|Subaru generally makes great product. They just really screwed the pooch on the 08+ STi and won't own up to it on a wholesale basis. Individually, most of the engines are simply being replaced (sometimes repeatedly) with no explanation. And I'm told they've quietly bought back over 100 of them via Lemon Law.|
Olathe Subaru, however, should be avoided completely. I drove it in because I was sure the new engine had broken a ringland. It was delivered back to me (way past Lemon Law time limitations) on the back of a flatbed truck, many parts removed and dismantled, including the engine, in boxes thrown into the car, fasteners and parts thrown carelessly here and there, and looking as if the intent were to make the car as unfixable/unusable as possible. Dropping the engine so hard as to apparently damage the oil pickup tube inside the engine being one example. Throwing a part of the exhaust system into the expensive back seat unprotected, then folding the seat down over it and putting lots of heavy boxes on it is another example.
There was something really bothering me about that exhaust system piece beyond the way it was put in the car and I couldn't quite put my finger on it until relatively recently.
It occurred to me in the middle of giving my counsel the details about my encounter with the Lee's Summit Subaru-owned website.
In writing, I've been told that the engine warranty was denied because of ECM modification, but they refused to get specific.
It was finally Olathe Subaru who did get specific. The sales manager told me over the phone or via email (I think the former because I can't find the email and suspect they didn't want a paper trail) that the computer had been flashed to Stage 2. A statement that is completely untrue. For one thing, it requires a hardware change I could easily prove had never been made.
That hardware change? Replacement of the seat-stored part of the exhaust system. How I could prove it? By showing it'd never been removed.
It certainly had been. By Olathe Subaru.
The kicker is that engine removal not only doesn't require removal of that pipe (the "downpipe"), it's easier if you leave it in the car and the service manual says to leave it in the car.
All that its removal could conceivably accomplish is to hide the fact that it'd never been removed, so wouldn't have been running the level of computer tuning they claimed.
I don't know if the pipe was removed because the mechanic didn't know there was no reason to remove it (it's really pretty obvious even if you don't use the manual and just look at what comes off and what doesn't), or if he was instructed to do so or what, but I'm trying to figure out how it fits in with the fact that one of the work orders also contained incorrect information that would've financially benefited nobody but the dealership and the mechanic himself.
Specifically, a work order says that the engine was dismantled far further than it really was. Meaning Subaru of America could be billed for hundreds of dollars more in labor than the work that was actually done.
It turned out that I was incorrect when I said my post was deleted and my access to the thread on that site denied.
Turns out the thread itself was removed. But most of it, including the libelous statements made by Subaru's employees (2 of whom, extremely unfortunately for them when it comes to CDA protection, handily ruined the site's protection as "Publisher") were retrieved from Google's cache.
Though I'd be inclined to still recommend Lees Summit Subaru for purchase and service because I gave them far too much benefit of the doubt for:
1. They were dealing with my engine at a time that it was the ONLY one to blow up so they couldn't have known it was a widespread problem.
2. The Service Manager knows next to nothing about engines, and many of his statements would've been hilarious were it not for my money being on the line, but he doesn't fix the cars. Instead, one of the best mechanics I've encountered does.
So, at Lees Summit, great mechanic, awful service manager. One who seems to have it in for me, for some reason. Last time I was there we got into an immediate shouting match, with him doing the first shouting and my first statement being along the lines of "Why do you have to make our relationship an adversarial one when I've faithfully bought and recommended these cars for so many years?"
Even if one were to assume paranoid delusions on my part, the fact that the service manager yells at ANY customer and calls that customer a "douche" and a "tool" online (part of the thread that was removed when I called him out on the libel that followed in those posts) should make anyone think twice about doing business with them.
That he remains employed by the same people who surely overheard our last in-person "conversation" might be something that should be taken into consideration too.
Still, I somewhat tentatively recommend that dealership to anyone else since they likely aren't despised by the service manager so the bigger criterium would be the mechanic, who is good.
Not so Olathe Subaru. Avoid at all costs. There are numerous examples of incompetence I can cite, and one of the more benign (albeit with possibly the most deadly potential consequences) ones would be that my (then-new) car was delivered to me with 54 psi of air in all 4 tires.
Apparently it's common practice to overinflate tires on cars coming from Japan for any of a few different reasons. According to Robert Rodriguez (LSS service manager), it's so the tires don't flat-spot on the 2-week boat ride. I don't buy this as a reason since this kind of "flat-spotting" goes away as soon as the car is driven a mile or two and the tire flexes back into its round position. According to another source on the internet, it's to make them narrower so more cars can be fit in the expensive space being used. I don't buy this one either as the rims and car itself will stay the same width. And, my own guess, so that these newly-mounted tires that might be slowly leaking for all anyone knows, have much less of a chance of arriving at the dock with a flat tire that has to be inflated before it can be removed from the container. More air buys more time on a slow leaker, and slow leaking at the bead is very common if a tire is mounted but the car not driven much immediately after. And tires are actually porous at the molecular level, to such an extent that oxygen can escape right through the rubber, especially on a tire that hasn't been flexed and heat-cycled. A perfectly good new tire can leak quite a bit until it's seen some use.
Anyway, yes, my experience is frightening to say the least. I drove my car to Olathe Subaru last year and it came back home not only with the engine removed, but seriously damaged by the dealership themselves (beyond the piston ringland break that Subaru still claims, verbatim, in the letter they sent me "Subaru of America, Inc. is of the opinion that there is no mechanical or manufacturing defect that caused this concern...") and yet I'm expected to pay $631 a month for what, through no fault of my own, is barely fit to be a parts car.
A Google search of "Subaru piston ringland" reveals this is far from being an isolated, rare, unusual or even "not all that common" occurrence.
My own instances not being covered under warranty apparently is a less than 50% occurrence, though. Far less. I think it's because Rodriguez knowingly lied and used the word "raced" in my first work order, as it's brought up every time I talk to anyone at Screwbaru.
Financially and emotionally, this car has been devastating, but I've hopefully finally found a lawyer willing to take the case on contingency and he recommends not going through the easier Lemon Law path and going for the more correct and far higher cost (to Subaru) path of simply filing suit against them complaining of far more than the engines that keep breaking.