Skip to main content

2nd new oil consumption lawsuit suddenly filed against Subaru

A 2nd class-action oil consumption lawsuit has been filed against Subaru of America. The popular 2014 Subaru Forester is on the list. Which other vehicles are included?

The top-selling 2014 Subaru Forester is on the oil consumption lawsuit as Subaru of America now has a second class-action suit that has been filed against the Cherry Hill based automaker. The first lawsuit was filed in July, and this second class-action suit was filed on October 8, 2014. The Courier-Post reports that this second lawsuit also contends Subaru of America has failed to address customers' concerns about excessive oil consumption in some of the automaker's vehicles.

Is your vehicle on the list?

In an article in the New Jersey Law Journal, the first lawsuit, filed in July on behalf of a California man, claims the 2011-14 Forester, 2013 Legacy and 2013 Outback, with 2.5-liter engines, and 2012-13 Impreza and 2013 Crosstrek, with 2-liter engines are having this oil consumption issue. The suit claims the vehicles "prematurely burn off and/or consume abnormal and excessive amounts of engine oil."

The second lawsuit was filed in federal court on October 8, Camden, New Jersey, on behalf of two Subaru owners from Connecticut and New Jersey. This second lawsuit also claims Subaru of America has not disclosed an oil-consumption problem in “some vehicles and has refused to cover repair bills caused by an alleged engine defect.”

The two lawfirms will work together

The Attorneys who are representing these Subaru owners in the two oil consumption lawsuits "will work together with the common goal of getting relief for Subaru customers," said Eric Lechtzin of Berger & Montague, the Philadelphia firm that filed the second class-action suit.

What is Subaru’s response?

Subaru has not responded publicly to the oil consumption lawsuit, and in response to the report, Subaru Director of Corporate Communications Michael McHale, declined to comment on the lawsuit. But he did say in the Courier-Post report, "However, I would say that the vast majority of our vehicles consume oil at typical levels."

What should Subaru owners do?

If you own a 2011-14 Forester, 2013 Legacy and 2013 Outback, with 2.5-liter engines, and 2012-13 Impreza and 2013 Crosstrek with 2-liter engines and you are having this oil consumption issue, take you vehicle in to your Subaru dealer and ask for an "oil consumption test." But keep in mind, it’s been reported that Subaru dealers are telling owners that the oil consumption issue is “normal” and that normal usage is 1 quart every 1200 miles.

Owners will need to be persistent as most dealers are not admitting anything is wrong with the Forester, Outback, Legacy, XV Crosstrek and Impreza models. The dealer should change the oil free of cost, and ask you to come back in 1200 miles. If the oil usage is over their acceptable specifications, they could replace the piston rings to correct the problem. The top-selling new-generation 2014 Subaru Forester, previous-generation Outback, Legacy and Impreza are on the list and also the third-best selling XV Crosstrek.

Other 2014 Subaru Forester oil consumption lawsuit stories of interest.
Why Subaru’s excessive oil consumption issue could spoil their party


Roger M Peterson (not verified)    October 29, 2014 - 8:32PM

I owned a 2013 xv crosstrek since i only put about 5000 miles a year on my car. I commute mostly, i decided to abandon the Subaru after 13 months of ownership and 4708 miles of driving. interesting to note it consumed 3/4 of a court in the first 3000 miles, that sounds excessive to me it is synthetic oil. I got rid of the car 3 weeks after the lawsuit was in the news. The wholesale value of the car dropped $1200 dollars in that time period.

Jack Sessions (not verified)    October 30, 2014 - 4:59PM

I find it ironic that a car driven by so many grennies is nothing but a oil burning P.O.S.. I have also seen numerous complaints about the CVT transmissions in these vehicles as well. A friend of mind took Subaru to court to Lemon Law his Forrester. Subaru fought him all the way with well dressed lawyers. He ended up winning and getting out of the car but had to still pay almost 5k in legal fees. Making a customer to come back and check the oil is nothing more then a plan by Subaru to get customers to trade in the vehicle and but another one.

Mike (not verified)    March 5, 2015 - 5:12PM

In reply to by Jack Sessions (not verified)

I've had three Subarus and the first two used zero oil ever. My newer one does. Never once when I've had my car in the dealership have they ever tried to sell me a new car.
It's hilarious that Chevy has cars that literally kill people and Chrysler has a list of recalls as long as my arm that a Subaru using oil makes in a POS in your book. To each their own.

Michael Copen (not verified)    April 30, 2015 - 8:08PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

Just something to think about. Subaru buyers get Subaru's because they are NOT GM or Chrysler products, so let's not compare apples to oranges.

I have owned three Subaru's and my last one is parked at a garage because my engine blew up today. I am seriously disappointed in Subaru - mostly for their lack of honesty. Specifically, my mechanic told me excessive oil burning was NORMAL.

scoobaru (not verified)    May 11, 2015 - 4:53PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

Explain to me how it's OK because other companies suck worse at making cars? And how is excessive oil consumption not a hazard on multiple levels, including safety? Face it, there's no excuse for mediocrity.

Brenda (not verified)    December 28, 2015 - 3:26PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

I purchased a new Subaru Forester in 2012. Since I purchased this vehicle I have had nothing but problems. It been burning excessive oil from day one and when I went in for the first oil change I was yelled at for it being bone dry. There is no oil indicator light on this model so you have no knowledge of its level. I have been jerked around by the dishonest workers who are trying to make light of this problem and blatently lying to my face. I have gone bone dry on two occasions clanking and just had another oil consumption test which I was told was normal only to have gone through 3 quarts 1400 miles later!!! I believe they think that I am a mechanically illiterate woman who is on disability with health issues and will not pursue a fight against them. I have researched and know that others out there are having the same problems. They started monitoring my oil at 35,000 at my insistence after I was being told over and over again that this was normal. Again, they said it was within their range. One month I put in 5 quarts!!!! I could get into more but I don't want to go on and on. I have opened a case in Corporate headquarters and plan on suing if nothing is done. I am totally disgusted with Subaru and its staff. I hope everyone fights Subaru on this one!

Melissa (not verified)    May 29, 2015 - 6:10PM

In reply to by Jack Sessions (not verified)

I know my 2012 Impreza is on this list because Ive never had a car go through oil like this (that didnt need a head gasket), Ive always thought the transmission felt wrong, it hesitates and shifts hard in manual. This is the first car Ive ever purchased, and it will be my last Subaru, I hate this car.

Tom Phillips (not verified)    October 31, 2014 - 5:08AM

I own a 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring and cover an average of 1,860 miles per month. I only ever check the oil level when the vehicle has been standing for a hour or two - I have never needed to put in additional oil.

IF, however, I check the oil after driving (such as at the gas station when filling up) my vehicle always shows the oil to be low.

Could it be that people are filling their vehicles unnecessarily with oil, which then gets burnt off when they drive? This would give the perception that the vehicle is consuming excess oil.

Just a thought. :-)

Melissa (not verified)    May 29, 2015 - 6:24PM

In reply to by Tom Phillips (not verified)

If I am driving around town, it doesnt seem to use up the oil- but if I drive 1500 miles on the highway, something I do quite often, guarantee it will use 2 quarts of oil, one each way. I bought a subaru because I had a 1996 subaru wagon second hand, the best car Ive ever owned. Prior to that, I had NEVER owned a non-american car, I as a chevy snob. I loved that wagon so much, I bought a new 2012 Subaru Impreza- I hate this car. I will never buy another subaru. I will never buy another new car.

Kevin Walker (not verified)    November 1, 2014 - 4:30PM

I am about to do a 19,000 mile service on a 2014 Forester. This is the 3rd Subaru I have owned. But the first to use oil like this 1 has. The other 2 used NO oil at all. I have added 1 qt. between each oil change up to now.
I have added 2 qts. sinse the last oil change, and have also been told by the dealership "this is normal"
I think this is unaceptable. So I am going to go through the service desk and see what happens next. Not looking forward to a battle.

Gary Birtch (not verified)    November 22, 2014 - 9:33AM

So, today I just noticed that the oil light came on in my wife's car. A 2013 Subaru Legacy with a 2.5i engine.

The oil had last been changed ~5000 miles about and the low oil light came on. We had to add about 1.5 qts of oil.

The car has LESS than 20,000 miles on it and is currently under the factory warranty. To say that we're not happy about this, is, well, and understatement. The only way to fix this is either to live with it, or get rid of the car. The problem is not going to get better as the engine wears, and we were planning on keeping it until it fell apart.

Cindy (not verified)    November 24, 2014 - 9:27AM

My 2012 Impreza was using a quart every 2500-3000 miles. I was told my dealer that it is acceptable to burn a quart every 1,200 miles. Subaru is supposed to be an environmentally responsible company. Dealer told me Subaru has more warning lights than other cars. I have friends with new models Honda, Ford, Audi - and all go 7,500 to 10,000 miles before needing oil. Dealer and corporate uncooperative. Oil consumption test would not work since mine was lasting more than 1,200 miles. Every time the light came on I was not near home so felt like I could not take the car any distance. Dealer gave me a quart to keep in the car. Like I am going to stop at night, traveling alone, and fill up the oil on the side of the road. Got rid of the car in July as I did not feel it was safe. While I will miss the AWD on the Subaru, I love my Ford C-max and the 44 mpg I'm getting every time I have to fill up the tank.

Gary Birtch (not verified)    November 25, 2014 - 9:04AM

In reply to by Cindy (not verified)

I think Subaru is supposed to have 7000 mile change intervals, but it may depend on the model. Generally, I've always noticed that dealers try to get you to come to them and change the oil every 3000 miles. This not only environmentally unfriendly, its also a way for them to generate money. On more than one occasion I've ask a service manager: "What do you know about the car that Honda doesn't? I mean, they manual is VERY clear that you need to change the oil every 7500 miles unless you live in a dusty - arid climate." There is generally no response, or a weak one, in which case I tell them that I've send samples out to a lab and no oil I've ever used has been bad at even 7500 miles. (VW has 10,000 mile change intervals...) Subaru needs to hear more stories like yours, as until they find their sales slumping, they will not bother to fix the issues for older owners. The unfortunate fact about any car manufacturer is that unless someone dies, and even then, they will do their level best to make the issue someone elses.

Tom Phillips (not verified)    November 25, 2014 - 3:06AM

I cannot but wonder why other countries do have the same oil burning problem. I have yet to encounter a Subaru (Forester) owner in South Africa and Australia having the same issue.

Gary Birtch (not verified)    November 25, 2014 - 4:17PM

In reply to by Tom Phillips (not verified)

The question is: Are the engines made in the US, or Japan? My understanding is that the powertrain on the Outback and Legacy is made in Japan, and the rest is US sourced. What I'm not sure about is if the engines are the same or made in the same place. My Honda Prelude had an H22A4 series engine, which had a high oil ring failure rate. The H22A, on the flip side, was fine... which is what I replaced mine with. (bolted on the electronics from the H22A4). Also, it's possible that a mid-production change was made... There can be any number of reasons for not having an issue elsewhere in the world. Not to mention, lower sales in a given country.

newob (not verified)    December 3, 2014 - 2:02PM

Has anybody experienced such issue with 2014 XV crosstrek? My 2014 XV looks normal so far, and the odometer is around 9k miles.

James Cox (not verified)    December 4, 2014 - 11:51AM

In reply to by newob (not verified)

2013 Crosstrek has same issues. Very Dissapointing! Same dealer issues as all other comments. I'm sure Mother Subaru is feeding the dealerships the company line to keep the Subaru Owners at bay by telling them this "consistent oil loss" is "normal".
A low oil WARNING light should never be accepted as normal.

Jake (not verified)    December 4, 2014 - 2:46PM

I had a 2011 Forester with this problem. The lifters started ticking, so I checked the oil (both warm and cold) and the dipstick was bone dry. Took multiple quarts to register on the dipstick again. Dealer was terrible to me about it and pulled the same 1,200 miles for a quart of oil BS. Great history with Subaru's, but they've lost all business and recommendations from me. Looks like it was an issue over multiple years which is unacceptable not to have fixed it.

gracie (not verified)    July 14, 2015 - 10:24AM

In reply to by Jake (not verified)

Just had the exact same issue.
Did the consumption test and found it was using 16 oz of oil for 1200 miles. Subaru says that 10.6 oz and less is "normal". So they've confirmed that it is excessive usage. Past the warranty for Subaru. Had an extended warranty and thought it would be covered under that.
But would have to pay for an engine tear-down to prove it and then the 3rd party that covers the extended warranty would need to determine if the issue actually comes from defects in the original manufacturing.
Will be getting another vehicle and not a Subaru. This was our second and we had been very happy but Subaru's lack of responsibility on this has changed all that.

james (not verified)    April 28, 2016 - 1:08PM

In reply to by gracie (not verified)

My son has a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek. Low mileage IN PA. Called 1 800 LEMON LAW.. Low oil consumption. at dealer several times. did all the testing . New short block, even worse. after calling Lemon law. Subaru, got new Engine, Transmission, Computer, CASH, BUMPER to BUMPER warranty Six years. Dealer had car for several weeks. Recd a car to drive. So far so good..

Arthur Minasian (not verified)    December 11, 2014 - 8:20PM

I am driving a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek with the same issue. While driving on the highway the blue low oil light came on. I was ASStounded to learn that it had burned 1 quart of oil in only 13 months or so of ownership. So, I added a quart.

I made an apt. with service dept. where I bought it afterward. They changed the oil and then, just like stated, told me to come back in 1200 miles. I did. All they did is check is dipstick oil level and if it looks good (duh!) come back in 1200 miles. I did just that.
How about the audacity of Subaru not implementing a recall? "Feel the love", indeed!

Let me tell you, regardless of what anyone may try to tell you it is NOT an acceptable condition that ANY NEW vehicle burn oil.
I would expect it in a 15-20 year old vehicle but not a NEW one. snow blower doesn't even burn any oil.

Subaru tells you AFTER the sale that the oil consumption is normal. Ya, right.

Now, how may of us, myself included would have bought a Suburu if we knew that this is a big issue?
It's entrapment. I am trapped paying for this now, unwanted, un-reliable motor vehicle for the next 3.7 years!!!!
Why should you or I be the ones to get stuck?
Subaru, pay my car off and give me the money you allotted me for my trade in you crooks!!!!!!!

Gary Birtch (not verified)    December 11, 2014 - 9:18PM


Here is another one:

My 2013 Subaru with the H6 (the 6 cylinder engine) just burned a QT of oil in 4300 miles.

I was driving home today and the low oil light came on!!!

So, my wife's car (Legacy 2013) with the 2.5i four cylinder burns oil, and MY car is burning oil.


I'm feeling very taken by Subaru about these cars burning oil at SUCH short intervals.

Dudley (not verified)    December 14, 2014 - 11:17AM

The oil warning light on my 2014 Outback 2.5i came on about 2000 miles after my 7500 mile dealer oil change (I also had it changed at 3500 miles). I had to add 3/4 quart of oil thinking the dealer mechanic hadn't filled it completely. I checked it again after 2000 more miles and was surprised to find it low again. Now I know why.

Roger M Peterson (not verified)    December 15, 2014 - 10:01AM

I traded in my 2013 xv crosstrek august 5th 2014 bought July 4 2013. at the time subaru was denying the problem with the oil rings. They STILL are. I cancelled the subscription to Drive magazine they said it would take about a month to stop the magazine. it's now December 4 months later just got drive magazine. is this just to bust my chops? Maybe if they saved the postage they could fix some of there bad motors, better yet issue a recall.

Steve Dvorscak (not verified)    December 17, 2014 - 2:45PM

It seems like this is a problem with the 2014 Impreza as well. The car was only a couple of months old when the "check engine light" came on at 2600 miles, I have a little over 10,000 miles on the car and I've had 2 oil changes plus added 3 quarts of oil in between, Plus the dam "low oil pressure" light comes on way too often - 20 times in 10,000 miles. The first time I took the car in to the dealer the service rep said they will watch it "in case there is a problem". My 2004 Forester didn't burn oil like this.