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Every car has a specific purpose and is built to satisfy specific needs of the consumer. Pickups are good at hauling and towing, luxury cars are good for cruising or chauffeuring people around and sports cars are good at performance driving and racing.

Imagine you bring your pickup in for a transmission failure and they blame it on you towing your small boat, or you bring your S-class in for a failed butt warmer and they claim you used it too often.  This would never happen as its completely expected of you to use your vehicle as designed.


This was not the case for Redditor Natalie according to her story picked up by Jalopnik. Apparently, Natalie occasionally has some fun with her Subaru BRZ around an autocross track.  She never competes or even times her runs,  just goes out to have fun like most would assume would be ok in a car that’s literally advertised as a fun handling sports car.

Natalie learned the hard way that some dealerships not only think it’s OK to deny warranty claims for a car that’s used as designed, but also that stalking them on social media is a totally normal thing to do.

The story begins with Natalie, a software engineer and automotive enthusiast from Canada, bringing her mostly cosmetically modified BRZ to a dealership in Vancouver for a bad fuel pump.  This item is covered under the factory warranty and all is well, so you would think. After a tech breaks a ring nut that takes a month to come in, Natalie is finally given her car back.  She ends up having to bring it back a few times for multiple related repairs that all stemmed from subpar repairs on the dealership’s part.

After realizing her fuel tank sensor was not working, she returned yet again, but this time, instead of getting the car back with another supposed fix, she gets a phone call that none of this would be covered under warranty.

She was told the car shows “signs of abuse,” according to Jalopnik.  Check out Natalie’s recollection of the phone call with the service manager. She claims that He said,

“I told my boys to find you on Facebook and we uncover all sorts of things. We see you racing you car and that’s clearly abuse to your engine.  We’re going to put a note here to void your warranty and never service your vehicle again.  You need to take that shit down.  You think you look cool but you’re not doing yourself any favors.  So we replaced the parts on your car anyways even though your warranty is not covering it. So you need to pay $1200 in parts and labor to get your vehicle back.”
Ok, so much wrong here so let’s dissect. First and foremost, this is super unprofessional and uncalled for. To give someone supposed “advice” like this is demeaning and condescending.  This is a customer not your granddaughter. Also, you can not legally perform repair work without customer approval, at least here in the states.  Then there is the question of  why track driving your car would lead to a failing fuel pump. The fuel pump could not care less where the car is being driven, it just pumps fuel. Lastly, keeping a car hostage is nothing short of insanity.  In what world does this manager think he’s simply going to get away with this?
Natalie also told Jalopnik that the manager claimed there was damage to the fuel tank from rumble strips on the track and that he himself races high end cars and knows what he’s talking about.  You are probably thinking that the dealer would have just taken pictures of the damage and this would be a closed case, nope. They took no pictures and presented no evidence of anything.
Complicating matters is the BRZ warranty language in regards to Competitive events:
“These warranties do not cover damage to any component that is the result of operating the vehicle in any competition or racing event.”
What in the lord’s name does that even mean? Are they saying the car can never touch a track at all?  It sure seems that way because, aside from street racing illegally, you would need to take your car to some kind of event at a real track to race it.
In the end, the dealer paid for the repairs and this was a super stressful affair for Natalie.  This doesn’t make this dealer look good at all.
Let just hope Dodge doesn’t pull this crap when Demons start hitting the drag strip.