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valvestem 12-14-2017 05:42 PM

No Thanks To Patriot Subaru
About three weeks ago, I went out to start my 2017 Limited with about 10,000 miles on it, and it was d-e-a-d. No lights, no horn, no radio, no start.
So I called Patriot Subaru in Saco Maine where I bought it. Their advice over the phone was a question, do you have AAA? Why yes, yes I do I said. Thinking why they want to know that?
Two hours later, I had a new battery installed in my driveway in the pouring rain by AAA. The original battery was so flat that it did not give a voltage reading in the high-tech device AAA uses nowadays.
Patriot Subaru gave me another sleeve job, and prepped the denial of claim by implying I must have left a light on in the cargo area. I did not.
Did I argue? Nope. Do I plan on calling Subaru? Nope. Did I learn something? Yes. What did I learn? That absolutely no dealer can be trusted beyond the time they get your money.
What did I want them to do? Why come get me and fix my car, it's 10 months old, with only 10,000 miles. Did they? No. Did they offer any other solution? No. Should I buy another car from them? TBD
Now I figure I am going to get plenty of answers on this saying it is only a car, things happen, batteries fail, etc., etc., I know all that. But I was the guy that had "it" happen to him, and I am not happy with Patriot Subaru of Saco Maine.
This is my 7th Subaru, 3rd one from Patriot, no other battery failures. In fact, I don't think I have ever had a battery fail in my entire driving life-about 48 years.
What say you?

ILuvMySubaru2 12-14-2017 05:52 PM

I haven't seen much about battery issues in this forum, but there have been a lot of folks reporting battery problems with 2017 Imprezas. You are not the first to get the "call AAA" redirect, but when folks complain SoA has been replacing some of them. Sounds like you didn't push enough.

ruminator 12-14-2017 05:56 PM

i thought we had roadside assistance,no?

Maru 12-14-2017 06:01 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal! I'm curious to ask, why didn't you call Subaru Roadside Assistance (phone number on the driverside door window) which is "available anytime during the 3-year/36,000-mile Subaru Limited Warranty."

ruminator 12-14-2017 06:47 PM

betcha i know what happens. their roadside assistance is they just call a local towing co and pay the bill. by admitting you have AAA they just weasled their way out of the bill. clever but sneaky. they should've given him a battery if it was bad.

Nasarog 12-14-2017 06:49 PM

I feel your pain! I had a Subaru dealership the I considered "mine" screw me over. SO, I took my business to their direct rival. 3 Subarus later, and they still treat me like a king. At the other dealership, by the 3rd Subaru, only one service guy and my salesman cared that i still went there. Did I hassle them? No. Did I bring them a lot of business? Yes. Are they like a 70's used car lot these days? Sure feels like it.

Moral of the story - If you like/love your car? Find another dealership for warranty work. Call Subaru and get reimbursed for your new battery, and file a complaint against Patriot Subaru.

Sucks that it happened, but you know the rest...

PatriotSubaru 12-15-2017 07:37 AM

Hi Valvestem,
Reaching out to you from Patriot Subaru, after we saw your concerns. Sorry that it was such an ordeal. We can't address everything because it did not actually come into the shop so there is no ticket to ID you, but we can talk in general terms.
We think what happened in the phone call is that the age of the car was not discussed, in other words it got right into the fact that the car was dead - no lights, horn, etc. Since we do not have a tow truck, we refer right to AAA or the tow company of your choice to have the car towed here.
The question that we should have asked was the age of the car, and if we had, we would have been able to say that the towing and charge/or/replacement was covered. We definitely pride ourselves on asking the right questions in order to make the right call. It could have been one of those moments where things were stacked up - no excuse - but in the moment the wrong assumption was made.
If the vehicle had just 10,000 miles, 7 months old, it is under factory warranty. Subaru would have towed the vehicle at no cost to you, and we would have either charged the battery, or if it failed the load test, replaced it.
AAA carries batteries on the trucks for quick replacement if their initial test is that the battery doesn't give a read out. Still, the concern would be what made it draw down in the first place. A young car, low miles - that should not happen. It has not been that cold out, until last night! If you would like to bring the car in we can do a complimentary check to see if there is something draining the battery.
Question - Key Fob. Do you leave it in the car? That can draw down the battery, and we have had numerous situations with customers where that occurs. Usually it is with a car a little older where the battery has a bit less power, but it is possible.
In any event, we hope we can re-establish trust with you, and look forward another opportunity to serve you.
Best regards,
Patriot Subaru, Saco, ME

Jcollins 12-15-2017 07:48 AM

Whoa, that surprised me!
This is really good to see! Sounds like my local dealer, Huebner Subaru!

rantlers 12-15-2017 10:06 AM

Man I don't know what it is with Subaru people, but in all of my time spent modifying cars, crawling around on probably 50 different forums, and working in the auto industry, I've never encountered as many owners of a particular brand with such terribly snooty attitudes. I swear, some of you must think you drive Bentleys. Should everyone lay down red carpets for you to walk on everywhere you go? You drive Subaru Foresters - some of the most regular cars on the road. You're not royalty just because you've bought a handful of basic cars over the years. Sometimes cars have issues, and you have to deal with it.

If they told you the battery must've gone dead because of leaving a light on or something, they're right. That's the most common way for batteries to die. Naturally that's going to be the first step in problem solving chain - address and eliminate the most common cause. Next they're going to solve your immediate issue - towing it somewhere so you can fix the issue. You chose to have AAA replace the battery instead of towing it to the dealer, and then you dropped the issue and came to the forum to complain.

The fact of the matter is that batteries are dumb tech, and sometimes they fail for unknown reasons. It's not the end of the world. It could be that the battery sat on a stock shelf for a little too long, or maybe that there's a slightly bigger issue like an unknown battery drain that's not large enough to cause huge problems, but now it finally caught up. Pennies trapped in cigarette lighters have been known to cause battery drain. Accessories like phone chargers can error and cause it too. Maybe there's nothing wrong, and the battery just ended up being a dud. It's just a battery. It's really not a big deal.

As you can see above my comment, the dealer kindly responded, and everything sounds very reasonable. Unfortunately for them, they're now forced into damage control for their own sake because you're attempting to ruin their name on a forum, even though it was obviously a tiny misunderstanding over a $75 battery. Maybe try communicating and discussing it fully next time.

Seanyd78 12-15-2017 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by rantlers (Post 7151650)
Should everyone lay down red carpets for you to walk on everywhere you go?

My wife often refers to me as "The King of the Idiots" so I definitely feel red carpets are in order. :wink2:

ruminator 12-15-2017 12:54 PM

me, i would've rather heard we'll reimburst you for the battery. after all it was only 75 bucks.

Daemione 12-16-2017 07:01 AM

Breakdown in communications... that sucks.

Despite that, I can't imagine calling the dealer just because my battery dies. Just jump it, drive it so it gets a full charge, and get on with my life. If it happens again, well, ok, check into warranty & a possible bad battery. Blaming the dealer for not leaping to your rescue seems silly.

frankinmaine 12-16-2017 08:46 AM

I am glad the dealership replied. However.

When I call my dealership in Bangor, ME their caller ID pops up on their screen and they know what color my toast was that morning if you follow.
Yeah he is pissed. Yeah he should have been more assertive. Yeah I am older. ;)

If he killed the battery fine. He can eat that one. Then we kvetch about an inferior battery in Maine. That should be replaced before it leaves the lot if it is weak.

This dealership didn't earn my business. Pretty sure they are the one that said I was stupid (yeah) for not buying from them since they toss in a drivetrain warranty... Us old folks will go to extreme lengths before we will spend $ that pisses us off. Make me smile when I write checks with commas, please.

So cool they replied. Better they do damage control than let me rip on them for after the sale stuff too.

ruminator 12-16-2017 09:10 AM

if i had a less then one year old car and it went dead i would also call the dealer if it were in business hours. otherwise why even buy a new car? i wont be happy with patriot until valvestem is happy. the voice of the consumer must live on

Nasarog 12-17-2017 08:25 PM


What if this driver is an older woman, or a retired person who has never worked on cars. Does it make them a bad person? Subarus are supposed to be amongst the most reliable cars on the road, and having a practically new car with a dead battery would make a level headed person lose their cool if the conditions were right.

Not cool man, not cool.

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