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Defective hitch?


vertigo220
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I've also posted this in the "Everything you wanted to know about a hitch install" thread, but wanted to maximize exposure so I'm making a new thread as well.

 

Based on the numerous people that have said the hitches for these cars are interchangeable, including a few people in the above referenced thread that have successfully installed one or the other on their Legacy sedan, I purchased the L101SAG000 hitch for my car. For reference for those that said they seemed to be missing various items, mine came with the hitch, ball mount, all necessary bolts (including to replace the ones for the exhaust), replacement exhaust o-rings (actually diamond-shaped, but not sure what they're called), and instructions.

 

When I tried to actually mount the hitch to the car, I found it would not reach the holes on both frame rails. The culprit was the fact the passenger side arm/wing of the hitch has a slight curve in it. This causes the flange to be moved in slightly toward center, and also causes it to have a pretty severe angle to it, so that even if it did line up to the frame rail it would not sit flush against it. I contacted the company, who states in their return policy they will cover shipping costs for the return of a defective product. They told me that since I bought the hitch for a car other than the one I'm installing it on, they will not do so. I've tried to explain to them that the car I'm putting it on doesn't matter, the hitch is clearly defective and therefore should fall under the return policy. To sum it up, they were not only completely against this idea, but they were highly unprofessional. They even said they pulled another part from their inventory and it had the same curve in it, which to me simply says they have multiple defective stock.

 

So, I called some Subaru dealerships to get their take, and as others have experienced, I was told by multiple ones that there is no hitch for the sedan. This is particularly odd since before I bought the hitch I called a different dealer, asked about a hitch for my car, and they told me the part number and gave me a price. In talking with a person in parts, she explained the curve is likely there to get around the exhaust on the wagon. I tried explaining this doesn't make sense due to the curve causing the flange to be angled, which would prevent it from sitting properly against the frame rail, and she said she would have one of the techs who does the installs call me back. Of course, I never received a call, so perhaps I'll try again.

 

While I'm 99% sure the curve and resultant angling of the flange are not correct, and that this is a defective part, before I file a dispute through my credit card company and take other courses of action, I was hoping to get some feedback from the community. Ideally, I'd like for others that have one of the hitches (preferably the same part # as mine, but I'm not picky), to take a look and see how it compares to mine, but even if somebody can say with certainty that mine is defective it'll make me feel much better about proceeding. Pictures would be very helpful. I've attached several pictures of mine to illustrate the issue. Thanks in advance for any help.

 

TL;DR: I ordered a hitch I'm fairly certain is defective, but would like others to examine their hitches and compare against mine and let me know if theirs are the same as mine or if mine truly is defective.

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  • 3 years later...
So I just realized I never followed up on this, which I feel is really important to do. I ended up going back and forth with the subarupartsforyou (SPFY) "support," who refused to acknowledge the fact the hitch was defective. They claimed the reason it didn't fit is because it's an Outback part, and I have a Legacy. Well, as several others here can attest to, the two cars are the same as far as mounting a hitch. Also, I gave up and bought one from a dealership, which I should have done to begin with, and it wasn't bent like the SPFY one and it fit perfectly. Also, funny how Subaru themselves saw no problem (aside from the safety aspect, but the guy had me promise I wouldn't use it to tow, and I only got it for a bike rack) with using an Outback hitch on a Legacy, yet SPFY does. Either they don't know what they're talking about or, more likely, they just lie and cheat to avoid taking responsibility for selling defective parts. Their entire attitude, both how they handled the situation and the things they said, were childish. The ony thing they were willing to do was have me ship it back and refund me minus shipping. So basically, I would pay probably a third of the price just to send it back to them, then have who knows how much more deducted, and end up paying half to two-thirds the total price for a hitch I never got to use. Not to mention the hassle of packaging it back up and shipping it. SPFY is a scummy company, and I highly recommend everyone avoid them. It's not worth the little bit of money you're going to save for the hassle and waste of time and money when they send you a defective part.
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So you still have the defective one? I'm sure someone would be willing to buy it at a discount, knowing they have to make some adjustments.

 

I would have been one of those people if I could have got it in hand for pretty cheap but I also already bought an older style hidden hitch that's pretty close to the looks of the subaru one.

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I do, but it would have to be a local sale, as shipping it wouldn't be worth it. I meant to file complaints against them back when it happened, but didn't get around to it. I just filed with the BBB and am going to look into filing with the AG, so I'll keep the hitch for now in case it's needed as evidence, but I've thought about trying to sell it to a welder or something. I'm not really sure if it could be bent to make it fit, though I'm guessing if it's heated it could be, but even so I don't know how that would affect its strength.
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