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UPDATE: The car was in the shop for close to a month. And the dealership had an engineer from subaru come and after further testing, they said "this is normal". It took them a month to say that. It took them a month of "testing" where the car was sitting for a month where even the tech could not figure out why it was making that noise and admits that it's abnormal but the dealership released the car to me because Subaru said it's fine. very disappointing.
 

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UPDATE: The car was in the shop for close to a month. And the dealership had an engineer from subaru come and after further testing, they said "this is normal". It took them a month to say that. It took them a month of "testing" where the car was sitting for a month where even the tech could not figure out why it was making that noise and admits that it's abnormal but the dealership released the car to me because Subaru said it's fine. very disappointing.
Unacceptable. Write an email to SOA saying the next time they hear from you, it will be from a lawyer whether or not it technically qualifies for the lemon “three strikes” law. I would not feel safe driving a car with a clearly compromised transmission or other engine component. I don’t have a litigious bone in my body but what’s the alternative?

lastly, who shoulders the liability when techs drive your car for a month?
 

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UPDATE: The car was in the shop for close to a month. And the dealership had an engineer from subaru come and after further testing, they said "this is normal". It took them a month to say that. It took them a month of "testing" where the car was sitting for a month where even the tech could not figure out why it was making that noise and admits that it's abnormal but the dealership released the car to me because Subaru said it's fine. very disappointing.
Please let me know what dealership. Subaru of America would NEVER say a slipping chain noise was normal, so I am really curious what's going on. Please have a passenger record it happening and I would love to try to help you out.
 

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Unacceptable. Write an email to SOA saying the next time they hear from you, it will be from a lawyer whether or not it technically qualifies for the lemon “three strikes” law. I would not feel safe driving a car with a clearly compromised transmission or other engine component. I don’t have a litigious bone in my body but what’s the alternative?

lastly, who shoulders the liability when techs drive your car for a month?
I think the dealership is kind of absolving themselves of responsibility and putting it on SOA when they are saying "we have a notarized letter from SOA" saying the car is good to release back to the client. I'm picking up the car today to see this so-called letter. I don't even know what my options are. Techincally the car's been there 3 times already. 1st time they couldn't "recreate the problem", 2nd time was the recall WUV07, 3rd time was because it kept happening.

I'm trying to look up the NY lemon laws, but google said that Subaru doesnt participate in NY Lemon Laws.
 

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Please let me know what dealership. Subaru of America would NEVER say a slipping chain noise was normal, so I am really curious what's going on. Please have a passenger record it happening and I would love to try to help you out.
Thanks, it's Grand Prix Subaru in Hicksville NY. I'm picking up the car later today to see what's what and to talk to them.
 

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I think the dealership is kind of absolving themselves of responsibility and putting it on SOA when they are saying "we have a notarized letter from SOA" saying the car is good to release back to the client. I'm picking up the car today to see this so-called letter. I don't even know what my options are. Techincally the car's been there 3 times already. 1st time they couldn't "recreate the problem", 2nd time was the recall WUV07, 3rd time was because it kept happening.

I'm trying to look up the NY lemon laws, but google said that Subaru doesnt participate in NY Lemon Laws.
Google isn't relevant or correct, so, don't let your search results worry you. I suggest the following:
  • Call Subaru of America - do not rely on Grand Prix to communicate anything to or from SoA. And don't rely on Google to tell you how Subaru of America would deal with a complaint, buyback or lemon.

    What they will or won't do has nothing to do with what you found. The point of confusion is that your car was sold by them to Subaru Distributor Corp - not to or through your dealership. Your dealership didn't order the car via Subaru of America. That doesn't mean that lemon laws don't apply or that SoA doesn't honor them - it means they're handled differently, since SDC is the distributor, and not SoA.

  • Please have a passenger record the chain slip sound.

  • This one I strongly suggest: Go to another dealership. I personally recommend Competition Subaru of Smithtown or Liberty Subaru of Emerson, NJ. I know that's a bit of a drive for you, but I also know they will take care of you properly. Alternatively, I have heard great things about North Coast Subaru in Glen Head.
 

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I'll take your suggestions. Thank you so much. I've actually been emailing back and forth with SOA and it's more of a rep saying "I've communicated your concerns with the dealership and have been notified by the engineer that they recommend more testing". That was the last thing I got from them before the service advisor from the dealership called me. Is that sound a chain slip? The original posters video is EXACTLY what I have.
 

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Is that sound a chain slip? The original posters video is EXACTLY what I have.
Check this video of his:

  1. If, while driving, your Ascent makes that sound and the rpms do what his is doing, then, yes, your chain is slipping.
  2. If, while parked, when you shift from Drive to Reverse (or vice versa) or from Park to either Drive or Reverse, your car makes that sound, then that is NOT your chain slipping and is absolutely normal.
 

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Check this video of his:

  1. If, while driving, your Ascent makes that sound and the rpms do what his is doing, then, yes, your chain is slipping.
  2. If, while parked, when you shift from Drive to Reverse (or vice versa) or from Park to either Drive or Reverse, your car makes that sound, then that is NOT your chain slipping and is absolutely normal.
This is definitely #1. Especially on the highway. I don't think I've ever experienced #2 at all.
 

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Update: the dealer was able to secure the one available transmission. They’ll get it next week and will install it right away. I should have my car back by end of the week.
Any update after this - are you still seeing the issue - Is yours 2020 or 2019 ascent ? Have 2020 owners seen this issue on theirs?
 

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Any update after this - are you still seeing the issue - Is yours 2020 or 2019 ascent ? Have 2020 owners seen this issue on theirs?
No 2020 Ascents have this issue. They all came with the new harness.
 

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Mine has not gotten that bad, yet. I emailed Subaru last night with links to my videos and reference to other drivers experiencing similar issues. My hope is with the video evidence they will replace my transmission as this is clearly a growing issue.
It's going to get worse quick, I'm one of the folks that had their CVT replaced. You also need a new dealer, the one you are dealing with is suspect. The fact you showed them a video and they still did the update when it clearly states that CVTs that are currently experiencing slip should be replaced. The fact you said it was doing it should have at least been enough for them to keep it until they could test it more thoroughly and experience the issue. Lastly, please enter your problem here Subaru Ascent Transmission Issues, so everyone can benefit from your experience with this issue. Since yours is a 2020 it's showing that Subaru may have a more significant issue on their hands. Most other issues have been 2019 model years only. If more 2020 model year Ascents begin to have issues, this will be most concerning.
 

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No 2020 Ascents have this issue. They all came with the new harness.
When did the model year 2020 release? The OP said his was purchased in July, you think it's a 2019 for sure? I think Subaru sometimes releases their new model years really early, but July might be extra early.
 

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IDK, but I bought my '19 in early Aug 2019 and the dealer already had '20s on the lot. Bummer if an old harness snuck its way past inventory control.
 

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I think the dealership is kind of absolving themselves of responsibility and putting it on SOA when they are saying "we have a notarized letter from SOA" saying the car is good to release back to the client. I'm picking up the car today to see this so-called letter. I don't even know what my options are. Techincally the car's been there 3 times already. 1st time they couldn't "recreate the problem", 2nd time was the recall WUV07, 3rd time was because it kept happening.

I'm trying to look up the NY lemon laws, but google said that Subaru doesnt participate in NY Lemon Laws.
There is no such thing of not participating.
 

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When did the model year 2020 release? The OP said his was purchased in July, you think it's a 2019 for sure? I think Subaru sometimes releases their new model years really early, but July might be extra early.
IDK, but I bought my '19 in early Aug 2019 and the dealer already had '20s on the lot. Bummer if an old harness snuck its way past inventory control.
Fortunately, nothing like this sneaks through. As a matter of fact, every single parts bin is specifically tailored and logged for one car, and transported by computer controlled carts across the factory to the car at various points on the assembly line for assembly - neatest thing to watch happen. In this pic, you will see an SIA employee removing a part from one of the computer carts. The line on the ground is a special line that the carts sense to know exactly where they can and cannot drive, and where to stop to deliver what parts. The parts are scanned by the installers with the car they're going in, allowing Subaru a very high level of tracking for each part.
2771


It's really cool to watch. A continuous stream of cars is moving along the car conveyers, with these computer controlled carts arriving for each technician with the parts the tech needs. Simultaneously, the car doors and such are moving in to the door re-installation point to be reattached to the exact car it was painted for (the doors get painted with the car so there's no variance in paint colors or in attachment seams, then removed so that other parts can be installed without the installers scratching the paint on the doors).

Cars are raised, lowered or moved to accommodate the needs of each station as they're carried around. Sooo cool. I highly recommend the factory tour!!!
2772


ANYWAYS...
Easiest thing is for the OP (or anyone concerned) to run his VIN on the Subaru recall page. 2020's were already on sale in July, IIRC.

Anyway, @meensu's question was:
Have 2020 owners seen this issue on theirs?
No 2020's had this issue. The harness that had the issue was solely used in the 2019 model year Ascent, and never used in a 2020. Note, that's model year, not production year.
 

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Mine has not gotten that bad, yet. I emailed Subaru last night with links to my videos and reference to other drivers experiencing similar issues. My hope is with the video evidence they will replace my transmission as this is clearly a growing issue.
It's going to get worse quick, I'm one of the folks that had their CVT replaced. You also need a new dealer, the one you are dealing with is suspect. The fact you showed them a video and they still did the update when it clearly states that CVTs that are currently experiencing slip should be replaced. The fact you said it was doing it should have at least been enough for them to keep it until they could test it more thoroughly and experience the issue. Lastly, please enter your problem here Subaru Ascent Transmission Issues, so everyone can benefit from your experience with this issue. Since yours is a 2020 it's showing that Subaru may have a more significant issue on their hands. Most other issues have been 2019 model years only. If more 2020 model year Ascents begin to have issues, this will be most concerning.
mrchin932 has a 2019 Ascent, purchased in 2018. I think you're mixing up posters.

2773
 

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Any update after this - are you still seeing the issue - Is yours 2020 or 2019 ascent ? Have 2020 owners seen this issue on theirs?
2019, picked it up yesterday the dealership said they couldn't show me the letter where they "released" the car because it was proprietary. During the drive I experienced the "slips" again but happened to get a call from the rep from SOA that I was corresponding with and he said there seems to be conflicting stories between dealership and field engineer but they both agree that they essentially can't replicate the problem and have to schedule a time to get both the dealership and the engineer in a car with me. More to come...

From Robert's advice I took a video, in the video I experienced the slip more than 15 times. Some of them were faint and can't be heard but you can see from the timestamps below what it sounds like.


  1. 2:39 - 2:41
  2. 2:46 - 2:48
  3. 2:56 - 2:58
  4. 3:06 - 3:08
  5. 3:19 - 3:21
  6. 3:52 - 3:54
  7. 4:04 - 4:06
  8. 5:06 - 5:08
  9. 7:32 - 7:34
  10. 7:50 - 7:52
  11. 8:18 - 8:20
  12. 8:59 - 9:01
  13. 9:24 - 9:26
  14. 9:54 - 9:56
  15. 10:06 - 10:08
 

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Send that to SoA and PLEASE take it to one of the dealerships I suggested and show them the video.



2019, picked it up yesterday the dealership said they couldn't show me the letter where they "released" the car because it was proprietary. During the drive I experienced the "slips" again but happened to get a call from the rep from SOA that I was corresponding with and he said there seems to be conflicting stories between dealership and field engineer but they both agree that they essentially can't replicate the problem and have to schedule a time to get both the dealership and the engineer in a car with me. More to come...

From Robert's advice I took a video, in the video I experienced the slip more than 15 times. Some of them were faint and can't be heard but you can see from the timestamps below what it sounds like.


  1. 2:39 - 2:41
  2. 2:46 - 2:48
  3. 2:56 - 2:58
  4. 3:06 - 3:08
  5. 3:19 - 3:21
  6. 3:52 - 3:54
  7. 4:04 - 4:06
  8. 5:06 - 5:08
  9. 7:32 - 7:34
  10. 7:50 - 7:52
  11. 8:18 - 8:20
  12. 8:59 - 9:01
  13. 9:24 - 9:26
  14. 9:54 - 9:56
  15. 10:06 - 10:08
 
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