Subaru is well-known for the consistent quality of its vehicles. Four of its SUVs ranked on the 10 Best SUVs list by Consumer Reports, including the Subaru Outback and Forester. This automaker also offers a small selection of sedans, including the comfy and reliable Subaru Legacy.
No matter which new Subaru you buy, it will probably have an infotainment system powered by Starlink. Many critics have praised Subaru for having user-friendly tech that features intuitive menus, but not every driver has been satisfied. According to a new class-action lawsuit as detailed by Car Complaints, certain vehicles may contain faulty infotainment systems.
The claims against Subaru
The lawsuit against Subaru claims that there is a problem with the Starlink infotainment system developed by Harman International. Drivers reported that the screens would black out or the backup cameras would freeze. In some cases, the main head unit would eventually fail completely.
The lawsuit stipulates that this is such a severe issue because it causes drivers to be distracted while driving. Many complained that the built-in navigation system would malfunction or disappear, which could be a hassle in unfamiliar territory. If the driver was too busy focusing on the center touchscreen instead of the road, they could cause an accident.
Drivers also had a concerning amount of problems with the car’s radio. There were multiple reports of the radio turning itself to a high volume automatically, particularly when the car was in reverse. This could momentarily startle the driver and cause them to hit an obstacle.
This problem affects many Subaru models from the 2018 model year, specifically the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, Legacy, BRZ, and Impreza. Impreza sedans from 2017 may also develop problems with the infotainment system. The settlement would give up to $300 to each driver who had to take their car to the dealership for repairs.
An emphatic response
Subaru has denied all allegations of the faulty infotainment system, according to Car Complaints. The automaker tried to privately persuade the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, but it wasn’t successful. Still, despite its claims of innocence, Subaru is still cooperating with the terms of the class-action lawsuit.
TorqueNews reports that 9,500 owners will be reimbursed by the automaker for infotainment system repairs. Additionally, if drivers had to leave their cars at the dealership, Subaru will pay for any rental or ride-hailing expenses. Drivers also have the option to get $400 off a future purchase or lease of a Subaru vehicle.
Other lawsuits filed against Subaru
This isn’t the first time serious allegations have been made against the lawmaker. Earlier this year, another lawsuit was filed against Subaru for unintended acceleration in certain models. The issue caused multiple injuries and a few drivers paid almost $1,000 in repairs.
Multiple owners have also taken part in a class-action lawsuit for battery problems, according to Car Complaints. Court documents details that the batteries inside Subaru Outbacks and Ascents die too quickly, requiring multiple replacements. Both of these lawsuits haven’t been settled yet and Subaru hasn’t issued any recalls over these problems.
What does this mean for the automaker?
Although the infotainment issues are concerning, the vast majority of the affected models haven’t experienced any problems. Most of the cars included in the lawsuit operate just fine otherwise. It should also be noted that many drivers stopped experiencing the glitches after their cars had been serviced.
The majority of Subaru owners probably won’t bat an eye at this issue, especially if their cars are not affected. Subaru is known for having the most brand loyalty out of any other automaker. However, if Subaru continues to be served with lawsuits, potential customers may start to doubt the quality of its vehicles.