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Stuck with Lemon

Bought a used 2008 subaru legacy with 19K miles from a subaru dealership. Car had vibration during de-accelleration. Brought car in to closest dealership, transmission problem was the diagnoses. Many, many days go by. Finally HQ agrees to replace the entire transmission. Transmission is on back order until November. Lemon law does not apply because I didn’t take the car back to the original dealer. Requested to get my car back so that I could have a chance at the lemon law. Still under used car warranty (90 days, 3750). Only have a few days to go and about 20miles. Customer service at HQ won’t return my calls. What can I do?

I suggest you talk with the dealer you purchased the car from and ask them to make an exhange for a different car.

That is unfortunate on timing of replacement part.

You are under a full factory warranty including 3yr/36k bumper to bumper from Subaru and 5yr/60k for powertrain.

What exactly is the 90day/3750 warranty for? Is it state mandated warranty or simply the dealer. And what provisions does it offer?

The 90day/3750miles is the used car warranty. It is under the factory warrant 3yr/36k and 60k for the power train. So the transmission is going to be covered but I have no faith in the car. The transmission has to be ordered from a company which is currently closed for summer vacation. Once the company is open Subaru will attempt to expedite the order, currently as it stands they are on backorder.

I would like to exchange for a different car, but won’t I have to wait until this one is fixed. Or could I possible make a deal while its being repaired.

In Massachusetts the lemon law any car must be return to the original dealer for repair. This I was not aware of, I thought a Subaru dealer would do.

Waiting For A Company To Resume Business After Being Closed For Vacation Is Entirely Unacceptable. The Dealer Needs To Move To “Plan B”.

What happens if the company goes “belly up” and never reopens or the guy who does transmissions gets hit by a bus and killed ? . . . ridiculous.


In MA you can take the car back to original dealer and return it if out of service is too long including by ordering parts.

good luck

Two options, tow it to original dealer and go through the return process or keep it and drive on.

This is a tough one for me to answer as I’m pretty skeptical about the transmission diagnosis along with a few other things.

A Lemon Law normally only applies to new vehicles. Some states have laws governing used vehicles and what you can or cannot do in regards to problems that exist.
Theorizing for a minute, it could be that HQ was never brought into this at all and you’re being stalled for a few more days and 20 miles.

Ask the dealer for a copy of that transmission order form and the backorder response and see what happens.

IMO it’s about time to get the State Department of Motor Vehicles or Consumer Affairs involved in this one by filing a complaint against both the original dealer and the one you’re trying to get resolution with now. If they smell something fishy, they either advise you as to what to do or intervene on your behalf.

If you don’t know what agency is charged with the responsibility of looking into dealer complaints and enforcing the Lemon law, contact your DMV or take a look at the State Attorney General Web site under consumer affairs. If you haven’t done so already, carefully review what the law says as to whether or not it applies to used vehicles and under what circumstances. There may be other express or implied warranties that apply as well under your state law and those may also be enforceable by State Agencies, including consumer affairs.

BTW, in California, if a new vehicle is out of commission for X number of days over the same problem, regardless of reason, or it’s in the shop more than 3 times for the same issue, I believe that qualifies for a new replacement vehicle under the Calif. lemon law. Back-ordered parts doesn’t seem to toll the limitation period and the clock continues to tick against the dealer requiring them to act promptly to resolve these issues. Might want to check with your appropriate state agency on that issue too.
May the laws be with you. ;>)

“I would like to exchange for a different car, but won’t I have to wait until this one is fixed.”

You should be able to go back to the folks you purchased the vehicle from and ask them to exchange it for another. Have you done that? Any reasonable seller willing to keep your business should understand what happened and be able to help you out.

I am sorry to hear that the Subaru has let you down as I think they are very good cars and have owned them for many years. The trouble you are having isn’t a common thing with them so hopefully you would accept another Soob to replace it. They really shine when it comes to driving in snowy areas.

Monday, I will contact HQ to see what’s up and how long the transmission delay is. Then I will contact the original dealer to discuss my problem. I’m sure I still have to wait for the car to be repaired before the original dealer will consider a trade.

Thank you all.

I’m having a similar problem with CarMax. Don’t listen to anyone who says that you have a 3year/3,000 mile warranty. Because, you bought the car used and the dealership will try to talk you into buying the remainder of the service plan (Bait and Switch scheme). Daimler Chrysler sends me an advertisement every six months. Your best coarse of action is to return to the dealership and give them a chance to fix the problem, then if they can’t/won’t demand the contact information of the Factory Representative. This is like sending a student to the Principal’s office and they open themselves up to sanctions/factory supervision which will open their warranty repair bills (Billed to the Factory) up to intense accounting verification. If they avoid the subject threaten that you will choose a shop you can trust and that you will save a copy of the invoice which shows you paid the deductable, and find the Factory Rep yourself…Trust me, they’ll listen. Unfortuneatley, I don’t have that option with CarMax, but I can tell everyone I know how CarMax treated me, and I have a bumper sticker that says, “CarMax Screwed me.”

You shouldn’t have to wait and fix the trouble. That is what having a warranty is all about. For things just like this.

Keep us informed about this issue. This transmission diagnosis still sounds like a shaky one to me.