Subaru Ascent Forum banner

21 - 35 of 35 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
70 Posts
I'd still be careful. Someone posted up a bulletin from SOA to their dealers warning them about installing lift kits and that any problems it caused would not be warrantied. The dealers that sell the cars with the lift kits installed, or are willing to install the lift kits, are basically warranting the kits themselves. They charge a hefty premium to do the install so you're basically paying for an insurance policy through them. But dealers being what they are, I'm not sure I'd trust them to actually follow through if push comes to shove.
This discussion is as old as time, or at least 45 years old. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (1975) establishes that a warranty claim can only be denied if causation is established. That bar is set for the party honoring the warranty to clear, not the claimant.

There is certainly nuance as one has interactions from dealer to dealer, brand to brand, and this is a YMMV moment.

Anecdotally, the experience that I've had has been very positive. I had melted a piston in a tuned turbo motor many years ago (93 Octane tune w/ 91 Octane pump gas will do that). Being very nice to my service advisor and the dealer staff along with a handle of Johnny Walker Red may have helped the repair fall under a warranty claim vs. out of pocket. I can't be sure.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
Magnuson-Moss does indeed work as you describe, Matt. But it's also true, at least to my memory, that Subaru published a guideline to dealers that essentially told them to lay off installing mods. Someone posted a copy either here or in another Subaru oriended forum awhile back if I'm not mistaken. A manufacturer does have some clout with dealer relationship requirements.
 
  • Like
Reactions: justmatt

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
70 Posts
With dealers operating independently of manufacturers in all but one case that I'm aware (Tesla...), Magnuson-Moss and this ask of the dealers via guideline are not mutually exclusive.

But for service centers being massive profit centers for each dealership, the risk is on each dealer to make a claim of warranty for aftermarket parts. In other words, if Subaru has asked dealers to lay off the good stuff, and a dealer's claims to Subaru for warranty reimbursement go unfulfilled (rejected), the dealership will be on the hook to eat the cost via the warranty of aftermarket parts.

It would be interesting to see the verbiage of that memo should you be able to scrounge it up!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,789 Posts
With dealers operating independently of manufacturers in all but one case that I'm aware (Tesla...), Magnuson-Moss and this ask of the dealers via guideline are not mutually exclusive.

But for service centers being massive profit centers for each dealership, the risk is on each dealer to make a claim of warranty for aftermarket parts. In other words, if Subaru has asked dealers to lay off the good stuff, and a dealer's claims to Subaru for warranty reimbursement go unfulfilled (rejected), the dealership will be on the hook to eat the cost via the warranty of aftermarket parts.

It would be interesting to see the verbiage of that memo should you be able to scrounge it up!
It simply states it doesn't cover aftermarket parts, or damage caused by them. Nor do they recommend modifying the vehicle, for various reasons, including inability to vet the parts, and safety implications that may be created.

As a real world for instance (first hand), a BIG aftermarket off roading modding company was putting quite underrated rims on the Ascent. I sent a bunch of messages and told owners to go back to them. That company no longer sells their rims for the Ascent. There are multiple companies that had been involved in modding cars for dealers, and it is one of them.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
With dealers operating independently of manufacturers in all but one case that I'm aware (Tesla...), Magnuson-Moss and this ask of the dealers via guideline are not mutually exclusive.
Only to the extent that the law applies to how warranties work relative to modifications and/or third party parts/products. Dealers have a contract with the manufacturer to represent said manufacturer and the "franchise" can and does come with requirements and restrictions. I don't see how Magnuson-Moss would apply to non-warranty terms and conditions for becoming and maintaining a dealership, but I certainly could be wrong about that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: justmatt

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
70 Posts
Only to the extent that the law applies to how warranties work relative to modifications and/or third party parts/products. Dealers have a contract with the manufacturer to represent said manufacturer and the "franchise" can and does come with requirements and restrictions. I don't see how Magnuson-Moss would apply to non-warranty terms and conditions for becoming and maintaining a dealership, but I certainly could be wrong about that.
I think the logic goes something like this, at least from what I've experienced -

The dealer offers a warranty on parts aftermarket to the factory stock vehicle. The dealer then acts as both agent and claimant on the warranty, depending on what part has failed. If a component from the factory has failed, the dealer is fiduciary to both the manufacturer in protecting the warranty claim service as well as the end customer, in terms of warranting the part that has broken.

The dealer has to act as on the customer's behalf when submitting the claim for warranty work, and submit the claim truthfully, including their determination that the defect was not (or was) caused by the aftermarket part. This is where I see MM coming into play. If the dealer determines the aftermarket part caused a defect to a factory part, then the dealer is on the hook for the repair.

Enter: The rub.

A bit of conflict of interest comes into play when you have bad actors installing aftermarket parts that in turn cause damage (and therefore claims) to factory parts. When these bad actors "look the other way" when filing warranty claims, ignoring or not reporting the aftermarket parts in the claim, MM is likely breached. by the dealership acting on behalf of the customer and/or as the customer. This is very similar to fraud detection in other insurance industries, and the process is very likely the same. I will be the first to admit I know this from an arm's length when it comes to automobiles, but I understand the process as it applies to medical claims and manufactured product warranty claims. Not a 1:1 by any stretch but as they say with hand grenades, "close enough" :) This is what I'd equate to "off label use" for a medical device or pharmaceutical product.

I have only ever seen very large, high volume dealerships sell dealer-customized vehicles, as they have the purchasing power from the factory to make warranty exceptions the "norm". Shops like Bishop Mazda/Ford/Toyota/Yugo/Nissan/Fiat in beautiful Bishop, CA that move hundreds, if not dozens of cars a year probably don't have this much sway.

tl'dr pure conjecture and speculation on my part based on past experience with things that get implanted in humans :D
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
That's certainly one plausible reason for Subaru to be, um...not enthusiastic...about their dealers doing modding (assuming my memory of the reproduced letter is accurate), especially if an end consumer has an issue caused by a mod that the installing dealer doesn't fix and then works the angle directly on Subaru. "Well, a Subaru dealer installed it!" Even though the vehicle manufacturer might ultimately prevail, there's still the cost of dealing with the situation and the potential for unkind words. If they have a policy that says to dealers "thou shalt not", it's probably at least in some way an effort to reduce the potential for the mishigas that comes from misunderstandings around who is responsible when something comes wrong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Well, I thought the guy was a bit fishy and went into a different Subaru dealer on my way home today. They actually have a whole slew of brand new Ascents, Outbacks, and Foresters already lifted with nice chunky tires and I asked the sales guy there about the warranty and he said they’re all completely covered just like normal. Guess I know what location WON’T be earning my business! Grrrrr
Which dealership gave you the "OK to proceed" advice and which the "No Go" advice? I'm in the same boat (and city) with my 2019 Ascent. Trying to decide whether to go with dealer or aftermarket suspension shop.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,789 Posts
Which dealership gave you the "OK to proceed" advice and which the "No Go" advice? I'm in the same boat (and city) with my 2019 Ascent. Trying to decide whether to go with dealer or aftermarket suspension shop.
Absolutely no dealer can extend the Subaru warranty to cover aftermarket suspension upgrades, even if the dealer installed them. Stay clear of any that say they will, and report them to Subaru of America, by phone or by their contact page.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Absolutely no dealer can extend the Subaru warranty to cover aftermarket suspension upgrades, even if the dealer installed them. Stay clear of any that say they will, and report them to Subaru of America, by phone or by their contact page.
So when they're selling them new on the lot (we almost bought a lifted one but it didn't have some of the other features we were looking for), they are selling a non-warranted vehicle?
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
2,156 Posts
So when they're selling them new on the lot (we almost bought a lifted one but it didn't have some of the other features we were looking for), they are selling a non-warranted vehicle?
The vehicle is warranted, but not for any issues that can be proven to be caused by the modifications. In this case, the lift. The law doesn't permit voiding a warranty, but it does permit not honoring it for issues proven to be caused by a modification, etc. IE, a lift cannot cause a problem with the head unit. A lift might cause a problem with the suspension/steering, etc.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,789 Posts
The vehicle is warranted, but not for any issues that can be proven to be caused by the modifications. In this case, the lift. The law doesn't permit voiding a warranty, but it does permit not honoring it for issues proven to be caused by a modification, etc. IE, a lift cannot cause a problem with the head unit. A lift might cause a problem with the suspension/steering, etc.
Exactly this. Plus, let's say that the lift was done by using a set of aftermarket struts, then, your struts aren't covered, because they aren't Subaru's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Exactly this. Plus, let's say that the lift was done by using a set of aftermarket struts, then, your struts aren't covered, because they aren't Subaru's.
Thanks. The discussion just makes it sound like putting an aftermarket X on a vehicle voids the entire warranty. I would never expect a warranty to cover something I added to a vehicle later. Whether new suspension or wiper blades.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,789 Posts
Thanks. The discussion just makes it sound like putting an aftermarket X on a vehicle voids the entire warranty. I would never expect a warranty to cover something I added to a vehicle later. Whether new suspension or wiper blades.
I'm sorry, but perhaps we're explaining this wrong? We're all saying the exact opposite. Bilstein lifting struts are amazing. They ARE NOT OEM replacements. They change specific parameters of the car that affect safety, performance, handling and capabilities.

Subaru has absolutely no obligation to warranty someone else's parts.

Let's say you buy an Apple computer (main unit, keyboard, mouse, monitor and all), and then exchange the keyboard for an HP keyboard. Apple has no obligation to provide warranty repair or replacement for that HP keyboard.

It doesn't void the warranty on the computer, but the warranty no longer covers the keyboard, because it's not Apple's.

Now, lets say HP had a design fault, or a build fault. Regardless of whether it was specific to the design, or a manufacturing defect to just the one keyboard you bought, and it shorts out and damages the computer, Apple isn't required to cover the repair of the computer because of a defect in the HP keyboard that damaged the computer. (If Apple's keyboard damaged it, that's different).

Final scenario: let's say that the HP keyboard has a different power requirement (a higher one, perhaps), and thus, you plugging it in damages the Apple motherboard, then, Apple doesn't need to cover the motherboard, because you plugged in something that wasn't OEM equivalent. If the monitor dies, Apple is still on the hook for the monitor, though.

Hope that explains it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I understand that completely. My point was simply that the discussion made it seem like aftermarket parts voided the entire vehicle's warranty. Which is clearly not the case. Thanks. And back to the topic at hand.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
Top