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Subaru‘s general reliability and recalls deserves a thread of their own.
My ‘14 Forester XT fell into 2 separate recalls - one CVT related, where Subaru extended to CVT warranty to 10/100 and a FA20DIT engine leak down test where Subarus stock ECU maps were so bad they were blowing up motors. In both situations, I probably should have gotten a new engine and CVT, but fell just outside their testing criteria for replacement.
That put a permanent curse on that vehicle in my mind as I didn’t want to get stuck with either $10K+ repair bill just outside warranty.
I sold the car before hitting 100,000 miles. I shouldn’t have had to do that but the reliability fears contributed to it greatly. I was not going to be left “holding the bag” outside of warranty. The car was in great shape and was maintained immaculately in every regard - I shouldn’t have had to sell it.
Traditionally, blown motors aren’t a “thing” and most transmissions can be worked on and repaired if needed for ~$2K. Not so with Subaru.
What do I do? I buy another brand new Subaru with a CVT and newer platform turbo engine, lol.
Bring back manual transmission as an option for every vehicle ;)
 

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I took our new Ascent in for the 12,000 mile oil change two days ago, and the dealer told me there was a "recall" on the transmission. They set up an apt for me to return in a week, and reserved a loaner car for me. (I am not experiencing any problems that I have noticed.) They said that they would check the codes stored in the computer, and would then either need to reprogram the computer (a process needing 2 hours) or replace the entire transmission. I asked if they had the parts on hand if they needed to do a replacement, and they said yes. I'll post again once I have taken the car in. I would not have known about the "recall" if they had not told me. Felt like they were taking care of me.
 

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I took our new Ascent in for the 12,000 mile oil change two days ago, and the dealer told me there was a "recall" on the transmission. They set up an apt for me to return in a week, and reserved a loaner car for me. (I am not experiencing any problems that I have noticed.) They said that they would check the codes stored in the computer, and would then either need to reprogram the computer (a process needing 2 hours) or replace the entire transmission. I asked if they had the parts on hand if they needed to do a replacement, and they said yes. I'll post again once I have taken the car in. I would not have known about the "recall" if they had not told me. Felt like they were taking care of me.
Ascent recalls Search by VIN# since most Ascents are NOT involved in these two recalls. One of the recalls involves 166 vehicles (WUI-94)and the other 293 (WTU-80 ). I am concerned that your dealer indicated a recall associated with the transmission which is NOT true. They were probably talking about a service campaign for the Transmission Control Module which involves simply reprogramming (Service Campaign is WUV07 -this depends on build date). No one is going to get a replacement transmission with this service campaign.
 

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Ascent recalls Search by VIN# since most Ascents are NOT involved in these two recalls. One of the recalls involves 166 vehicles (WUI-94)and the other 293 (WTU-80 ). I am concerned that your dealer indicated a recall associated with the transmission which is NOT true. They were probably talking about a service campaign for the Transmission Control Module which involves simply reprogramming (Service Campaign is WUV07 -this depends on build date). No one is going to get a replacement transmission with this service campaign.
Yep, not because of the campaign itself.

But, if some rare person brought in a car with an already damaged CVT (where they missed all the signs), then, yes, the CVT will likely be replaced.

Like packout said, that's not directly because of the campaign, but simply because they detected a failed CVT when the car was brought in.
 

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Greetings,
Let's not put a downer on some good news by being overly literal. He did put "recall" in quotes. For a service manager talking to customers, it might just be easier to use the more colloquial terminology instead of getting into the details of the TCM reprogramming. Sounds like good service to me. I hope mine does the same.
 

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I scheduled our Ascent for a 12K oil change and tire rotation for next Wednesday. Build date was September 2018 so I called back to see if this TCM update could be installed at the same time after seeing this information. They checked their schedule and said yes, but they would need the car for an extra couple of hours. Haven't had any problems but it will be nice to get this out of the way. The service people kept using the word "recall" so maybe they just think that's less confusing for customers that don't read these forums.
 

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The service people kept using the word "recall" so maybe they just think that's less confusing for customers that don't read these forums.
Could be. Currently, none of the Service Orders I've seen say "Recall" (please let me know if yours does), and NHTSA has no recall filed.

People don't ask what a recall is, but a number of people have already asked me what a Service Campaign is.
 

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I have had issues since I bought the Ascent. At first, we thought it was just a "break-in period." They told us that around 2500 miles, the engine would be broke in. I'm at around 10,000 miles now and still having problems. Mine doesn't seem to be the same issue as yours, but I've read other people with my issue. With ours, the engine has trouble downshifting between 10 and 30 mph. I do a lot of driving in the neighborhoods and school zones and it's a very big problem and extremely annoying. To the outsider looking in, trying to hold my speed at 20 mph, I feel like a beginner trying to learn how to drive a standard. I'm lurching through the school zone. Occasionally, I'll have these issues at higher speeds, but not often. They already "fixed" this issue once by creating a program for it, or something to that effect (sorry, I'm not a car person). I thought it was better for a day or two...but nope. It still does this. Obviously, I have to get it back in, but being that the dealership is an hour away, it's not easy to just take it up there and be in a rental for several days.
 

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Sounds to me like it might be a combination of the very responsive throttle and turbo lag. Have you tried taking another Ascent for a test drive at the dealer and seeing if it's any different? What happens is I give it a little throttle, then maybe just a little bit more, then the turbo kicks in and I can get more acceleration that I wanted. Small, slow, and patient throttle application might help.

But do try another Ascent to see if yours is behaving abnormally.
 

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Hi Robert, and Raindog and bverant
This forum has been hugely valuable today, seeing the video, and your knowledge etc. How do you reach out to SoA?

EDIT: I'm curious is the guy in the video just getting a software fix? Or will there be more feedback than that?
I'm the guy in the video and they are replacing my transmission. It's been with them for 2 weeks and 3 days so far. I am calling tomorrow for an update on where they stand. As much slipping as I experienced over the course of 4 days and how bad it was on the 50 mile drive to drop it off at the dealership, I will expect nothing less than a replacement unit. No way a TCM update will be satisfactory to me. There has to be internal damage and the violent shuddering that brought about the beginning of the slipping and squealing was so bad I thought someone rear ended me. I will keep you updated with what my results are but I was given a 2020 Ascent to drive while mine was waiting for a new transmission, I have put 650 miles on it so far and it's far smoother than my 2019 ever was. Check the following threads if you haven't already and make sure you add yourself to the excel file that is being compiled of people with transmission issues. Good luck.

List Your Transmission Problems
Transmission Failure Statistics
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Here's my update -- The Pros and Cons of this transmission episode with our brand new Subaru Ascent that we paid in full to purchase less than one year ago. This is just the transmission update (I have some other little goods/bads that are beyond the scope of this thread)

The Pros: Wife was at the appointment at the dealership this morning at 9. They worked on it for about an hour, just the TCM upgrade only, nothing else. She called me after to let me know that it's an entirely different ride now, much improved at all throttle and conditions either uphill or downhill. Her feedback was that she had no idea just how bad it was driving before, until she felt this new-improved version. Yay!

The Cons: I agree with Robn30 wholeheartedly, the internal damage that took place while the trans was driving in the prior TCM settings and slippage cannot be cured by software alone. Subaru is only shooting themselves in the foot by taking that position. The transmission isn't solely comprised of fluid, there are metal surfaces in there that contact each other while in motion. Those internal surfaces of the transmission will now have a shorter life than if they had not lurched and slipped under load. I'm also surprised that Subaru didn't change the fluid as part of the update. It's my opinion that each transmission in the affected range, that receive the TCM update, Subaru could take a sample of the fluid and analyze it to see whether and how much metal particles are suspended in the fluid. For instance, these transmissions have a filter. The reason for the filter is because as the transmission wears, the particles are caught in the filter membrane. As part of this update, could Subaru change the filter? At least the fluid? Of course they could. Decisions are being made that are cost effective for Subaru, while being detrimental to the consumer. Companies do that if they don't care losing a certain amount of customers, I get it that it's a business decision and someone is crunching numbers to get to that result. I'm not confident that extending the warranty to 100k is the right remedy, when most commuter type drivers are getting 200k, 300k or more out of their transmissions with no issues.

So, it's a mixed bag for us. Happy that it was addressed for now, the vehicle is much less dangerous. But we suspect that Subaru has lost our business for the next purchase three years from now, which will be forced by our getting rid of the Ascent at the 100k mark. We won't replace it with a Subaru product absent some sort of special recall trade-in campaign (which is extremely unlikely).

Really appreciate everyone's comments.
 

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The Cons: I agree with Robn30 wholeheartedly, the internal damage that took place while the trans was driving in the prior TCM settings and slippage cannot be cured by software alone. Subaru is only shooting themselves in the foot by taking that position.
I don't think Subaru is taking that position. From what I understand, the TCM update is supposed to prevent it. It is not designed for use to "fix" a damaged CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Hi Robert,

If Subaru is not taking that position, then exactly what are they doing? Thus far, they sent her back out on the road for a week with unsafe vehicle. Then, they flashed the TCM. That's it. The dealer didn't state that the parts didn't have increased wear because of all the slipping and lurching. If they would have stated it, we would have called them on it as being false. Is it that they aren't saying it because they would like to avoid replacing the transmission? We are sending them an email to make sure about these points.

Robert is your status with Subaru official? Like can you help with these conversations? I can definitely put you in touch with the service advisor if that helps us
 

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Hi Robert,

If Subaru is not taking that position, then exactly what are they doing? Thus far, they sent her back out on the road for a week with unsafe vehicle. Then, they flashed the TCM. That's it. The dealer didn't state that the parts didn't have increased wear because of all the slipping and lurching. If they would have stated it, we would have called them on it as being false. Is it that they aren't saying it because they would like to avoid replacing the transmission? We are sending them an email to make sure about these points.

Robert is your status with Subaru official? Like can you help with these conversations? I can definitely put you in touch with the service advisor if that helps us
That is a very substandard outcome in my opinion. I was contacted today by my dealership and informed mine was replaced with a factory new transmission. I will be picking it up tomorrow and will be asking about the service campaign and if my new unit was flashed with the TCM update. It is good to hear that the update is fixing the shifting issues. I am truly shocked that the update is fixing the issue and I'm hoping it's not just masking a serious deficiency that will rear it's ugly head in due time. This is very concerning and I'll will be watching this forum closely to see if more people begin to have CVT issues with build dates much after mine. If so then I will get rid of the Ascent before it hoses me royally with an $8 - $10K CVT replacement, since they aren't fixable it appears. I love the Ascent but reliability is second to safety in my world, and if I begin to worry about reliability at the 100K mileage mark then that's bad. I think I have the extended warranty to 125K or 10 years, so I'll ride it out to that point if I don't get something else sooner.
 

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Just went to Subaru and entered my VIN under the Recall link and this is what it found. Clearly states that if your vehicle is currently experiencing low drive chain tension (slipping), then your transmission should be replaced. I think Riley62 is getting a raw deal, it should have been replaced.
WUV07_NHTSA_Campaign.png
 

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Hi Robert,

If Subaru is not taking that position, then exactly what are they doing? Thus far, they sent her back out on the road for a week with unsafe vehicle. Then, they flashed the TCM. That's it. The dealer didn't state that the parts didn't have increased wear because of all the slipping and lurching. If they would have stated it, we would have called them on it as being false. Is it that they aren't saying it because they would like to avoid replacing the transmission? We are sending them an email to make sure about these points.

Robert is your status with Subaru official? Like can you help with these conversations? I can definitely put you in touch with the service advisor if that helps us
Please call Subaru of America as I'd suggested earlier. The dealership isn't Subaru, and Subaru would prefer to hear from you directly.
 

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Well I'm glad I checked, mine is on the list as well. Wish I would have received some sort of notification.

1Unrepaired Recalls associated with this VIN
Nov 22,2019
Manufacturer Recall NumberWUV07
NHTSA Recall Number19V855000
Recall StatusRecall Incomplete
 
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