Suburu named in class action lawsuit over excessive oil consumption in vehicles

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This action arises from Defendants’ failure, despite their longstanding knowledge of a material design defect, to disclose to Plaintiffs and other consumers that certain Subaru  Vehicles have an oil consumption defect. This defect – which typically manifests during and/or shortly after the limited warranty period has expired – causes the Vehicles to burn an excessive portion of their engine oil, leading to increased emissions, decreased fuel efficiency, and potentially significant damage to the engine, catalytic converter, and other engine components.

The vehicles implicated by the lawsuit are:

2011-2014 Subaru Forester 2.5L

  • 2013 Legacy 2.5L
  • 2013 Outback 2.5L
  • 2012-2013 Impreza 2.0L
  • 2013 XV Crosstrek 2.0L

 

The Oil Consumption Defect poses a safety risk to the driver and passengers of the Vehicles because it prevents the engine from maintaining the proper level of engine oil, and causes an excessive amount of engine oil consumption that can neither be reasonably anticipated nor predicted. Further, the Oil Consumption Defect can cause sudden engine failure while the Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving condition or speed. This exposes the driver and passengers of the Vehicles, as well as others who share the road with them, to an increased risk of accident, injury, or death.

As alleged, although Subaru has long been aware of the Oil Consumption Defect, it has regularly and systematically refused to repair the Vehicles without charge when the Oil Consumption Defect manifests itself, and have generally refused to pay for the costs of the excessive oil consumption and tests for the Oil Consumption Defect.

As a result of Defendants’ unfair, deceptive and/or fraudulent business practices, owners and/or lessees of the Vehicles, including Plaintiffs, have suffered an ascertainable loss of money and/or property and/or loss in value. The unfair and deceptive trade practices committed by Defendants were conducted in a manner giving rise to substantial aggravating circumstances.

Had Plaintiffs and other Class members known about the Oil Consumption Defect at the time of purchase or lease, they would not have bought or leased the Vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for them. The Oil Consumption Defect has also injured Class members by requiring them to constantly replenish (and pay for) engine oil in the Vehicles at an unreasonably rapid pace. In addition, Class members are being charged for oil consumption tests and other repairs on their Vehicles that would not be necessary but for the existence of the Oil Consumption Defect.

 

BMW named in class action lawsuit over defective timing chain tensioners in Mini Cooper vehicles

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The class action complaint is brought against BMW and pertains to the following Mini Cooper vehicles: 2007 through 2010 Hardtop (R56), 2008 through 2010 Clubman (R55), and 2009 through 2010 Convertible (R57) (collectively, the “Defective Vehicles”). The Defective Vehicles have a defect within their timing chain tensioners that cost, at minimum, hundreds of dollars to fix and that can cause extensive engine damage (the “Defect”).

As alleged, the Mini Cooper is a distinctive vehicle containing the Price engine. Unlike most engines made for the consumer market, the Prince engine uses a metal timing chain rather than a “belt” made of composite materials. When the Prince engine was first introduced in 2004, Defendant touted the timing chain’s durability compared to a timing belt, and indicated that the timing chain would remain maintenance-free throughout the full running life of the engine. One of the features of the Prince engine Defendant has promoted is that the timing chain and tensioner are located inside the engine block. However, actual road use has shown a significant drawback to this design: if the chain fails, damage to the engine can be catastrophic.

According to Defendant’s warranties and maintenance program, the chain and tensioner do not require service, and the on-board computer does not monitor chain condition. Accordingly, problems with the timing chain tensioner can easily go unnoticed and cause serious damage to the vehicle.  A defective timing chain can cause damage to the engine and present serious safety concerns. When a chain tensioner fails, the vehicle will lose all power, even while it is in motion.

As further alleged, despite numerous customer complaints related to the Defect, including catastrophic engine failure, Defendant has systematically denied the existence of the Defect, and thus refused to honor any applicable warranties. As a consequence, Defendant has failed to reimburse vehicle owners for the costs they incur resulting from damages related to the failures of the timing chain tensioner, and/or refuses to provide repairs free of charge.

Ford named in class action lawsuit over suspension defect in model year 2005 to 2011 Ford Focus vehicles

The complaint is brought on behalf of owners or lessees of model year 2005 to 2011 Ford Focus vehicles and claims the vehicles contain a suspension defect which manifested from day one and existed throughout the vehicle’s warranty period and thereafter which affects the alignment of Class Vehicles and causes, among other things., uneven and/or premature tire wear and handling concerns (“suspension defect”). The uneven and premature tire results from the contact area of the tire being dragged at an angle on the road that is different from the vehicle’s intended path. This tire wear, in turn, can lead to catastrophic tire failure.

The premature tire wear in many instances, necessitates factory tire replacement at less than 20,000 miles when, in fact, expected factory tire tread duration is 75,000 miles. Further, the suspension defect causes Class Vehicles to inordinately drift on wet or snowy roads, with resulting loss of control.

As alleged, the suspension defect creates an array of safety hazards in the areas of handling, steering, stability, and braking of Class Vehicles. It also creates intense frustration and dissatisfaction in Class Vehicle owners due to the rough vehicle ride and loud noises caused by the suspension defect.

The Plaintiff contends Ford has had actual notice of the suspension defect for many years, but remains unwilling to cure at its expense or otherwise accept responsibility for the problem.