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Rusted Rear Brake Lines - Subaru won't honor their recall?


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About a month ago I lost all pressure in my brakes. They suddenly had way too much travel, felt very soft, and my car had almost no stopping power. Luckily, this happened on my street so I was able to limp it back to my house safely. Upon inspection I discovered that the master cylinder was empty. I jacked the car up, pumped the brakes and looked for leaks. Lo and behold, there was brake fluid dripping from the gas tank area near the rear passenger wheel well. No other leaks at any of the calipers, pistons, or flex brake lines.

 

I did some research and discovered that my problem was part of a recall. Specifically, NHTSA Recall #14V311000, for "Brake Lines may Fail due to Corrosion." Called up my insurance company and had them tow my car to the dealership to have it fixed. This was about 2 weeks ago.

 

It turns out that my car had been previously inspected in 2014 under this recall. Nothing was replaced or fixed, but a punch test and inspection were performed and some anti-corrosion wax applied to the brake lines. This was before I owned the car. However, because the car has already been inspected under this recall, the dealer is refusing to fix the issue now unless I pay them $3000. They say they need to replace both the rear and center brake pipes, 2 way connector, and assorted fittings. They claim it's a 20 hour job because they have to "take half the car apart." Interestingly, the recall paperwork instructs dealers to claim only 6.8 hours for brake pipe inspection, replacement, and rustproofing.

 

I feel like I'm being scammed here. I've already opened a case file with Subaru of America, but the most they're willing to do at the moment is give me a discount of $500 on a new car. No financial assistance, no coverage, no help at all because of "the year [2008] and mileage [93k] of my vehicle." What should I do?

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Well it sounds like you are stuck one way or the other. You have to decide if you like the car enough to either justify spending the money to have it fixed, or put the time in to fix it yourself. It really sucks they won't honor the recall, but if it's in their system as being closed then there's not much you can do about it. Charging you more hours than what the recall calls for is not uncommon. Often times recalls are billed out for best case scenario, and they're looking at it like a 10 year old car isn't guaranteed to go as smoothly (possibility of rusty bolts etc) so they want you to pay more to cover the extra pain in the ass hours. It's kind of a dick move on their part, but there's nothing illegal about it or anything, not much you can do about it. Brake lines can be a real bitch to get to (and they shouldn't just be rigged up for obvious safety reasons), but even for someone who's not a pro and working on jack stands in their driveway it's nothing that should take more than a weekend. If I were you I would definitely keep it and fix the brakes myself, $3k is nothing to sneeze at. If was my only car and don't have time to fix it I'd buy a cheap beater to get me around until I did have the time.

 

If you aren't the type to work on your own car (or are not comfortable working on brakes) then you should at least call around for a better price, you can definitely get it done for less than $3k. The dealership is commonly referred to as the "stealership", they are known to be basically the most expensive places to have your car repaired. If it were new and under warranty of course you can go to them, but realistically you do not need a Subaru expert to fix something like brake lines; the same guy who can fix them on a Buick could just as easily do it to a Subie. Likely the whole pipe doesn't need to be changed, a lot of times there is just one small section that went bad and they can cut it out and splice in some new stuff, but the dealer is only going to want to sell you the whole part. They often times do not care about people with "older" vehicles if you're not one of the long term repeat customers but if you make it worth their while and cough up the 3 grand they'll put up with you. Paying the labor rate at a dealer is generally much more expensive than your local garage as well.

 

Metal brake hose itself is not expensive at all, the dealer is charging you for large pre-bent sections that are exact replacements for what came on your car. Those are not cheap because they're vehicle specific, unless the whole thing is completely rotted out you really do not need it. And even then you still don't need them, I have replaced the entire rear half of the brake lines on a Mitsubishi I owned with a roll of brake line I bought, probably costing me a total $50 to do the whole job including lines, fittings, and beer. You can probably rent a flare tool and benders are super cheap.

 

 

..................OR

 

I don't live far from Boston at all. I'll gladly take the car off your hands and I can probably double that $500 Subaru offered you for it ;)

Edited by RecklessWOT
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Call SOA, The dealer is supposed to replace the bad parts.

 

My 05 wagon had the recall done a few years back, about a year ago the same thing happened to me as you had happen.

 

I had AAA take it to the dealer, they replaced all the brake lines, at no cost to me.

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

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I wouldn't pay a dime. I'd be shocked if SOA doesn't offer to do more than just cover $500. This isn't a blown motor, these are your brakes, it's a known issue, and they have a recall out.
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Call SOA, The dealer is supposed to replace the bad parts.

 

My 05 wagon had the recall done a few years back, about a year ago the same thing happened to me as you had happen.

 

I had AAA take it to the dealer, they replaced all the brake lines, at no cost to me.

 

Lucky you, I had mine let go at 70mph when I was slowing for traffic that backed up on the exit ramp. Pumped, got a little of of braking, then downshifted to third while holding the handbrake to scrub speed. Limped it the rest of the way into work where I took this picture. I then limped it home, and later to the dealership.

6YjDii5.jpg

 

Mine ended up being covered (I was under the impression that it had been done, I was wrong). I'd call SOA, if the recall was done only 3 years ago, it looks like they half-assed it at best, which could open up a can of worms the company doesn't want to deal with.

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I have called SOA and opened up a case with them and everything. They claim that because the car went in for the recall and the dealership performed the procedure correctly (which amounted to just inspecting, punch-testing, and spraying with anti-corrosion stuff), they are no longer liable for "wear and tear" to the brake lines. I've spoken with probably 4 different people at SOA, and none of them are willing to negotiate.

 

At this point, I'm considering trying to find a garage to rent for a month or two so I can work on it after work (don't have a garage of my own, unfortunately). I found this thread which seems to go into great detail on this problem: https://sl-i.net/FORUM/showthread.php?15020-Broken-brake-line-AND-HOW-TO-FIX-IT-!!

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Wear and tear, what B.S.! Subaru admitted the material they used was defective and could corrode. Obviously, the anti-corrosion coating they put on during the recall was too little, too late. The corrosion had already got to your brake lines and weakened them. The dealership that did the recall did not inspect very thoroughly or this would have been caught back then. Really disappointing to hear this from Subaru. You deserve better treatment.
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Wear and tear, what B.S.! Subaru admitted the material they used was defective and could corrode. Obviously, the anti-corrosion coating they put on during the recall was too little, too late. The corrosion had already got to your brake lines and weakened them. The dealership that did the recall did not inspect very thoroughly or this would have been caught back then. Really disappointing to hear this from Subaru. You deserve better treatment.

 

Exactly.

 

My situation was slightly different because the recall had not been performed yet, but if they're rusting out, throwing some waxy gloop onto them isn't gonna suddenly make them stop rusting.

 

The dealership I brought my car to was great, mostly because everybody seemed really shocked that I wasn't angry or freaked out when I went in there to tell them about how my car tried to kill me by completely losing the brakes on the highway.

 

As a heads up, if you do end up replacing the section of line yourself, grab some nicopp tubing and custom-bend them based on what's left of your old lines. Stuff is WAY easier to work with, and is designed to be extremely corrosion resistant.

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You may also want to call a local TV station's help line. I would think after they check into the recall and find out what this dealer is trying to pull, a call from the TV station may get some action.

 

My car leaked in the driveway before I even moved the car. I park on a slight hill. So after I start the car, I step on the brake to release the parking brake, that's when I knew something was wrong. I went right to the right rear and saw the fluid under the gas tank. Called the dealer and told them what happened the the car was coming via AAA towing.

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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It might be worth checking out other dealers in the area... Where did you bring your car for coverage?

 

I brought it to Cityside Subaru in Belmont, MA. You should see the rest of their quote for things they say are wrong with this car... it's absurd:

 

Power steering pump leaking 791.00 p+l

Left front ball joint is worn 228.00 p+l

Power steering rack leaking 1301.00 p+l

Valve cover gaskets leaking 487.00 p+l

Oil pan rotted and corroded 573.00 p+l

Oil cooler hose leaking 256.00 p+l

Alignment 129.00 (required with rack replacement)

Brake lines leaking 2999.00 p+l

Both front axle boots leaking 651.00 p+l

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lol $256 for the oil cooler hose?

 

That's parts and labor. So that $10, hose cost lots to replace just it.

 

Hey the total cost of the list is about what the car is worth.

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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Wow, I just tried some back of the envelope estimates for DIY'ing everything they said your car needed. Not too bad. Then look at the dealership estimate & SMH. Yes, they need to make a profit, but that is pretty whacked.

 

Power steering pump leaking 791.00 p+l

(new o-ring = $2.00)

 

Left front ball joint is worn 228.00 p+l

(new ball joint = $30.00)

 

Power steering rack leaking 1301.00 p+l

(new steering rack = $300.00)

 

Valve cover gaskets leaking 487.00 p+l

(new valve cover gasket set = $28.00)

 

Oil pan rotted and corroded 573.00 p+l

(new oil pan = $65.00)

 

Oil cooler hose leaking 256.00 p+l

(new oil cooler hose = $10.00)

 

Alignment 129.00 (required with rack replacement)

 

Brake lines leaking 2999.00 p+l

(nicopp brake line 25' = $35.00)

 

Both front axle boots leaking 651.00 p+l

(new CV boot kit * 2 = $40.00)

 

 

(new tools, fluid, supplies = $100.00)

 

Dealership cost = $7,416.00

 

DIY cost = $739.00

 

DIY Savings = $6,677.00

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File a complaint with NHTSA. State your issues and the fact that this is a known safety defect.

 

You may also want to call a local TV station's help line. I would think after they check into the recall and find out what this dealer is trying to pull, a call from the TV station may get some action.

 

lol $256 for the oil cooler hose?

 

That's parts and labor. So that $10, hose cost lots to replace just it.

 

Hey the total cost of the list is about what the car is worth.

 

I mean, yeah I hear you there. But you KNOW they're gonna say it's a 10 yr old car in New England with almost 100k on it. Sure we all know that's not real old by car standards, but the fact that it's already "had the recall taken care of" according to the books just makes it seem like that much less of a claim.

 

I've bought cheap cars in the past that were not maintained well by owners who never washed them etc that had brake lines rust out in less than 10 years. That Mitsubishi I mentioned was a 2003 and this was back in 2015, it was only 12 years old and had already rusted through it's second set of brake lines (I lost them on the highway approaching stopped traffic and had to swerve into the median. When I went to repair it I noticed the lines had already been tapped into and the strut towers were Swiss cheese to boot). Yes this is a known issue that was addressed on the Legacy, but no it is not uncommon for brake lines to rust out in 10 years, it's thin steel that's tucked up above the gas tank where salty snow packs up in the winter and doesn't ever really get washed out unless you personally take the time to douche out your undercarriage multiple times a year... I agree it's bullshit, but they're not gonna care whether it's a known issue or not. Chevy trucks do the same exact thing with fuel lines. They "fix" it once early on in life, then you're on your own. If this was only a few year old car with rotten brake lines it's a cause of concern (why they had the recall in the first place, premature corrosion) but after 10 years goes by a car that's not garage kept is bound to encounter some rust. And some thin little brake lines are an easy target, not a major news story here.

 

That's really just the way it is with the dealership. They're not trying to "pull" anything, that's how they make money, and that's why people with older cars shouldn't deal with those assholes. They can't be trusted, and you're foolish if you think you can. You might know one good guy who takes care of you at the local stealer, but that's rare. Those are the most morally corrupt and politically backwards businesses on the planet. I have worked the parts department (which works hand in hand with service, though unwillingly) at a couple Nissan dealerships where I was explained that was my job to rape poor unsuspecting souls out of their money. Once again, I'm not saying I think it's fine, but you can't expect people to see eye to eye with you, especially a dealership that specializes in brand new cars... Anything with more than a couple years on it is an old POS to them.

Edited by RecklessWOT
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I brought it to Cityside Subaru in Belmont, MA. You should see the rest of their quote for things they say are wrong with this car... it's absurd:

 

Yeah I figured you were talking about them. If you're able, I'd try a different dealer (I've heard some decent things about the dealer in North Reading as well as the one in Wakefield). If SOA's not working with you, though, that's kinda rough =_=

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Cityside are scumbags and thieves. They will make up stories about replaced parts they did not replace scamming SOA under warranty for it. When I caught them on this they sold me BS story: "oh, we took the part of the car on the lot to get you going".

 

Bloody filthy scum. May they rot in hell.

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Cityside are scumbags and thieves. They will make up stories about replaced parts they did not replace scamming SOA under warranty for it. When I caught them on this they sold me BS story: "oh, we took the part of the car on the lot to get you going".

 

Bloody filthy scum. May they rot in hell.

 

I caught a Mazda dealer doing this to my brother on his 626. They said he needed pads (after 12K) and he panicked. He brought it to me, and I measured them for him, just to show him. The pads had gone down by about .030" total thickness from new.

 

He took it back in and said I looked at it (ASE Certified Master) and they said it was preventative because Mazda's "have known front brake issues" so at my advice, I said to have them do the front brakes (I had put marks on the front pads in a certain spot and taken photos of them with dates on them).

 

Brother got the car back and I was with him. We looked through the wheels and the pads were NOT new. The dealer said they were out of the new pads and took pads off of another car because they knew he needed the car. I then showed them the photos I had and I told them I was going to disassemble the car and take more photos.

 

The service manager screamed in my face, called me a liar, told me he was going to sue me, and finally refunded the $550+ he charged. I was told I was never welcome in that dealership again, but my brother went to the newspaper and busted them.

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OP you need to read the recall notice.

There's a thread here about it.http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/05-09-legacy-outback-brake-line-corrosion-recall-204831.html?t=204831

 

 

here's the recall,

https://subaru.oemdtc.com/62/wqk-47-brake-line-corrosion-2005-2014-subaru/23

Edited by Max Capacity

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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File a complaint with NHTSA. State your issues and the fact that this is a known safety defect.

 

This is definitely an action to take. Since your car had been inspected and preventive measures were taken then either the preventive measures were insufficient or they weren't done correctly.

 

Failing brakes is no joke.

453747.png
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Subscribed since mine are gonna fail in the near future, even with their "fixing".

 

http://legacygt.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=256529&stc=1&d=1507603526

http://legacygt.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=256530&stc=1&d=1507603526

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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