is my desired resolution
Either replace the part or pay me (value is $200) in addition include the necessary documentation so a consumer knows what is required if there is a defect.
 
Feb 28, 2019
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#4
You do not say, but is it correct that you do not have an invoice?
Correct I was not able to locate the original invoice nor can I get one from my mechanic. But as mentioned the specifics of the warranty requirements was not defined until I asked for it.
I have sent an e mail but will now send a letter by mail cover multi senior leaders
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
I spoke with our Ford dealer rep today who indicated that there is a good chance your dealer's parts department can pull up the purchase information from that date. Even if they can't (or say they can't) I suggest the following:
  • Print out the credit card/bank statement that shows the purchase from the dealer.
  • Setup a meeting with the General Manager. Include the Parts Manager if possible.
  • Show them the receipt they retrieved from their system and/or your statement. Show also the receipt for the 2nd MAF.
  • Request a refund for the 2nd Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) politely but firmly
General Managers care about their dealership's reputation, and I would hope if you present reasonable proof of the first purchase, including the date, the GM would honor the warranty . . .
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#6
Correct I was not able to locate the original invoice nor can I get one from my mechanic. But as mentioned the specifics of the warranty requirements was not defined until I asked for it.

I have sent an e mail but will now send a letter by mail cover multi senior leaders
That’s not how we recommend working. We advise email. Please read the link I posted- you start at Customer Service and move up one at a time to the Executives waiting a week in between each letter.

Please read the thread I posted in post 2. You need to follow the instructions in that if you want us to assist you.
 
Feb 28, 2019
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#7
My discussions to date are as follows - over the phone communication with the parts manager at the local dealership who in turn advised he spoke to the local representative. They conclude no invoice no refund. I followed up with a call to the Subaru customer service who did not help at all. Sent a similar e mail (like the one I posted) to the dealership parts manager, general manager with copy to the Subaru customer service more than once and they never even replied. I know they received the e mail since I added a delivery and read notice to the email. My last email was to the VP of parts at Subaru headquarters - again no reply.
Once again I know I am at fault for not have the original mechanics invoice, my issue is that I was never told when I purchased the part or provided the documentation detailing what I needed to do in case there was an issue. I did not talk to the general manger at the dealership - do you recommend calling him (again he never replied to my e mail)
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#8
I recommend you call the dealership and set up a meeting. They should accommodate your request without "speaking" to the GM. In the past I did that, found out when the GM was going to be in and showed up in person. He spoke with me and worked hard to resolve my issue.

Moreover, whenever I contacted corporate they consistently referred me back to the dealer.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,688
15,306
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
I can understand the dealer requiring the receipt- this is what you would need for just about anything you purchase they you need a warranty on.

Did you pay with th a credit card? You would be able to go back over your credit card statements to find the purchase date.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#10
I agree with Neil of course. Unless you paid with cash (i.e, "dead presidents"), you should be able to provide some written evidence. If by check, the bank can provided copies of the cancelled check if the dealer processed it a manner that the check is available.
 
Nov 20, 2015
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#11
The issue is that he can't document the mileage, since he doesn't have an invoice from the mechanic for the original repair. Why can't the mechanic provide you with a copy of the receipt/repair order? Are the mechanic's files or computer data lost? Is he out of business?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,688
15,306
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
I think part of the problem is that normally a mechanic is the one doing all this, not the owner.

I’m not sure this is going to be resolved if OP can’t prove the mileage and when it was purchased.
But the mechanic that installed the first part should have given the OP a receipt when the part was installed that has the mileage on the receipt.