Subaru dealership - pretty stupid hill you picked to die on.

Mostly bitching. But welcome opinions.

My Wife bought a brand new 2019 Subaru Ascent this fall. They had to ship it, and my Wife picked it up. The dealership is 100 miles away.

All is good, love the car. But, it’s odd, there is no where to mount the (required by law) front license plate. My Wife did go to the dealership for her free oil change, and while there my wife also did a one on one umm… question and answer thing about the car (offered and recommended by the dealer) and they said they would install the mount for free. My Wife still just had the paper tags and well, things got busy and she forgot about it.

So… we call the salesman today, hoping they would send us this mounting bracket. I’ll install it (easy peasy, even found it on YouTube). Now they say they want $30 for it (available at Subaru Parts). I talked to the guy that sold her the car as well. Nope, $30.

So, a $40,000 car, and I’m told my other option is I can drill holes in the bumper and just screw the license plate directly to the bumper. Umm… no.

It’s probably stupid to get in a pissing match about this. But come on, It’s a brand new expensive car that did not include as a standard piece of equipment the mount to attach the required by state law license plate.

It’s the principle, and it ain’t over.

Oh yeah, you’ve talked to the stupidest person at that dealership. I bet you a quick email would clear that right up. I would mention the salesman’s name several times in that email.

This is so incredibly stupid on the part of the dealer that I think a lesson is in order. I’m not familiar with the resources in your state/area but I’m thinking: government consumer protection agency; DMV; media consumer help line (newspaper, TV, whatever). Around here once something like a media help line gets hold of a story about this kind of assholery, the assholes in question fall all over themselves in abject apologies and offers to try to stifle the bad publicity. Since the plate holder is a legal requirement, you could have lots of fun with this, emphasizing all the while that it’s not the $30 but the principle – namely the principle of publicizing idiocy and calling assholes to account. :slight_smile:

ETA: Yes, as steatopygia noted, you always get best results with these outside agencies when you can demonstrate that you made an effort at escalation. Get the name of the owner, general manager, or whatever, and do send them an email (better than a phone call, which they can claim they never got).

Send an email to the owner, tell him your story, ask if he’s cool with this state of affairs, telling him you just want to check before you post the whole hilarious episode on your Facebook, so your friends can at least get a good laugh from your misfortune! Because you think the whole situation is so silly it’s truly laughable.

Then wait. I’m pretty sure, you’ll get a swift response and a positive outcome. Good Luck!

I and my Wife talked to the guy that sold her the car. This is the biggest in volume Subaru dealership in the USA. After trying to get though to this guy, with no response from him (he said he would send me the paper dealership tags that they use for advertisement, and affix to the front of the car- WTF???). I just said, “Fine, have a Good day and hung up”. After hearing my Wife talk to him on the phone, I had to speak in person to him. I think he knows what we are talking about.

I went to the dealers website and there was a ‘Chat’ option. They couldn’t help and suggested I call the service/parts department. Fuck that. I have since sent an email to the dealership through their ‘contact’ link. Not sure where that email is going.

We will see. Kinda pisses me off.

Not worth it to go in person as that would be a 200 mile round trip and a day off of work. SOOO Stupid. A part that SHOULD be included (and may by law be), that costs Subaru perhaps $10 is going to piss off a good customer.

And when you do escalate, keep it super brief and simple. Come here to vent, but in that letter hit just the few key points: The front plate mount wasn’t included with the car; they were going to install it at the first oil change, but forgot; they now want to charge you $30 for the part; you’re not looking for a replacement for one that you lost or damaged, but the one that should have been included with the car in the first place.
I recently got a new car, and the front plate mount was in the trunk.

I looked in the trunk thinking the same thing. The receiver for the hitch is in a box in there, and I thought the mount may be too.

Yeah, I’m just venting here. Glad I don’t have larger problems. Really, going to sleep last night I thought “What? This can’t be right, we’ll just call them tomorrow, they will apologize and we will be done.”

It’s just so silly. It could be done and gone, but some poor shlub may get his ass in trouble about this.

I don’t seem to have any way to contact the owner. Email or otherwise. I’m sure I could puzzle it out. But Jim Rockford I’m not. I’d probably be doing him a favor if I could contact him directly.

Luckily, this is silly bullshit, and not life or death. But… the principle of it matters to me.

Are you on social media at all? Because based on your description of it as the largest volume dealer in the country, I found that it appears to have a presence on Twitter and Facebook (and probably the rest of the social media sites). You might get a response if you posted on one of their social media sites, or just on your own page, but added a hashtag so they see it. (I’ve heard stories of people who weren’t able to get satisfaction from large companies until they made a stink on social media.)

Yeahhh… I do have a Facebook account started long, long ago. And this company does have a presence, I looked.

I really don’t want to slam these guys world wide for such a simple thing. And I don’t like making threats for something so simple.

Labor day, this Monday in the US is a pretty big car selling day. They should be open. If I don’t hear back from my email (I won’t) I’ll call the main number (front desk switch board) and ask to talk to the General Manager. If he’s busy, I’ll persist.

I’m happy to work with people. I have worked for the government for 26 years. I solve problems and find solutions. It’s me and my departments job to do so.

I really, really do not like getting brushed off.

when you said they had to ship it, do you mean they got it from another dealership? if so, was that dealer in a “no front plate required” state?

It’s not really a hill to die on, you’re just one guy. But make that articulate Yelp/Google review now, maybe they’ll contact you after.

Not coming with a front plate mount is not unknown. Mine didn’t come with it, and my state requires it except if there is no official mounting option. So I didn’t.

You can look into tow hook mounting options. Looks funny off center, YMMV. The Ascent is so new that your options are limited, though may share some platform with their other cars.

Beats me. The Ascent is so new, I think it came off the ‘boat’. Had 3 miles on it when my wife picked it up.

The car came from wherever it was built. It was a custom order of a brand new model for 2019. Color, options, everything.

I’m perfectly willing to give them a break. Having them push back on me for a part that costs them perhaps 10 bucks for a part that should have been included sort of pisses me off. That Subaru said it would be installed free, and we are now told that it will cost $30 pisses me off.

I can just order the part for $30 and get it shipped to me. The money means nothing. The principle of it does.

My Wife just wants me to drop it. I really don’t make an issue of things that break or don’t quite perform to expectations. Live and learn.

I had a real problem with the way I was treated by the salesman at Subaru when I talked to him on the phone about this. And I overheard how he talked to my Wife. I’ve never met the guy.

I rarely escalate things. For this, I just might. It has nothing to do with the stupid $30 license plate bracket.

FWIW, I’d do exactly the same thing. This is not one I’d happily lose.

Tow hook mounting options? For the license plate? On the Ascent? What?

It does have a ‘tow hook’ under the lower left front. It may be strong enough to pull it out of the snow. I may have something in my vehicle rescue bag that has something small enough to hook on to that ‘hook/eye’ to pull that car out. I’ve looked at it. It may work. Could also be a very, very long night.

It would be a very, very interest day of welding idjigits and wing wangs to possibly attach a license plate to the front tow hook of the Ascent.

Tow hook mount is hidden under a cap in many cars. Looked like they make Subaru license plate mounts that use that spot, but again no Ascent stuff yet, but maybe it’s identical threads etc to Outback.

I found a forum post that looks like someone made it work, but too awful on mobile for me to verify.

It’s different under the Ascent. The front ‘hook’ is a piece of stamped steel with about a 1.25 inch hole in it. Can’t get a chain or even reasonable sized tow strap through it. I have a clevis that should work. Might mess up the bumper a bit.

The silly rear tow eyebolt thing is gone on the Ascent if you have a tow hitch. I can deal with a hitch to pull the car out. That will work ok.


Veteran’s Day, maybe? Labor Day was two months ago.

Not the hook, just the mounting point. Hooks might be in spare tire area, but shouldn’t come installed.

Try contacting Subaru of America. They might light a fire under the dealership’s bum. There’s an email option under Customer Support at the bottom of the page.

40k for a new Subie? Fuck, I’m outta touch…