Every document below is a reason to NEVER BUY A SUBARU!
Table of Contents for all PDF Files
The Table of Contents below contains links to all of the PDF files.
Introduction and Cast of Characters
This file contains court filings, related documents and commentary regarding a case where Subaru
refused to honour a warranty on a Subaru Forester. The purpose is to provide proof that Subaru
warranties are worthless, that Subaru is a dishonourable company, and most importantly, potential
purchasers of cars or SUV’s should avoid the brand if a warranty is required.
The structure will be the analysis, followed by the respective document. The documents are arranged
CAST OF CHARACTERS
As you read the various documents related to this lawsuit, you will notice several individuals and
companies. I will outline some of them here for your reference
Julian Cohen – First, he foolishly purchased a Subaru, and then like an idiot, he thought the warranty
was real. He then filed this lawsuit, which also appears to be a bad decision as Subaru uses proxy
companies to avoid liability. They also go to great lengths to ensure that cases never make it trial
where the criminality of Subaru could be exposed. While these bad decisions have resulted in great
expense and a huge amount of wasted time, he hopes that the effort can at least prevent others from
making the same mistakes.
Subaru – A subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries based out of Tokyo, Japan. They produce inexpensive
cars of mediocre quality, many with high performance specifications due to their use of
turbochargers. However, their turbochargers are of poor quality and fail at an alarming rate. By
using a complex structure of proxy companies issuing worthless warranties, they avoid liability.
Motor Image – A multinational company based in Singapore. They handle sales and service of
Subaru cars in many Asian countries. It has been determined that Subaru car warranties are worthless
due to no fault of their own, but due to direct instruction by Subaru. Subaru has stated in no
uncertain terms that Motor Image operates with complete authority for selling and servicing Subaru
cars. To be clear, all criticism in this document is directed solely at Subaru in Japan. Motor Image has
made it very clear, and presented evidence to support that they are in no way responsible for any
worthless warranties, and I agree.
Glen Tan – The chief executive of Motor Image. He is the head of the company responsible for refusing
to honor the warranty (maybe not from a legal standpoint, but by all appearances, from a
practical standpoint.) He appeared to be the person to contact to get this issue resolved. However,
based on subsequent revelations by the parties involved, it appears much more likely that Subaru
in Japan is responsible for these worthless warranties. But at this point, without a trial to get to
the bottom of it, this remains unresolved.
Motor Image Filipinas – The Philippines subsidiary of Motor Image. For the purposes here, the same as
Benedicto Arcinas – A retired lawyer, and also a past president of Motor Image Pilipinas. He was sued in
his apparent official capacity at Motor Image. Basically, he was sued as a matter of how lawsuits work,
not because of any personal dispute with him. In fact, he appears to be a very well respected
lawyer and executive, and if anything, is guilty of only being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Laus Marketing Corporation – They operated the Subaru dealership in Pampanga. Note that operating a
dealership is not the same as being a dealer (that would be Motor Image Filipinas). They were sued
as a legal procedure because the car was serviced and the warranty was denied at Subaru Pampanga.
I have no issue with them at all, and in fact, feel that they are a fine company. However, like me,
they were quite foolish in ever getting involved with a company like Subaru.
Autosales and Aftersales Company – Even after several years in court, I’m still not really sure what role
they play here. Due to some issues raised by Motor Image at one of the court hearings, it became
apparent that they needed to be added as a defendant. Since they apparently did not create
Subaru’s fraudulent warranty and may not have directly denied my warranty claim, my issue with
them relates to complex legal rules of responsibility.
Letter to Glen Tan, head of Motor Image Corporation 4/2/2012
When my warranty claim was denied, I sent a letter straight to the top (which based on my research
was a Gentleman named Glen Tan) to see if the denial of my valid warranty claim was company
policy, and not just the mistake of one employee. I wanted to make it very clear that there would
be consequences if the denial was not reversed. I handed the letter to the Branch Manager in
person, and made sure that another employee was there to avoid confusion about my intent. I gave a
rather long and impassioned speech about how this was unacceptable, the consequences of their
actions, and I received a “guarantee” that Glen Tan would receive this letter before Wednesday (when
I stated I was going to meet with my lawyer). I had no intention of driving 3 hours to Manila to meet
with my attorney, as I assumed that before Wednesday I would receive a reversal of the denial, or at
least an invitation to talk and work out some type of solution to this dispute. Instead, Wednesday came
and went without as much as a text message. Therefore, I had no option but to retain my attorney,
with a retainer of 200,000 pesos.
It should be noted that Glen Tan later claimed that he was out of town and did not receive this letter
before Wednesday. I have no reason to doubt his claim, but it has little relevance for the following
- The Manager personally guaranteed that he would receive the letter before my deadline
- The deadline was not arbitrary. I had only one car at the time, and needed it fixed.
- The Manager knew very well how important it was for me to hear from SOMEONE before Wednesday.
- At the end of the day, the manager of the dealership is the highest ranking person I can properly
communicate with. If he ignores me, then it follows that the company is also ignoring me, and
going to Subaru in Japan is the next logical step.
Letter to Mitsuru Takada, EVP of Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) 4/5/2012
Next stop, Subaru corporate headquarters in Japan. I assumed that once I notified Subaru of how
warranty claims for their cars were not honored, they would fix this ASAP. Boy, was I wrong!
I included a Japanese translation of this letter, a copy of my letter to Glen Tan, and even a
Japanese translation of that letter. I wanted to make sure that Subaru had all the facts.
Courtesy letter to Glen Tan, head of Motor Image 4/9/2012
This letter really wasn’t unnecessary, but it served as a formal end to my attempt to get this resolved by
the head of Motor Image.
Our final demand to Motor Image 4/10/2012
This is the final demand letter, a legal requirement before filing a lawsuit. As is well known, it represents
the last chance for a potential defendant to avoid a lawsuit. At this point, things could be settled if
Motor Image merely reimbursed me for the cost of a new turbo charger, towing fee, and oil change fee.
Unfortunately for all parties concerned, Motor Image refused.
Letter from Masayuki Ohashi, Overseas Administrative Section, Subaru 4/16/2012
I was truly blown away when I received this letter. I read it several times to make sure I
was understanding it correctly. Following is what I determined.
- My treatment did not bother Subaru at all.
- The fact that valid warranty claims are denied does not bother Subaru.
- Most disturbingly, they were ok with the fact that the warranty requires a 1,000 km, 3,000
km, and 10 km oil change for them to honour their warranties. This contradicts their own
owner’s manual that states that the first oil change is required at 12,000 km.
Clearly, Subaru is well aware of the fact that they have no intention of honouring their warranties, and they are fine with this. Most importantly, Subaru states:
“we have given them complete authority to make all decisions regarding service,
sales and parts supply”.
Clearly, there are several advantages to this type of scheme for Subaru.
- It allows the owner’s manual and Subaru advertising to claim their cars require reasonable
maintenance, but also require these same cars to have numerous additional and
unnecessary maintenance procedures for the warranty to be valid. Knowing full well
that very few people will have an oil change at 1,000km, they are able to essentially
absolve themselves of their warranty responsibilities very soon after the car is sold.
- When contacted about a denied warranty claim, they just say “this has nothing to do with
us, just contact xyz company.”
- When someone is foolish enough to file a lawsuit hoping for justice, they can keep the
SUBARU name out of the proceedings. In addition, when their proxies use shameful
tactics in court, they can also protect their reputation from the consequences of such
This is generally known as plausible deniability, and here we have a text book case. Please note that I refuse to play this game. Therefore, I will not reference the names of any other parties in reference to worthless Subaru warranties..
Letter from the attorney of Glen Tan 4/17/2012
I still remember how my blood boiled when I received this letter. Never in my life had I received anything
like it. I was just trying to get my warranty honoured, and this letter was so nasty and mean. Clearly, this
was war. A couple of points:
- He states
“your motives are indeed malicious rather than noble”.
I just want my car fixed under warranty, but if he feels it is malicious, so be it. Yes, I can be
quite assertive when I am right, but after receiving this letter, it is clear that I have to step this
up a notch. It was now that I first decided that I would pursue this until the very end.
Unfortunately, at this point I did not fully grasp what that meant.
- He states:
“instead of considering the same to be a legitimate customer complaint of a vehicle we
can conclude from the contents thereof that you meant to spread untruthful and
inaccurate statements, intending to insult and maliciously impute fraud and dishonesty
on a respectable business person and his companies”.
Seriously? This guy thinks that this has nothing to do with my car and I just have nothing better
to do with my time than initiating an expensive dispute with a multinational company. HOW
ABOUT YOU FIX MY F…….ING CAR, INSTEAD OF PICKING A FIGHT THAT YOU WILL LOSE.
- He wants me to apologize or he will initiate a criminal complaint. If am sure of only one thing in
this dispute, it is this; if there is ever an apology given, it will be given TO ME by either Glen
Tan, Motor Image, Subaru, or all three.
Reply to letter from attorney of Glen Tan 4/19/2012
I tried to be factual and polite in my reply to the attorney of Mr. Tan. While I would have
certainly liked to insult Mr. Tan the way he insulted me, that is not my style (although it should be
noted that I am quite capable of insults, and if they keep this up, then maybe that is what they
Complaint - Cohen vs. Motor Image, et al 3/19/2013
So, this is the Civil case filing, Julian Cohen vs. Motor Image, et al (AKA lawsuit). As with all lawsuits, there
are several pages of legal verbiage, which is here for the reader to peruse. In lieu of an analysis of this
legal filing, I will just give an outline of the conduct by Subaru that lead to this filing.
First, let me note that while I will be referring to my dispute with Motor Image, my real dispute is with
Subaru. When you buy a Subaru, you might think that the warranty is also issued by Subaru (at least I
did). But in reality, they use a company based out of Singapore called Motor Image. While I will
will mention Motor Image on numerous times in this and other analysis, my criticism is always criticism
of Subaru. Motor Image just does what it does. I have no idea of their agreement with Subaru, their
motivation, their finances, etc. All I do know is that Subaru fights tooth and nail to avoid paying
valid warranty claims.
Anyway, to be brief, I took my car in due to symptoms that turned out to be a failed turbo charger. As I
first sat down with the service manager, he asked to see my warranty card. I showed it to him, and he
stated (and I’ll paraphrase), “you do not have either the 1,600km, 5,000 km, or 10,000 km stamp, so you
have no warranty. I was quite shocked, as this is not 1980. Modern engines do not need the 1000 mile
or so oil change after they have been “run in”. I checked the owner’s manual, and sure enough, the first
oil change per the owner’s manual requires the first oil change at 12,500 km. How can the warranty
require 3 oil changes before the owner’s manual even recommends the first? Well, if you are motor
image, you can require anything you want – technically, they are not Subaru. Nice little scam they have
going on here! Imagine all those unnecessary oil changes and the resulting toxic and potentially polluting
used motor oil. How about the millions and millions of pesos wasted on unnecessary oil changes. And
of course, let’s not forget all the wasted money on repairs that should be performed under warranty.
Now to be honest, the only thing I was really thinking at the time was that I was being scammed and
would have nothing of it, but those other issues are important and should be considered.
Of course, I and the service manager had a rather heated argument. We also discussed why, for my last
oil change, I purchased my oil filter from the dealer, but the oil from somewhere else. I was particularly
perturbed when I found out this “service manager” had no idea of the differences between different
motor oil weights (viscosity). No clue what multi weight vs straight oil was. He truly did not know why
sometimes you would use 10w-40 and sometimes 10w-30. And this was the guy managing the service of
my car? The way I see it, this is MY car. I get to follow the recommendations in the owner’s
manual regarding service intervals and oil weight. I also believe this to be the law.
To be fair, the actual mechanic was very knowledgeable and quite competent, but I certainly had no
time to discuss warranties or anything else with the service manager.
Anyway, what followed is, well, a large part of the last 5 years of my life. I think the legal documents
that were filed over the years will paint a very clear picture of what type of company Subaru is, as well as
their proxies. If you have even the SLIGHTEST interest in purchasing a Subaru, I would
strongly recommend reading about how they handled their day (years) in court.
Finally, please note paragraph 25 of the lawsuit. Subaru, from the very beginning, tried to paint
me as a stereotyped American, trying to extort money from a company. Over the objections of my
attorney, I therefore insisted that I only receive the cost of my new turbocharger, the towing charge, the
cost of an oil change (not needed), and the cost of the suit.
Article that appeared in the Philippine Inquirer newspaper 3/20/2013
A letter to the the head of Subaru customer care 3/20/2013
A final attempt to get action by Subaru. In hindsight, a complete waste of time. But at least I tried
Letter from Atsushi Nemoto, Subaru overseas service dept. 3/27/2013
Well, Subaru, I hope that EVERY potential Subaru customer on the planet will also hear my story, LOUD
AND CLEAR. I will do my very best, now and in the future, to make sure that happens.
Subaru – what a disgusting excuse for a company.
Letter from the court ordering additional defendants to the case 4/1/2013
Before we filed the lawsuit, I discussed the matter of defendants with my attorney. He explained that it
was standard procedure to list all parties to the case so that the judge could assign responsibility and
damages as he or she saw fit. This would mean that each defendant would need to be served, and have
legal counsel. This did not appear to be a proper course of action, as my complaint was solely with Motor
Image as they as they were the ones that had denied my warranty claim. My attorney acquiesced, but
stated that the judge might order the listing of additional defendants.
Clearly, I should have headed to my attorney’s advice, and after this, I let my attorney handle the case as
he saw fit (and let me just add, what a fine job he did!)
This complaint lists the additional defendants, as ordered by the judge 4/20/2013
This complaint lists the additional defendants, as ordered by the judge. When referring to “the
complaint” in other document analyses, it will be in reference to this complaint, as opposed to
the original complaint that was filed.
Answer and counter claim by Motor Image 10/30/2013
Whenever a complaint is filed, the defended is required to file an answer, and here it is. I will analyse the
significant paragraphs. Please note that I am not an attorney, and this (and all subsequent analysis of
legal documents) is based on my opinion, with the limited legal knowledge I possess. Also note that
my attorney has had no input on any analysis as the Regional Trial Court case has been dismissed, and
his involvement in this continuing dispute has ended.
PARAGRAPH 1-6, and others
Mostly technical legal details. However, it sets the stage for the numerous legal challenges
and counterclaims that will follow in this and subsequent filings, and begins a multi-year process where
Subaru attempts to avoid legal responsibility for the warranty.
Falsely claims that the car was not well maintained.
Claims the warranty had expired, based on the purchase date as opposed to the delivery date.
Falsely claims that the vehicle underwent unauthorized modifications (unless you consider replacing the
shock absorbers as un-authorized modification that can result in a turbo charger failing).
Attempts to paint this as some type of extortion scheme, when I have made it very clear from
the beginning that I just want my warranty honored.
While I cannot categorically deny this, there is absolutely no evidence that this is the case, and Rafael M.
Cruz has presented evidence that he was the original and only owner of this vehicle. Without a trial (that
MIPI has avoided for several years) this can never been ascertained one way or the other. But it is not
relevant anyway, as the warranty is transferable to all new owners.
Here it is claimed that the vehicle was abused (it was NOT). However, this paragraph does contain the
heart of the matter at hand. Are you required to follow ridiculous maintenance requirements that are in
complete contradiction to the owner’s manual? It is my contention that according to the law as well as
common sense, you are not. However, Subaru will attempt to avoided a trial that would decide this
one way or the other. No doubt, they are concerned that a ruling that their maintenance requirements
are illegal would significantly affect their bottom line.
Here they throw every unfounded argument they can think up to support their denial of the
warranty. Clearly, these are professionals when it comes to denying warranty claims.
This is just complete nonsense. The Nissan case in question has to do with a warranty claim filed long
after the warranty expired.
Believe it or not, here they are claiming that the lawsuit has to be filed WITHIN the warranty period. So,
my turbo charger failed 2 days before the warranty expired, so I had two days file a lawsuit? A truly wild
They try to get this thrown out on a minor technicality that has nothing to do with the case at hand.
Benedicto G. Arcinas, based on available records, was sued as the president of Motor Image, as is standard
procedure for this type of lawsuit. Apparently, he had recently ceased to be the president.
There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Arcinas is anything but an honorable and upstanding retired
lawyer, and nothing in this lawsuit has suggested otherwise. As a retired lawyer and previous president
of a large corporation, however, it appears quite unusual that he would suffer the following from a lawsuit
against a corporation for which he was recently the president of, including:
- Mental anguish
- Wounded feelings
- Sleepless nights
- Moral shock
For the above, damages in the amount of 1,000,000 each (total 2,000,000 pesos) are claimed. Maybe
there is another reason for these claimed damages? Perhaps to scare me in to dropping this lawsuit?
Maybe to scare away other potential lawsuits? A reasonable strategy, I guess, if you do not honor
Again, Subaru tries to paint me as committing extortion for just attempting to get my car fixed
Here they add another 500,000 pesos each, so they are claiming damages for a total 3,000,000 pesos.
I wonder how many lawsuits they have scared away using this tactic?
And of course, they want attorney’s fees of 600,000(++). Note that these attorneys fees do not
include the huge amount of subsequent legal filings over the next 4 years (almost every one initiated
by Subaru, not by me), so we are talking about a massive legal bill here. In comparison, my
attorney is one of the best in the country, and charged me 200,000(++). And we won EVERY
motion, EVERY appeal, and EVERY request for reconsideration (and wow, there were a lot, as
this case went through 3 judges and a Supreme Court resolution). And they claim that I am the
one committing extortion! Either my attorney was much better at a third the price, or I just
had a really, really solid case. I think it was both (not to suggest in any way that Motor Image did
not have very good attorneys).
Motion to set for preliminary hearing defendants' special and affirmative defenses 11/25/2013
This is the first step by Subaru to motion me into bankruptcy. They want a preliminary hearing for
their special and affirmative defenses. Keep in mind that each motion results in appearance and other
Motion by Motor Image for summons to be served at Laus Marketing 12/2/2013
A perfect example of an irrelevant motion just to delay the case and increase legal fees. At a hearing on
November, 29, Motor Image argued that Laus Marketing Corp. had not been served. Now considering
that Laus Marketing was an active participant in the filing of the Answer 2 months earlier and the
lawsuit was filed 9 months earlier, there is no reasonable reason that the lack of documented service
should be an issue at this point. I think it is fair to say that they know about this lawsuit. However,
this technicality gave Subaru an opening to delay things by forcing us to file a second motion to
issue and serve summons.
Reply by plaintiff to the answer of Motor Image 12/2/2013
Here we reply to their answer to our complaint.
PARAGRAPH 2 and 3
This has to with how Laus Marketing fits into this. My attorney is concerned that they might try to
shift blame and liability to Laus Marketing. My position, however, is quite clear. Subaru
denied the warranty, and they are liable. I have no issue with Laus Marketing. On this note, I am
still quite disturbed by the fact that Subaru stays out of this legal fight by using their affiliates.
While it appears that Motor Image is acting on its own accord, I have no idea if it is really Subaru
I do not want to participate in this “shift the blame” game, which is why I refer to Subaru and not their
foreign affiliates. If Subaru has an issue with this, I would like nothing more than to meet them in court and
find out EXACTLY what role they play in these legal maneuvers.
This is self-explanatory. Just restating facts and putting them in perspective.
Also note that the exemplary and compensatory damages listed here, as per the complaint, are not to
be paid to me but to whatever entity or foundation that is appropriate per court rules. I just want
to be compensated for the replacement of my turbo charger and legal fees.
Comment and manifestation - preliminary hearing 12/5/2013
In an earlier motion, Motor Image had motioned for a preliminary hearing to hear their Special
and Affirmative defenses. For the reasons outlined in this Comment and Manifestation, this hearing
should not take place. Although I believe that the reason Subaru has requested this hearing is
to delay things and perhaps increase legal fees, that is not a valid legal argument, so my attorney attacks
the motion on in its merits.
PARAGRAPH 3 and 4
Even if we have this hearing, the defendant might request that we have the hearing again once Laus
Marketing is served. While we do not want this hearing, we certainly don’t want to have it twice.
Legal reasons that this hearing should not be held.
A reply by Subaru to our reply to their answer to our complaint 12/13/2013
These replies to replies never seem to end……..
Anyway, nothing really new here. Just Subaru reiterating that this case should be dismissed on a
technicality. And even their technicalities are either just wrong or irrelevant.
Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim by Laus Marketing Corporation 12/23/2013
This is the answer by Laus Marketing Corporation
While my claim is, and always has been against Motor Image/Subaru, Laus Marketing was sued as a
procedure so that the court could assign blame to them if required.
It should be noted that in Paragraph 4, Laus claims that as the amount sought was P138,000, this case
should be handled by the Metropolitan Trial court (MTC). But since this case involves a claim of Breach
of Contract, it must be heard by the Regional Trial court and most likely would be rejected by the
Municipal courts on those grounds. Also note that the limit at this time for small claims cases is 100,000
pesos (not raised to 200,000 until February 1, 2016), so that is also not option here.
I will also state here that while their Answer is quite combative, during the many court proceedings that I
was able to meet with the attorneys for Laus Marketing they were particularly accommodating and
always willing to get this settled. They even offered a significant amount of money to settle this
case even though they were right in claiming that they were not liable here (the amount was less
than my actual costs, but I was willing to accept it at the time). However, Motor Image was
always quick to shoot down any potential settlement.
So, for the record, I am personally of the opinion that Laus Marketing is a quality company. Although I did
have issues with one of their employees when I first brought my car in for service, I have no
idea if it was due to procedures given by Motor Image, training by Laus, or just a bad employee.
Manifestation by Subaru 1/9/2014
A manifestation regarding the status of Laus Marketing. The Manifestation primarily relates to Laus
Marketing, although it was filed by the attorney for Motor Image.
The motion by Subaru for a preliminary hearing was denied 2/25/2014
The motion by Subaru for a preliminary hearing was denied. The reason given by the judge was ”The
motion lacks merit”. The judge goes on to say that the issues should be resolved in the main (trial).
Of course, Subaru knows this but just wanted to waste time and increase my legal costs with this
motion. And there will be many, many more motions that Subaru will file and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF
THEM will also be denied.
Motion for reconsideration of the denial of their request for a preliminary hearing 3/25/2014
Here, Subaru files a Motion for Reconsideration regarding the denial of their Motion for Preliminary
Hearing. Basically, Subaru has asked the court to reconsider their ruling (or in other words, “you were
wrong, judge, please issue a reversal”).
Motions for reconsideration are very rarely approved, for obvious reasons. They are used (abused)
by Subaru to delay and increase the costs of this lawsuit.
Attorney for plaintiff files opposition for motion for reconsideration 4/22/2014
legalese here, and self-explanatory (if you are a lawyer).
Reply to Opposition to Motion for Reconsideration by Subaru 5/20/2014
When a motion is filed it sets off an expensive and time consuming chain of events. Here we can
see another link in that chain. Each link becomes more technical so at this point these filings are mostly
obscure legal jargon.
Denial of motion for reconsideration 8/29/2014
On November 25, 2013, Subaru filed a motion for a preliminary hearing and then filed a
motion for reconsideration after the motion was denied. On August 29, 2014 that motion was
denied. Nine expensive months of wasted time due to a frivolous motion filed by Subaru.
Their tactic of trying to motion this lawsuit to death is off to a very successful start.
Plaintiff files ex-parte motion to set case for pre-trial 9/10/2014
It is 18 months after having filed this lawsuit and we have not even started pre-trial due to the
delay tactics orchestrated by Subaru. Here we file a motion to start pre-trial, and that motion
is approved by the judge.
Subaru files a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under rule 65 9/22/2014
Here we have an unusual petition, especially when used at the pre-trial stage. It is a Petition for
Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65. Basically, Subaru is saying that the judge is committing a grave
abuse of discretion by not approving their baseless motions. It is something you would typically see in a
case during or after trial, that involves a large amount of money, and where the judge has acted in such
an abhorrent way that you are almost sure to win the petition. Or to put it another way, if you are going
to insult the judge you would need to have a very strong case, with a lot at stake, and the case is near
the end. Here we have a case over a small amount of money, a baseless petition, and the case is at the
early stages. Why then would such a petition be filed? Obviously for no other reason than to delay the
case, and increase costs, and scare away other potential lawsuits. This is a nasty tactic that we have
seen before, and will continue to see as this case moves along. Yes, you will keep seeing me say the
same thing over and over every time Subaru files a motion, but I want to make sure that by the end of
my analysis of these documents, there can be no dispute as to the motives of Subaru. And in one of
their letters, they claimed that I was the one without honour!
This is a complex petition and there is nothing new here as it is basically just restating previous
arguments to the appellate court. If you are into reading 10 pages of arcane legal arguments that have
no basis in fact, and that have been previously made and rejected, it is here for you to enjoy. However, I
certainly will not spend the time analyzing this nonsense.
Plaintiff files Pre-trial Brief 10/29/2014
Both the defendant and plaintiff are required to file a pre-trial brief. This is the brief filed by us.
The brief outlines the facts of the case, issues requiring resolution, evidence to be submitted and
witnesses to be called.
Note that one of our witnesses is hostile and would need to be subpoenaed. This is because testifying
against Subaru would not be a good business decision. Very few in the car business would
willingly submit testimony against an automobile company as it would inhibit future interaction
with that company.
For example, Ferman Lao is considered one of the foremost experts in the country on cars, performance
components, and service requirements. As a technical editor for automotive magazines as well as being
an engineer specializing in automotive high performance upgrades, testifying against Motor Image would
not be a wise move. However, he did analyze the turbo charger and issued a detailed report on its
failure. There are very few such experts in the country, so his testimony would be required.
Resolution regarding the Petition for Certiorari from the Court of Appeals 10/29/2014
The court of appeals issues a resolution regarding the filing by Subaru of a Petition of Certiorari.
For technical reasons, the motion was neither approved nor denied. Rather, this resolution lays out
what Subaru needs to do.
Professional Analysis of the turbo charger 10/29/2014
the various automobile circles in the country.
Based on his analysis, the turbo charger failed due the failure of the compressor blade retaining nut. Our
intention was to prove at trial that this type of failure would not have anything to do with the oil
change schedule, even if, as Motor Image maintains, unauthorized oil was used and it was not changed
on the correct schedule.
But of course, for the record, the correct oil was used and it was changed appropriately.
Order and motion to file amended complaint 11/3/2014
On November 3, 2014 there was a routine hearing relating to the pre-trial conference. At this hearing
there was a lot of back and forth about who is liable in this lawsuit, and it became clear that the actual
corporate defendants were more convoluted than initially known. Motor Image stated that a company
by the name of Autosales & Aftersales Company (AAC) was actually liable, and Motor Image Enterprises
Pte Ltd. (MI) was not.
Note that prior to this, with all the arguments that Subaru has made, it had NEVER previously mentioned
that AAC was liable and MI was not. Perhaps they just figured it out, but the evidence would suggest
that they knew this all along, but did not disclose it until this point in an attempt to get the case thrown
out on a technicality. As you can see, when you buy a Subaru it is really quite a puzzle to figure out who
is responsible for the warranty. Basically, figure a year and a half of legal wrangling to get that very
basic fact ironed out.
Anyway, at this meeting the judge granted the plaintiff 10 days to file an amended complaint, and two
days later we file a motion to admit the Second Amended Complaint.
Plaintiff files second amended complaint against Motor Image 11/5/2014
The only thing changed in this complaint is that the defendant Autosales and Aftersales Inc. was added
as a defendant, based on the order issued by the judge at a hearing a few days earlier.
Plaintiff files comment on Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 11/25/2014
Even though the Petition filed by Subaru clearly lacks merit, the attorney still has to spend considerable
time in explaining to the appellate court why. I believe the attorney makes a very strong case not only
to the lack of merits in the petition, but also explains why this petition has so little basis in fact
and established case law that it should never have been filed in the first place.
Motion in opposition to second amended complaint 12/1/2014
Note that in paragraph 3, Subaru states that the amended complaint should be treated as a “mere
scrap of paper”. I think it is clear that, to the contrary, this Opposition is the scrap of paper. Here is
At a hearing, a year and a half after the initial filing, it was Subaru that mentioned that Autosales and
Aftersales Company would be liable in the event that we won. At that time it was agreed by all
parties that an amended complaint was appropriate. The judge then issued the order on the same day
(right at the end of the hearing, if I remember correctly).
What possible legitimate reason could they have for spending 18 months defending themselves, and then
mentioning this fact unless they had an ulterior motive? Here we have their motive – to get this case
thrown out on a technicality.
The reasons given in this Opposition are all arcane legal arguments. As we have seen, and will
continue to see, Subaru is extremely aggressive when it comes to digging deep to find some obscure
legal reason for getting this case dismissed without a trial. While I doubt many non-lawyers would
understand the arguments given here, I believe anyone reading this document would understand that
this opposition has nothing to do with the facts of the case but everything to do with:
- Getting this case thrown out of court on a technicality
- Delaying the case
- Increasing legal fees to get me to back out, or to scare other victims from getting their day in court.
For those of you that are still not convinced that the above motives are real, just keep reading the court
filings. You’ve seen nothing yet!
Plaintiff files reply in response to opposition to second amended complaint 12/12/2014
This is our legal response to that pathetic opposition to our second amended complaint. Since the
opposition was mostly rambling nonsense, there is no need to address most of the points.
Why is Motor Image filing the opposition to adding Autosales and Aftersales company as a defendant?
Autosales and Aftersales should file it, and they have not yet even been served. First Motor Image state
that they are a separate company that needs to be added to the complaint. But they oppose that
addition, and then they act as if they are same company by filing an opposition for them before they are
You don’t need to be a lawyer to see through the games that Motor Image plays.
Plaintiff files a Reply to Motor Image's Comment 12/19/2014
As mentioned earlier, first you have a motion, then a comment, and then a reply to the comment.
Pleadings tend to become more complicated, and when dealing with Subaru, more convoluted by this
point. You may read it and not understand most if because you believe it to be too technical.
However, in this filing the arguments just make no sense.
There is no need to explain why because in 2016 they will make these same arguments to the
Supreme Court. Since a filing with the Supreme court is a rather significant event, my analysis of that
pleading will explain in detail why these arguments are not only baseless, but the referenced case law
that has nothing to do with the issues raised.
Order to admit the second amended complaint 1/6/2015
Again, our motion is granted. The judge clearly has no interest in allowing technicalities (and unsupported
ones at that) from derailing this case.
Motor Image files a Supplemental Petition 2/25/2015
Another petition to get the case thrown out on a technicality. They are saying that because the
additional defendant, Autosales and Aftersales, was added after the Second Amended complaint was
filed, the case should be dismissed on the grounds that the said complaint did not mention Autosales
Even someone with no knowledge of the law should have two reasons that this makes no sense. First,
how could the complaint have mentioned Autosales and Aftersales if we did not know about them
until recently. And second, and most importantly, the reason we did not know about them is because
Subaru did not tell us about them so that they could file this motion now and attempt to get the case
thrown out on a technicality.
Just when think they can go no lower, they pull this. Pathetic.
Motion to Dismiss 3/10/2015
Here we have 12 pages of nonsense………I mean 12 pages of arguments to support Subaru’s Motion to
Dismiss. It is mostly the same silly arguments that have been rejected by the judge before, with a couple
of new ones. For example, Subaru is very focused on getting this dismissed due to various date issues,
all of which were rejected before. Clearly, the judge sees that the turbo charger in the Subaru Forester
failed within the warranty period, so this needs to go to trial.
A new issue raised here relates to the demand letters, but it is really just a twist on the issue that Subaru
has been continuously raising – the defendants. This defendant is wrong………that defendant was not
served……..this defendant is not liable, and now……………these defendants did not receive demand letters.
The argument here is that we were sending letters back and forth to the head of the company based
in Singapore – Motor Image. These letters were responded to with clear wording that the warranty
would not be honoured due to reasons that are well worn at this point. However, now Subaru is
saying that “Motor Image” is not the same as “Autosales and Aftersales”, therefore we never
really asked for the warranty to be honoured and this lawsuit is invalid. What complete and utter
nonsense. Just take a look at all the letters that were sent, and the replies that were received by
numerous entities relating to this case.
So, if you buy a Subaru and want it fixed under warranty, you had better know who to contact. If you
send the demand to the authorized dealer per the Subaru Philippines website, you are out of luck. Motor
Image Philippines, nope. Motor Image Singapore, that won’t work. Subaru Corporation in Japan, forget
about it! You had better send it to Autosales and Aftersales. And we were not even informed about them
until 18 months after we filed the lawsuit. Let’s be very clear here. Subaru creates a complicated network
of companies to avoid honouring their warranties. Subaru is truly one sinister company.
In short, what we have here is more rubbish to cause additional delays and expense with the ultimate
objective of preventing this case from ever going to trial.
Memorandum in support of Petition of Certiorari 3/16/2015
When Motor Image filed a Petition of Certiorari, the appeals court stated that the correct form should
be a Memorandum. After filing a request for an extension, here is the Memorandum.
We had filed our comments to their petition several months earlier, so they are now able to refile with
full knowledge of our rebuttal (I do not know if that was their plan, but based on the prior conduct of
Motor Image, I assume it to be the case).
It is 17 pages of the same half-baked arguments, but with some new rationales. They have references to
some new technicalities that they claim applies here, but it is just the same nonsense.
I recommend keeping this Memorandum it by your bed. If you ever find yourself unable to sleep, just
start reading and you will be in dreamland in no time at all.
Motor Image files another Motion to Dismiss 3/19/2015
Here we have another Motion to Dismiss, based on two arguments:
1) Motor Image claims that since this is a lawsuit for a small amount of money, it should be filed in
Municipal court and not the Regional Trial court. While that argument might sound logical, the
law is quite clear on why it is not the case.
Our claim is for breach of contract. The amount of 148,000 pesos is our damages as a result of
that breach, and not the basis for this lawsuit. Basically, we have to prove in court that the
contract is broken, and if the court agrees, damages will then be ascertained. Municipal courts
are not designed to determine a breach of contract, just amounts owed. So for example, if
someone damaged my car in accident and my damages are small, I can go to Municipal court.
However, in most cases where a contract is involved, it should be filed in a regional court. I am
not saying that this makes sense, but it is the law.
We must also understand that Small Claims courts fall under the jurisdiction of Municipal
courts. If the amount of my claim was very small (under 100,000), I could go to small claims
court even if it involved a breach of contract. The amount that could be claimed in Small Claims
court was raised to 200,000 pesos in February 2016, but at this point we are still in 2015, so
Small Claims court is not an option.
2) The argument here is truly pathetic. They again return to their game of multiple defendants. A
year and a half after the filing of the case they stated that another defendant was liable, Autosales
and Aftersales Company (AAC). We then had to file another amended complaint that named
them as a defendant. However, in the body of the amended complaint we refer to “defendants”
and not “Autosales and Aftersales Company”. They are stating that we are not accusing AAC of
anything in the complaint because in the original complaint, the defendants did not include AAC.
This is truly a ridiculous argument. It appears that Subaru really wants its corporate strategy of
hide the defendants/transfer liability to work in a court of law. It wont.
Manifestation and comment to motion to dismiss 3/29/2015
Here we outline in detail our arguments against Subaru’s Motion to Dismiss, and how these pleadings
are not supported by the facts. You can read the details or just go the final paragraph, #16
“For knowingly asserting arguments that are totally erroneous and inapplicable, defendants and
their counsel should be sanctioned for filing frivolous pleadings that betrays their lack of respect
to and comprehension of the rules”
Memorandum against petition of certiorari 3/29/2015
stating that the judge committed a grave abuse of discretion). Here we outline our arguments against
I will just out restate part of our Prefatory Statement:
“Petitioner’s blind and ignorant insistence hampers the smooth administration of justice and
unnecessarily clogs the docket of the Honorable Court of Appeals. They should be
penalized for filing frivolous pleadings that runs afoul with the lawyer’s oath”.
Strong language to be sure, but clearly supported by the number of their pleadings, the weakness
of their arguments, and the continued view by the courts that their “motions lack merit.”
Motor Image files a reply to our memorandum against the petition of certiorari 4/24/2015
When a Petition of Certiorari is filed, it must be heard by the appellate court. There will also be
a Memorandum filed against the Petition, and then the “reply” that we have here. As you can
see, the strategy utilized by Subaru here greatly slows down proceedings and increases costs.
This is the case no matter how frivolous the petitions are, making this the strategy of choice for a
dishonorable company such as Subaru. And remember, the trial is still a long way off (assuming we ever
To the layperson, this pleading may at first glance appear to have some real arguments. But don’t
be fooled. It is mostly just nonsense made to look like sound legal claims.
Reply to the manifestation and comment against the motion to dismiss 5/4/2015
This is Subaru’s reply to our Manifestation and Comment against their Motion to Dismiss. There is nothing
new here, just a rehash of old arguments previously dismissed by the courts.
If you have been reading these pleadings, you have likely noticed that Subaru likes to continuously
reference the Isidro vs. Nissan case as a reason that the warranty is not valid. The argument they make is
that because we did not file our lawsuit during the 3 year warranty period, our warranty is not
enforceable. According to them, since the warranty expired in two days, we only had two days to file a
lawsuit for the warranty to be valid. Clearly this is a ridiculous claim. Also, in the Nissan case, the
customer brought the car to the dealer for a warranty claim LONG AFTER the warranty expired
– a completely different set of circumstances then what we have here. In our case, the warranty
had not yet expired when the car was brought to the dealer due to the failure of the turbo charger.
As you can see, even a patently false argument can be made in a lawsuit, resulting in long delays and
The judge issues an order regarding the defendants two motions to dismiss 5/29/2015
The judge issues an order regarding the two Motions to Dismiss that were filed by Motor Image. Both
motions were denied for lack of merit.
Also note that the court is very clear that the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction here, and the court
“Clearly, plaintiff’s action for breach of contract and damages is cognizable by this court”
Answer to second amendeded complaint with counter claim filed by defendants 6/24/2015
Since we had to file a Second Amended Complaint due to the addition of Autosales and Aftersales (yet
another proxy company for Subaru) as a defendant, the defendants have to file another answer to our
Nothing new here besides the additional defendant.
Subaru files a motion for reconsideration 6/29/2015
This is Subaru’s second Motion for Reconsideration. Just like the first one, this is truly a filing that has
NO OTHER PURPOSE but to delay proceedings and increase costs. It is a motion that asks the judge to
reconsider her order that the Motion to Dismiss that was filed “lacked merit”.
Common sense dictates that once a court has issued a ruling, asking the court to change its mind has
about a zero chance of succeeding. And when you consider that this is not the first one, you realize
Subaru must know that this motion will surely fail on its merits. However, since the mere filing of the
motion makes the likelihood of a trial this decade look more and more unlikely, Subaru will consider it
a win even when it is denied. But for the administration of justice, it is clearly a loss.
The defendants file a manifestation and the court issues an order to said manifestation 8/25/2015
The defendants Motor Image and Mr Arcinas state that they want to join co-defendant Autosales and Aftersales in their Motion to Dismiss.
It is unknown why the defendants would file such a manifestation, as there is no point to it. The court also appears confused and in their order states that there is “no basis to consider the manifestation”.
I am also confused as to why Arcinas & Arcinas states that they are “counsel for Plaintiff” on the last page. While I am sure they would rather switch sides and represent the party that has won every motion filed, I am more than happy with the attorney I have.
Order regarding the motion for reconsideration 10/16/2015
As expected, the court denies the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit. For now, Subaru is likely out of motions to file, so hopefully we can move to pre-trial.
Motor Image files ex-parte motion to set case for pre-trial 11/5/2015
Enough is enough, and we are finally able to motion to set the case for pre-trial. An actual trial is a long way off, but hopefully we will get there eventually.
Also note that the previous judge has just retired and we have a new judge. Maybe it was her time, or just maybe she was a little tired of all the baseless motions that are sure to continue. We will never know. Anyway, the new judge approved of the motion and set the case for pre-trial.
Subaru files an answer ad cautelam with compulsory counterclaim 3/11/2016
Here, Subaru is filing its Answer Ad Cautelam. Basically this means that it does not believe it needs to file an
answer, but is doing so Ad Cautelam (just to be on the safe side). Let’s take a look at the paragraphs here:
This has been ruled on by the court with a finding that this argument “has no merit”. It was then
submitted for reconsideration, with the same outcome. But Subaru just won’t give up. I usually
admire such resolve, but not when it wastes the time of an overburdened court system.
Subaru is saying that we are failing to state a cause of action. Hmmm. I would say we have said our
cause of action at least 20 times by this point. But to be clear –SUBARU, YOU HAVE BREACHED YOUR
WARRANTY COMMITMENTS AND NEED TO PAY ME WHAT IT COST TO REPLACE THE
TURBOCHARGER Of MY SUBARU FORESTER. I suspect that anyone reading this document knows
this by now, but apparently Subaru has yet to get the message.
Boy, this appears to be some type of sick joke. Subaru has been playing this disgusting charade where
we have to figure out who is responsible for the warranty on the car. Yes, it is true that we are playing
a game of “eeny meeny mini moe”, but only because Subaru has handled this lawsuit like a whodunit
game. Autosales and Aftersales (AACI) was recently added because based on everything that has
been determined at point in the lawsuit, they appear to be responsible. To be honest, we still do not
know for sure. Maybe if Subaru just stated in one of their numerous filings that ________ (fill in the
blank) company is responsible for warranty claims, we could end this game once at for all. But of
course, that is unlikely to happen.
What the F____? What our cause of action? How about FIX THE CAR! OK, too late for that. THEN
PAY WHAT IT COST ME TO GET IT FIXED WHEN YOU REFUSED TO HONOR THE WARRANTY. I’m quite
sure we’ve said that already, but I’ll say it again, Ad Cautelam.
It should not be construed that I am in way ridiculing the attorneys for Subaru. I have met them many times
and my opinion of them is that they are very knowledge, and in general, excellent attorneys. Their client, as
I am sure you can see by now, is quite a different story.
An attorney does what the client asks (within legal bounds obviously). While I do not know for sure
the instructions that Subaru gave this legal team, I would guess it was something to the effect of:
“Do whatever it takes, file whatever it takes, make whatever arguments you can, to drag this out
as long as possible, and make it so expensive that nobody will ever try this again”.
Since these lawyers are well above the shenanigans that we see in this and many other filings, one can only
conclude that were instructed to act this way. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that if I had the type
of sick mentality that the executives of Subaru had, and I was looking to make life as difficult as possible for
my adversary in a legal dispute, then this legal team would be my first choice. They may even be good at
winning lawsuits (ones that are winnable), but they clearly saw that winning this one was not possible given
the facts of the case. A trial would therefore be the outcome they would want to avoid at all costs.
Motor Image files their pre-trial brief 3/15/2016
For once, a filing by Subaru that is short and to the point. However, their points have been repeatedly rejected by the courts.
Motor Image files a motion to suspend pre-trial 3/22/2016
Quite simply, this is a sad excuse by Subaru to suspend pre-trial before it even starts. Their reasoning is
based on technicalities which have no bearing at all on pre-trial. But this is well in line with their “delay
at all costs” strategy.
Plaintiff files amended pre-trial brief 3/29/2016
A routine filing with nothing new. A pre-trial brief outlines the same case made in the complaint, but in a
Subaru files a motion to resolve 4/1/2016
Subaru is again trying again to stop Pre-trial and prevent the case from moving ahead. Clearly, they are very concerned that this case might eventually lead to a trial which they will certainly lose.
The tactic here is to keep filing motions, requests for reconsideration and appeals, and then say that the case cannot move forwarded until their filings are resolved. However, if the court allowed that then this case would go on forever without ever being resolved. Subaru would love that but it is scary to think what would happen to our court system if such a strategy ever succeeded.
Motor Image files their amended Pre-trial brief 4/5/2016
This brief is similar to the Pre-Trial Brief that they filed earlier. There are some technical changes relating to the amended brief that we had to file due to the addition of Autosales & Aftersales as a defendant.
The court orders mediation 4/11/2016
All lawsuits of this nature are required to go through mediation at this point in the proceedings. The
courts hope to avoid a time consuming trial and have found that many cases such as these are resolved
Mediation is by its nature confidential. While there are no prohibitions on disclosing what was discussed
during the mediation sessions, nothing regarding mediation can be admitted into any proceeding.
I will not go into exactly what was discussed during the mediation sessions as I do not believe that would
be appropriate. I will however mention the “remarks” section on the mediator’s report as that
document is public record. Here, the mediator states:
“Defendant propose to pay actual damage but complainant rejected the same and claims payment
of actual damage plus 250,000 pesos attorney’s fee.”
This is an accurate summation of the mediation proceedings. We asked for the costs to replace the
turbocharger and towing fee, plus 250,000 pesos towards my attorney’s fees. The defendants offered
only to pay for the turbocharger and towing fee, but not any of my attorney’s fees. Of course, my
attorney’s fees are a lot more than 250,000 pesos, but I was ok with this to get the case resolved.
The big picture here is that if I only accepted actual damages, what would prevent Subaru from refusing
to honour their warranties in the future? If they only pay my actual damages, they have nothing to lose
and will surely do this again. And why would anyone in their right mind ever attempt to get their warranty
honoured through the courts if the legal costs would far outweigh the actual damages?
This is what the dispute is all about. Subaru makes a calculated case to deny warranty claims knowing full
well what the outcome will be if it goes to court (they will delay forever and make sure that a trial never
sees the light of day).
However, I am determined to not allow this disgusting strategy to work in my case. Maybe I will have
huge legal bills with nothing to show for it, but if I can at least expose the tactics of Subaru to potential
purchasers of their cars then this whole process would be a worthwhile endeavor.
The appeals court issues a decision 4/15/2016
This is a very long and thorough decision issued by the Court of Appeals. You have to wonder how
much time was spent by the Appeals court in researching and writing this document.
Of course the court rejected each and every argument made by Subaru. All Appellate judges
concurred so the decision was unanimous.
What I find interesting about this decision was how detailed it was. Each and every argument
was meticulously torn apart. Aspiring lawyers may also find this interesting, although I am sure most
others will just go straight to the last page, which states:
“Wherefore, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby dismissed for lack of merit”.
Subaru files a Motion for Reconsideration with the Court of Appeals 5/11/2016
Of all the documents here, this my favorite. Why? Let me explain.
My warranty claim was denied because even though the owners manual recommended the first oil
change at 12,500 km, according to the warranty, an oil change at 1,600, 5,000 and 10,000 km was
required. We mentioned this not only in our letters, but also in our complaint – the first legal
document filed in this case. Subaru, however, never addressed this in any document up until this point
(instead, only mentioning in vague terms that the car was not maintained). They knew that not only
were their policies laughable, but also likely illegal (which is one of the reasons why I consider Subaru a
criminal enterprise). So what they did instead is try their best to find another reason why the warranty
was denied. And since I never received a denial in writing, they could claim that the warranty was
denied for any reason that they could now think of. So, to get this case dismissed, what did Subaru try?
- There was a mysterious second owner of the car that took the car racing, with the proof being that the
shocks were changed.
- The car had unauthorized modifications, also submitting as proof the fact that the shocks were
changed (I guess if the tires were changed, that would be a reason also).
- The lawsuit was not filed within two days of the car breaking down. They attempted to support this
wild requirement with case law that had nothing to do with the issue.
- The case had not been filed against the right companies. So who is the right company? They just told
us to continue to play eenie meey mynee mo (their exact words).
- Make counter claims against me for millions of pesos, hoping to scare me into dropping the case
(surprise surprise, that didn’t work.)
- That this was some type of extortion scheme. And their proof for this one? Well, because I wanted my
- So many different minor technicalities, I could not even begin to list them here.
So here we are. Nothing has worked. They made these claims to the trial judge. When denied, they
asked the judge to reconsider. When denied again, they appealed. And when the appeal was denied,
they filed the document we have here, which is asking the Court of Appeals to reconsider. But if this
does not work, they will only have the Supreme Court to avoid a trial.
So they take a risk. In Paragraph 4.2, they state that since I admitted that I did not change the oil at
1,600, 5,000, and 10,000 km, the warranty was not valid. Easy to miss, but up until this point
they had never admitted that these onerous oil changes were a warranty requirement. Wow, they
must be really desperate to avoid a trial. But will it work?
So there you have it. If you buy a Subaru, throw out the owners manual and you had better make
an appointed in about a month for your first 10,000 peso oil change.
Comment to Subaru's Motion for Reconsideration 7/25/16
This is our comment to the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Subaru to the decision of the Court of
Appeals. Considering this is about the 8th filing regarding the same issues, there should be no
surprise that there is nothing new here. I will just highlight two of the points made by my attorney:
- Upon perusal of the subject Motion for Reconsideration, it can be readily seen that the arguments
set forth in the same are merely rehashes of arguments that both the public respondent and this
Honorable Court, not to mention the private respondent, have negated at length on several
- Despite these attempts to educate petitioner on its ignorance of basic legal principles, petitioner
insists on wasting the time of this Honorable Court by stretching these proceedings beyond its
logical end, and to even suggest that this Honorable Court exceed its mandate under the law.
The attorney then goes on to tear apart the same unsupported and irrelevant arguments that Subaru
has made over and over again, always being rejected by the courts.
The Court of Appeals issues a resolution 10/5/2016
Wow, Subaru actually motioned the Court of Appeals for a reconsideration of their ruling. This is not only
rare but it succeeds, like……….never. The court states that:
“….the arguments raised therein are a mere rehash of the arguments raised in the
Petition of Certiorari”
Subaru rehashing arguments? Filing motions they are sure to lose? By now there should be no need to
Anyway, the motion was denied for lack of merit and all three judges concurred.
Supreme Court Petition 10/25/16
Desperate to delay pre-trial but Just about out of options, Subaru petitions the Supreme Court.
Unlike the lower courts, continuously petitioning the Supreme court to delay things is not something
you do (assuming the attorney wants to stay an attorney). Also, making every argument you can
think of and hoping that something will stick is also not advisable when petitioning this court. You
petition once during pre-trial, pick the one or two best arguments you have, and go into great detail.
Hence, the seventeen page pleading we have here.
I could simply state that there is nothing new here (there isn’t) and leave it at that, but since this is a
petition to the Supreme court, I will analyze the two arguments that Subaru puts forth. Keep in mind
that these two arguments, taken from many arguments made up until this point, are what Subaru
considers to be their best. When you consider how weak they really are, it puts into perspective how
bad the other arguments must have been.
1) Here is where they think that they can get this case dismissed on a technicality. In any lawsuit there
are always technicalities in play. The smallest irregularity has the potential to get a lawsuit
dismissed. However, courts always look at the circumstances of the technicality otherwise no lawsuit
ever filed would make it to trial. In this case, they are saying that we failed to state a cause of action
against Subaru. In other words, we never told Subaru what they did wrong or what we wanted. At
first glance, this would seem ridiculous. Obviously we told them that they did not honour their
warranty and we wanted to be compensated for the cost of replacing the turbo charger. But the key
point here is the identity of “them”. It had always been difficult to determine responsibility for the
warranty, as I have mentioned several times before. I ask for my warranty to be honored by the
local authorized dealer but am denied. I complain to the manager of the dealership, but I’m just
ignored. I request assistance from the head of Subaru for all of South East Asia, and get a nasty
letter in response. I even write letters to multiple individuals at Subaru in
Japan, and receive a response to the effect of “don’t waste our time”.
Their point is that I never asked Motor Image Pilipinas or Benedicto Arcinas, two of the
respondents to this lawsuit, what I wanted. Keep in mind that according to Subaru neither of those
two entities are responsible for the warranty anyway (it appears to be Autosales and Aftersales).
Subaru also goes on and on regarding a lot of their silly claims that have nothing to with this key
argument, hoping to sway the Supreme Court. For example, they mention how the car was not
properly maintained. This is not only irrelevant to their argument, but is something that should be
resolved in a trial anyway.
In summation, they are hoping that their carefully crafted use of proxies, specifically designed to
result in this type of technicality, will work.
2) With their first argument, at least I can agree that maybe they got us on a technicality, even though
it is clearly a long shot that a case would be dismissed based on such a minor issue. But this second
argument is just pathetic, pure and simple. They claim that my turbocharger failed two days before
the warranty expired, and because this lawsuit was filed more than two days after that fact, the case
should be dismissed. You don’t need to be lawyer to know that it is not possible to prepare and file
a lawsuit in two days. And even if it was, it took more than two days for Subaru to deny my
warranty claim anyway. And this is the second best argument they can make to the Supreme Court?
To make this argument they reference established case law, specifically:
Isidro vs. Nissan Motors Philippines
Engineering & Machinery Cortp. vs. Court of Appeals
Jaime D. Ang vs. Court of Appeals
Carlos B. De Guzman vs. Toyota Cubao
Natividad Villostas vs. Court of Appeals
Moles v: IAC
Republic vs. Marsman
Wallem Philippines Shipping, Inc., vs. S.R. Farms, Inc.
Republic vs. Sandiganbayan
Feliciano vs. Canoza
With such a long list of established case law, you may be forgiven for thinking they have something
here. Well they don’t. I researched all of the 10 cases referenced above, but I will focus here on just
the two cases that relate to car companies. Since Nissan and Toyota well known reputable companies
(as opposed to Subaru), I think you may find it interesting what they are all about.
With the Nissan case, the plaintiff had a car that developed a problem long after the warranty expired.
This has nothing to do with having to file a case before a warranty expires, but everything to do with
having a problem that occurred well after the warranty ended. Basically, Nissan was saying that the
warranty expired so why should they fix the car for free, while the plaintiff was saying they should.
Nissan was correct on this one.
The Toyota case is even more irrelevant. Did Toyota really deny a warranty claim here? Hardly. In
fact, this is a case that has to do with an implied warranty, not an express warranty that my Subaru
had. In case you do not know the difference between an implied and an express warranty, let me
explain. If you buy something and the seller gives you a warranty, that is an express warranty. If you
buy something and do not receive a warranty, then you still receive an implied warranty. For
example, if you buy a car that has the wrong torque converter installed, then you may have an implied
warranty. The implied warranty being that the car has a problem that the seller knew about, or
should have known about, and the seller is therefore responsible for any damages that arise from this
problem. In the Toyota case, Toyota sold a one year old (but new) car that did not have a warranty.
Two years later, the engine failed. The courts held that there was an implied warranty, but that
implied warranty was only for one year. Clearly, Toyota did not have any responsibility here. But
more importantly, this case has nothing to do with filing a lawsuit before a warranty expired, and
everything to do with a problem arising after an implied warranty expires.
As for the other 8 cases, not only do they not involve the issue at hand, but since they do not involve
car companies, I think they will just bore the reader (assuming you are not bored already). But if you
are interested, most of them are available for review online.
So why would Subaru make such weak arguments to the Supreme Court? It is clear. They may be
weak, but it is all they have. Not only do they not have a winning argument, but they don’t have any
strong arguments either.
Motor Image files yet another motion to dismiss 10/28/2016
Due to some unfortunate circumstances we were not able to make one of the court hearings. We have been attending every court hearing since this began a couple of years ago, and there have been MANY. I have to drive 3 hours each way to every hearing, and I do. However, this one we missed. Keep in mind that there have been hearings that the defendants did not attend, and I had to drive 6 hours, but I understand – these things are bound to happen when a case drags on for many years. And since we are the plaintiffs there is nothing we can do. Sure, we could file a motion for summary judgment but that would never work and only delay things.
Anyway, looking for any opening they can find, Subaru files another Motion to Dismiss. If we regularly missed hearings or had no reason for missing this one, there is a small possibility that a motion such as this could succeed. However, considering the circumstances, Subaru knows that there is no possible way they could win this motion. But if your strategy is to delay, delay, and delay, then filing this memo is a given.
While the motion was ultimately denied, it resulted in multiple court filings totaling 20 pages (not including notices of serving, minutes, certifications, etc) and a delay of the proceedings for 4 months. Such a pathetic waste of time, court resources and money, for no valid reason whatsoever. Subaru’s strategy is working, but at what cost?
The Supreme court of the Philippines issues a Resolution 12/07/2016
You knew it was coming. Running out of delay tactics, Subaru takes their silly arguments all the way to the Supreme Court. They know very well that they have zero chance of overturning a unanimous Appeals Court decision, especially one where they accuse an honourable judge of “grave abuse” without any evidence. Here is some of what the court had to say:
“After a judicious review of the records, the court resolved to DENY the instant petition”
“Petitioners failed to show why a petition for certiorari should be granted given that they still have another remedy, i.e., to present their Defenses during trial”
Exactly. Why won’t Subaru just present their case at trial? Because not only will they lose, but because when they do lose, the judgment becomes proof of their fraudulent warranty policies.
More delays. More expense. Maybe they just think that the Supreme Court has nothing better to do with their time.
The court orders the case dismissed 8/16/2017
On August 16 there was a pre-trial conference. All parties (just me) and their attorneys (a total of 4
or 5) met with the judge to discuss the case.
This was the third judge on the case, and she appeared quite mad. She brought the two case file binders
that at this point totaled about a 1000 pages. She made it very clear that the length of time and the
amount of resources spent on this case was unacceptable. Her exact words were, heard by everyone in
the room, was “I have very important cases including murders and rapes” and went on to detail how the
court system had a large backlog and attorneys should consider this before filing motions. She was very
careful to not pick out the attorneys for either the plaintiff or defendants, although in my opinion she
was clearly aiming her ire at the defendants as they were responsible for almost every one of the delays
She also explained to me that we were still in the very early stages of this case, and if the
attorneys continued their strategy it was possible that this could go on for many more years.
She then explained that since the amount that can be sought in small claims court has now been raised
to 200,000 pesos, this was perhaps the best option for the case. She went on to say that she
was considering dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction, although she indicated (indirectly, just my
opinion) that she would not do so unless all parties supported such an order. She was clearly
cognizant that all litigants have a right to their day in court. My attorney then requested some time
alone to discuss this option in private, which we did.
My attorney explained to me that he was quite certain that such an order would not stand since the issue
of jurisdiction had already been ruled upon by a previous judge. In addition, this and many other grounds
for dismissal were all rejected by the appeals court, as well as the Supreme Court. However, if
neither party appeals the decision it would be final. Basically, all orders by the court, regardless of
merit, stand unless a party to the case appeals.
My attorney wanted to continue the case and even appeal if we had to. I was surprised by this because
he was aware that I was only able to pay a relative token amount towards the legal billings which
were very high at this point (just look the case history). However, he was not concerned. He felt he had
a duty to fight this case on my behalf, regardless of my ability to pay. He knew how important this case
was not only for me, but for the many other consumers in the Philippines being ripped off on a daily
basis by companies such as Subaru.
I certainly appreciated my attorney’s offer, but having him work for many years on this case with
minimal compensation would be a selfish act on my part. And how about all the important cases
that are backlogged? Murders and rapes? My lawsuit seemed a lot less righteous if it was
progressing at the expense of far more important cases.
If I decide to continue, the next stage in this case would be small claims court. With this option, I will
be out an amount of money greatly exceeding what I am seeking because legal bills cannot be
recovered in Small Claims Court. And my attorney will also not be fully compensated for all the work he
has done that I have been unable to pay for. I was quite conflicted.
While part of me wanted to continue the fight, at the same time I felt that after 5 years it was best to put
this behind me.
So I made a decision that we should tell the judge that we would support whatever order she felt was
best. None of the other attorneys present had an issue with this (obviously). She then wrote the order
to dismiss that same day.
I really tried, but even after 6 months, the feeling that these crooks were getting away with it just would
not go away. I felt I had taken the easy way out and that nothing good had come out of this. There was
even this nagging feeling that synchronicity was at play here, and continuing the fight just had to be done.
And what if Subaru had not learned anything and was still doing this to other unsuspecting customers.
Re-filing in small claims court is not something I wanted to do, but it needed to be done.
I figured I’ll re-file, share my story on-line, and hopefully potential purchasers of Subaru cars will be able
to make an informed decision before buying a car from such a dishonourable company. Unfortunately,
the reality is that many people will have little interest about how a large, faceless company such as
Subaru rips people off. Maybe I can’t make everyone care, but I can make sure everybody
knows. And I certainly will.
AND PLEASE REMEMBER. WHATEVER YOU DO, NEVER BUY A SUBARU!
Motor Image Municipal Court Filing 10/12/2018
Six and a half years after this all began, I filed a case in Municipal Court. As discussed in detail in the
analysis of the Order to Dismiss, this was the best solution to combat Subaru’s never ending barrage of
motions. There are no motions allowed using the small claims process, therefore, a speedy trial is all
but assured. There is no hope to recoup previous legal fees, but as long as it is possible to prove the
criminal activity of Subaru, it is a worthwhile endeavor. In addition, it would be nice to get Motor
Image to finally pay me for the cost to replace my turbocharger.
Municipal Court Order 10/24/2018
After 5 years pursuing this case in the Regional Trial Court it was resolved that they have no jurisdiction and that the Municipal court has jurisdiction. However, the Municipal has now stated that they have no jurisdiction and this case should be handled by the Regional Trial Court. Subaru has so perverted the Philippine court system that no court in the country has jurisdiction over the crimes they commit and they can continue issuing worthless warranties without worrying about their day in court.
Good job Subaru, you win! I think I will write one final letter where I tell them what I think of them, and then call it a day. I’ll make sure that the letter is posted as soon as I get it written and translated.
Letter to Fumiaki Hayata and Hiroki Kurihara 11/26/2018
With both the Regional and Municipal court cases are over, you might be thinking “what is the point of
yet another leter to Tokyo?’ While I certainly don’t expect any meaningful response, I just wanted to
make it clear who the two Subaru executives are that are most responsible for Subaru’s polcies and
conduct. And while there will no be any more legal filings (at least not initiated by me), my efforts to
convince people to ‘never buy a Subaru’ is certainly not over.
Cease and Desist Letter 12/28/2018
As usual, the letter I received was not particularly nice. But considering neither was the website, I can’t
complain about their tone. Basically, they are asking me to take down my website. But not only
aren’t there any grounds for this request, they also know that I will not comply. If they had
made a reasonable request to remove certain statements that they believed were derogatory
towards Motor Image, I would have complied (as my dispute is clearly against Subaru of
Japan at this point). But take down my website that I had spent so long working on. Seriously?
In hindsight, they were making this unreasonable request because they knew I would not
comply and they could then file criminal charges against me and maybe get me locked up. This
would not only prevent me from continuing to expose Subaru’s worthless warranties, but send a
clear warning to others that would post negative statements against Subaru online.
After reading the previous statement, an intelligent reader would surely think “but wait, what
Subaru executive in their right mind would want to file a libel case against a customer. There is little
to gain, lots to lose, and it will surely not end well”. The only thing I can conclude is that the reader is
correct – someone making decisions at Subaru is not in their right mind. Was there
some imaginary scenario where Subaru came out of this selling more cars? Were people going
to say, “wow what a wonderful warranty – all I have to do is spend $200 on oil changes every
other month, and then pay for all these other overpriced services at inflated service intervals and I
get this great 3 year warranty!”. And if that doesn’t seal the deal, how great it must be for
customers to get sued for libel. Who wouldn’t want to be a customer? I’m sure people will be
breaking down the doors trying to purchase multiple cars!
Finally, there is one paragraph that I will take this opportunity to address directly:
“To these ends, you may send us a written apology containing an
acknowledgement of this demand letter”.
So, here is my belated apology:
Dear Motor Image,
I am sorry for any damage to your reputation that this dispute has caused. While I
cannot take down my website, please note that all negative comments are directed at
Subaru. Just let me know what specific statements you take issue with, and they will be
reviewed and removed if they appear to libel Motor Image. The one thing that has
become crystal clear over the past several years is how Subaru in Japan runs this show,
and they, AND ONLY THEY, are responsible for these pathetic and worthless,
warranties that accompany their cars.
I understand that there is little you can do as you rely on Subaru for supplying cars to sell
and service, and therefore you cannot join me in criticizing Subaru. But do not worry – I
will not back down or go away.
Response to Cease and Desist 02/01/2019
The only way I could respond to this letter was by explaining how it makes no sense, although I assume they already know that. It appeared to be written as a prelude to a legal filing and I focused on how such a move was illogical. In short, this was not a case of my point of view vs. their point of view. It was about logic and common sense, vs insanity. Maybe I was not clear, or maybe insanity was the best Subaru had. Either way, as you will soon see, they chose insanity.
Please also note that while the letter does appear more critical of Motor Image than Subaru, it was written at a time when I held both Motor Image and Subaru culpable for my treatment. Since developments over the past year have clarified that Subaru is the sole liable party here, the letter has been redacted to remove anything that might appear critical of Motor Image. .
Criminal Cyber Libel Complaint 02/27/2019
Since this letter is part of an ongoing legal proceeding, no comments will be provided until all appeals are resolved. Therefore, only the actual document will appear below.
Criminal Cyber Libel Counter-Affidavit 03/29/2019
Since this letter is part of an ongoing legal proceeding, no comments will be provided until all appeals are resolved. Therefore, only the actual document will appear below.
Letter to Subaru Executives Demanding they Withdraw the Criminal Cyber Libel Complaint 04/15/2019
A three page business letter? Unfortunately I had so much to say that I had to break a basic rule that all
letters should be about a page if you want them read carefully.
At this point in the dispute I had filed my counter-affidavit and was waiting for a response. Even in San Juan,
the courts have to deal with far more cases than they should and a complicated case such as cyber-libel
would likely take a couple of months before a decision is made. I don’t know what their decision will be, but
considering that it is quite possible that they will decide to prosecute, I could receive a minimum of 7 years
in jail if found guilty. It was clear that an offensive strategy would be best to avoid this nonsense. On
defense, there is little I can do, but on offense, there is little I CAN’T do if I engage an adequate amount of
time and resources to the endeavor. Subaru has had an offensive strategy from the beginning (just read
their letter to me dated 4/17/12), but of course two can play that game, and I love games.
While the libel complaint had been made by a local affiliate, my remarks had been carefully structured to be
aimed solely at Subaru. Therefore, it could only be assumed that Subaru was behind the filing and the
affiliate was merely acting under their direction. Accordingly, the letter was sent to Tokyo, rather than
Manila or Singapore. To eliminate the risk (small, but real) of a long incarceration, I would give Subaru an
option. If they withdraw their complaint, I would back down. To this end, I had to formulate
an offensive plan, retain a Japanese attorney, and communicate my demand to Subaru in no uncertain
terms. The attached letter encapsulates the plan. I was very clear with Subaru that they had two choices:
This would be the obvious intelligent choice – WITHDRAW THE COMPLAINT. If they did this, I would
freeze my website at its current status, never update or promote it, and permanently take it down after
5 years (because they had caused me significant grief for the past 5 years, and there had to be a
consequence for that).
Refuse to withdraw their complaint. At which point this dispute would go in one of two directions,
depending on the decision of the prosecutor:
Direction 1: The prosecutor decides to prosecute.
In this case, I would execute my offensive plan. I had estimated a Philippine legal budget of about
$7,000, a Japanese legal budget of $20,000, and another $15,000 to execute my online plan. Of
course, spending in excess of $40,000 plus hundreds of hours of my time is something I
most certainly did not want to do, but a strictly defensive strategy might not work. Considering I
hate losing (and don’t think I would like jail either), I really had no choice.
Direction 2: The prosecutor declines to prosecute.
In this outcome, I state in my letter “there is no need for a worldwide boycott, but there will
certainly be much that I can, and will, post and publicize online.”
Since you are reading this, you should have a heads-up that they went with Choice 2, and that the case went
in Direction 2. Maybe they are still confident they made the right decision. But mark my words, a few years
from now, Choice 1 will look a whole lot wiser. Even someone as lacking in intelligence as a Subaru executive
will eventually come to terms with their foolishness. If not, well at least I tried.
Can you imagine a world where your online complaints get you sent to prison? A world where
companies can do as they wish with everyone scared to call them out? Well, the world I imagine is
a place where corporations are the ones scared to file libel complaints. If I stick this out, I think we can get
Letter to Subaru Executives Distribution List
Since the the consequences of Subaru of not withdrawing their libel complaint would be severe (especially if
it resulted in a prosecution), I needed to be sure that my letter was read by the right person. Therefore, I
sent a copy to numerous executives, figuring at least one of them would be in a position to do what needed
to be done. A copy was sent to the following people – certified mail by Japan Post. I sent them from Tokyo,
right after I met with an attorney. Following is my mailing list and tracking numbers.
Senior Vi ce PresidentCustomer Service Division
Chairman of the Board
Executive Vice President
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
Senior Vice President
Why post this level of detail online? So that there can never be any question that Subaru executives
do not care about their customers, their warranties, or even the reputation of their own company. The
ONLY thing they care about is crushing customer complaints using all means necessary. In fact, not a
single executive even bothered to write me any type of response. While my feelings were deeply hurt
that my fine friends in Tokyo ignored me, I wiped away the tears and decided to move on.
And let me just add that I recently returned from my second trip to Tokyo. It turned out to be strictly a
vacation, and I must say that not only is Tokyo a wonderful place, but I have never met nicer, more
polite, more professional, or more hardworking people. But I suspect that even Japan has a few
executives that can’t get hired by Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, or even Isuzu. They end up at
Subaru – where knowledge of customer service is not required. Why? Because it doesn’t exist!
Criminal Cyber Libel Resolution 09/12/2019
Since this letter is part of an ongoing legal proceeding, no comments will be provided until all appeals are resolved. Therefore, only the actual document will appear below.
Criminal Cyber Libel Motion for Reconsideration 10/04/2019
Crimal Cyber LIbel Comment to Motion for Reconsideration 10/23/2019
Criminal Cyber Libel Motion for Reconsideration Resolution 12/09/2019
Legal Filing 12/27/2019
This unexpected legal filing prevented the planned January 27, 2020 update to this website. As soon
as that filing is resolved, the website will updated as planned.
Analysis of 2019 Subaru Philippines Sales
NOTE: This analysis contains several links. Please view the PDF to view these links.
The website neverbuyasubaru.com went live in October 2018. While the effect that this website had on
Philippine Subaru sales in 2019 cannot be precisely determined, circumstantial evidence suggests that
Philippine car buyers are now aware of the worthless warranties that are provided with Subaru vehicles
and are avoiding the brand. Following is some of the evidence:
1) In February 2019, the Philippine distributor of Subaru cars in the Philippines announced
its expansion plans for the year, which was “to almost double its current network of 19 branches
and dealerships”. So, how did they do? Well, they didn’t quite grow from 19 to 38, but rather
they grew from 19 to 17 dealerships and branches. Although, 19 to 17 is not what you think of as
“growth”, it actually is – it’s just negative growth, to be specific.
2) 2020 Subaru models were released in the Philippines at the end of 2019, so it is not is not
unusual to see 2019 models being sold at a discount. What is VERY unusual is to have 2018 units
still being sold. A quick call to some dealers of major car brands in the Philippines (performed
December 2019) revealed that NONE still had any 2018 units still left in stock (obviously, we
were almost in 2020). The lone exception was Subaru. And we are not talking about one or
two models – they still had 2018 models of almost their entire line-up on sale. Of course they
also had a promotion for their 2019 models, although this translation may make more sense. As you
can see, the discounts were very large to get them sold. But which specific model holds the
honor of having the highest discount? The turbocharged Forester XT of course. It carries a
hefty 350,000 Peso discount (17%). But seriously, even with that discount, what knowledgeable
car buyer would buy a turbocharged Subaru that carries a bogus warranty.
3) Subaru sales in the Philippines are reported by the 2nd tier Association of Vehicle Importers and
Distributors (AVID), as opposed to the 1st tier Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the
Philippines (CAMPI). As CAMPI numbers are reported differently than AVID, Subaru sales can
only be compared to other AVID brands. While not all sales reports are made available online,
some are. Following are the 2019 sales reports that can be analyzed.
a) This report details sales for the period January – April 2018/2019. As you can see,
while Total LCV (Light Commercial Vehicles, the segment for the Subaru Forester)
grew by 5% for all brands, Subaru (identified as MIPI) went from 897 units sold in
2018 to 787 units in 2019 – a decrease of 12%
b) This report details June YTD. While the total for all brands increased, Subaru sales
decreased 18% (Notice the decrease moved up from 12% in the first quarter. Ouch!)
Hey, here’s a thought – maybe this is why they couldn’t double their dealer network.
c) This report details September and October 2019 sales. For all brands, sales increased
about 5%. For Subaru, sales decreased 19%. And remember, October was the first
month that Subaru launched the above referenced promo. OK, this not good. Not
good at all!
So, what does this analysis prove? Absolutely nothing, as there is no way to determine if these sales
numbers are a direct result of this website. However I did do a search to see if there were any other
events that could be the cause. Except for the fact that two very poorly reviewed Scooby Do movies
were released in 2019, there was nothing else. Maybe people heard that Scooby Doo sucked, and
misheard it and thought Subaru sucked? Quite unlikely, so I think we must assume that potential
purchasers of new cars found out about the useless warranties and purchased a different brand. Or
maybe they don’t want to buy a car knowing that the dealer will try and get them jailed if they complain.
That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but I suspect Subaru never saw it coming (Note to Subaru: Cost to
fix a turbocharger – about $1,000. Cost of lost sales due to worthless warranties – priceless!).
This has to make you wonder. Was the bogus libel case filed against Mr. Cohen really because he
was “malicious”, or because people are not buying Subarus once they read the court documents on the
this site? Was that why they demanded that this site be taken down?
I would also like to note that my intention has never been to adversely affect Subaru sales, and it is
possible that this website did not have quite the negative effect on sales as it appears. Decreased sales
are an inevitable consequence, not an intention, of this exposé. With a decent warranty and the
appointment of executives that prioritize customer service over profits, you could do worse than buy a
Subaru (like some of those Chinese brands I’ve heard horror stories about.) However, it is unfortunate
for innocent parties such as employees and suppliers that this website appears to have had a significant
negative effect. And when you have brands like Honda that so prioritize reliability that you don’t even
need a warranty, Subaru needs to shape up if they hope to succeed. If this results in positive changes at
Subaru, then that is something that I would be very proud of. I truly hope that is the case. And maybe,
just maybe, they can redesign their turbochargers for better reliability and a Subaru could one day reach
a speed of 88 MPH. They could then make like a Delorean and go back to 2016 and accept my VERY
reasonable mediation offer, and this whole thing would be nothing more than a bad dream.
Analysis of Philippine Cyber Libel Law
The Philippines currently has one of the harshest online libel laws in the world. Unlike laws in Western
countries that make libel a civil matter, in the Philippines it can be criminal. Not only that, but in the
few other countries that have criminal libel, truth is almost always a valid defense. In the Philippines,
truth is NOT a defense. This means that if you say something “libelous” about someone online which is
true, you can still be convicted and jailed for a minimum of 7 years. You may wonder why any
country would have a law that might appear unjust. The answer is complicated, but in general the
Philippines has a fine legislature and a just judiciary, although it is quite overburdened and has to
struggle to adjudicate its immense case load.
To be clear, as a foreign national blessed with the privilege to live in the Philippines, it is not my place
to comment on their laws. However, corporations are fair game. And just like the USA, corporations,
and their respective lobbies, have immense sway over the writing of any law that might affect them.
In this respect, the Philippines works like almost any other democracy in the world – legislators
represent all judicial persons (which is for the most part comprised of people and corporations).
People and corporations sometimes have conflicting interests in the law, and this is just one
example of that. Most people want to be able to go online and say the truth. Corporations often
want to avoid criticism and would prefer to have that right curtailed. With this law, for better
or worse, those corporations got the edge when it was written.
With this law in mind, I have to be very specific with regards to whom I criticize, and where I say it.
Therefore, the following statement should make it quite clear to whom my negative comments are
All negative statements are aimed at a Japanese corporation, SUBARU, and Japanese
executives of that corporation. If any Filipino person or corporation feels that a
negative statement may be interpreted as directed at them, I am happy to review the
statement and remove it if necessary. This statement is not being made because it
is dangerous to criticize a Philippine corporation online. It is because over the past
several years, it has become very clear that no Philippine corporation or person is
responsible for the warranties that I so often criticize. Also, since any actions by
Philippine corporations against me have been clearly orchestrated by Subaru of Japan, I
have no dispute with any Philippine person or corporation. If a legal filing appears to
contradict that statement, it is only because that is how the law, and therefore
lawsuits, work (you can’t file a lawsuit again Subaru in the Philippines).
Analysis of Neverbuyasubaru.com Search Terms
Neverbuyasubaru.com (NBAS) has been quite successful informing potential Philippine automobile
buyers about Subaru warranties. This document looks into why.
Various search terms on Google return NBAS at or near the top. The results can vary greatly based on
the date of the search, the physical location of the searcher based on their IP address, Google.com
region settings, and the platform (mobile vs desktop).
Following are some examples, searched using a desktop computer with a Philippine IP address with
default Google.com region settings. Items at the top of results indicated as “Ad” are not included.
• Subaru warranty Philippines – 3rd place
• Subaru warranty Denial – 2nd place
• Subaru lawsuit Philippines – 2nd place
• Subaru warranty issue – 6th place
Based on the above, it is a certainty that a prospective buyer of a Subaru in the Philippines that
researches Subaru warranties would come across NBAS. Subaru related terms are of primary interest
here. However, it should be noted that based on Google Search Console, most actual visitors
to NBAS who are referred by Google do not arrive by searching for a Subaru related term. In fact, 9
of the top 10 terms are all legal related. For example, the site receives more Google referrals
from searches of “motion to set case for pre-trial” than any of the above four Subaru search terms.
When you consider that almost all of the top search terms are legal terminology based, the
importance of legal documents on the site is clear. While I certainly did not appreciate the numerous
long drives back and forth to court, I’m thankful that the resulting documents have significantly
boosted NBAS’s online visibility (Note to Subaru: Dragging out or initiating a court case against
a customer is never a good idea. Especially if the customer is me.)
While no self-respecting lawyer would actually drive a Subaru (you are more likely to see a peanut
vendor driving a Bugatti), you can be sure that just about every one of them knows that a Subaru
warranty has less value than the paper it is written on. Subaru’s never ending legal maneuvers
have guaranteed that. There are hundreds of other search terms for which the site would appear in the
top 10, but this document is to only give some examples.
It should also be noted that even a search of “Subaru lawsuit Singapore” results in an 2nd place
Google result. This is only due to the fact that the corporate parent of the Philippine
distributor happens to be located in Singapore, which is mentioned a couple of times. Since Google
search is, for the most part, rule based as opposed to AI based, such examples are common.
Many may conclude that the above results are due to SEO (search engine optimization), but this
is not the case. In fact, there are only 4 sites that link to NBAS. This is considered a VERY
small number of linking sites (with a couple being merely forum or blog postings). Some may
wonder why there are essentially no links to the site, but more importantly, why this site even
ranks in the top ten? Well, it’s about doing specific things in a specific order, and not rushing it
(Note to Subaru: The final step is optimization. Don’t make me optimize. You won’t like it if I
I will only add that I happen to know a thing or two about Google search, and Subaru had better think
very carefully about their next more (Note to Subaru: Your best move is NO MOVE!). Search results are,
by their nature, a representation of the past, generally 30 to 180 days in the past. If I were Subaru, I
would be much more concerned about the future. Yasushi Nagae has further details regarding this issue
in the document labelled I.T.O. If Subaru makes a move I do not like, I can only assume they are calling
Analysis of the Responsibility of Subaru for their Worthless Warranties
Subaru of Japan does not issue warranties themselves. To protect themselves from liability they
contract with foreign corporations to handle their warranties. The exact terms of such contracts are
unknown, however, what is known is that the car manufacturer (Subaru) sets these terms, NOT the
foreign distributor. The distributor would be more than happy to approve all valid warranty claims if
Subaru paid, but of course they do not. Basically, if a Subaru part fails during the warranty period, it
is the distributor that has to pay for most of the cost. Therefore, local distributors have to be
“creative” to figure out how to cover warranty expenses. Some distributors just offer bare-bones
warranties, but in most markets, consumers demand comprehensive warranty coverage. In the
Philippines, just like many other countries, comprehensive warranties are issued but costs are
covered by requiring excessive and overpriced services. And when you are a dealer of turbocharged
Subaru’s, you would have a very serious financial problem if you had to pay to fix them without
some sort of scheme to generate money from the sale of each Subaru.
For an example, let’s take a look at the Subaru Forester I foolishly purchased. The owner’s manual
showed that the first oil change was required at 12,500 Km. However, to maintain the warranty,
three very expensive oil changes (and unnecessary according to their own manual) were required by
the time the car had reached even 10,000 km. On the surface, it may appear that the local
distributor is issuing and therefore responsible for these onerous warranties. From a legal
standpoint, they are. But if you look deeper, it becomes clear that Subaru is really responsible here.
The distributor has no choice but to require excessive services to maintain financial solvency due to
SUBARU’S warranty provisions and the poor quality of their turbos. In fact, when I made some
statements VERY CLEARLY directed at Subaru IN JAPAN (even the local court agreed they were not
directed at any Philippine individuals), I received a libel complaint from an affiliate in the Philippines.
Think about it. I complain about Subaru in Japan, but I am served with a libel complaint from a local
distributor. I find it hard to believe that they were not acting under direct instructions from Subaru.
It is a Subaru car, Subaru’s brand, Subaru’s reputation, and these warranties are a direct of Subaru’s
provisions. It is no wonder that “Subaru haters” are so common worldwide. Anyone who has ever
dealt with this corporation can only end up hating them. Their callousness, disregard for their
customers, their distributors, the environment, and just outright disregard for even the most basic
corporate ethics has left quite an impression on this particular Subaru hater. And at eight years and
counting, I have no intention of going away. Their intimidation and weaponization of the law will
not silence me. In fact, it only serves to motivate me.
Analysis of Potential Damage to the Reputation of Subaru Executives
Some statements I have made could be construed as disrespectful to the executives of Subaru. While I understand
such views, trying to get one of your customers locked up for seven to fourteen years is REAL disrespect in my book. I
make it a particular point in life to treat others as they treat me. Therefore, SUBARU executives will never be treated
with the respect that (almost) everyone deserves. Some may only see retaliation here, but that is not the case. To
steal a recent quote from one of the most courageous Filipinas of our time, “After all, this is not a process of
vengeance, but of justice”.
Their actions have clearly shown what they are capable of, and I will outline a couple of points below:
• This is 2020. We have solar power. We have windmills. We have electric cars. We don’t need
their worthless warranties that only serve to increase profits by requiring services (unnecessary
according to their own owner’s manual) that result in a highly polluting by-product – used motor oil.
• The turbochargers installed in Subarus cars are just crap, plain and simple.
• Instructing an affiliate to file a libel complaint against a customer is, and there is no nice way to
say it, STUPID. It could not result in a positive outcome in any way. It has almost
no chance of succeeding. It wastes the time of an overburdened judicial system. It will
draw the ire of numerous groups that will now view Subaru in a negative light, including their
peers. It will create public records in the form of court filings that will not go away, and will be
remembered for a long time to come. Without naming names, it is a favorite strategy of many
“less than reputable” people. I could go on and on, but the most important reason they
should not have filed the complaint: I warned them not to do it, but they did it anyway. I then
demanded that they withdraw the complaint, and they did not. There is no way on earth that I will
allow them to get away with such outrageous actions without consequences. Only this way can I be
sure that they, nor anyone else, ever uses the law as a weapon against people they disagree with.
To be sure that I don’t have to worry about any more libel complaints in the Philippines, I have gone to great lengths
to ensure that this updated website is not under Philippine jurisdiction. After 8 years of clogging up various dockets, if
legal action continues, I suspect that the Philippine Courts would appreciate the following actions I have taken.
1. All recent documents containing statements negative to the reputation of Subaru and their
executives were written and uploaded during recent trips to Japan and Singapore.
2. This website is hosted in Malaysia.
3. The custodian of this website resides in Australia. The Custodian Agreement was recently updated
to include an irrevocable clause that terminates my control over the site should the custodian
determine that I am under duress. If Subaru decides to continue to use the legal system as a
weapon instead of a venue for justice, regardless of the outcome, it will not prevent
neverbuyasubaru.com from staying up until the end of 2023.
4. Neither myself (American) nor any Subaru executives in Tokyo are Philippine nationals.
Accordingly, the Philippines would not have jurisdiction for further libel filings. However, if Subaru executives really
want to continue this, they have numerous options to go back to court. They can choose to file a case in America,
Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia or maybe all five (Note to Subaru: Unless you have a desire to cement your
reputation as the laughing stock of Asia, further legal action might not be a good idea.)
Open Letter to Subaru Executives
Although Legal proceedings are not yet over, I have no choice but to write Subaru yet another letter (directed solely at Subaru corporate executives in Japan, and not at any of their overseas affiliates). I’ve played their games for 8 years now, and with a potential pandemic around the corner, this has to end. Here goes!
All underlined items link to supporting documents that can be reviewed for a full understanding of this case.
March 2, 2020 Julian Cohen
All Subaru executives, C/O Yasushi Nagae General Manager of Customer Service Division
Subaru Corporate Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan
Subaru has been very focused on picking a fight with me since 2012 (Note to Subaru: If you are going to pick a fight, pick one you have some chance of winning). Why you chose to have your affiliates attack me instead of just honoring my warranty is something I will never know. Disputes should be avoided whenever possible, but once started, they must be fought without regard for personal consequence. Only with that attitude can a bully the size of Subaru be defeated. Since I’m sure that in your mind you consider this a win (you never did pay to fix my turbocharger,) I hope we can agree that this should end. However, I am more than prepared if you feel otherwise. Much more.
I had thought our dispute ended in 2019, but you decided it would be a good idea to file a criminal libel case against me (Note to Subaru. There is a reason why no other car company has ever filed a libel complaint against a customer. It is a BAD idea!) Not just any libel filing, but rather a cyber-libel filing that carries a minimum seven year incarceration if found guilty. Not wanting to take even a small chance that I would actually be prosecuted and spend another several years of my life driving back and forth to court, I decided to write you a letter. With the threat of the libel complaint hanging over my head, I made you a very generous offer indeed; withdraw your libel complaint and I would cease and desist all future updates to my website, neverbuyasubaru.com.
Since it was highly unlikely that your complaint would result in a prosecution anyway, it appeared to me obvious that you would accept my deal. While you may not be particularly deft in handling customer complaints, I did not imagine that you would be so foolish and vindictive if you did not get your way (disrespectful? Well, let me explain). Not only did you refuse to withdraw the complaint, you even filed a Notice for Reconsideration after your complaint was rejected by the prosecutor. Seriously, did you not think I was offering you a very good deal? Do you really want to continue this fight infinitum? Did none of you receive my letter? Did I come across as the type of person that would back down with the threat of a long jail term? (Note to Subaru: Customers that spend seven years just trying to get their warranties honored won’t take kindly to vicious legal filings that threaten their freedom and liberty.)
OK, so be it. Let’s just hope you will learn how to treat other customers who make the mistake of buying a Subaru, and no other purchaser of your crappy cars ever has to go through this.
For those executives who may just be joining us, I’ll give a quick recap of the story. In April 2012, I wrote a polite letter to Subaru asking for assistance in getting my warranty honored (yes, I can be polite when circumstances warrant it.) Your response, let’s just say, was not so polite. Accordingly, neither was any of my future correspondence. I filed a lawsuit. Had my fifteen minutes of fame. You admitted in court that you have insane maintenance requirements for your cars. The legal case then ended several years later (If you have about 20 hours of free time, you can review the complete case file). I made a couple of videos. I then created the website neverbuyasubaru.com. You did not like the website and filed a libel complaint which was eventually dismissed (but still under appeal), so here we are.
To quote from the above referenced 4/15/2019 letter sent to numerous Subaru executives:
“In short, Subaru has a choice. You can either instruct Motor Image to withdraw their complaint and this ends now, or you can do nothing and be at the end of a campaign from an unhappy customer that the automotive industry has never seen”
You chose to ignore my demand. Not wanting to be branded as someone who doesn’t do what he says, this did not end now, but instead resulted in the update that you are reading now.
At this point, let’s take a look back from a different angle. My website went live at the end of 2018. How did 2019 go for you? Do you think my website was irrelevant? Think again.
What? 2019 was not a good year! Why was that? Maybe because potential customers were well informed. Remember, back in 2012, in the very first document of the case file, you were told EXACTLY what would happen if you ignored my simple demand – to meet and get this resolved within 2 days because I only had one car. (Note to Subaru: I said what I’ll do, and I did what I said. Keep that in mind when you read the I.T.O. document). However, you didn’t even bother to send me a text. If you want someone to blame, just look in the mirror.
So here we are in 2020 and I have another deal for you. Quite simple really: Just leave me alone. That means YOU, YOUR AFFILIATES, and ANYONE or ANY COMPANY that is even remotely connected to you. If you task me in any way, even if I just have to answer the phone because you misdialed my number, I WILL HAVE YOU. This is my website and I will expose Subaru ANYWAY I want, and will promote it ANYWAY I want. I don’t tell you what to put on your website, so don’t cry like a baby about mine. However, I am ready to move on and foresee no other updates or promotions for this site, and it will be permanently taken down in about 4 years. If you have a problem with that and want to continue this dispute, just be prepared for the consequences: I.T.O.
While it would not be wise to publish details of what I mean by I.T.O at this point, you need to know exactly what it is so that you can make an informed decision. Therefore, a document was sent to Yasushi Nagae and should arrive on the same date of this letter. I strongly recommend that Mr. Nagae, and all other senior executives, read it very carefully.
Remember………..Used motor oil pollutes. Honor your warranties. If you go around trying to get your customers put in jail THEY WILL ONLY COMPLAIN MORE LOUDLY!! Since you are unaware of how to treat customers or the environment, I truly hope you can at least learn these three basic tenets.
Truly an unhappy customer,
.I truly hope this is over. Subaru has been knocked down twice – and they should stay down. But if they take another swing at me, I will have no choice but to make them kiss the floor for a third time. As my dad used to say, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
If they do feel the urge to continue this, then this document will be updated with exactly what I mean by I.T.O. Look Subaru – how is this going? Was your failed libel complaint worth this updated website? Do you really think I.T.O. will go any better? I see the future, and you don’t even understand the past. Comprehendo?
Japanese Translations of a couple of letters sent to Subaru in Tokyo
To ensure that Subaru knew exactly what was going on, I translated a couple a couple of key letters to Japanese before mailing them to Tokyo.