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This company offers new and pre-owned vehicles, service and repair.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Carter Subaru meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Carter Subaru include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||1|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
Type of Entity
Business ManagementWade & Sara Carter, Owners Ward Fleischmann, GSM Kristina Kelley, Customer Service Manager, Aurora Jennifer Moran, General Manager Mr. Dan Murphy, General Sales Manager Paul Svenkerud, Customer Service Manager, Ballard
Auto Dealers - New Cars Auto Dealers - Used Cars New Car Dealers (NAICS: 441110)
Alternate Business NamesCarter Motors Inc
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BBB Complaint Process
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (206) 782-7475(Phone)
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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BBB Letter Grade Scale
Star Rating scale
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: Brought a 2005 Subaru WRX on 12/30/13 to replace a power steering pump and resolve fluid leakage issues resulting a visible cloud eminating from the engine hood and through the cabin interior ventilation system. Upon picking up the car after the presumed repairs ($1200 paid), a check engine light was on and the gaseous vapors remained. On 12/31/13, the car was returned immediately to the dealer to investigate the check engine light. All the dealer did was clear the code without addressing the reason for the check engine light. Furthermore, they failed to document the service request concerning the check engine light. The vaporous cloud never was addressed and continued to eminate throughout the cabin of the car and out the engine hood. On 01/03/14, the check engine light came back on and the car was brought in on 01/04/14. They investigated the issue and found a puncture in the metallic power steering line. They should have seen this problem when installing the power steering pump on 12/30/13, but claimed it never existed until after the car left the shop on 12/30/13. Furthermore, it is impossible that they never saw this issue as they have worked in this area while replacing the head gasket (12/30/13) and engine belts (September 2013). Now the dealer is blaming me for damaging this line and demanding that I pay for parts and repair (an additional $600). Meanwhile, my son could not get down to California to start winter quarter (starting on 01/06/13). To get to California, it will now cost a minimum of $400(one way) to fly down to start nearly 3 days late. Furthermore, my son would have to fly back up to Seattle (another $400) to pick up the car and drive back down to California ($150 in fuel plus $100 for a one night hotel plus food). The car should have been repaired on 12/31/13 and if they would have troubleshooted correctly, parts could have been ordered and the car fixed by no later than 01/03/14. On 01/02/14, the assistant service manager (Benny) stated that the car should have been repaired no later than 3pm 01/06/14. Upon several attempts to connect with ******** ****** (service manager) via telephone on 01/06/14, she stated that they are in no way responsible for the repair costs associated with the power steering tube repairs that would cost an additional $600. They claim the parts will arrive on 01/07/14 and the work will be completed same day. Can you please help resolve these issues and do a further investigation into the working practices at Carter Subaru Shoreline-Service Department managed by ******** ******? Thanks.
Desired Settlement: Reimbursement for initial $1200 bill to replace power steering pump and $600 for additional cost to replace the power steering pump metal tube that they punctured while replacing the pump. In addition, $400 to send my son to college via airplane as he missed school.
Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 6, 2014/01/13) */ December 30th *** ***** brought her Subaru in with the concern of smoke coming from the engine and a whining noise. We inspected and found the power steering pump leaking at a 3 (on a scale from 1-3; 3 being the most severe) and one valve cover gasket leaking at a 2. *** ***** paid $1116.54 plus tax for the two repairs (after receiving free diagnosis and a $71.93 discount on the repairs). Her check engine light came on December 31st and she returned shortly after picking up the car. A technician downloaded codes and discovered a code for a lean condition. We cleared the code and rechecked the system, which did not recode at the time. It was our recommendation the customer monitor the vehicle and report if the condition returned. It did 3 days later and *** ***** returned (January 4th), also concerned that something was still smoking under-hood. We found the same lean code, and also found power steering fluid still leaking, though not from the power steering pump which we had just replaced. After further investigation, we found another power steering leak in a very unusual place. The power steering hard line routing to the rack and pinion was leaking because the line was tampered with. Someone installed an aftermarket air filter and housing in the car, and mis-routed the cruise control cable. The cable is steel, and it was routed underneath the aftermarket air filter. When the filter was installed, the base plate for it was applying excessive pressure to the cruise control cable (which should not have been there anyway) and the cruise control cable rubbed through the power steering metal line. *** ***** is incorrect in stating the hard line was punctured, it was not (the old part was given to her). The line wore through after rubbing against the cable over time (probably for many weeks if not months, though that is speculation based on experience). As a result, power steering fluid that leaked got into the air filter housing, where the mass air-flow sensor resides. The sensor determines how much oxygen is entering the engine, and once contaminated with fluid the sensor failed, creating the lean condition and subsequent check engine light. No one can know if the line was leaking at the first visit, if it was we did not see it because it was hidden against the frame of the car and underneath an aftermarket component that someone else installed improperly. On December 31st; ****** Subaru found and repaired - in good faith - two leaks that are a common result of age and time. We may have missed a third, and because of that possibility we performed all of the subsequent diagnosis, clean up, rubber line replacement, and mass air flow sensor replacement at no charge to *** *****. Our assistant service manager remained at the dealership well after closing January 4th and met with *** ***** to show her the damage and what had happened. Learning of the unfortunate timing of the event; Carter Subaru also paid to expedite shipping of the part so it would arrive as soon as possible. The reason the part was not available in the Washington area was because dealers rarely replace hard lines - they normally last the life of the car. Saturday January 4th after the close of business the assistant service manager phoned the service manager at *** *****' request. It was agreed that nothing more could be done until the next business day, and the service manager phoned *** ***** at approximately 9:00am on Monday, January 6th. Carter Subaru estimated the cost of repairing the hard line at $599 plus tax, and asked the customer to pay for that as Carter Subaru did not cause and is not responsible for the failure of the hard line. Since the check engine light was on December 31st, the mass air flow sensor was already failing, therefore, if Carter Motors did miss the third leak on that day, that oversight did not cause the mass air flow sensor to fail. Nonetheless, Carter Subaru paid for more than $730 in parts (mass air flow sensor, etc.), labor and shipping as a gesture of goodwill towards *** *****, and in an effort to ease the financial burden of an already very frustrating situation. On January 6th, *** ***** asked the service manager for time to consider her options. Carter Subaru remained on stand by and received her authorization for repair at $599 plus tax the morning of January 7th. The car was repaired and Carter further discounted the invoice to $487.63 plus tax.