donkpow· Super Moderator
2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
I have seen this type of thing on other machines where the starter is not exactly perpendicular to the flywheel. The pinion binds going in at an angle. I can't say that this is it or how to fix it if it is the problem. I think it was GM that had shims to correct things like this. First you'd have to find a way to verify the situation. It's not unheard of for a single engine to have improper machining. That's why they have lemon laws.