Dealer Techs Allegedly Thrashed Customer’s Subaru WRX Learning to Drive Stick

“How long are we gonna practice for—five stalls?”

byNico DeMattia|
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When Crandall Yopp Jr. got his 2022 Subaru WRX back from a routine oil change at Dan Perkins Subaru, in Milford, Connecticut, he noticed something wrong with the paint. Now, Yopp alleges that his sports sedan was taken for a joyride by two dealership technicians, and one of them tried to learn how to drive stick on the car. The customer is now suing the dealership, according to Automotive News.

The story goes that Yopp instructed the dealership not to wash the WRX after its oil change, concerned about damage to the car's ceramic coat. But when he got it back, he saw swirl marks and other blemishes on the paint, as well as a bent front license plate. That's when he figured the techs hadn't handled his car appropriately. According to the lawsuit, the dealership techs stalled the WRX "multiple times, grinded the gears, and burned the clutch."

During the joyride-slash-learning lesson, the younger tech reportedly asked the older "How long are we gonna practice for—five stalls?"

The complaint states that when the service manager at Dan Perkins Subaru saw the car come back after a trip through an offsite car wash, he knew they were in trouble. The service manager was said to have told the two techs that the owner "is going to f***ing kill us; it was clean. He said not to wash it." That's when the techs supposedly admitted to beating on the car. Multiple employees then allegedly tried to cover up the damage by cleaning up the interior and attempting to bend the license plate back into place.

Yopp is now seeking damages and attorney fees from Dan Perkins Subaru for violating Connecticut's consumer protection law.

With the number of cars offering manual transmissions dwindling every year, it's becoming harder for people to learn how to drive them. Fewer owners have stick-shift cars with which to teach their kids or friends, though there are still driving schools that keep such vehicles in rotation. To all the unscrupulous dealer employees out there, maybe consider paying for a course, buying a beater, or making a friend instead of returning a customer's car far worse than it was left.

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