(Edited: Just thought I would share my notice of order issued by the tribunal and I will reply to all responses tonight, see dropbox link)
I have a story about my 2015 Subaru WRX STI that I purchased new in November 2015 from Crossroads Subaru @ Glendale NSW
The car had an existing defect that required the transmission to be removed in order to replace a faulty component in the clutch. This defect was brought to their attention only 3 days after taking delivery. I objected to the repair and requested a vehicle replacement. I was denied and told that repair was the only available course. Also during the repair, Crossroads Subaru dented my car and did not inform me of this.
After the repair, I always had a concern about the operation on the transmission, it was had to select gears then the car was cold and even worse during winter. I was always told that no fault was found and that everything was within specification but they changed the oil several times as a possible fix. This has been going on for years and they changed the oil six times.
About 6 months ago, it came to my attention that the all the oils used were not the recommended grade as specified by the Subaru.
Crossroads Subaru and Subaru Australia denied any wrong doing and said that the oil was acceptable to use.
I took the vehicle to an independent repairer who identified my issue that I was experiencing, they replaced the oil with the recommended grade and reported a significant improvement throughout the operation of the transmission.
I took the matter up with Fair Trading NSW and NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The tribunal member confirmed that the information that I was given by Crossroads Subaru and Subaru Australia about repair being the only option was incorrect and I should have been entitled to reject the vehicle, but unfortunately the repair occurred over three years ago so the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to determine the claim for the repair.
The tribunal was also satisfied that there has been a breach to the ACL and a major failure to comply with the consumer guarantee in regards to the services provided by the Crossroads Subaru due to their representations that they would use Subaru approved products and consumables.
It was said that a reasonable consumer would not acquired the services from Crossroads Subaru if they had known that non recommended oils would be used.
Crossroads Subaru conceded at the hearing that the oil was not recommended by the Subaru. The tribunal member said that in the balance of probability, the reason for the issues I was experiencing was caused by the non recommended oils. But because I did not have any supporting evidence that the non recommended oil actually did any damage to the vehicle or reduced it value, the application to the tribunal was dismissed.
I have asked Subaru Australia to address this after the tribunal confirmed breaches to the ACL, but there response is that the case has been fully investigated and is now closed. They will not answer any of my calls to discuss.
The thing I don’t get is that it is a condition of the manufactures warranty that you must service your vehicle in strict accordance with the manufactures recommendations and specifications. So doesn’t this mean that the authorised Subaru service centre voided my warranty. Shouldn’t Subaru Australia take this serious? Especially when there would be a lot of vehicles that would also have non recommended oil installed.
Subaru Australia also represent to consumers that any authorised Subaru service centre will only use genuine Subaru parts and fluids. All of the oils used have been manufactured by Castrol
I would have thought that they would recall the vehicles that need the recommended oil installed.
Now, I am left with a car that could have hidden underlying problems cause by the transmission never having the correct oil since the original repair due to a defect that was brought to their attention only 3 days of having the car. Just doesn’t seem fair to me.
This has been my worst experience ever!