2020 Ascent Transmission Shudder Upon Starting From A Stop / Turning

I’ve read the various posts and threads on this site, but have not seen any mention of the issue I’m having, and I’m curious if others have experienced what I have. I purchased my 2020 Ascent Touring on 7/31/19. When the original equipment Falken tires had about 25,000 miles on them, I had very slight ridges or cupping on the tires’ outside edges as you would expect as part of normal wear, even with a well-aligned vehicle. What I observed as a new symptom was when starting from a stop sign, a turn left or right onto a perpendicular crossroad yielded a modest shudder or chatter, felt and heard as a vibration through the vehicle. Passengers felt it as well, seated anywhere among the three rows of seats. I have never owned a vehicle with a CVT previously, nor have I ever owned a full-time all wheel drive vehicle. The only thing it reminded me of (somewhat) was the tug & pull sensation communicated through the steering wheel when making similar low-speed, 90 degree turns in my father’s 1970’s era 4WD trucks when driving in significantly snow-covered roads with the transfer case selector in 4-High and the front hubs locked. When I had about 32,000 miles on the odometer, with the tread depth at about 3/32nd’s of an inch, I replaced those mushy-handling Falken tires with a new set of Hankook Ventus S1 Noble 2’s. With the new tires installed, I no longer had the shudder/chatter from the wheels when taking off from a stop turning onto a perpendicular street. In my mind, that answered my question, thinking it’s a normal drivability issue with the combination of all wheel drive, CVT characteristics, and higher-mileage tires. Fast forward to about 52,000 miles on the odometer, and I gradually started experiencing the same shudder/chatter with the 20,000-miles-worn Hankook tires. A few days ago I brought the vehicle to my local Subaru dealer for routine maintenance. For the second time, I asked the service advisor for a CVT fluid drain & fill. The owner’s manual suggests a CVT fluid drain & fill at 25,000 mile service intervals for severe duty. While I’ve only towed a few times for a short distance, I’ve always followed the early/severe service schedule on all my vehicles for transmission fluid drain & fill intervals. In my experiences, keeping vehicles 250,000 miles or longer, the early trans fluid service expenses never cost anywhere near what a replacement transmission would, and I haven’t bought a replacement transmission for a vehicle in more than two decades. Two days after having my vehicle serviced, my service advisor called me and told me that both he and the senior tech (shop supervisor) who serviced my vehicle had driven my Ascent, felt the shudder/chatter (which I had not mentioned ever), and took it upon themselves to call Subaru of America as well as other respected techs from other dealerships. In a nutshell, I was told that through their inquiries, other Ascent owners had similar experiences, and that the only fix is to replace the transmission under warranty. I’m bringing the vehicle in for transmission replacement this coming week when they have a loaner available for me. I guess I’m appreciative of the gesture of getting a replacement transmission, but as odd as this may sound, I’m curious to see if these shudders/chatters go away completely with the new CVT installed. They’re not replacing my Hankook tires with 23,000 miles on them, so it should be verifiable as “the fix” pretty quickly on a test drive. It just seems odd that I have never had any of the other symptoms complained about and the source of the recall for the 2019 Ascents…no slipping, no hesitation, no jerking when accelerating, no free-revving of the motor…none of the typical indicators of a failing transmission.

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