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New 3G Subaru Lawsuit Says 710,000 Of Its Cars Could Lose Starlink Connectivity

A new 3G Subaru Lawsuit claims upgrades for Subaru Starlink subscribers left 710,000 of its vehicles with issues. See if your Subaru model is affected.


Subaru of America is facing a class action lawsuit claiming automakers created telematic systems in their vehicles that became inoperable when cellphone manufacturers phased out 3G technology in favor of 4G and 5G. A report from Top Class Actions revealed telematics software in specific 2016-2019 Subaru vehicles became inoperable when technology companies phased out 3G technology in favor of 4G and 5G.

Which Subaru models are affected?

The proposed class includes those who purchased or leased a 2016-19 Subaru Outback midsize SUV, Forester compact SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Impreza compact car, Legacy midsize sedan, or WRX sports car. 

Subaru and the Starlink system connectivity

What is the issue?

The new Subaru 3G lawsuit says Starlink affected features include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, and Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling. 

The technology stopped working when the major cell phone carriers began to phase out 3G in 2022, the Subaru 3G class action says.

Top Class Actions says plaintiffs James Garrett, Christopher Roach, Demaris Martz, Marcum Martz, Kimberly Rohrberg, Robert Donnelly, and Taylor Paddock claim that the technology change diminished the value of the vehicles and became costly to replace the inoperable 3G technology.

Subaru Starlink is not working on some models

The report says Subaru initially suggested one fix to the issue would be a complimentary upgrade for those with a Starlink Safety and Security subscription.

“Of the approximately 820,000 Subaru vehicles with 3G telematics, those with a Starlink subscription only amounted to approximately 110,000 vehicles,” the Subaru 3G class action claims. “This left a population of approximately 710,000 vehicles with a chance of experiencing various issues due to the loss of 3G connectivity.”

The remainder of vehicles were left at risk of a drained battery due to the changes, the Subaru 3G class action says.

I recently reported that in February 2022, the current wireless provider elected to retire this 3G network, which affected services such as Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, and remote vehicle features in those affected vehicles.

If you are an active Starlink Safety and Security service subscriber and did not update your Starlink system before February 2022, your services would have automatically been canceled, and you should have been issued a pro-rated refund for the unused portion of your subscription. 

Subaru owners need the update.

If you haven’t had the update, Subaru retailers offer a complimentary update for affected vehicles with an active Starlink Safety and Security subscription. This update will allow continued access to critical safety and security services. The subscription would have been canceled if an affected vehicle had not been updated before the 3G network retirement date.

The Subaru 3G class action, Garrett et al. v. Subaru of America Inc., was filed in federal court in New Jersey. Lisa J. Rodriguez of Dilworth Paxson LLP represents the plaintiff. 

Did you lose functions on your 2016-2019 Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, WRX, or Legacy when 3G technology was phased out? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

For additional articles related to Subaru Starlink, here are a few of my top stories. 

Denis Flierl - I have over twenty years of Subaru and automotive journalism experience. I enjoy bringing you, the Subaru fans and customers, the most up-to-date Subaru news, reviews, and new model information. You'll find the latest Subaru stories on the Subaru page. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Subaru ReportAll Subaru and WRX STI social media channels:  Also FacebookSocial Platform X, and Instagram

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


MJ Esposito (not verified)    October 19, 2023 - 3:41PM

My vehicle is a 2017 Outback. About a year ago my Pandora app failed to function
I contacted Pandora on several occasions and viewed their forums and issue was common with Subaru owners and has not been resolved. Only way to access is through Bluetooth
Not sure if the aforementioned is part of the Starlink problem. Thanks

Courtney (not verified)    October 20, 2023 - 10:48AM

Hi, I recently leased a Subaru outback 19 in August. All seemed good until barely a month later. My touchscreen went haywire, like I have a poltergeist, there's no way I can control it. Subaru is issuing me a free install for a new one but of course the part is on backorder and we don't know when it'll come in, I can't even charge my phone in the car cuz it'll try to connect.. I've always wanted a Subaru outback and now I'm disappointed.. I'm not sure if it has to do with my phone being a 5g. Before this post, I read the starlink is malfunctioned in 19 to the newer models of vehicles.. but your post says older models. I'd like to still have a Subaru outback with decent mileage, but now I'm confused which year I should look into..any advise will be appreciated. Thank you for reading

Vincent DeRienzo (not verified)    October 21, 2023 - 7:07PM

My 2018 Subaru Outback’s hands free blue tooth telephone calling doesn’t work anymore. Nor does the pre-collision notifications work.
I was also having trouble starting the vehicle and when I brought it in to the dealer I was told that the communications chip had to be replaced. Meanwhile the module containing this chip was disconnected until a new one would be installed. I have been waiting several months for a replacement chip. I have been told they are back ordered. Meanwhile I am without some of the features that were the reason that I bought this Subaru model.

Doreen J Long (not verified)    October 21, 2023 - 10:52PM

I have 2016 forester
I lost ability to use phone calls or report verbally in the spring
.at garage they looked up why and that is when I found out. I had an outdated system and nothing could be done . It devalues my vehicle and they said only solution was to buy new which I cannot afford. This was to be my last vehicle..I am 76

Jerry Beale (not verified)    October 23, 2023 - 11:00AM

My 2019 Outback infotainment system went crazy in 2022. I finally took it to the dealer and was told that the radio had to be replaced. Sometimes the radio does work. It's going to cost me $100 to have it replaced.

Sabine (not verified)    October 23, 2023 - 5:16PM

I purchased a 2017 Subaru Crosstreck premium February of 2023. Starlink worked for less than a month. When I purchased the vehicle, there was no mention of the discontinuation of Starlink service. To replace the old system. ihe cost is over $1000. I would not have purchased if known that half my safety equipment would be disabled. Shady business practice.

Deborah Childress (not verified)    October 24, 2023 - 2:38PM

What's going on with the 2023 Subaru outback front end ? I read that the bolts come out and could cause a crash

Anjela (not verified)    October 25, 2023 - 1:58PM

I was not able to get the update because I was never informed about it until the day before. I have a 2017 WRX. So I called the dealership and they said it really wasnt needed and they had already sent the software back so I would need to spend $500+ to get it. So I never did it.