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The bulk of a letter of complaint I recently wrote to the dealership: I took the vehicle to Carmax White Marsh where they advised me that there was definitely a head gasket issue but that it was under factory warranty and I should take it to Jones Junction to have it addressed. They told me that they (Carmax) could not service it as doing so would void my warranty, assured me that they have a relationship with Jones, and that the service consultant at Jones would give me a loaner and take care of the problem. I took my car to Jones the same day, and met with service advisor Ryan Allinson in your service department. At this point my 2008 Impreza had 47,205 miles on it. I waited as they took my car into the service bay, and after a short while Ryan took me back to show me what they’d found. Your service team had my car on the lift, showed me the leak, and the three of them (Ryan, a male technician and a female technician) looked me in the eye and told me I had a head gasket leak and needed a full rebuild. I was told that this repair would run about $1500. This, of course, was bad news, but I felt assured that it would be covered by the factory warranty and that your team would take care of me. Ryan took me back into the reception area and told me that the car was not under warranty. I was shocked and told him I was sure it was and that I had been sent to Jones for that very reason. He stated, “well, I’ll check online”, and sent me back to the waiting area. I waited, and before too long Ryan sat down with me and told me that it was in fact under warranty, but that the factory warranty is non-transferable, and that the car had the incorrect coolant in it. I couldn’t believe it. I felt that I was being held responsible for something I had nothing to do with, and I couldn’t believe that Subaru wouldn’t transfer a powertrain warranty. Then, he told me that all that the car really needed was a coolant flush plus a coolant additive. He told me to take the car back to Carmax because it was their responsibility under their 30-day warranty. He also stated they’d do a recall fix on the car while it was there. At this point I felt that I was being lied to, and that Ryan really had no idea what he was talking about. Somehow I went from the car being under warranty, to not being under warranty and needing a full rebuild, then back under warranty but not transferable, to really only needing a coolant flush and additive. I had no idea what to think, and was deeply disappointed by the runaround I was getting. Ryan told me that they’d wash my car for me, and I would have to wait just another few minutes. This cheered me up a little bit. He told me that as soon as the car came back from the carwash he’d retrieve me and that my paperwork was all done. After about 15 minutes, I went to the front to ask a question regarding the recall he’d fixed on the car, and found that my paperwork was in fact not ready. As I stood at the counter talking with Ryan, the boy came back with my car, tossed my keys on the desk in front of me, collapsed in a chair behind the counter and said that the carwash was closed. I left your dealership feeling horrible and on the verge of tears. Ryan could tell that I was upset and I calmly told him that I felt like I was being scammed out of a repair that my car really needed. I took the car back to Carmax the following day. Steve at Carmax told me that he was sorry about my experience, that the information I had been given was wrong, and that he’d send my car back to Jones and make sure it was seen by a more experienced technician. I explained what happened at Jones and told him that I felt I was treated terribly, that they had no idea what they were talking about there (Ryan had to go online to check Subaru’s powertrain warranty!) and that I did not want them to send my car back to Jones. Steve assured me that he’d oversee any work done at Jones and that I would be taken care of. After many phone calls back and forth, Carmax decided on Monday, November 14, to clean the area and make sure that the oil present wasn’t just from a sloppily installed fuel filter. They also assured me that my car did in fact have the correct blue Subaru coolant in it – evidence of a deliberate attempt to mislead me by staff members at your dealership. Two weeks later I returned to Carmax. My car wasn’t leaking at all, it turns out, which I had independently verified at a different Subaru dealership – Valley Motors. Your service department caused me a huge amount of emotional stress and wasted a tremendous amount of my time. I was lied to and misled, and I will never recommend your organization to any of my friends or acquaintances. In fact, I’ve gone out of my way to share my story with others and will be posting this letter on Facebook and car enthusiast websites. I understand that mistakes happen, but your employees could have handled the entire incident with far more professionalism. Their behavior has turned me off to the entire Jones Junction complex.
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