This is going to be a long read. The original was posted on the Subaru Forester forums, and since I'm also a member here (family members cars) I thought people here might like to know.
TL;DR: Shop elsewhere.
I bought a spoiler from CarID
for my wife's 2013 Subaru Impreza, item #942060, back in 2014. I bought it unpainted as the car's deck lid had to go through painting to fix some larges scratches. I had the spoiler painted and installed at the same time, so that the color was exactly the same. Perfect fit, my wife loves it, everything is good.
During the month of January 2016, a large crack appeared on the top of the spoiler, near the passenger side. So as soon as I could take a look, I contacted CarID's support as this particular spoiler is sold with a 3-year warranty.
At the time of submitting (Feb 2nd, 2016), I had to reduce the pictures' size so that they could be attached to the case. So I took pictures with my phone. Here are the pictures I've sent in their original format:
As you can see, the crack is on the right side of the car, approximately aligned with the corner of the trim above the licence plate.
This is the answer I got on Feb 3rd 2016:
Let me please explain you that the warranty issue was declined as the part was ordered unpainted and that does not cover by warranty. The crack is with the paint. Please be advised. |
CARiD is willing to provide you with the best service!
My reply, on the same day:
The crack is not in the paint, the spoiler is split in half on the top surface. |
Maybe I could provide better pictures if you need them, just let me know.
As it is now, water can get inside the spoiler as the crack is about 1/16" wide and it is possible to see inside..
Their reply a few minutes later:
Any modification are not covered by warranty and that is why I advise you to contact the body shop where the spoiler was pained for assistance. |
CARiD is willing to provide you with the best service!
Any modification? Selling an unpainted item implies that the item will be painted prior to installation. So this was my next email, also on Feb. 3rd 2016:
... So just so I understand correctly: unpainted items sold that are painted prior to installation are no longer under warranty? |
This is for an unpainted item advertised as having a 3-year warranty. You're telling me that the warranty is valid as long as I keep the item unpainted? This makes no sense at all. This would mean that the 3-year warranty would effectively last as long as it takes 3 years to get from your warehouse to me.
Please ask for your supervisor to contact me.
No supervisor ever contacted me, but I got this reply on Feb 4th, 2016:
I am writing to let you know that I have sent a request to check on the issue with the manufacturer. Once I get the information, I will contact you back. It usually takes 24-48 business hours the question to be processed.
And then on Feb 8th, CarID's representative added:
For further assistance, I kindly ask you to provide me with the pictures showing the issue. I hope to hear from you soon.
So I sent new pictures, taken with a better camera this time, on Feb. 8th:
The cardboard ad I used is to show that it's not the paint that's cracked, but the ABS material. I can get the card in the spoiler, and water can get in (and so does snow, since it's winter).
CarID's representative answer on Feb 8th, 2016:
I am writing to let you know that I have sent these photos to the manufacturer. Once I get the information, I will contact you back. It usually takes 24-48 business hours the question to be processed.
Then I got this 7 days later (Feb 15, 2016):
Dear Charlton, |
Thank you for contacting me on CARiD!
I sincerely regret to inform you that the manufacturer refused to proceed with a warranty issue and stated that it is not covered by warranty.
To smooth the inconvenience you faced, my supervisor approved as an exception to offer you $20.00 Gift Certificate for the next purchase. A great feature of the Gift Certificate is that it can be applied to any brand listed on our website and has no expiration date. Please confirm if you would like to receive an email with the Gift Certificate number.
Also, I kindly ask you to leave the feedback of my personal service level provided and will be really happy to find the resolution if any additional questions appear. You will receive the email with the request to evaluate the agent performance and I will be happy to find your opinion about it.
My answer, Feb 16th, 2016:
First, my name is not Charlton, but Robert. Are you sure this response was for my case? |
If it is, on what grounds is the manufacturer refusing to honor the still advertised warranty?
This is definitely a failure of the material and/or methods used in the manufacturing process. We had -25 temperatures two days ago, and guess what? The spoiler split AGAIN. If this is not material failure, please, tell me what you think it is.
Here are the pictures I took a few minutes ago:
New crack, right in the middle:
You will find a video that these two cracks are on the same spoiler at this address:
I bought from CarID because the company is sponsering the Subaru Forester forums (SubaruForester.org), and because of the good reviews it had. Easy returns and a very good warranty were influential in the purchasing process. Is this really how CarID treats its customers?
Please ask your supervisor to contact me directly. I am definitely not happy with what appears to be a random refusal of warranty on no grounds at all.
As you can see, the first crack is above the "Impreza" and "PZEV" logos, which are on the passenger side of the trunk lid. The second crack is right above the Subaru emblem, which sits right in the middle of the trunk lid. When I look inside that middle crack, I can see the wiring for the integrated LED brake light.
I shot some video to show that these were two separate cracks, and that the new one is even larger than the first. Note that this video is unlisted on Youtube, nobody can see it unless I give the specific URL.
CarID's representative's response, on Feb 17th:
This is to inform you that I have sent a request to check on the issue with the manufacturer once again. I will be in touch as soon as additional data is provided. It usually takes 24-48 business hours the question to be processed. |
Be sure, I am following on the order and will keep you updated. I will do my best to find a resolution for you.
I got this on Feb. 18th:
Let me please inform you that the manufacturer stated, this is the same crack from before. An increase in the size of the crack due to weather is still not his defect because the crack was not caused by a defect in the first place. It was most likely caused due to extreme pressure on top of the spoiler or the spoiler being hit with something. |
I really apologize for the inconvenience you faced and to smooth the inconvenience you faced, my supervisor approved as an exception to offer you $20.00 Gift Certificate for the next purchase. A great feature of the Gift Certificate is that it can be applied to any brand listed on our website and has no expiration date. Please confirm if you would like to receive an email with the Gift Certificate number.
Same crack as before? What about the two pictures? Pictures taken of different areas of the spoiler? The video?
At this point, I understood that somebody was either not forwarding the entire information, or blind, or voluntarily ignoring the problem, hoping I would go away.
How can I go away? I have a trunk lid with three holes in it, and a spoiler that's taking water! At this point, even my wife doesn't care that her car looks like crap but she's very much afraid of the damage done by the water since everything on the bottom of the spoiler is sealed, and the water has no place to go.
The email I sent on the 18th:
Something is not computing here. |
There are TWO SEPARATE CRACKS in the spoiler - not one, not one that got larger due to the weather. There is one on the right side that started this seemingly infinite chain of emails, and during the night while the car was parked in my driveway, the spoiler cracked again, in the middle of the spoiler, right above the LED brake light. Two. Different. Cracks. I even showed it on the video that these were two different cracks.
In both occurrences, the spoiler was not hit by anything. The second crack appeared while the car was parked a foot from my garage, nobody could touch it. This is a manufacturing defect, or a material defect.
As for the 20$ gift certificate... Seriously? I now have a car with a spoiler that is falling apart, and if I want to take it off now has holes in the deck lid, and you think that 20$ will "smooth the inconvenience" ? Can I buy a complete deck lid for a 2013 Impreza with 20$ ? Or even another spoiler to fill the holes?
This spoiler I bought from you is defective, and on your website you assure your clients that you have an "easy returns" policy, and that this particular product has a 3-year warranty. Is this all show but no substance?
I have asked twice before, and I'll ask again: Ask your supervisor to contact me directly.
The representative's response on the 18th:
This is to inform you that I have sent a request to contact you via phone for resolving this issue. We will be in touch as soon as request is submitted. It usually takes 24-48 business hours the question to be processed.
We're now on March 9, and what do you know - they never called.
After I asked about it, this was the reply:
In regards to the manufacturer's response, they are willing to give you $20 off the replacement. If you are willing to pay the difference for the painted spoiler, we cover the shipping and the manufacturer gives us $20 off the new one. It means, we can offer this to you without any additional cost other then the difference for paint. |
Let me please inform you that you will receive Stella Connect request. Could you please be so kind to evaluate my work and leave a short review regarding my assistance? Also, please disregard the note about a call. Unfortunately, I am able to assist you only via e-mail. I will be glad to know your opinion. Please be advised that CARiD does everything possible to provide our clients with the best assistance.
Ok, so they never intended to call at all...
Still on March 9th, 2016 - my reply:
Just so I understand: You want me to pay for a new spoiler, for the paint, CarID pays for shipping and the manufacturer offers 20$ off the whole thing. |
As stated before, this is unacceptable.
I want to know exactly why the manufacturer refuses to honor its 3-year warranty, and why CarID doesn't keep it's word. If you can't tell me, get me in touch with the manufacturer directly.
It seems pretty clear to me that this is going nowhere, as I expected.
Then on March 10:
This is to inform you that I have sent a request to check on the issue with the manufacturer once again and try to find the resolution for you. I will be in touch as soon as additional data is provided. It usually takes 24-48 business hours the question to be processed.
Aaaannd.. I'm still waiting. I have no contact info on the manufacturer - I did some research and I suppose it's DAR Spoilers - Car Spoilers, Rear Spoilers, Factory & Custom Style Spoilers
but since they don't sell directly to the public (or don't seem to), the warranty is through CarID.
So... At this point I'm pretty sure I am in need of a 2013 Impreza sedan trunk lid - Dark Gray Metallic if possible, with or without spoiler. Or anything that doesn't have holes in it.
I'm also pretty sure CarID will not help me more than offering me 20$ off of my next purchase, which is why I'm writing this as a warning to others.
Beware! When all goes well and you don't need them, everything's fine. But if you do, you're on your own.
As for us, well we will definitely buy somewhere else in the future.