Even More Dead Batteries: New Subaru Lawsuit Claims at Least Five Models Come With Defective Batteries

Sometimes a lawsuit is a reasonable response to an ongoing automotive problem. But in other instances, what began as one problem soon cascades into a series of legal challenges and issues. Subaru is facing one of these compounding scenarios. A new lawsuit claims what other suits before it already have: There’s a big problem with certain Subaru car batteries. 

More dead batteries are piling up for Subaru owners, and the latest lawsuit adds more claimants. In this updated filing, at least five models exhibit problems with potentially defective batteries. If you drive a Subaru, you’ll want to know the more recent details of what has now become a class-action lawsuit.

More than a few Subaru lawsuits already on the books

A silver and blue Subaru logo on a car in Krakow, Poland, on November 21, 2019
Subaru logo | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto

There is a lawsuit now regarding Subaru batteries. But it’s not the only one. In fact, TorqueNews reported one of the original lawsuits from over a year ago. Since its original report, the automotive site has provided several rounds of updates as new owners of models with faulty batteries joined the fight. 

TorqueNews shared the details of Steven Scott, the plaintiff alleging Subaru of America needs to address a failing battery problem. Scott’s then-newer 2016 Subaru Outback had only 4,076 miles on the odometer when he began noticing electrical problems that reportedly drained the vehicle’s battery. But leaving the hatch open for less than 15 minutes shouldn’t drain any battery, especially on a new model vehicle with low mileage.

Problematic batteries at the center of the problem

CarComplaints.com pointed out several lawsuits that have since been consolidated into a class action. And while the earlier filings pointed to issues with the Forester, Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and WRX models independently, this class-action lawsuit represents them all.

Batteries are dying prematurely, but it’s not necessarily the battery itself that causes the problem. Subaru owners are replacing their batteries sooner than expected and more often due to faulty electrical systems, according to TorqueNews. The Controller Area Network (CAN) system, present in all affected models, operates components including microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators, all responsible for communicating with the battery. It’s this CAN system that claimants say is the problem. 

Affected Subaru model years and what owners can do

The more recent lawsuit includes 2015 to 2019 Subaru WRX, Forester, Outback, Ascent, and Legacy. Previous suits covered Outback and Ascent models through 2020. If you own or lease one of the models and you’ve experienced prematurely draining batteries, report your issue with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Then contact the legal team involved with the lawsuit, McKenzie Lake Lawyers

Subaru has contended the allegations and motioned to dismiss the case. The automaker said the claims are too broad in scope, as a “classic vague and inconsistent” pleading. Subaru also challenged a breach of warranty and requested a dismissal because the plaintiffs failed to initiate a pre-lawsuit notice. The latest class-action lawsuit suggests Subaru needs to authorize appropriate recalls for the battery draining and electrical system failures. The courts agreed, allowing the suit to continue into discovery phases, despite having dismissed several previous individual cases.

This case continues as a class action. So if you have questions about joining the lawsuit, contact the NHTSA and the representing attorneys. If the plaintiffs win this case, you could be compensated for your replacement battery costs.

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