Subaru suing CA dealership for alleged false customer surveys

Whenever you buy a new car from a dealer these days or sometimes even go in for service, you can expect to fill out a customer satisfaction survey at some point down the road. The responses are actually quite important to showrooms because automakers require the businesses to keep things at a certain level or face penalties. However, a Subaru dealer allegedly found a way to game that system, at least briefly, and now the Subaru of America has filed a lawsuit in US District Court for breach of contract.

South Coast Subaru in Costa Mesa, CA, reportedly falsified 224 customer satisfaction questionnaires in 2014, according to Automotive News. The scheme wasn't that hard to figure out, though. All of the faked surveys were allegedly submitted through the IP address of an Acura showroom managed by the same dealer.

Under normal circumstances when someone buys a Subaru, the dealer is supposed to collect the customer's email address and submit it to the automaker. However, South Coast allegedly presented false addresses, and then managers had employees fill the forms out during lunch.

Subaru claimed in the suit that by doing this the dealer harmed the company's product reputation and its goodwill among customers. "Defendants prevented Subaru from discovering the actual customer satisfaction level of Subaru retail customers at South Coast Subaru by providing sham customer surveys to [Subaru]," the complaint said, according to Automotive News.

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