Subaru screws up (and ouch! to say that)

I’m a Subaru cultist.

Except at the moment.

First things first. I love and adore my Subaru. In researching cars, I did my homework so knew precisely what I was getting: Quality. Workmanship. Reliability. Dependability. Take care of a Subaru and she’ll take care of you well past the 300,000 miles.

Recently I got some real bad news when I took her in for an oil change. The head gaskets are failing and thus the coolant is leaking.

The Band-Aid solution is to check every month that sufficient levels of coolant and oil are maintained. The true fix is to replace the head gaskets (with timing belt as a preventive measure) and IT IS NOT CHEAP!!!

Subaru has acknowledged the failing head gaskets from models 1999-2002; they conducted a recall and replaced them for free.

Mine’s a 2003 and despite being one model year outside the recall, evidence is abundant that the issue was not yet resolved.

So it was on my dealer’s suggestion and my research that I approached Subaru America.

I spoke to a very nice woman, Megan, who extended an offer to pick up 25% of the tab for work if it's done within the next six months that all told will exceed a couple thousand dollars for a vehicle with less than 70,000 miles that has been serviced at Subaru dealerships.

I’ve tremendous respect and regard for Subaru products and customer service. I do. I've written letters of commendation and appreciation. I also know in my intelligent gut that the bad head gaskets are a SUBARU problem (despite the carmaker saying otherwise).

I love this car and care for this car and have every intention of keeping her for years down the road. I am a joyful walking advertisement for Subaru.

I'm also now facing a humongous bill to fix a problem of Subaru's creation for a vehicle with less than 70,000 miles and immaculately maintained!

It's not about the money — though it's certainly significant for a young car. It's about the quality and service for which Subaru is known, deservedly so.

On the issue of failing head gaskets in a young vehicle: Dear Subaru, you screwed up. My loyalty is shaken and it is with an ouch! in my heart that I write that.

Others in this situation have received minimum copays to fix YOUR problem.  Dear Subaru, from the pit in my stomach, you disappoint me.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tim MIller
    Sep 06, 2012 @ 13:23:25

    WELL SAID! Same situation here…2003 outback. It’s our 8th Subie but this head gasket head ache is becoming TOO MUCH to deal with. Had same issue with 98 Forester and 00 outback. Subaru fixed those under the service campaign.


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