On a non-political note, a reader of the Bushnell Report asked me to post this a while ago and I dropped the ball.
This is part of a letter from a resident of Kootenai County to Parker Subaru.
"In 2021, we had our 2007 Subaru Legacy (“Legacy”) towed to Parker Subaru. We had lost the key and needed to have new keys made. There was nothing wrong with our Legacy; however, without a key, I couldn’t drive it. Additionally, it was recommended to me to have an airbag recall addressed. I agreed, and Parker Subaru made new keys and replaced the airbag.
Later in July, I received a call from Parker Subaru and was informed that when the airbag was installed, the employee failed to pull the serial number from the airbag to program it into the system, providing notice the recall had been addressed. I was told the vehicle would need to be taken back to Parker Subaru and the airbag recall would have to be redone. I explained that I couldn’t bring the car back because I had just had a baby. Your employee stated Parker Subaru would be willing to come out to our home, drive our car to Parker Subaru, complete the work, and then return our car.
Against my better judgment, I agreed to let Parker Subaru come get our car. Parker Subaru retrieved our car during the morning in late July, 2021. Later in the afternoon, I received a call from Parker Subaru informing me my vehicle had been in a “minor collision” and they were sending a loaner car out to my home. I asked what had happened and was told they really didn’t know the extend of the damage, but my vehicle was not drivable. I asked again what happened to our car, and I was informed the driver failed to obey a traffic sign and was hit by a full-size work truck. Our car had been t-boned. I was at a loss for words I was in utter shock.
Not hearing a word for Parker Subaru, I called approximately a few (2/3) weeks later. I was informed our car was at George Gee for an estimate. Shortly after my call to Parker Subaru, I received a call from an employee who stated the company is here to help us in any way it can. He even mentioned potentially helping pay for a new vehicle and stated maybe an extra $5,000 to go towards one. The employee asked my husband and I what we wanted to do. We didn’t know the extent of the damage; nor did we know what the insurance was going to pay. The employee asked us to come in and talk with him, and we did.
During this in-person meeting, he stated he would help us get a new car. My husband told the employee we weren’t in a position to purchase a new car. Our car was in perfect condition and was paid in full. We said we'd like to have our car repaired and restored to its previous condition. My husband explained how we had originally restored the vehicle and had a significant amount of money invested in it.
*While our car was at George Gee’s, I called George Gee to get an update on its condition. We had not seen our car, nor the damage to it, and I was concerned the easiest solution would be to total our car. Unfortunately, George Gee thought our car belonged to Parker Subaru. I explained to George Gee that I was the vehicle owner, and Parker Subaru brought the vehicle to them because their employee had been in acrash in our car. George Gee was unaware of this. I asked George Gee to email me the estimate for the repair work. My husband and I both are graduates of North Idaho College Autobody, and we both have worked for several years in the collision industry. We wanted to review the estimate to see what damage was done and the anticipated cost of repairs.
When we received the estimate, we noticed not everything was accounted for. The estimate was just over $5,000. I called George Gee and spoke with the person who prepared the estimate. I asked the estimator how she came to her total, and she stated the cost of repair was going to be well over what the insurance company would allow.
She stated if Parker Subaru was going to fix the vehicle, she would address and identify the rest of the damages. *
A few more weeks went by before we heard from Parker Subaru again. This time, Parker Subaru informed us the insurance company had deemed our car a complete loss; they were totaling the vehicle. I was told our car would be towed from George Gee back to Parker Subaru, and it would then be determined if the car could be repaired. If it couldn’t, then we would need to decide what to do with the vehicle. Parker Subaru asked me to call George Gee and give them permission to release our car back to Parker Subaru to stop the daily fees from accruing. I was floored.
Your insurance company was allegedly willing to offer us $4,000 for our vehicle. Parker Subaru seemed to think this is acceptable because “this is why we have insurance, to take care of these things.” I spoke with your insurance company and explained the investment my husband and I have into our car. The insurance company asked me to send them all the invoices and they would settle for the amount of our investment. I sent over all the work that had been done on the vehicle.
Their quote back to me was as followed: Gross ACV: $5,283.76 State Sales Tax Percent: 6% Total Tax Amount: $317.03 Registration Fee: $5.00 Title Fee: $14.00 Subtotal: $5,619.79 Loss of Use $30/30 days (This is a Payment Addition) $900.00 Total Amount Due: $6,519.79
Our 2007 Subaru Legacy was a completely restored vehicle resembling brand new condition. We invested over $22,000 in parts and labor which included a custom paint job. Additionally, prior to Parker Subaru totaling our car, we spent $300 to have new keys made through your company right before your company wrecked and totaled it.
In contacting your insurance, they had informed me to use my own insurance. EXCUSE ME?! I think not. Your company is one hundred percent (100%) at fault.
Your Company, Parker Subaru, your employee, totaled our car.
Nothing has been done to make this situation whole. On top of all this, brings me to the “fun” run around situation on the whole “loaner/rental” car.
We were ‘provided’ a loaner car at the time of the incident and were informed that it was for the courtesy of. However, when I had been informed that our car was sentenced to total loss, I was also informed that I was to return the rental vehicle so it would quit accruing fees. However, when I spoke with another employee, He had informed me it was a vehicle sent from your company to help us until we were taken care of, yet when I spoke with a certain employee, (the guy who had been “supposedly” helping us get on our feet and taken care of) said it indeed was a car rental and that we needed to return it. His words and I quote, “that is why we have insurance.” Of course when I brought the vehicle back I was told it indeed was Subaru’s loaner car and it was just out of courtesy that it was lent to us.
We are a family of five (5), and were down to one (1) vehicle. My husband and I have been in no position to purchase a new vehicle, much less replace our original vehicle to the exact value, custom and all, that your company totaled. Parker Subaru needs to make this right.
I have spent countless hours lying awake at night trying to process this whole nightmare. Many nights I’ve tried to write this letter with a clear mind to not come off so angry.
We’re no longer dealing with “just a vehicle.” Parker Subaru has been a hindrance on 1) our vehicle 2) our business (being down a vehicle) 3) my mental health 4) my family and 5) loss of time. Again, I had just had a brand new baby right before all of the occurred. In a time were I am supposed to be enjoying the newness of my baby’s life, I am now thrown in to the toss and turn of your companies run around, lack of communication, and carelessness.
Upon advice of legal counsel, it was suggested I write you a letter regarding all that has transpired to see if you are willing to assist in righting this wrong."
*** Names of employees have been removed from the original letter.