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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My saga has come to an end. I did not want to post the details of what was going on until this issue was resolved. It is, and now I am. The following letter is exactly what I sent to SoA. It is extremely long, but I felt it had to be in order to cover all of the details. There will be no cliff notes. After having a horrible experience with Mastro Subaru, I called Subaru of America and began working with a customer service rep. I give him credit for being concerned about my case, but in the end, I still have no answers. Without further ado, here is the letter:

To Whom It May Concern at Subaru of America,

My name is Ryan XXXXXXX, and I am writing in regards to a recent experience I had at Mastro Subaru in Tampa, FL. I purchased my ’05 Impreza STi (VIN # XXXXXX) on September 11, 2005 from Williamson Cadillac in Miami, FL; the odometer showed approximately 8,500 miles when I bought it. I have wanted to purchase a STi since before they were available here and in 2002 I even filled out an online petition to help convince Subaru to bring the STi model to the U.S. I was thrilled when they finally showed up at dealerships and couldn’t wait to graduate college so that I could find a decent job and afford one. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I had finally saved enough money and drove home in my slightly used STi. I chose to buy slightly used because I wanted warranty coverage, but I could not justify the additional expense of purchasing new. Overall, I have been very happy with the Subaru brand and I plan on putting my fiancé in a Legacy GT in a year or two. Subaru is the only brand I recommend to others. Despite all of this, my recent experience with Mastro Subaru has been nothing short of a nightmare and has nearly made me regret buying my car in the first place.

The whole ordeal began when my car shut off in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I had just pulled out of a parking space and began to accelerate in first gear when the car quit running. Thinking that perhaps I had clumsily stalled the car, I pushed the clutch in and tried to restart it. The starter was turning the engine; however, it would not start. At that point, I decided to look at my fuses to see if one had blown. When they all appeared to be fine, I knew that something was wrong and had AAA tow the car to my parents’ house. A few days later, I contacted Subaru Roadside Assistance and had them dispatch a tow truck to take my car to the dealership. They informed me that Reeve’s Subaru was the closest. However, I requested that it be towed to Mastro Subaru instead-a decision I would later regret. A friend of mine, who works in car audio, recommended that before the car was towed, I take a look at the ECU to verify that the wiring harness had not somehow come loose. I pulled the carpet back, removed the metal plate that protects the ECU, and looked at it. Everything seemed to be fine and all four wiring harness plugs were firmly snapped in place. I put the car back together. This was at approximately 4:00pm on 8/9/06. The tow truck arrived one hour later and took the car to Mastro Subaru so that the service department would have it in the morning; they were expecting it.

The next day, 8/10/06, I received a call from the service department and was informed that my ECU was corroded and needed to be replaced. The quoted total for parts and labor was $945 exclusive of tax. I was informed that the repair would not be covered under warranty because there was evidence that the ECU had been removed and was not reinstalled correctly. Specifically, I was told that the plastic cover that keeps moisture off the ECU was missing. This immediately alerted me that something was not right, because I had seen that plastic cover less than 24 hours prior when I inspected the ECU. At that time, I did not inform the service advisor that the plastic cover was present when the car was loaded on the tow truck. Instead, I inquired as to how the ECU could have gotten wet, and also asked where the ECU was physically located. The advisor then explained that the ECU was located in the passenger’s foot well area and that it somehow got wet because the plastic cover was not there to protect it. He apologized that they would not be able to cover it under warranty. In addition, he informed me that he’d left a message with the Subaru dealership in Miami (where the car was originally sold) to determine if they had any service records that involved removing the ECU. Since I needed my car back ASAP, I told the advisor to go ahead and order a new ECU so that it would ship out in time to make it here the next day. I realized that irregardless of warranty coverage, the car would need a new ECU and I wanted to get it fixed immediately. I asked for permission to leave work early, and drove to the dealership.

When I arrived at Mastro, I was greeted by the advisor that I spoke to on the phone. He brought me in to the service garage and introduced me to the service manager, John Coffield. Together, they showed me the corroded circuit board of the ECU and we briefly discussed it. I was again informed that the plastic cover was missing and for that reason it could not be covered under warranty. Then, the advisor and I walked through the service garage to go retrieve the metal case that houses the ECU. While walking, I asked the advisor, “Out of curiosity, what does that plastic cover look like?” I did this because I wanted to confirm that the plastic piece I had seen the night before was, indeed, the part that they said was missing. After he briefly described it, I knew it was the same piece. I then asked him, “What would you say if I told you that I know for a fact that the plastic cover was there because I saw it yesterday…because I did?” I explained that I looked at the ECU the previous day to verify that the wiring harness had not come unplugged and I had seen the plastic cover then. I also described the cover in detail, citing such items like the “F” that is embossed in the plastic as well as the arrow symbol that points towards the driver’s side of the car. He seemed taken a back, said it was “interesting,” and suggested that we go speak to the service manager, John. We then walked back over to John’s office, and the advisor informed him of what I had just said. I have never seen someone so speechless before. Never. John was silent for a few seconds and then began stumbling on words as he began speaking. He said that the bottom line was that my ECU somehow got wet and that it wouldn’t be covered under warranty. He also told me that there were other things that indicated the ECU had been removed; specifically, the bolts that secure the metal plate had been removed before. Of course they had! You have to remove those screws to look at the ECU, which is exactly what I just told them I did! In the brief conversation that ensued, John repeatedly indicated that the cover was not there. Every time he said this, I corrected him and reminded him that it WAS there, as I had seen it. He then informed me that he has to go by what the technicians say and he saw no reason why the technician would say it wasn’t there if it was. He had no answer when I asked “How would I be able to describe it (the cover) to a ‘t’ if I hadn’t seen it?” I told him that I thought it was “extremely odd” that the reason I was given for my service not being covered under warranty was that this piece of plastic was missing, when in fact it was not. Stressed and confused, I left for the day.

The next day, 8/11/06, I called the dealership at approximately 2:00pm to inquire about my car. I was connected to the same service advisor that I had previously dealt with. He said that they had just finished the car and it was ready to be picked up. He also informed me that they spoke with the dealership in Miami and they had no service records for my car other than the dealer prep work when the car first arrived. The advisor then indicated that the technicians looked at the car again and noticed that I had an aftermarket down pipe which had partially melted the air conditioner drain hose. He said that they could not tell if it was melted completely shut, but if it was, it may have caused water to back up and drain inside the car. Interestingly, I was also told that they had found the plastic cover in question. He said it was found stuffed under the passenger’s seat, “but it’s all crumpled up and looks like it’s been there for a long time.” I laughed at the irony, verified how late they were open, got off the phone, and drove to Mastro.

When I arrived, I found a salesman, and asked to speak with Pete Mastro, the owner of the dealership. I was hoping to speak with Pete about my situation and let him hear what I had to say before he spoke with the service department. Unfortunately, when the salesman went to look for Pete, he came back to inform me that Pete was already in a meeting with the service department. I then had a great conversation with the salesman, discussing all things Subaru: the Spec-B Legacy, the Limited STI, the ESX STI, and a slew of other stuff. Shortly thereafter, I was able to meet with Pete. I informed him that I would like to speak with him about the service that was performed on my car. The two of us then went in to the service manager’s office and sat down to begin what would turn in to a lengthy conversation.

Pete opened things up with a “Well, what can I do for you?” From his opening, I quickly got the impression that he had been briefed on my situation and was not going to be very open minded to hear what I had to say. I gave him the long-winded story from start to end. When I got to the part where the service advisor told me that my car was done and that they had also found the plastic cover, he interjected. Apparently, he was not informed that the service department found the missing cover earlier that day. Pete agreed that it was odd that I had seen the cover two days before, but yet it was “not” there when the service techs worked on the car. He offered to pull the parking lot security tapes to see if anyone had tampered with my car during the night. I thought this was ridiculous and told Pete that I didn’t think it was necessary. I said that I thought we could both agree that it was highly unlikely that someone broke in to my car during the night and removed my carpet and the metal plate, only to remove the clear plastic cover and then put everything back together. He seemed to agree. Pete also brought up the issue of my after market down pipe melting the A/C drain line. I informed him that yes, I was aware of the melting as I smelled the rubber burn for two weeks when I first put the down pipe on, but that the hose still drained fine. I then told Pete that I wasn’t trying to call anyone a “liar,” but that I found it odd that the reason I was given for my warranty being denied was completely untrue. Again I stressed that I knew for a fact that the plastic cover was there and again I asked “how I would have known what the part looked like if I hadn’t seen it?”

I then made a suggestion to Pete that he promptly dismissed as “impossible.” I asked him to consider the following scenario. The technician receives a car that is not running. He plugs in his diagnostic tools and learns that the ECU is dead. He then wishes to look at the ECU and begins disassembling to car. As he is removing the ECU, the clear plastic cover accidentally gets misplaced and is somehow pushed under the passenger seat. To me, this is a very real possibility. There is a minimal amount of room to work with in the passenger foot well area, and the plastic cover in question is not a very big part. Pete immediately dismissed this scenario, citing that their “Subaru Certified Master Tech” worked on the car and “he is way too meticulous to simply misplace a part.” I then said, “C’mon Pete, everyone makes mistakes,” to which he responded that there was no way it happened. He informed me that the “master tech didn’t earn that status for no reason.” He said that maybe one of the level two technicians could have done something like that, but not the master tech and the master tech is the one who worked on my car. Similar to what John told me, Pete said that he can only go by what the techs tell him and he saw no reason why the tech would say it wasn’t there if it was.

At some point in our conversation, John, the service manager, joined us. He was very short and to the point as he indicated that he had already sent pictures to the regional Subaru rep and that it was not going to be covered under warranty. John also told me that he though it was “very suspicious” that when I had originally spoken with the service advisor on the phone, I acted like I didn’t know where the ECU was. Then I came in and said that I did in fact know where it was, and I had even looked at it. What suspicions he had, he did not say. I then told them that I felt like they were questioning my integrity, but they assured me that they weren’t. Things were beginning to get heated and voice levels were steadily increasing, mine included. At some point I said, “John, you were speechless when you found out that I had seen that cover. Speechless!” To which he replied, “Yes, I was. I was speechless because I was trying to figure out why you acted like you didn’t know where the ECU was when you had actually looked at it.” I thought it inappropriate to laugh, so I didn’t. It was somewhere near this point that I said that I honestly felt like the whole thing was “fabricated.” This prompted Pete Mastro to stand up and inform me that there was “nothing else he could do for me and that he wouldn’t let me sit there and make accusations against his staff!” I then asked, “Pete, please tell me…how else am I supposed to feel? I don’t know what the hell to think.” He didn’t have an answer and again indicated that he can only go by what he is told by is staff. He also informed me that the dealership makes more money off of warranty work than it does non-warranty work. He said that he would rather cover it under warranty because then everyone would be happy, but unfortunately he could not do that. Pete said that I could take it up with Subaru of America and produced the phone number upon my request. I asked Pete how he would feel about me sharing my experience with others. He was doubtful that I would be able to do so objectively and said that I am obviously not pleased with the outcome, but didn’t say much more.

I then brought up the name of a fellow STi owner, Robb XXXXX, who purchased an ’06 STI from Mastro in October 2005. Robb is an enthusiast whom I met through a local Subaru meet. I began to explain to Pete that Robb’s car was recently totaled while his friend was driving and that he had already been in contact with Mastro’s internet sales manager, Dave Cardwell, regarding another STI. In fact, Robb and his wife were at Mastro the previous day looking at a white/gold STI as well as a Legacy GT. Pete then interrupted and told me that I can give what ever reference I wanted. I politely informed him that I was neither speaking of a giving a reference nor was I threatening to discourage people from going to Mastro. Conversely, this man had come to his own conclusion that he will not be buying a car from Mastro based on my experience. This, coming from someone who says he had a great sales experience at Mastro when he bought his first STI there. I said to Pete, “Again, don’t take this as a threat, but that is already one guaranteed lost sale.” He then politely replied that if his dealership wasn’t good enough for me and my friends, that we are more than welcome to go somewhere else.

At this point, I had been speaking with Pete for about 30 minutes and the conversation was clearly over. Though obviously not happy with the outcome, I made a point to offer my hand to Pete and we shook hands. I was then directed to the cashier to pay the bill. I noticed that the invoice included a $6 charge for a new plastic ECU cover. I then took the invoice back to the service desk and politely told Pete that “if anything, I’m not paying for the plastic cover.” He agreed and had it removed. John then walked the new invoice over to the cashier and I initiated a handshake with him as well. The total bill was $1004.57; a hefty amount for a newly-engaged, trying to buy a house, fresh out of college, type-person.

I’ve waited a few days to write this letter because I wanted to remove myself from the situation and clear my mind. I’ve only been minimally successful at doing so as I’ve thought about this every day. Looking at my experience as objectively as possible, I’ve come to a few conclusions. The first is that I will never go to Mastro Subaru for anything again, and I’d be a fool to do otherwise. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have listened to the Subaru Roadside Assistance employee when she recommended that they tow my car to Reeve’s Subaru. The second conclusion is that there are only two possible explanations for the “missing” plastic cover. One explanation is that it was, as I suggested, accidentally misplaced under the passenger’s seat. This is the suggestion that Pete Mastro immediately rejected, which, in my opinion, was an ignorant thing to do. Nobody is immune from making an honest mistake or misplacing a part and I would hope that Pete realizes he made a mistake by dismissing this as “impossible.” The only other logical explanation, and one that I was hesitant to suggest, is that someone was/is not telling the truth about the “missing” plastic cover. I know for a fact that it was there when the car was loaded on the tow truck. This only leaves the possibility that the dealership is the one not telling the truth. I can think of no reason why the dealership would have “fabricated” this story and I’m not 100% convinced that they did. It just doesn’t make sense for them to have done so and I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt. I prefer to think that the first explanation is, in fact, the truth. I think it is very possible that while removing the ECU, the technician misplaced the cover under the seat. Once he realized that the ECU was corroded, he went back to see if the plastic cover was there. When he did not see it (because it was under the seat), he erroneously concluded that it was missing. These are the only two possible explanations that I can think of, but as I told Pete, “please, suggest something else that does make sense.” He was not able to come up with anything else and neither can I.

I blame no one for my ECU going bad as I understand that things happen. However, I cannot understand why it would not be covered under warranty. Irregardless of the plastic cover fiasco, why would an ECU that has slight corrosion not be covered under warranty? To me, the only logical source for any moisture in that area would be the air conditioning unit that resides directly above the ECU. My previous car (an Acura) dripped water on the passenger’s floor mat (and their feet if someone was sitting there) every time I ran the A/C. Even if someone had spilled something in that area, the carpet is lined with plastic on the backside, which would have prevented anything from soaking through. When looking at the ECU as it is oriented in the car, the corrosion is limited to the lower right corner. This is the area where the wiring harness plugs in to the ECU; the one area that is not protected from water intrusion. The clear plastic cover is cut away in this area to make room for the wiring harness. Ironically, the rest of the ECU is encased in a metal box, which would prevent water from getting in anyhow. It appears that the moisture wicked its way in to the circuit board through the wiring harness as some of the wiring harness pins are corroded as well.

To me, this whole experience has been awful and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’ve had to stay late at work in order to make up the lost time, my mind has been a wreck, and to top it all off, I’m out $1004. As I told Pete Mastro, I don’t really know what to think of the situation and I’m open to suggestions. I do know that over the past few days, I’ve experienced all sorts of emotions and have spent countless hours speculating and analyzing the whole thing. This letter is quite lengthy and I thank anyone that has taken the time to read it. However, in reality it only represents a small fraction of my thoughts. I truly hope that Subaru of America will give this matter serious consideration and treat me better than I feel I was treated by Mastro Subaru.

[/END LONG LETTER]

I know how I feel about the situation, but I'm curious to hear what you guys think? I have tried my best to present both sides of the story and have not purposefully omitted any information (which is why this was a 12 page letter.) In the end, SoA told me that they cannot cover my ECU under warranty. When I stated that "to make sure I understand things correctly, my ECU won't be covered under warranty because it somehow got moisture on it, yet there is no good explanation for where the moisture came from." I was told that they could only offer two possible explanations, one is the downpipe melting A/C drain line theory (I explained that it drains fine). The other is that the cover wasn't there. Yet again, this whole argument is right back where it started and I still have NO answers.
 

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sorry dude.
it looks like you did all you can. unfortunately nothing came out of your efforts.

p.s. damn you can write!!

my letter probably would have been two paragraphs.
 

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That really, truly sucks. I think that there are a couple things that you could have done if not time constrained. I think you could have had them hold off on the work and have a SOA rep get involved before they began finishing the repair. I also think you may have been better off telling them that you saw the cover immediately instead of pretending that you didnt know where the ecu was. It may be construed as deceptive. Hindsight is 20/20 right? I guess re-routing the a/c drain line might be a good idea too, since that left question in their mind. I am going to check my drain line tonight as I have one of the invidia dps that run a little close to the firewall...

What a terrible experience, I honestly think that someone at the dealership was dishonest at some point, and cost you that $1k...
 

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When I read the letter, two things came to mind. First, you illegally modified the car with a downpipe that is melting something that drains water. I was not convinced it still drains "fine" simply because you said so, and SOA won't be either. Second, you opened up the footwell and saw the plastic cover, making you yet another person who could have misplaced the plastic cover. I'm surprised no Subaru people made this suggestion.

Why would they believe you more than they believe their techs; you could have easily looked at the plastic cover on a friend's STI in order to describe it. It sounds like you didn't mention you saw the plastic piece because you didn't want them to know you had tampered with the computer.

This is probably what their thinking, and they've at least shown some restraint by not making accusations against you. I know if I honestly knew I hadn't messed with the ecu (don't most people with downpipes have some computer modification?) I either would have refused to pay for the repair or taken them to small claims court. But then again, my car is stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
nandanrp said:
Not questioning you, but how do you know for sure the drainline drains properly? I'm just curious how to test for that.

This is the first time I've read about an ECU getting corroded, scary (and expensive!) stuff!
Good question. I turned on the A/C, opened my hood, and watched water drip out of the drain hose. It made a puddle under my car. The hose isn't melted as bad as you might imagine; conversely, the hose remains intact and it has a slight depression from the heat. Imagine that the hose is made of clay and you pushed the DP into the hose so that it made a nice "dent" in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Rmiller said:
When I read the letter, two things came to mind. First, you illegally modified the car with a downpipe that is melting something that drains water. I was not convinced it still drains "fine" simply because you said so, and SOA won't be either. Second, you opened up the footwell and saw the plastic cover, making you yet another person who could have misplaced the plastic cover. I'm surprised no Subaru people made this suggestion.

Why would they believe you more than they believe their techs; you could have easily looked at the plastic cover on a friend's STI in order to describe it. It sounds like you didn't mention you saw the plastic piece because you didn't want them to know you had tampered with the computer.

This is probably what their thinking, and they've at least shown some restraint by not making accusations against you. I know if I honestly knew I hadn't messed with the ecu (don't most people with downpipes have some computer modification?) I either would have refused to pay for the repair or taken them to small claims court. But then again, my car is stock.
Haha, I can assure you that putting on an after market DP is not "illegal."

The A/C does drain "fine." We are not talking about a shower drain here; we are talking about a hose that drips, or at most trickles, water from the A/C. It's a rather large hose and I'd contend that even if the inner diameter was reduced by half, it would still be more than adequate. Maybe I'll be the first to have my A/C drain line flow tested.

Looking at the cover is completely different than removing it. If I could have physically removed the cover by looking at it, no girl would be safe around me. :D

The time that elapsed from me being told that my ECU was corroded to the time that I arrived at the dealerhsip was about 30 minutes. I immediately left work and drove straight there. If you really believe, in that short period, I found another STI, took it apart, and inspected their plastic ECU cover, I would venture to guess that you also believe a missile hit the Pentagon and not an airplane.

Most "computer modifications" don't involve removing the ECU. However, I heard that piggy back systems do.?

Yes, I could have refused to pay or gotten someone else involved, but then I'd still be driving a 1990 Volvo that's on its last leg.

Thanks for the comments. Despite my smartass replies, I really do appreciate them and you brought up some good points.
 

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Man I still cant believe this. Bottom line is warranty would not cover it due to Corroded ECU on a 2005 STI. I have NEVER heard of a corroded ECU before on a car that was not exposed to flood damage that was 1.5 years old. The drain is fine as I have seen it drain exactly like my '06 did a few days ago. So because a plastic cover-that still wouldnt have blocked the wire connection area that was corroded-was missing from the ECU housing the warranty will not cover it? The area the ECU is in was not damp or wet in any way JUST the ECU so that makes no sense. Then, the dealrship found the cover and still same result?? They even said they had never seen it before- so instead of covering it under a freak incident it became the owners fault and he had to pay? Absolutely not.

The DP did not melt the AC drain line shut so the water "back up" theory is invalid. There is more to this story from a dealership standpoint that what is being told to Ryan and why it was not covered under warranty.

I have always had great experiences with Mastro and their staff so it came as a huge shock to me that the customer was immediately at fault due to a corroded ECU that no one has ever witnessed before. That couldve been me and my STI just like anyone else on here. I still cant believe its the owners fault for an unknown defect!
 

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RV7 ^^^^ I think the point RMiller was trying to make is that after reading your story, there's some understanding and an argument as to why this dealership refused you. This repair was not cut and dry with no flaws or suspicion, making their argument have some validity. I'm not saying it's right, just that I understand both sides of this. Had you purchased this car from them brand new, and this had happened, there would not be an issue. For whatever reason, IMO there was something they didn't trust, and it caused them to be suspicious. They stood their ground, and didn't cover you because they simply didn't believe you, even though you were telling the 100% truth. Had you bought this car from them brand new, this would not have happened. This is why I don't mess around with used cars like this, and if I were to buy used I'd make it my priority to take it to the dealership I bought it from, because that's always the best way to avoid any problems.

I feel for ya, because it's definitely not fair, and it's ashame that someone who is honest, has to take a hit from what is likely previous experiences from dishonest customers who have tried swindling the dealership out of a warranty repair that was the owners fault. With a car of this caliber, there's just so much suspicion on both ends, that I can clearly see where both the customer and dealer are coming from. I guess that's never gonna change with a car like this. I really do think though that the dealer should have worked with you to resolve this. They obviously think they are 100% in the right, so this is a tough fight you'd be facing. They definitely were selfish, as are most human beings, and I'd be upset just at the principle of it, not the money. Life is full of bad experiences, and hopefully you can put this to rest, and enjoy your wonderful car. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
nandanrp said:
:clap: :lol:

Just a thought, but you did buy the car used; any chance the previous person had flood damage or tampered with the ECU (UTEC)?
Yep, bought used. Dealer agreed that there were no signs of flood damage. Sure, it is possible that the previous owner had UTEC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
nandanrp said:
This thread just begs the question - why the hell did they put the ECU on the floor? In my old BMW, they put it above the glovebox...anyways, sorry for the rant, I'm not helping :)
Haha, that's a damn good point. RobbC said that in his S4, the ECU was located inside a waterproof box! German engineering...FTW!
 

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WRX8STI said:
RV7 ^^^^ I think the point RMiller was trying to make is that after reading your story, there's some understanding and an argument as to why this dealership refused you. This repair was not cut and dry with no flaws or suspicion, making their argument have some validity. I'm not saying it's right, just that I understand both sides of this. Had you purchased this car from them brand new, and this had happened, there would not be an issue. For whatever reason, IMO there was something they didn't trust, and it caused them to be suspicious. They stood their ground, and didn't cover you because they simply didn't believe you, even though you were telling the 100% truth. Had you bought this car from them brand new, this would not have happened. This is why I don't mess around with used cars like this, and if I were to buy used I'd make it my priority to take it to the dealership I bought it from, because that's always the best way to avoid any problems.

I feel for ya, because it's definitely not fair, and it's ashame that someone who is honest, has to take a hit from what is likely previous experiences from dishonest customers who have tried swindling the dealership out of a warranty repair that was the owners fault. With a car of this caliber, there's just so much suspicion on both ends, that I can clearly see where both the customer and dealer are coming from. I guess that's never gonna change with a car like this. I really do think though that the dealer should have worked with you to resolve this. They obviously think they are 100% in the right, so this is a tough fight you'd be facing. They definitely were selfish, as are most human beings, and I'd be upset just at the principle of it, not the money. Life is full of bad experiences, and hopefully you can put this to rest, and enjoy your wonderful car. :)
If you think that it would have been cut and dry, and there would have been no issues had he purchased the car new, you are mistaken. I have seen plenty of people with similar stories on cars they bought brand new that were still well within the new car warranty. Thinking that buying a car new is so safe and the dealership is going to stand by you 100% all of the time (which is kinda what you are implying) is naive...
 

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Rmiller said:
When I read the letter, two things came to mind. First, you illegally modified the car with a downpipe that is melting something that drains water. I was not convinced it still drains "fine" simply because you said so, and SOA won't be either. Second, you opened up the footwell and saw the plastic cover, making you yet another person who could have misplaced the plastic cover. I'm surprised no Subaru people made this suggestion.

Why would they believe you more than they believe their techs; you could have easily looked at the plastic cover on a friend's STI in order to describe it. It sounds like you didn't mention you saw the plastic piece because you didn't want them to know you had tampered with the computer.

This is probably what their thinking, and they've at least shown some restraint by not making accusations against you. I know if I honestly knew I hadn't messed with the ecu (don't most people with downpipes have some computer modification?) I either would have refused to pay for the repair or taken them to small claims court. But then again, my car is stock.


Dude are you serious???? A downpipe isn't illegal it's a part modification and it doesn't cause non warrantly coverage unless that part related directly to a failure. In this case the drain line is fine and was NOT clogged which DID NOT back up the drain hose. The ECU was corroded supposedly due to a plastic cover that was missing- that is per the dealership techs-then later found by their techs under the passenger seat and still the same outcome??? WTF? Absolutely not. An ECU reflash can be done without even phisically touching the ECU via the OBD port. Its easy to say one wouldn't pay until their result was achieved but if its your only car and primary means of transportation then that clearly is not an option. Its clear that instead of trying to side on the freak chance of a defect- they went againt the customer and blamed it on the owner. Bottom line- a corroded ECU was the owners fault due to a plastic cover that was missing that STILL wouldnt have protected it if water had backed up and dripped on the ECU. This decision from the dealership could've happened to your stock car.
 

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I agree with you that the "Stealership" are a bunch of ass-hats. Are you sure that when it was burning it didnt back up and drip water onto the ECU? I dont think you can say you know that for sure just because the hose was not blocked at the time you looked at. Only two places water would have come from, the A/C or the windshield. In any event sucks it happened at all!
 

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Nice letter, I actually read your whole post and its screwed up they treated you like that. Im sure SOA will help you out buddy.

FYI: when I did my interior swap i accidently left the AC drain hose under the carpet and there was water there for days until I found out what it was. It was about an inch deep! Carpet and everything was soaked for days until it dried out, im surprised my ECU wasnt messed up!
 

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lackskill said:
If you think that it would have been cut and dry, and there would have been no issues had he purchased the car new, you are mistaken. I have seen plenty of people with similar stories on cars they bought brand new that were still well within the new car warranty. Thinking that buying a car new is so safe and the dealership is going to stand by you 100% all of the time (which is kinda what you are implying) is naive...

WOAH there feller. Don't put words in my mouth. It's way too easy to create your own interpretation of a post and argue it, and it's pretty niave in itself to read a post and make your own interpretation that I think buying a new car is 100% safe, without realizing I was talking about one specific situation.

I'm talking about reducing your chances of issues. From what I read in his long story, I made an opinionated statement that I don't think this would have been an issue with this fellow had he taken it to the dealership where he got it from, or purchased it new, and taken it to the dealership where he got it from. Used STI buyers IMO will get less good treatment then new car buyers, especially if they take their used STI to a different dealership. In my mind, that's an important thing to avoid, and reduce your chances of a problem. If you want to disagree with that, and say that after reading what you read that they would have denied him no matter what the situation, then you are entitled to that opinion, and we'll agree to disagree, end of story.

I purchased my STi from a very reputable dealership, and I never worried about issues. If I had bought an STi used and gone to some dealership I knew nothing about, I'd have had that red caution flag up the moment anything went wrong with my STI. I learned that from this forum, because before I bought my STI, I read about warranty problems, and I expressed them to the salesman, and the GM before I made my purchase. It's something that people really need to look into before buying an STI, whether it's used or new. :)
 
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