My wife and I own a 2005 Subaru Outback (~$80k miles on the clock) that began exhibiting transmission issues about 18 months ago. Initially this was simply that the transmission would ‘pop’ out of 5th gear, but it progressed to having difficulty getting into 1st and reverse. My regular mechanic, who specializes in Subarus but does not work on transmission issues, said that the problem would not cause permanent damage but that I was likely to reach a point where the issues became sufficiently annoying that I would need to have the transmission rebuilt. This point came earlier this year so on May 3rd I took it to a transmission specialist who rebuilt the transmission in a couple of days. However, since then I have had major problems. Three times now (June 5th, July 26th and yesterday, September 29th) I have ended up being stuck in 1st gear, and the stick will only go into reverse. In fact, while the stick is in neutral or reverse if I take my foot off the clutch I always go forward. I am unable to put the stick in to any other gear position. When this happened the second time, the transmission specialist said they had never encountered the problem (apart from the 1st time with my car obviously) and that they had been online with Subaru technicians, who said that it shouldn’t even be possible for this to happen in a Subaru transmission.
I am writing to get some advice about what the problem might be and what my course of action could be? I am obviously reluctant to take the car back (or, more accurately, have it towed back) to the original shop that carried out the rebuild, since I’m not sure they know how to fix the problem, but that work cost $2,230 and I would like the problem resolved once a for all, ideally without any further expense on my part. Do you feel that I am within my rights to ask for a full refund and what is the likelihood that they will give me one?