Driver has issues with Subaru after SUV bursts into flames

Ann Morgado says when she called the salesman at Dan Perkins Subaru in Millford, Connecticut, and told him her son’s recently purchased 2009 Forester had caught fire while he was driving it, he said “Subaru’s don’t catch fire.”

But there’s no doubt that Matthew Morgado’s SUV did. He took cell phone video of it engulfed in flames.

Only a month after he bought it, he was driving on the Hutchinson River Parkway when the check engine light came on. He saw smoke, pulled over and jumped out. Within minutes, flames were coming out of the Forester, for which he paid $11,000. After firefighters doused the flames, Ann Morgado called the dealership, expecting they would take the vehicle back, since she says the salesman told Matthew and her that if anything went wrong within 30 days, the dealership would take care of it.

But the dealership’s General Manager refused to take the Forester back. He pointed out the contract Matthew signed says the 9-year-old SUV was sold “as is," meaning there is no warranty and Matthew is responsible for any repairs.

She complained to Subaru of America, headquartered in Camden, New Jersey. The company agreed to have a team of engineers inspect the vehicle. Six weeks later, she still hadn’t heard the results of the investigation. She contacted What a Shame at PIX11 and we got in touch with Subaru corporate headquarters and with Dan Perkins Subaru. Subaru of America then released the results of its investigation. It concluded the “engine connecting rod broke through the engine block” leading to the fire.

Subaru of America offered to give Matthew $2,500 toward the purchase of a new car. Dan Perkins Subaru said if Matthew gave them that $2,500 and paid them another $2,500 out of pocket, the dealership would cover the remaining cost if he agreed to lease a new Impreza. But Matthew, who just go married, said no to the offer. He doesn’t want to lease, and he doesn’t want an Impreza. He hopes to buy another car from another dealership.

It’s an expensive lesson in the importance of reading the entire contract before you buy a car, and make sure you get in writing any promise of a warranty.

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