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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I went to Brunswick Subaru offices in NorthEast Ohio on 7/7/2018, I customized, made a down payment, and factory ordered a 2019 Subaru Ascent (I had no prior dealings with this particular dealership. I went there because as a Costco customer supposedly you get a fair deal on a car without having to negotiate back and forth with the dealership). When I called Brunswick Subaru to inquire about the car a couple of months later, I was told that the car will arrive on their lot on 9/21/2018. On Friday the 21st, I gave them a call and they confirmed that the car had indeed arrived on their lot that morning. They gave me the VIN number: 4S4WMAMD6K3422093 to use it for my car insurance and we scheduled an appointment for me to pick up the car the next morning. I specifically asked the salesperson not to unwrap the car, not to wash it, and generally leave it the way they received it from the factory. The salesperson agreed but he said they had to put gas. I said, I understand.

When I arrived the next morning, and while waiting for them to complete the paperwork for me to pay, I asked the salesperson to see my car. He gave me the key and pointed where the car was on the lot. I went outside only to find out that the car had considerable damage on the right side of the front bumper (needless to say that they had unwrapped the car, etc.)! I rushed back in and I asked them what had happened? Nobody knew anything! I was keep asking them how did they manage to damage a car that had just arrived on their lot the previous day and they seemed to be angry with each other because they did not notice the damage earlier, themselves (or as the salesman kept saying, they were not informed about the damage earlier in order to "fix it")! So, the best they could do for me, was to offer their apologies and switch the front bumper with a bumper from another Ascent (of the same color) that they said they had on their lot. And then sell the car to me as brand new (like nothing had happened)! Of course I refused their offer, asked for my deposit, and left the dealership annoyed and visibly angered.

There are two questions in my mind that future customers of Brunswick Subaru (and any other dealership that behaves similarly) need to consider: 1) First, is whether you can trust that the Brunswick Subaru has the capability of providing the five star new-car purchasing experience that we have come to assume and expect these days (especially when we buy new cars that cost tens of thousands of dollars). 2) More importantly, however, is whether the people working in Brunswick Subaru have the moral and ethical standards that we expect from people we do business with. Consider this: The salesman was angry because he didn't notice (or was not told about) the damage earlier to patch it and pretend that nothing happened. The dealership, overall, had the audacity to suggest that I buy a car (as brand new) after they hit it and changed/patched the bumper!

Overall, I think that their level of incompetence and their lack of ethical standards are pretty evident.

They managed to totally destroy my shopping experience. This was the first time buying a Subaru and I was very excited about the Ascent. After this incident and the lackluster response I received by the Subaru of America when I reported the incident, I am starting to have second thoughts about my choices.

I took the picture below with my cellphone:
https://ibb.co/hHKsBp
 

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Can you share pics?
 

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I'd let them fix it. That's very minor damage. Looks like it might just be a scuff, a new bumper in OEM color is way overboard of a repair for this. If this were my personal car I'd use some touch up paint and follow it up with a wet sand and some polish. A good collision center could fix it better than new. In the photo it doesn't appear that there was any impact or deformation of the bumper cover, and I can't see any superficial clearcoat damage, but the lighting isn't right for it to show well on a photo.

The car is still brand new, even with a cosmetic repair. With the number of people that have free roam of car dealerships, cars are going to get dinged and scuffed. It's ridiculous to think that they're not allowed to repair superficial cosmetic issues on a car and then sell it as a new car. Especially if they're going to replace the part with an OEM color matched part. If you hadn't seen it you'd have never known the difference, you'd never be able to tell, and it wouldn't have any negative impact in the future. I don't really see an ethical issue here.
 

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That is an extremely minor issue and I suspect a bumper cover replacement should suffice for most customers. I know it would for me. I would have taken delivery of the car once it was changed out.

I don't see any ethical quandaries either.
 

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It looks like minor damage..If they switched bumpers all would be great....It’s is just a interchangeable piece of the car...Not like a arm transplant that could be rejected later on....
Seems to be a emotional issue and not a ethical issue....
 

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I'm on the other side of the fence on this one. I am not sure would have accepted the solution or not. I probably would if I knew about it and it passed my inspection, afterward. If I were to have purchased this vehicle, and repair was not disclosed and I later found out about it, I would not be happy. This is a brand NEW car we are talking about.

When my father was looking to buy a compact pick-up in 1974, there were not many options. He had it narrowed down to a Chevy Luv and a Datsun. The Chevy Luv was literally rusting on the showroom floor. Tack welds and seams. He ran away from the Luv. What if the dealer response was something dismissive like. "These things get rained on all the time, you are gonna have a little of that". (2) years later when the bed is falling apart, that response won't hold much water. Neither will the bed,

I bought my 2005 about 2 years ago, used. Clean carfax, dealer records, no record or mention of the airbag being done. Certainly no accidents or bodywork. Well, several weeks later I see that the 3M clear bra (on everything) is missing on one headlamp. I also notice the bumper seam on that side at the headlamp does not match the side with the film applied. Now I am a little p*ssed. I have installed several gauges on my car and I have changed the cabin filter since purchasing it. During my filter change and gauge install, I found several snap-clip-button-connectors either missing or partially broken. I had an appointment scheduled today for the air bag recall. I get to the dealer, they look up my VIN and tell me it has already been done. Now I am really p*ssed. I guess I know how those clip-button things went missing or took damage. Oh, and I guess I know why the glove compartment rattles, even though it's empty.

My father had a chance to inspect a product and decided to not purchase based on inspection of that product. In my case, I did NOT have the opportunity to inspect the repairs. I did not even know there were repairs to inspect. If I were to purchase an Ascent and later find the bumper had been replaced, and there was even (1) damaged clip-pin. I would be upset.
 

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I would ask for another car. It's a 40k car and it should not even look like that even though those of you that have worked or work a dealership know lot damage happens more than we think
 

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I would ask for another car. It's a 40k car and it should not even look like that even though those of you that have worked or work a dealership know lot damage happens more than we think
An option might be to request an extended warranty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To Orestes85, bmac and Gueromeister: how do you know that this is a “minor damage”/ “extremely minor issue” / “minor damage”?

Did you focus on the pic and you missed the part of my post where I clearly say that the dealership did not know how the damage on the car occurred in the first place? They were not able to provide any information about the damage whatsoever. If you ask any reputable body shop or car insurance investigator they will clearly tell you to never judge a damage on a car by how it looks from outside, especially if you do not know how exactly the damage occurred in the first place, how long has passed since the damage occurred, and if anybody has tried to amend the damage before!

Your argument that I should let the people who are responsible for the damage on the car fix it and then sell it to me is very interesting, to say the least… Most reasonable people (who want to deal with these type of issues when buying a new car) would have taken the car to a third party/independent dealership/body shop to assess the damage and fix the car. Even then, however, I cannot accept the concept of buying a damaged and then serviced car as brand new. By definition, if a car is serviced (e.g., a bumper is changed or patched) the car is no longer brand new!

To traildogck: that is exactly why I provided the VIN #.

To GHP1 and Jimmy D: I lost faith in the dealership. I could not trust them anymore to successfully deliver a car to me without problems (or service my car in the future).

To adx: I am just trying to be thorough. Also, their incompetence is not perceived, it is real: they damaged the car they were supposed to sell me.
 

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WOW. No Attorneys Yet?

Somebody damaged the car and didn't own up to it.

You actually discovered it before they did.

Why is everyone so quick to believe there is a big plan by Brunswick to deceive? GEEEZ.

You need to move on and find another Car and Dealership. They don't deserve the innuendo and insults you're piling on them.

Go give sone other Dealer, who's not trying to suposedly scam you, your Business. Brunswick will be far better off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I see I touched a nerve there! :)

You are right, however, criticizing my statement about what they might do with the car in the future (that is the only conjectural statement I can find after reading the post three more times). Obviously, I cannot predict the future. As a result I took out the statement: "Based on all these, I have no doubt that they will go ahead and sell the car to another unsuspected customer as brand new (i.e., without disclosing the original damage and change of bumper)!".

I do not know what the dealership deserves: maybe you know them better and you can help us understand?

I do know how they treated me, however, and the details are there for anyone to see...
 

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I get both sides.

The dealership made a mistake, it can be fixed very likely with zero notice or issue. Heck it's even possible that the dealership did not make a mistake and some customer leaving the lot backed into it and fled. We will never know. Assuming a cover up or malicious intent is likely an overreaction.

However, It's not an old "buy one get on free Hyundai". It's a substantial amount for a new car and something like that should not be noticed by the customer purchasing the car when it's time to sign the papers. I'm not saying store it in the show room or encase it in bubble wrap but it should be out of the way when paper signing time is near. It's not a forester or outback where there are 3 backups that are the same on the lot.
 

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I'm just glad that you did discovered it because if you had drove it off the lot and then came back later stating that there was prior damage, it would be too late. Consider yourself fortunate on that point.
 

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It’s very odd that they didn’t show you the car and perform a walk-though *before* they had you sign the paperwork. Either they’re inept or were trying to hide the damage.

There is absolutely no reason to buy a brand new car that’s been damaged unless they give you a significant discount. A bumper that has damage could mean there is even more damage underneath.
 

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Emotional Issue

To Orestes85, bmac and Gueromeister: how do you know that this is a “minor damage”/ “extremely minor issue” / “minor damage”?

Did you focus on the pic and you missed the part of my post where I clearly say that the dealership did not know how the damage on the car occurred in the first place? They were not able to provide any information about the damage whatsoever. If you ask any reputable body shop or car insurance investigator they will clearly tell you to never judge a damage on a car by how it looks from outside, especially if you do not know how exactly the damage occurred in the first place, how long has passed since the damage occurred, and if anybody has tried to amend the damage before!

Your argument that I should let the people who are responsible for the damage on the car fix it and then sell it to me is very interesting, to say the least… Most reasonable people (who want to deal with these type of issues when buying a new car) would have taken the car to a third party/independent dealership/body shop to assess the damage and fix the car. Even then, however, I cannot accept the concept of buying a damaged and then serviced car as brand new. By definition, if a car is serviced (e.g., a bumper is changed or patched) the car is no longer brand new!

To traildogck: that is exactly why I provided the VIN #.

To GHP1 and Jimmy D: I lost faith in the dealership. I could not trust them anymore to successfully deliver a car to me without problems (or service my car in the future).

To adx: I am just trying to be thorough. Also, their incompetence is not perceived, it is real: they damaged the car they were supposed to sell me.
A member of the forum, Carl, has posted about damages to new cars and it seems like damages are repaired all the time and the cars still have “factory new” warranties and are considered new cars......my apologies(to Carl) if I have misstated his posts....
I think your not buying the car is correct for you.....actually the only choice....for you...
 

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To Orestes85, bmac and Gueromeister: how do you know that this is a “minor damage”/ “extremely minor issue” / “minor damage”?

Did you focus on the pic and you missed the part of my post where I clearly say that the dealership did not know how the damage on the car occurred in the first place? They were not able to provide any information about the damage whatsoever. If you ask any reputable body shop or car insurance investigator they will clearly tell you to never judge a damage on a car by how it looks from outside, especially if you do not know how exactly the damage occurred in the first place, how long has passed since the damage occurred, and if anybody has tried to amend the damage before!
The picture tells the story. You are free to form your own emotional charged opinion but it appears to be an EXTREMELY minor issue.

There is no doubt that these types of situations happen on a daily basis all over the country. Cosmetic damage is repaired and sold as new all the time. When was the last time you saw a 0 mile vehicle sold as something other than new???

You made the right call for yourself as well you should. Many others, myself included, would have a different take on how to handle it. To lose faith in how Subaru handled it is a bit extreme, to say the least.
 

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Accidents happen. And while it is understandable that you are upset and frustrated with this event, I don't see any blatant dishonesty or bad behavior on the part of the dealership in this instance. Yes, it's unfortunate that things did not go as planned and you had every right to walk away from the transaction. But I don't see anything dishonest regarding the options they provided you. I'm sure they were embarrassed at the circumstances and it sounds like they tried to accommodate you the best they could given the situation. I doubt that many dealerships would offer to cannibalize another vehicle on the lot to make a customer happy.

I had a similar experience with my Ascent. When unwrapping the car (the first Ascent received by the dealer) they scraped the top edge of the nav screen while unwrapping the interior. When I came to take delivery they pointed it out to me right away, and told me that they had already ordered a replacement screen. Did I like that it happened? I didn't. But they were upfront about it, and did the right thing. That was a costly error for the dealer as well, since the paperwork I signed when the screen was replaced indicated it was close to a $2000 repair.
 

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First of all, sorry for your experience.
When I took my Ascent delivery, my sales guy had a walk through with me and I personally made sure everything is perfect from the outside. I think I'm with OP here, and I kinda suspect that the sales guy knew something happened to the car and gave the keys to him and pointed out the car. Also he/dealership already ignored his request to not unwrap the car and wash it etc.
I didn't understand the people saying it's a minor damage only and suggested to fix it and take...it's a brand new car and he was paying almost 40k. Even if it is an easy fix to change the new bumper, it is a damage. Once you took the delivery and returned for service later and then the damage happens like this...yeah that's ok if they fix it completely, but not at the time of delivery. I personally would not take the delivery either. Unless they fix it and offer me a considerable discount or another brand new with same options.
However, I think it's his bad luck and can't blame the dealership on this incident only...IMO.
 

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Let's all relax a little bit...

Let's all relax and stop attacking both dealership and purchaser. Glad to see at least that the conversation is getting a little more productive.


I see I touched a nerve there! :)

You are right, however, criticizing my statement about what they might do with the car in the future (that is the only conjectural statement I can find after reading the post three more times). Obviously, I cannot predict the future. As a result I took out the statement: "Based on all these, I have no doubt that they will go ahead and sell the car to another unsuspected customer as brand new (i.e., without disclosing the original damage and change of bumper)!".

I do not know what the dealership deserves: maybe you know them better and you can help us understand?

I do know how they treated me, however, and the details are there for anyone to see...
Swapping bumper covers is very easy. As a matter of fact, removing the bumper cover was one of the recommended methods of changing the headlights on the 2010 Outback. It's literally no big deal.

So, here's the good things:

  • There's literally nothing under there (at that corner) to get damaged (one of the horns is near there, but you'd know if it hit the horn).
  • Dealers and "port" pull off bumper covers all the time, for instance, my rear one to install my hitch (and, unlike the front cover, I have four sonar sensors and two radar sensors under mine).
  • Dealers have a gazillion push-clips in the parts department for doing just such types of work, and replace damaged ones without giving it a second thought.
  • During transit, prep and lot storage, things do happen to the cars. When you've got a hundred cars on a lot, being moved around daily, or being driven around by passengers and employees, stuff happens - if it's cosmetic, they are allowed to repair it to new state and sell the vehicle as new. If it's more than cosmetic, then, of course, they cannot. A bumper cover is cosmetic. If the bumper (the structure underneath) or a sensor got damaged, that's different.

The beauty is, it's been documented, so, there wouldn't be any issues making a claim for a broken clip. Heck, even in the event this didn't happen, most of the service centers I've went to simply replace clips that are missing in the areas they work anyway, with no extra charge.

NONETHELESS:
It is entirely up to the PURCHASER to decide whether or not they're happy with the situation. I have an opinion on the matter, but it's not my car.

So, hopefully while everyone contributes their opinions and knowledge, they'll remember that most people are not familiar with what it takes to remove a bumper cover, most people don't know what's under them and where, and most importantly, this isn't their car. "Hey, nothing to worry about, they replace or remove those things all the time for other standard work" or "There's nothing under there to get damaged, it's just cosmetic" or "This is why the dealership is telling you what they are telling you" or "I'd ask for some sort of compensation, even if it's a free service interval/oil change", etc, would have been better responses than some of the ones early in this conversation.

Thanks all, for helping to educate and advise... let's all just do it with a better tone. :tango_face_wink:
 
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