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Simon ASKED THE GUIDE

Key fob problems with a Subaru Levorg?

I purchased a new Subaru Levorg (ex-service vehicle with only 900 km) in April this year and drove it home, a distance of less than six kilometres. I didn't drive it again until the following Tuesday when I noticed the key fob was coming apart and on further inspection noticed the plastic internals were broken. I raised this with the dealer that day and was informed that keys were not covered under the warranty. I tried raising this with head office and Subaru Australia, which garnered the same response. I then raised it with department of fair trading who have now closed the case as Subaru did not respond to their requests. I am now stuck with the situation of paying for a new key ($850), or taking Subaru to court. Can you please provide some advice whether I have a case? I would have thought even if it was not covered under warranty there would have been an implied warranty under the Australian Consumer Guarantees, as the key was obviously previously broken or faulty. I had not mistreated the key as it went from my pocket to the kitchen bench. Your assistance with this matter would be very much appreciated.

I can understand why the key would normally not be covered by the warranty because it would be subject to wear and tear over its life, but in this case when the car is basically brand new I think you do have a case for the key to be replaced free of charge. In my view, based on what you have told us, Subaru should replace it as a gesture of goodwill. I am surprised and very disappointed that the Dept. of Fair Trading has dropped it simply because Subaru has not responded to their requests. That undermines the credibility of the department. I would seek legal advice on the merit of your claim before taking Subaru to court.

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