2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
Denis Flierl's picture

Can Your Subaru Windshield Shatter On Its Own? New Forester And Outback Owners Say Yes

A class-action lawsuit against Subaru alleges windshields in the new 2017-2020 Forester, Outback, 2020 Crosstrek, and 2020 Ascent vehicles are defective and can crack unexpectedly. Can your Subaru windshield crack on its own?
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Torque News reported in October 2019, a class-action lawsuit alleged windshields in the 2017-2019 Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek models are “defective and dangerous” and that Subaru of America is doing nothing to remedy the problem. Another class-action lawsuit was filed in California claiming 2017-2019 Subaru Forester, 2017-2019 Subaru Outback, and 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy models also had defective windshields.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also received numerous complaints from Subaru owners who experienced issues with their windshields, according to the consolidated class action.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

In February 2020, fifteen new plaintiffs added 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, 2017-2020 Subaru Legacy, and 2017-2020 Subaru Impreza models to the lawsuit. It brought the total number of Subaru vehicles to 2.5 million cars potentially impacted.

Can your Subaru windshield crack or shatter on its own?

According to a report from Top Class Actions, there is always a reason why your windshield cracks or shatters even if it seems there is no logical explanation. The apparent reasons are when a rock hits your windshield. But a windshield can break due to unseen stress, cracks, or even glass defects in certain vehicles.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Can a Subaru windshield break or crack unexpectedly due to manufacturing error?

Top Class Actions says, “In some cases, windshields may break due to manufacturing errors. For example, if the glass is nicked or chipped during installation, those cracks can grow and cause the glass to shatter. Additionally, failure to properly engineer the glass can also lead to damage and eventual breakage.”

Subaru recalled some 2010-2014 model year Outback wagon and Legacy sedan models with the affected windshields, “noting that a heated windshield wiper system caused the breakage. The compound which adheres the heater to the glass allegedly caused damage, which can result in larger cracks and eventual windshield shattering.”

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

They say, “Although Subaru has extended the windshield warranty for the vehicles, consumers argue that this is not enough.”

What’s going on with the Subaru defective windshield lawsuit?

In June 2020, Subaru of America’s lawyers asked the judge to dismiss the case because drivers can’t sue over models they didn’t drive. According to court documents obtained by GlassBytes, Subaru stated no plaintiff has ever purchased, leased, or owned a: Subaru Legacy of any model year; any 2017 Crosstrek, Forester, or Impreza; any 2019 Impreza; or any 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, or Impreza.

Is there a Subaru windshield recall?

There has been no recall issued over the Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, or Legacy windshield problem. However, the lawsuit against Subaru alleges the automaker knew about the issue due to the “tremendous volume of complaints” lodged by consumers but continues to hide its information from the public and deny that any defect exists.

What should Subaru customers do?

Subaru owners will have to pay for a broken or cracked windshield unless you have purchased a Subaru Equity Shield Windshield Protection plan. The plan only covers repairing chips and small cracks but not a total windshield replacement.

How much does a Subaru windshield cost?

Owners are responsible for replacing a windshield. With labor costs and recalibrating the vehicles’ EyeSight driver assist technology, replacing a Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent windshield could be $1,000 or more.

Stay tuned as we bring more information on the Subaru class-action windshield lawsuit. We will also report on the hidden costs of repairing your vehicle with advanced safety features and replacing a 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent windshield with EyeSight.

You Might Also Like: A New Second Lawsuit Now Claims Subaru Forester And Outback Can Suddenly Accelerate

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Comments

Just 3 months after buying my Outback 2020 the windshield cracked for no apparent reason and it has spread all over the windshield now. I have heard that Subaru windshields are weak due to eyesight technology. If this is true then Subaru should be held accountable for cheating us.
Eye sight technology has nothing to do with the possibility of.a windshield breaking. I have been in the auto glass business for almost 40 years. We must understand that automobile manufacturers are looking to shave weight wherever they can. With that being said a lot of the new windshields are thinner than they ever used to be ,and they can no longer stand up even to the slightest chips on the glass.the Subaru eyesight system is mounted at the top of the windshield but it's attached to the roof at the headliner there is no physical contact between the eyesight system and the windshield itself. as far as I am concerned Subaru was smarter to design it this way. With that being said if you purchase an aftermarket glass you have the risk of it not being formed correctly and the eyesight system not working correctly which is why it is imperative to have the system recalibrated after every windshield installation
2004 Outback My windshield cracked in 2 places the length of the windshield heater. Apparently Subaru has been having this problem for decades! Maybe they should invest in better windshields and avoid these class actions... I'm still a die hard fan of Subaru but some of the decisions being made upstairs have been very foolish in recent years.
I've had 3 windshields on my 2015 outback (which was the first year of a design change). Moved into a developing neighborhood with lots of construction. The first two windshields cracked like fragile candy, small nic ran across the glass. However I got the third windshield maybe in year 3 and it's been totally solid since then. 1 or 2 nics that didn't run and were filled with no issue. My advice, if you can afford it, get a high level of glass insurance separate from collision and comprehensive. For an extra 10-20 per month, progressive will not charge to get nics repaired and only 99 for an entire windshield.
Why should a Subara owner have to pay one dime to have their defective windshield repaired or replaced? I would fight this and the complaints should continued to come in. One paid top dollar for their Subaru and should not have to be responsible for a defective windshield.
What a strange article this is. I've sold Subaru and Toyota for a long time now. I've never had one of my thousands of Subaru customers ever have a cracked windshield. I've seen blown head gaskets but never an unexplained cracked windshield.
I have worked for (Subaru) for 3+ years. I now currently on a 2019 Forrester and the first three months of owning it I had to replace the windshield because it did crack! And I also have seen a few more cars come in with no chips no nothing and the windows have come in cracked!
I have 2020 Subaru Forrester Traveler. Please send further news!
Im on two windshields in 18 months @ $1,097 a pop.
Big difference between Crack and SHATTER... Misleading headline. Again.
I have a 2019 Crosstrek, my windshield cracked I have never had a car that this happens. I replaced with a aftermarket Subaru windshield which is this is bad it's all scratched up already. What is wrong with this glass in this car?
I have replaced my 2019 windshield 3 times, in five months. The 3rd, the installation company replaced it with a heavier windshield that was constructed by a non Subaru company. This one is holding up fine. On the 3rd windshield, I made Subaru reprogram it at no cost to me.
The windshield on my 2017 Outback had massive cracks that spread in many directions after a small impact from a road rock. I've never seen a windshield crack so easily in my 23 years of driving many different vehicles. My car insurance company offers full glass coverage. It cost them $984 to replace my windshield. A different brand windshield was put in. Maybe it will hold up better.
The windshield on my 2018 Outback 3.6R is intact. Not so with the rear wheel bearing that just went out at 22K miles, or all the rodent damage to the fuel sensor line (Caused car to shut off fuel pump in traffic), tasty windshield washer lines and the serpentine belt of all things. New Subaru’s are overrated in my opinion.
2017 Subaru crosstrek with 2 new windshields and recalibration at 1300. Each. First car ever to have this happen to in my forty+ years driving.
My 2016 Crosstrek had a hole popped thru the windshield when my windshield protector brushed the rearview mirror and it popped off. I called the main Subaru office as advised by my service manager and they payed for another company to fix it.
I was driving my Subaru on a beautiful sunny day with no others cars on the road when suddenly I heard a very large noise. we stopped the car to see if someone might have taken a shot with a BB gun but it was a wide open road and no place to hide. Replacement windshield was over $1,000.
Have they figured out how to stop the head gasket from blowing out?