This article explains one of the most frustrating things I come across in the automotive world if not THE most frustrating. I receive calls nearly every day from people that purchase a new Subaru only to find that they firmly believe they must take their car to the dealer until the new car warranty expires.
 
For example, one of my customers recently told me, “See you in a few years Mike”. When I asked why (assuming they were moving or something like that) they said, “We’re trading our old Subie in this weekend for a brand new Outback so we’ll be taking it to the dealer until it hits 60000 miles then we’ll be bringing it back to you.”  Unfortunately they were under the same mystical spell that many dealers try to cast upon their new car buyers. Below I’ll discuss your legal rights under a new car warranty. 
 
Since the advent of the internet, new car sales have become less and less profitable for a dealer. It used to be a big money maker but now that the information is readily available about invoice pricing, specials and other dealers prices, it has changed the dynamic of how a dealer has to operate to stay profitable. Sales was always the number one most profitable department and service was just an add on convenience to take care of any warranty repairs and such. As the profit eroded  to just a few hundred dollars per sale, the dealers were forced to make big changes on the way they operated their business or they would soon be out of business.   
 
Selling tune ups, brakes, tires now became an extremely important part of the survival of the dealership even to the point that many single car line dealers opened up their service department to all makes and models just to survive. Based on a report by Lang Marketing Resources, in 1995 42% of factory maintenance was performed at independent shops while only 19% was done at dealers. Today only 23% is done in an independent facility vs. now 42% is done at the dealer. 
 

The importance of this issue has put pressure on the dealer to turn a new car sale directly into a new service customer for the dealer. Once you purchase your new car, the nice salesperson will likely lead you directly to the service department to let you know that you can have all of your factory required services and maintenance performed at their dealership to keep the new car warranty valid. They are clever enough to word it in such a way that it may even lead you to assume that in order to have your factory warranty remain in effect you must have the maintenance done at the dealership. A pleasant introduction to the service manager, and maybe a couple of other service staff and you take the bait… hook, line and sinker. You leave with the impression that in order to keep your warranty intact you must have the maintenance performed at the dealer.

NOW THE FACTS AND YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AS A CONSUMER UNDER FEDERAL LAW:

Enter the MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT (1975) USC TITLE 15 CHAPTER 50 Chapter 2301-2312

Essentially, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits a new car dealer from requiring that your factory required service and maintenance be performed by the dealer in order to uphold your new car warranty. They can’t even require you to use their genuine factory parts unless they can prove to the Federal Trade Commission that they have the only part that will satisfy the manufactures requirement. For example, they cannot tell a consumer that they must use Genuine Subaru Oil or your warranty will be void. They would have to go through the painstaking process of proving to the Federal Trade Commission that their engine will fail with any other oil other than Genuine Subaru Oil.

Another positive for the consumer as a result of this law is the burden of proof is put on the business providing the warranty. An example of this would be that the dealer is denying warranty work on your engine because you installed aftermarket spark plugs in your engine. For them to legally deny you the engine repair, they would be responsible to prove that the aftermarket spark plugs caused the engine failure.

The law is set up in the consumers favor. If the issue goes to court, the business denying the warranty must prove that the failure was due to the aftermarket component or improper installation thereof. If they cannot prove this, they will not only be responsible for repairing the car under warranty, but also for all court costs and legal fees incurred by the consumer. Once a dealer is aware that their customer is fully aware of their legal rights, they tend to be motivated to solve the problem outside of court unless it’s obvious to all that the problem was a direct result of the aftermarket component.

So what do you need to do to keep your new car warranty in effect? Simply follow the manufacturer requirements listed in the warranty booklet provided with your Subaru and keep good documentation. At Smart Service, all factory required maintenance, parts and service procedures meet or exceed what is required on your Subaru as well as we keep back up documentation of any service or part we provide. In essence, the only thing you would ever have to take your vehicle to the dealer for is a factory required recall or if a covered component fails within the warranty period.

In closing, I don’t want you to leave with the impression that I’m bashing dealers. There are some very good dealers out that there that can provide quality service and repair. What I do want you to leave with is the knowledge that you are not beholden to the dealer ever. You have rights and freedom of choice as a consumer under the Magnuson-Moss act not just with new cars but with ANY new product you purchase that comes with a written warranty.

For more information please visit the link below. It’s an excellent article by the Federal Trade Commission

 

46 Comments

  1. Khadijah Williams
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hello
    My name is Khadijah and on July 3rd my engine locked up so i took it back to crain hyundai they sent the pictures in to Hyundai warranty and they denied it stating that it locked up due to poor maintance but i took all my recipts up there to show that i was on top of my oil changes and everything else as far as maintanice was concern was done there at the dealership plus i am still within my 60 thousand mile warranty. I am so lost and i cant afford to fix a 5,000 dollar motor nor be upside down in my car payments.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hello Khadijah,

      I don’t have any expertise on Hyundai’s but it does seem out of the ordinary if you can provide proof that you followed all of the manufacturers recommendations I think it would be out of the ordinary for them to deny your claim. It may be something you need to take to small claims court if your documentation is in order.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Independent Subaru Expert in Seattle
      https://www.smart-service.com

  2. rita
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    The info on warrantees solves a huge dilemma for me. My dealer is 750 miles rt distant and not helpful with an intermittent problem. Here’s what I need to learn. How does the local repair shop get paid under the warrantee?
    What are the steps to get reimbursed?

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Rita,
      The local repair will not be reimbursed by Subaru for any warranty work unless Subaru specifically has made arrangements with that business. There is only one shop that I have heard of that is doing this and it was a remote town in Alaska that had no Subaru dealer. You may want to call 1-800-Subaru3 to see if they know of any independents in your area that can help.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  3. jorge sorondo
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    I have a 2014 BRZ 6spd manual. I have full aftermarket exhaust and aftermarket engine management running e85. A couple of days ago I re-installed the stock catback with a new donut gasket. Started the car and everything was running fine. Car ran perfectly for 60 miles or so. I filled the tank with E85 at Kroger and went to a restaurant with some friends. 3 hours later tried to start the car and car was shaking like crazy and you could hear some knocking. I drove the car for a couple of miles but decided to stop because of the shaking and knocking sound at idle. Using my openflash tablet I reflashed the tune and got a P0302, P0462 and P0171 code. Next day had the car towed to the dealership but they are now refusing to work on the car because of the aftermarket parts even when they have been performing the scheduled maintenance on the car and never asked a question before. Any way legally that I can force them to repair the vehicle?

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hello Jorge,

      You may want to look up the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act and read all of the details. Essentially it protects a consumer from being denied warranty repairs if parts and or service was done outside of the dealer. The dealer can deny you a warranty claim if the problem is caused by a modification or non Subaru part. I’d guess that since the car had been modified and remapped that you’ll have a pretty tough time getting a Subaru dealer to pay for a warranty claim. Unfortunately that’s the price you pay once you start modifying a car outside of what the factory intended. From your symptoms I’d be wondering if you got a bad tank of fuel. It may be worth inquiring at the gas station to see if anyone else experienced similar symptoms recently.

      Good luck

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  4. Emma
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    So what if the warranty company is saying I modified my vehicle but I didn’t? What can I do?

    Specifics: They’re saying I put something into the radiator to keep it from leaking, but I never touched it. Does the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act protect me? Or is it just he said/she said?

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Emma,

      I think it depends on what kind of warranty you have. If you your car is still under the factory Subaru warranty then the law does protect you from being denied a warranty claim for having work done somewhere else or using aftermarket parts. If they request records related to the failure (such as coolant flush receipts) and you cannot prove that you serviced the vehicle at the proper factory intervals then they’re in a good position to deny a warranty claim relating to the cooling system. If it is an extended warranty, you may not have the same protection but not being a lawyer, I can’t really advise you on that situation.

      It could still come down to a he said/she said situation in which you’ll have to decide how high you want to take the issue. If it is at a Subaru dealer, you may want to call 1-800-SUBARU3 and speak to their customer service rep.

      Take care,

      Mike Corbin

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  5. Chris
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hey mike I have a 2015 Toyota 4Runner and dealer says I have to have all service done at dealer or will void the extended warranty I purchased when bought vehicle new. Will the magnuson act cover this. I am about 1 1/2 hours away from dealer and have to take it there just to have tires rotated every 5000 miles. Thanks

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Chris,

      This is exactly what the Magnusson-Moss act is meant to protect. They cannot force you to go to the dealer just to keep the warranty intact. They can define a list of maintenance items and when they must be performed though. I would suggest that you get the detailed lists of what they require maintenance wise and have them done at a place of your choosing. Not having the contract or fine print in front of me I can’t tell you much more than that. They are allowed to require any work that is actually performed under the warranty be done at their dealership though.

      I hope this helps,
      Take care,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      Seattle, WA
      https://www.smart-service.com

  6. Joey Osnaya
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    So, my 2013 BRZ had some rod knock. Took it to the dealership and SOA required an engine tear down to asses the problem. They found a cracked bearing (if I remember correctly) but it was apparently due to ‘insufficient lubrication’. I have taken proper care of the vehicle and given it the appropriate oil changes at the respective intervals. My only mistake, I didn’t keep my purchase receipts. So my warranty claim is being denied. Can warranty be denied fore the sole reason of lack of receipts??? I did the oil changes myself.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Joey,
      If Subaru finds evidence of lack of lubrication it is common that they will ask for evidence of proper oil maintenance. Unfortunately if you can’t provide them with any evidence that you changed it your self it may be an uphill battle. If they are denying your warranty claim due to this issue, I would request that they show me the specific evidence that indicates the failure was due to lack of lubrication. Normally if the engine oil is not maintained, it will have lots of dark varnish and buildup within the engine. Make sure you take lots of pictures also so if you need a second opinion on why it failed. The other cause of failure could be low oil. Even if a car has been maintained, we’ve seen a few Subaru’s that burn enough oil between oil changes that the oil becomes dangerously low and engine damage follows. I hope they work something out with you.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  7. miranda
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi, my vehicle is in the shop right now and is still under warranty. Dealership said my lower engine rod was pitting and caused damaged to crankshift. However warranty is denied claim stating dealership did not show where knocking noise was coming from. Dealership refused to diagnosis engine anymore and put engine back together without even addressing problem and refuses to show me proof of damage. Now saying I have to pay 564 dollars before I can take ny vehicle and car is still not fixed. What is my legal rights? Warranty said they will fix issue if dealership provide proof of faulty part but will not release adjuster report or finding to me.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Miranda,
      If you feel you’re being short changed by the dealer (assuming it’s a Subaru dealer) call 1-800-SUBARU3 which is Subaru’s national customer service hotline. If one of their dealers is not being fair with a customer they’ll want to hear about it and may opt to help. On the other hand if the car failed due to neglect such as lack of oil changes etc, you may be on the hook for the repairs. Make sure you have all of your service documentation together when you call them to get the best results.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  8. Anthony boodhan
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    So I have a 2014 Sti and I took it into the dealer for the vehicle smoking white smoke on cold start ups and the vehicle battery keeps dying. Subaru of America denied my warranty because of the vehicle key count being to low even tho it is documented that my battery kept dying cause the ecu to reset itself. Now the dealership is telling me they can’t put my car back together because when they teared it down to find the smoking problem it was a bad ringland in cylinder 2. So they’re basically forcing me to pay the to fix my car even tho I brought it into the dealership running and driving. Shouldn’t I be able to get my vehicle returned to me running and driving just as I brought it into them. Also I never sign any waver or anything like that of my vehicle might not being able to be put back together after being taken apart. Any help or ideas would be appreciated I’m not trying to pay 7 grand for a motor for a car with 14k on it

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Anthony, I’m not sure what your about your state’s laws for consumer protection but in the state of Washington, a customer has to authorize the work work to be performed. If they took apart your engine without your authorization I would think they will be obligated to put it back together so you get it back in the condition it was in when you dropped it off. If you did authorize the disassembly to diagnose what was wrong, then there is no obligation for the dealer to reassemble it unless you pay them to.

      Take care,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      wwwms.smart-service.com

  9. Matthew C
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hey. So my car needs a new top end due to the timing belt failing on its interference engine. I still have like 4 years to go until its paid off and the repairs will cost about as much as the car is worth… Can they deny me if I can not provide proof of oil changes? Or do THEY have to prove that the timing belt failed by my lack of changing the oil/keeping my receipts.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Matthew,

      Your post doesn’t state what year the car is and if it has any factory warranty remaining. Originally they came with a 3-36 bumper to bumper and 5-60 power train warranty. It is dependent on you satisfying your recommended service requirements. For instance if the timing belt broke due to the fact it was low on oil and a cam seized up, it would likely be denied under warranty. Now, during some of those maintenances, part of their list is to inspect the timing belt. If that service was skipped, it they may also use that to deny the claim. If your car is under warranty and you are not getting any help from the dealer then I’d advise trying one last thing and calling Subaru Customer Service at 1-800-SUBARU3.

      Good luck and sorry to hear about your situation,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  10. Esnel
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    hey mike , my 2015 wrx is modified with aftermarket bolt on parts , my car started acting up and the ECU “went bad” so my car wouldnt start and i got it replaced by warranty . a week later my engine blew at 25000 while i was on the highway. got the car towed to the dealership and i had the short block replaced under warranty . when i went to pick the car back up i was told that it would be the only time that they would work on my car under warranty due to aftermarket parts which i dont see how that affected the engine but anyhow that same day that i pick up the car im driving home and i get a CEL for a cylinder one misfire. ON THE SAME DAY!! so i brought the car back to the dealer and i was told that i have to pay for a diagnostics test because i dont have warranty anymore. So they replaced my shortblock under warranty but dont want to check why i got a CEL the very same day ? what do you recommend i do.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Ensel, The fact they did any work under warranty is a bonus because on modified cars they often times decline warranty repairs. I am surprised that they did not suggest reverting it back to stock so it could be under warranty at the time they were installing the block. Either way you’re probably going to have to pay them for the diagnostics if you want them to do the work. You may ask if they are open to a no-charge if they end up finding out it’s something they did.

      Good luck,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  11. Warranty And Service Records
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    […] Federal Law Prohibits Denial of Dealer Warranty Service | Smart Service Subaru Blog Enter the MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT (1975) USC TITLE 15 CHAPTER 50 Chapter 2301-2312 Essentially, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits a new car dealer from requiring that your factory required service and maintenance be performed by the dealer in order to uphold your new car warranty. They can’t even require you to use their genuine factory parts unless they can prove to the Federal Trade Commission that they have the only part that will satisfy the manufactures requirement. For example, they cannot tell a consumer that they must use Genuine Subaru Oil or your warranty will be void. They would have to go through the painstaking process of proving to the Federal Trade Commission that their engine will fail with any other oil other than Genuine Subaru Oil. […]

  12. Lam Pun Chan
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    stumble upon your blog lol. do you have any idea regarding recalls if my 2015 wrx is modded?
    the recall is consist of a engine leak test and replacing the short block if the leak test had failed.
    my question is that i am pretty sure they wont replace the engine becuase my car is modded, but what about the leak test? will i be reponsible for the cost of performing the test?

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Lam,

      I agree that they may consider the car too modified to do under the recall but it won’t hurt to set up an appointment anyway just to see what happens.

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  13. Scott
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hello,

    I bought my car through a private dealer, but still managed to get the second owner warranty transfer. Now there is a problem with the vehicle and I can’t provide receipts previous to my ownership. Granted, I haven’t kept the best documentation either, missing one receipt for oil and filter. The engine always seemed a bit noisier than normal since I got it. Do I have a chance at arguing that it was the first owner’s negligence and I shouldn’t have to pay the price for their lack of maintenance?

    Thanks,

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Scott,

      I don’t think you’ll win an argument if there is evidence of negligence whether it was from a prior owner or yourself. It may still be worth asking if they would help depending on what the problem is. They do have the option to help from time to time with “good will” dollars.

      Good luck,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  14. ED
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi,
    I just purchased 2014 Subaru STI with just over 20k on it and I paid extra for the 100k mile warranty. I purchased it from a Subaru dealer on Friday. I left the dealer that night and came back the next morning to drop off some paperwork (The dealer is about 30 miles from my house). Throughout the commute I hit the gas a few times to see what the car could do, but nothing to crazy like take the car racing or anything overly crucial. That Saturday as I was on my way back from the dealer I heard a bad engine knock and called the dealer to send a tow truck. I hadn’t had the car for a full 24 hrs and now I have been without my vehicle for over a week. The dealer said they had to scan the computer to see how fast I was going, what gear I was in etc and if I did anything to abuse the vehicle. Can you help me understand the warranty process or I did just get stuck with a lemon?

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Ed,

      It’s hard to tell what is going to happen but essentially the dealer just needs to cover their bases to make sure the failure was not due to abuse. I would hope that since you only had the car a short time that they will just fix it and give it back to you. It’s possible that whatever happened to the engine was already going to happen and you just ended up holding the bag so to speak. I hope Subaru steps up and takes care of it for you. The STi is a wonderful car and can provide years of fun if properly cared for.

      Take care,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      Seattle, WA
      https://www.smart-service.com

  15. Thomas Grover
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    We have a 2012 Outback with the 3.6L H6 and tow a 1800# teardrop trailer. The May before last the transmission failed and was replaced with a “new” transmission. The transmission has again failed with the torque converter coming apart. I bought the SOA Gold extended warranty and the car is now under that.
    They are refusing to honor that warranty because I have a class 3 hitch (I wanted a 2″ receiver) rally springs (2″ more ground clearance) a brake controller (required in California for trailers over 1500#) and added a transmission oil cooler we will be headed to the South West.
    Between last May and this June we have only been camping in Ohio and Indiana, read flat land!
    Is it probable the “new transmission” was a reman and or, they used the old torque converter?
    It is being rebuilt and I intend to do what I can to recover the money I am spending.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Thomas,

      I’m not sure how to deal with the Class III hitch argument. You may want to call Subaru customer service to discuss that nothing over 1800# has ever been towed. I do like the transmission cooler idea but beware that Subaru may use that against you also, since it may not be a “Subaru approved part”. As far as whether the transmission was reman or not, if you look at your repair invoice, it should have an R toward the end of the part number if they utilized a reman unit.

      I think a call 1-800-subaru3 may be your only option and hopefully they can help with the situation.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  16. Bruce reed
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Dodge is stating a manufacture warranty is voided because a previous owner put in a after market cam shaft in my daughters used Dodge Charger. She only had vehicle 5 months it’s been in shop 3 times.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Bruce,
      They can’t completely void the manufacture warranty but can decline any repairs that are deemed related to installing the camshaft. For example if the engine blows they may decline it but if a shock absorber fails they won’t be able to decline that.

      Good luck,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service

  17. Tom
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi, I have a 2013 wrx completely stock and have a blown motor all of the sudden. Been at the dealership already for 3 weeks and still being diagnosed. I had to agree to an engine tear down that may or may not cost me $1100 depending on if what they find is “my fault”. Completely confident while approaching this warranty claim I got hit with shocking/devastating news today. They told me my claim was denied due to my ecu being “reflashed” which I honestly had no clue what the hell that meant. In no way has my car been reflashed by myself during the whole time I’ve owned the car( original owner) and I’m completely dumbfounded at the moment on how to handle this. I keep stating that there HAS to be a mistake and I’m constantly told otherwise. I already contacted s.o.a and they also somehow confirmed the same thing the dealer told me.I feel I’m being extremely taken advantage of and need some good advice.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Tom,
      Sorry to hear about your situation. If you owned the car since brand new then you may want to go to battle with them. If you purchased it used, there’s no telling what the prior owner did and you may be on your own. I’m not sure what your state law is regarding emission control but if a used car dealer sold you a vehicle that had it’s emission control system tampered with (reflashing qualifies) then you may be able to discuss it with them.

      If you do end up fixing it at the dealer then I would advise they put in a new stock ECU so they can stand behind their warranty.

      Take care,
      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      Shoreline, WA

  18. Sharon Toliver
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi,
    This may seem like a very silly question but I bought a 2016 Crosstrek in February. I paid for the “Gold Package” . I had been told that it covered everything matanince related for 6yr/100000mi. I came in for my 6000mi checkup and was told it wad noy covered and would cost 98$. Well ok i guess, but what if I go to oil can or my regular machanic for the oil change& tire rotation?
    My question is :
    If I get my regular matanince done somewhere other then the dealership (but keep track in my service book &reciepts) do I have to use the dealership inorder to keep my 6yr warrenty?
    My local machanic who I have been using until I bought my new car only charges me 44$ for this same stuff, I would prefer to use them but do not want to accidentally void my warrenty.

  19. Adriana Tremillo
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi, I’m currently in a frustrating situation. My car has been down for 2 weeks now and it doesnt seem like its going anywhere. I was driving back from Las Vegas to Cali. exactly 1 1/2 hr out from Vegas my car started over heating. I tried turnig off the AC and turned on the heater to lower the temp. It worked for a while. Meanwhile I was trying to get out of the jammed traffic i was in. Once iIextited the nearest exit which was about 5 mins after i turned on the heater my car automatically turned off so we had to push the rest of the way. We waited and tried to fix the issue for 2 hours but nothing. I had it towed back to Vegas. The next day which was a Monday i had it towed to a Kia dealership. They did the diagnosis which took about a day or two. He said my head gasket blew out, something went wriong with the radiator neck, fans, and thermometer. He also said my factory warranty does not want to cover this for negligence driving. I don’t understand this can you please explain. I kept my car UTD with its maintenance which i have proof of.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Adriana,

      I’m not sure how Kia’s customer service is but the first thing I would do is find out their national customer service number and call the factory rep to discuss it with him/her. I would explain exactly what happened and the fact that you were in a dangerous situation where stopping in the middle of rush hour traffic would have been dangerous and that you pulled off as soon as it was safe to do so. I also think you will benefit if you have all of your service documentation handy especially if you have been bringing it to the dealer.

      I hope this helps.

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      Shoreline WA
      https://www.smart-service.com

  20. Anthony
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike,

    I currently have a 2014 elantra in the dealership shop that needs a new engine. I have 61000 miles on it and I am still under the 100,000 mile warranty. Can they deny my claim if I had all maintenance done outside of the dealership? The claim has been in limbo for several days now and I am getting worried it will be denied.

  21. Tab I
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Does this law apply to extended warranty on used cars?

  22. David
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Have a Chevy Cruz in for turbo repairs. They are telling me that because I didn’t use correct oil it’s not covered under warranty. I asked that all be put in writing. That was a week ago. Is there a time limit for what I believe is a necessary written notice of warranty denial?
    Car now has one more week on lease.
    Thanks

  23. Victor Fernandez
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hello Mike,

    I currently have a 2012 sti that I purchased in 2014 as a CPO. In addition, I purchased the Extended warranty for the vehicle with a 7/yr. 100k mile warranty for the engine, transmission, and turbo. The situation I’m in is that I got pulled in by the service “salesman” advisor strategy while waiting on an oil change service. To find myself buying aftermarket parts from Subaru and even having Subaru install them. (Keep in mind I was never told that it would effect my warranty).
    I’ve had my Subie for about 3 years now, and just a couple of days ago on the freeway on my way to work I heard a strange noise coming from somewhere, I pulled over to the shoulder turned the car off, then back on and before you knew it, loud KNOCKING coming from the engine. It’s now at the dealership, and I don’t have the time nor the money to spend=/
    Do you think that they will deny my claim if it comes to replacing the whole engine if it results in the aftermarket parts being the cause? Even if I purchased the aftermarket parts from Subaru and they installed them? I could understand if I did it at an outside shop. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Victor,
      I think the fact the dealer sold and installed them on your Subaru would give you a strong chance that they would have to stand behind the warranty even if Subaru did not. If there was a problem you can call 1-800-Subaru3 for the national Subaru customer service hotline. Now if it was due to another issue such as lack of oil or lack of maintenance, then that could be an issue for you. I hope you’ve been keeping it well maintained and if so it should be no problem.

      Take care,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

  24. Victor
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your input, you’ve helped me to lower down my stress levels a bit. Unfortunately though, I still have a long way to go because I’m in the process of waiting for my “tear-down” results. Since my last post, my sales adviser told me, when they performed a diagnosis test it showed codes determining that the ECU had been flashed. Of course that’s when I told him,” I did purchase a Cobb Short-Ram Air Intake and a Cobb Access-port through your Subaru parts department. In addition, to that the technicians where I purchased the parts installed them. That’s when the sales adviser paused for a moment and said “what one of OUR guy’s installed the Access-port for you”? I then replied “YES” one of your guy’s installed it. I then told the adviser, I wasn’t sure how to install it, and that’s why one of your technicians did. That’s when he said they would have to perform a “tear-down” to do a more thorough investigation? What does that even consist of? What else do they expect to find? The only upgrades are the ones I purchased from Subaru, which are the same ones Subaru technicians installed. Also Mike, going back to maintenance you had mentioned in your response. I’ve always taken good care of my Subie and did all my oil changes through Subaru. If it was lack of oil, wouldn’t Subaru be at fault? I just wish this problem was resolved already. Just seems like these guys are giving me the run around. What are your thoughts mike?

    Thanks again,
    Vic…

  25. Daniel Navarro
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hello-
    I’m currently at 54k miles and my Subaru stopped running. Now the car doesn’t start and according to a local mechanic shop, it’s seized. What should I do? I cannot afford a 6.5k dollar engine and I owe about 10k on the car.

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Daniel,
      Depending on what year the Subaru is, it may still be the 5/60 powertrain warranty. Even if it has expired it has a chance to get helped by Subaru if you call their customer service hotline at 1-800-SUBARU3.
      Make sure you have documentation of all your maintenance records to prove that you have been taking care of it’s scheduled maintenance. They likely won’t help if you can’t prove to them you have been changing your oil at the required interval etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Independent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com
      Also for Subaru parts visit http://www.smartqualityparts.com

  26. Mike K
    May 31, 2013 Reply

    Hello Mike,

    I did not see another question here that did not include other high performance/non-stock parts, so I was wondering what your opinion is on using a re-flash utility on a new/under warranty vehicle? With all other parts being stock, is this something that could get you into a muddy area with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act? With the torque/HP gains some of these flashes offer, they seem appealing initially, but I would hate to void my new cars warranty having only driven 5000 miles or so.

    Thanks for your response. I understand you cannot offer actual legal advice, but was hoping you had an opinion you would be willing to share.

    Thanks,

    Mike K

    • Mike Corbin
      May 31, 2013 Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Technically reflashing the vehicle is can be considered emission tampering since it can affect the fuel mixture, timing etc. I think if you decided to reflash for added power, you would need to accept the fact that the dealer may deny any warranty related items on the engine. Subaru designs their engines to be as reliable as possible, meet emission standards as well as produce as much reliable power as possible.

      I hope this helps,

      Mike Corbin
      Smart Service
      Your Indendent Subaru Expert
      https://www.smart-service.com

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