WTF? Got a letter from Subaru saying the CVT transmission may fail


I don’t own a Subaru, I posted a link to an older discussion that explains the engine stalling and transmission problem that you have been discussing for two days. That discussion will provide some background to what lead to the warranty extension on the transmission.


What if industry wide for all makes the result is that the average CVT lasts 85,000 miles. Is that what Subaru should warrant theirs for? One of our shop cars is a Ford Freestyle with a CVT. It’s a 2006 model with 134,000 miles. Customer had the car towed in because of a transmission issue. They decided not to repair it so we bought it from them and repaired it in house. Is 134,000 miles a reasonable failure or should Ford have warrantied it.

Anyone who owns a car has a transmission with a possible problem. Looking out the office window I see a 2006 Toyota Sienna in my stall with 67,000 miles. Towed in, needs a transmission.


99k miles trade in or plan for repairs. Yes it sucks, but it is the hand you have been dealt.


+1. It is a decent move by Subaru.

Lee, It is indeed a defect, that’s what warranties cover - “defects in material or workmanship”. My wife drives a 2015 Crosstrek with the same CVT extended warranty and I sleep fine.


I find all this logic too reminiscent of “I was not warned that my coffee is hot, so I’m suing McDonalds for my suffering”

you bought a car knowing it has 36K miles of full warranty and 60K power-train waranty, at which point you should understand that any component failure on mile 60,001 is 100% your responsibility

this is not the first car sold and not the first car purchase contract signed, so all other talk about “it should be more than 100K” is not really relevant

manufacturer gave you warranty extension past 60K since they detected some more-than-normal failure rate on CVTs, giving a good portion of affected owners a chance to take care of that slall fraction of units which will fail, it is less likely it will fail past 100K, but this is all “numbers game” and depends a lot on how you maintain your car at that age

grow up


Bad analogy.


It’s sad that the McDonald’s hot coffee incident became the most popular example of human stupidity blaming someone else. The McDonald’s manager superheated the coffee in an attempt to keep the drive-thru customers happy. The woman who was injured suffered 3rd degree burns that required skin grafts and the manager was fired. Somehow the ignorant media turned this into a joke for what reason I’ll never know.

Yet another person who completely misunderstands the actual facts of that now-infamous case.

Every product that is sold includes an implied warranty of merchantability, which means that it is fit for the purpose for which it is sold. Coffee that is served at 190 degrees cannot be drunk without scalding a customer’s esophagus, and thus it clearly fails that warranty of merchantability.

The media portrayed this case incorrectly, and most Americans have a completely distorted view of the actual facts.


What if we talk about ladders instead of Mickey D’s coffee?


What I like here is that you get educated no only about cars, but much broader topics :slight_smile:


… so, you want to elevate the conversation?


The CVT on my 2012 Nissan Versa died at around 35K in the middle of a 70mph interstate on the way to the airport for my father’s funeral. It took two weeks to get my car back because Nissan HQ had to approve the replacement. The notes on the work order said the POS had essentially chewed itself to shreds. This was after almost a year of weird performance and refusals by multiple Nissan shops in multiple towns to even look at the problem.

The new CVT is warrantied for 60K, which is just about up. My first car, a 1985 Nissan Sentra, was at around 120K when I traded it in. My 1997 Toyota Tercel was around the same when I traded it in, although it had been leaking oil by the quart for years because of a defective seal Toyota refused to acknowledge. That and this latest experience is making me consider buying “American” next time, if I can get a normal automatic transmission instead of a CVT.


Well, that might be harder than you think. How many vehicles are completely made in the US is an big question. I almost consider some of the foreign name plates to be US made. They have large factories in the US using local labor.


I have a number of relatives and friends who have Subaru’s and every one, and I mean every one, has had head gasket failures at or before 100000 miles, and several have had tranny failures. If you go to some of websites that track repair stats they rate them among the worst cars out there. Drive great, though.


You admit to knowing about head gasket and oil consumption problems, yet you still bought a Subaru. If reliability is your primary concern, I suggest selling the Subaru and buying a Kia Soul. Or a Toyota Corolla.

Or you could just chill and enjoy life, and deal with problems if and when they arise. You will pay taxes and eventually die. Beyond that, who knows what awaits us around the corner?


Figured I should back up my previous statement


this is actually quite an interesting resource, thanks for link!

still, their reporting base is likely to be tipped off to some extent, as not all cars re-sold go via an auction:



also, Subaru’s track record is not that bad at the mileages where most of first/second owners keep them:

past ~120K miles the picture becomes less rosy although


Subaru automatic transmissions are problematic (same goes for Honda, I stayed away from their horrible 3-speed transmissions in the 1985 civic). I would recommend you trade your car for something with a manual transmission if you want it to last a long time. Also you would be LUCKY if a transmission repair cost only $1000, that’s the cheapest transmission repair you can hope for …


CVT life is MUCH lower than regular transmission life, it could be HALF. IN GENERAL.