Subaru named in class action lawsuit for defect in pistons, engine management system and positive crankcase ventilation in 2009-2014 Impreza WRX vehicles

 

This is a class action on behalf of owners of 2009-2014 Impreza WRX vehicles (“class vehivcles.” Subaru introduced the class engines in the United States market in late 2007 for the 2008 model year. Class engines are predisposed to premature engine failure. Class vehicles are defective with respect to improperly designed and manufactured pistons and an engine management system and PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system that subjects class engines engine to premature catastrophic engine piston ringlands failure (the “Piston Ringlands Defect”).

WRX and WRX STi engines are high performance versions of the 2.5 liter displacement EJ series engines used in other model Subaru vehicles including but not limited to the Forrester, Legacy and Outback. These performance modifications nearly doubled the horsepower for WRX and WRX STi engines over the standard base 2.5 liter engine. These performance modifications that created substantially increased power output did not include necessary internal engine modifications to prevent damage to the piston ringlands.

Inadequate class engine piston ringland durability was caused by casting the class engine pistons from hypereutectic aluminum silicon (Al-Si) alloy. While this alloy has some strength attributes over conventional cast aluminum pistons, Al-Si pistons and in particular piston ringland are more brittle. This Al-Si materials selection and cast construction method resulted in insufficient strength pistons in class engines.

Another contributing cause to class engine failure was an inadequate PCV system that allowed excessive engine crankcase oil vapors to be introduced into the engine combustion chambers thereby lowering the overall fuel/air octane mixture. This causes increased combustion forces acting on the piston through a phenomenon know as detonation. Detonation is a well-known cause of internal engine component damage particularly including piston and piston ringland failure.

Failure of class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect results in sudden power loss and/or stalling that severely compromises the owner’s ability to maintain vehicle control. The defective class engine components and engine management system also causes sudden an catastrophic engine self-destruction as overheated internal parts seize.

The failures in the class engines due to the Piston Ringland Defect pose a serious safety issue while the vehicle is being operated since there is loss of engine power without warning and the loss of power-assisted steering and reduced braking caused by lack of engine vacuum if the engine stalls. In class vehicles equipped with manual transmissions, the drive wheels will lock and cause loss of directional stability and steering if the engine stalls and the clutch is not immediately disengaged.

Subaru recalls vehicles with turbo-charged engines over defect in secondary air injection pumps

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Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 model year Legacy and Outback vehicles, 2008-2014 Impreza vehicles and 2009-2013 Forester vehicles, all equipped with turbo-charged engines. The relay that controls the secondary air injection pump may fail, causing the pump to continuously operate and overheat.

100,127 vehicles are affected by the recall

If the air injection pump overheats, it may melt and increase the risk of a fire.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will replace the secondary air injection pump relay, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Subaru named in class action lawsuit over defect in hood locking mechanism

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This class action lawsuit concerns a material and dangerous defect in the hood locking mechanism of the 2006 Model Year Subaru B9 Tribeca (“Tribeca” or “Vehicle” or “Class Vehicle”) that has repeatedly caused the hood of the Vehicles to fly open unexpectedly while traveling at highway speeds, cracking the windshield, causing substantial damage to the Vehicles and rendering the driver unable to see the road (the “Defect”).

As alleged, Subaru, sold approximately 200,000 Model Year 2006 vehicles in the United States. Of those, just over 18,000 were the Tribeca model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website has 17 complaints describing a consistent story of the hood flying open during operation and smashing the windshield of Model Year 2006 Tribeca Vehicles. There is not a single complaint on the NHTSA website indicating that the Defect manifested in any of the other 182,000 Model Year 2006 cars sold by Subaru. In short, despite the fact that the Tribeca accounted for only 9% of 2006 Model Year sales, it accounted for 100% of the incidences of the hood flying open unexpectedly during operation and cracking the windshield. Despite long standing knowledge of the defect through public complaints and internal testing, Subaru has failed to take responsibility for the problem, refusing to issue a recall and denying consumer requests to pay for necessary repairs occasioned by the Defect.

The class action lawsuit is brought by Plaintiff on behalf of herself and a class of current and former Subaru vehicle owners and lessees with defective hood locking mechanisms in Model Year (“MY”) 2006 Subaru B9 Tribecas. The Vehicles is defectively designed and is prone to failing in an extremely dangerous manner putting Subaru drivers, their passengers and others on the roadway at serious risk of substantial bodily harm or death.

 

Subaru recalls 2015 Legacy, Impreza and Crosstrek vehicles over issues with the Eyesight Driver Assist System

 

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Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain model year 2015 Legacy vehicles manufactured March 10, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Outback vehicles manufactured February 24, 2014, to April 16, 2015, Impreza vehicles manufactured September 9, 2014, to April 14, 2015, XV Crosstrek vehicles manufactured October 16, 2014, to April 15, 2015, and 2016 WRX vehicles manufactured March 23, 2015, and equipped with the Eyesight Driver Assist System. If the switch that activates the brake lights fails, the automatic pre-collision braking component of the driver assist system will not function.

If the automatic pre-collision braking system does not function as intended, the vehicle will not react to an obstacle in its path, increasing the risk of a crash.

Approximately 72,000 vehicles are affected by the recall.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the driver assist system, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

 

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.

 

Subaru recalls vehicles for excessive corrosion in brake lines

Subaru of America, Inc. is recalling certain model year 2005-2009 Outback and Legacy, 2008-2011 Impreza and 2008-2014 Impreza WRX/STI, and 2009-2013 Forester vehicles, currently, or formerly, registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. Salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the brake lines.

Brake line corrosion may result in brake fluid leakage. Fluid leakage may result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will test the brake system by depressing the brake pedal and inspecting for brake fluid leaks. If no brake fluid seepage is observed, the affected areas will be rustproofed with anti-corrosion wax. If brake fluid seepage is observed, the brake lines will be replaced followed by rustproofing with anti-corrosion wax. These services will be performed free of charge.

The recall involves 660,238 vehicles.

Subaru recalls 2010-2012 Legacy and Outback vehicles equipped with an automatic or CVT transmission and an Audiovox remote engine starter

Subaru is recalling certain model year 2010-2012 Legacy and Outback vehicles equipped with an automatic or CVT transmission and an Audiovox remote engine starter (RES) accessory, certain model year 2012-2013 Impreza vehicles equipped with a CVT transmission and an Audiovox remote engine starter (RES) accessory, and certain model year 2013 XV Crosstrek vehicles equipped with a CVT transmission and an Audiovox remote engine starter (RES) accessory. Additionally included are certain model year 2013 Legacy and Outback vehicles that may have received replacement RES fobs. If the RES fob is dropped, the fob may malfunction and randomly transmit an engine start request without pressing the button.

The engine may inadvertently start and run for up to fifteen minutes. The engine may continue to start and stop until the fob battery is depleted, or until the vehicle runs out of fuel. If the vehicle is parked in an enclosed area, there is a risk of carbon monoxide build-up which may cause headaches, dizziness or, in extreme cases, unconsciousness and/or asphyxiation.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will replace the RES key fobs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin by the end of April 2013.