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2019 Forester Touring AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a brand new 2019 Forester Touring that has had nothing but problems since receiving it at 11 miles (now at 750 miles). It has been to the dealer numerous times for mostly electronic issues, some annoying such as pretty serious “bugs“ and others not allowing me to utilize many of the features… but some safety-related such as it finally recognizing me as the driver at highway speed and automatically adjusting the seat with no warning. The list is lengthy, and seems to get worse by the day. I have reported all of it to the dealership and Subaru corporate, but nobody seems very concerned. I am new to Subaru, so this has been a rough start. I really want to love this car. Anyone else having similar issues?
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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I’ve had my 2019 since early October 2018, and the only issue I’ve experienced was the “rear tailgate refusing to open” issue twice.

Your vehicle does seem to have some unusual issues...
 

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I've had my 2019 since January, a Premium 15. I've also had the weird tailgate issue two or three times, and I've also had a weird infotainment issue where the car was playing the CarPlay music at the same time as the radio, which I had to reset with a 10-second power button press on the infotainment.

Aside from that it's been pretty fun.
 

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2018 Forester XT
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Whether they seem to care or not...get it fixed. If it’s happening chronically and/or frequently, it can be replicated.
 

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2017 Touring CVT
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131 Posts
Prepare to document a Lemon Law claim if this utterly unacceptable process continues. Save all your service receipts and note on a calendar each day you didn't have the car because it was at the dealer. Make your own notes of problems: type, when occurred, dates of service, etc. Consult an attorney with MD Lemon Law experience--you might be pleasantly surprised what a single letter from counsel can do to expedite resolution. If in the end you do go forward with keeping ownership consider getting a Subaru Gold extended warranty. You have a top of the line model with bottom of the barrel issues.

https://www.autosafety.org/maryland/
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@SubieGirl19 -
Member @pliddle has some great points as far as documentation, but engaging an attorney up front is going to cost you money that you may not need to spend.
If you look at the lemon law, in Maryland:
Maryland's Lemon Law applies to new or leased motor vehicles (including cars, light trucks and motorcycles), registered in Maryland, that are less than 24 months old and have been driven less than 18,000 miles. The law provides for consumers whose cars meet certain criteria to receive a refund or a replacement vehicle if repair attempts have failed to correct a problem, and the problem substantially impairs the use and market value of the vehicle.
Vehicles that have a significant non-conformity which can not be fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts (normally four), or a serious braking or steering problem which can't be fixed after the first try.

If the above definition fits your car, you can exercise your rights under the law.
It is difficult to say whether or not the issues you have had qualify based on your description.

If it turns out you need an attorney because they don't cooperate, and you win, you should also get your legal expenses paid since they acted in bad faith.
If you hire an attorney up front, the legal costs are on you if Subaru refunds or replaces the car, because they acted in good faith.

Show the dealer your assembled documentation, tell them you consider the car a lemon and you would prefer not to have your attorney involved in resolving the matter, but either way you are going to have it resolved. Get a statement from them in writing why they say it doesn't qualify if they disagree.

If they do disagree, hire counsel and get her/his legal opinion whether or not to sue them for refund or replacement.
At that point, the lawyer's letter will document your position clearly and enable you to make the case that you are also entitled to legal representation compensation.

Good Luck.
 

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2017 Touring CVT
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It's probably because I practiced litigation for a few decades, but my experience was pretty consistent: a simple letter can provide relief without the need to go to court.

"My client has advised me of the repetitive defects and repair efforts in her new Subaru Forester, which appear to have no resolution in sight. As I suspect you are aware, our state's motor vehicle Lemon Law provides aggrieved consumers a number of legal options, which I am prepared to institute unless this unacceptable situation is resolved quickly. By copy of this letter to SOA Customer Relations I am requesting that they and you present your proposal to address this issue before I take formal action. I look forward to your prompt response."

Of course a similar letter from the customer say the same thing, but an attorney's letterhead is far more likely to got to resolution, especially since it's not unusual for a woman's complaints to be disregarded in this type of situation. Moreover, the last thing the dealership wants is to have to bring in its own counsel and pay the consequent legal fees. The owner's initial consultation is likely to be gratis and the cost of the letter probably around $100 or so. The issue of recovering legal fees and expenses should never have to be reached and I can say with confidence that it is a rare occurrence that it is ever successful.
 

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@pliddle - My point is that the OP needs to state her position first.
She's said she has had issues, but if the issues are minor, the car would not be considered a lemon under the law.
I doubt a seat adjusting would qualify, especially if it happened only once. Remember that proof is not a statement saying it happened.
An attorney's letter isn't going to help in this case, and while she might not be charged, she could, and the letter won't be free in any case.

The letter text you provided could be effective if the case it reflected were true... But is it?
Has the OP stated that nothing was resolved? Not in her post. She has a long list... What's in it?

Perhaps you can mind read what "nobody seems very concerned" means.. I would not attempt to do so.
It could be that the dealer isn't concerned about the problems reported to date because they are minor and/or have been addressed.

Conversely, if there ARE serious issues, the OP could send a very similar letter herself and likely get the same result.
If not, escalation to an attorney would be the next logical step. I don't see the advantage in starting out nuclear as you suggest.

Unless and until there is a response from the dealer in regards to a statement from the OP that she considers the car a lemon, it is premature to have an attorney draft anything. After the dealer has a response, an attorney could then appropriately address a response in a document, and that might carry some additional weight, but again that will also be based on the merits (or not) of the case.

Subaru isn't going to take a car back for minor issues, regardless of who's letterhead is on a complaint letter, but the OP may be able to get some additional consideration through negotiation rather than threats.

That's my 2 cents.
 

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2017 Touring CVT
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131 Posts
Dragon--I'll bring my end of this dialogue to a close with this post--no need to persist. The owner's initial post stated her concern with "potentially serious issues" and the fact that "nobody is concerned." Under these circumstances, the purpose of a lawyer's letter is to prod the dealership and SOA into showing some attention to her complaints without necessarily involving counsel further. Yes,I'm speculating, but I doubt a letter from her will elicit anything but a perfunctory brushoff. It's not going nuclear, it's a wakeup call.
 

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@SubieGirl19: In addition to what the other commenters recommend, I suggest contacting your AG’s office for advice. They’re on your side and should be able to help you better understand your legal options if/when the Lemon Law kicks in.

It’s very important that you keep track of how many days your car is out of service. This isn’t legal advice, but your car could possibly qualify as a Lemon under the “Any number of problems that substantially impair the use and market value of the vehicle that have caused it to be out of service for a cumulative total of 30 or more days” line of MD’s Lemon Law.

Also, if you didn’t know, the BBB has an auto arbitration service should you need it. Someone posted info about it here: https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/exchanging-new-problem-car-lemon-law-solved-789841/

Good luck!
 

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2019 Forester Touring AWD
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just wanted to start by thanking you all so very much for your help and advice. The dealership has actually been responsive and “attempting“ to help— and today has replaced the entire infotainment system and is keeping it another day to try to ensure the problems are resolved, apparently per corporate direction. To clarify, some of the issues were definitely safety concerns, while others have just been annoying and consistently not allowing me access to many of the car’s features. I was clear with them after the third service visit that if today’s work does not resolve the problem(the fourth plus numerous other stop-ins, calls and emails), I would in fact file under the lemon law, for lack of other options. The suggestion to utilize the AG is also a great one, thanks. I come from a large family of lawyers, and was a year from my JD (finished my MSW), so I definitely appreciate the legal arguments on both sides. I instinctively keep immensely detailed documentation, both following up all conversations in writing, taking photos and screenshots regularly, and documenting every day the car has not worked properly, which has been the case daily since taking ownership. Assuming this post doesn’t get closed, I will report back to you all once I know what they found and/or should I need to take any other action. Thank you all again for trying to give me a hand!
 

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The 2019 Forester is complicated and with over 1000 pages of manuals to read and until you absorb it your left to wonder. A 24/7 chat line may help some people work through these issues until the light bulb lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just wanted to give everyone an update: I'm now at about 2,400 miles (got the car with 11 miles in March) and still having many of the same issues. Some of the constant 'bugs' went away when they replaced the infotainment deck, but about another half dozen or more pretty annoying issues have persisted (despite uncountable resets) including the one that's a safety issue, where the seat will just move on its own when nothing is being touched (this has happened twice at speed as I've mentioned and continues to happen intermittently when getting in the car, even if nothing has changed at all since the last time using it-- something that's never happened until recently). Other issues now include the speaker source changing and going full-blast even when the volume is clearly set to 'zero'-- or like others reported, several functions operating over each other simultaneously like Siri dictation being activated and music playing together, making it hard to use either; also, often the three screens are in conflict with what they show, such as SXM being on one and an iTunes playlist being on the other, or all three going to "Starlink" or even blacked out entirely. The list of issues is pretty endless, although they did determine that some 2019 Forester owners have not only the deck issue but also an amp issue-- so they will be replacing my amp and doing two new updates that apparently are for the new amp. I had gone to the GM and the service manager and they finally two days ago got the corporate-level Subaru tech folks involved, saying this is beyond a dealership-level fix and a problem with the "product" itself. My excessive documentation of the issues both in writing and in photos apparently was appreciated, and as more of these cars are being sold, they are apparently finding I'm not the only one having at least most of these problems (I left a 71-page disk for both the GM and service manager, it was that much that had been wrong and documented in the first few months of ownership). I'll be leaving my car with them this Wednesday evening to have for as long as they need to decide if this is fixable or if the car itself needs to be replaced. I had to let them know that if nobody had fixed anything at the 6-month mark I'd have to file under the Maryland Lemon Law -- and that at least seemed to help move things forward (placing an actual deadline on having been very patient for 1/3 of a year with a top-end car that has had so many problems and now eight visits for service or meetings with their in-house tech expert/s). Anyway, thanks again for your input here. Just thought I'd keep you all posted, especially in case you hear of others with similar issues elsewhere on this great forum.
 

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Wow, thanks for the update. The seat moving by itself while driving would definitely be a deal breaker for me. For the record I've never had any the issues you've listed but have no doubt you have. I also don't use an Apple phone, and have let my SiriusXM subscription run out. Hope you get this sorted out.
 
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