New Subaru Drained Battery Lawsuit Settlement - What Owners Should Know
Subaru of America (SOA) has been battling an issue with drained batteries on the Outback and Ascent SUVs. The original lawsuit from 2020 against SOA alleged the SUVs had defective electrical systems causing premature battery failure. A second lawsuit in 2021 against Subaru claimed defective electrical components in the Subaru Forester, Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and WRX vehicles.
According to a new report from Bloomberg Law (by subscription), Subaru of America may be close to settling the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged 2016-2019 Subaru Outback and the 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent SUVs have electrical problems. According to the original filing, the alleged defect may also be present in the 2020 Outback.
The initial court approval in the June hearing will compensate owners for “frequent battery replacement because of an electronics problem.” Subaru Corporation’s lawsuit settlement merits preliminary approval; consumers told a federal court in New Jersey.
The lawsuit contends Subaru has known about the problem since 2017 and issued a technical service bulletin addressing potential battery discharging after repeated periods of short-trip-driving resulting in a dead battery. The lawsuit says if owners of Outback and Ascent models take their vehicle in for diagnosis of the problem, dealers replace the old battery with the same OEM battery “and is thus a temporary fix only.”
The class action against Subaru of America claims the Camden, N.J. automaker issued multiple TSB service bulletins filed with the NHTSA over drained battery issues since 2015. The class actions say Subaru has failed to recall the vehicles and fix the problem under its warranty obligations.
What are the terms of the settlement?
The Bloomberg report says the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit will receive cash, warranty extensions, and a software fix to remedy the problem. The parties are set to argue in favor of the deal at a hearing in June, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey said in a notice last week.
The terms of the settlement include payments for out-of-pocket repair costs up to 165 percent of the expenditure, warranty extensions, and a software update that improves the on-board computer’s “charging logic,” the consumers told Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
What should 2016-2020 Subaru Outback and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent owners do if they have experienced the same battery issues? You should first report a problem to the NHTSA, and you can contact attorneys Ahdoot and Wolfson or Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP.
Stay tuned to Torque News via Subaru Report for the latest Subaru drained battery lawsuit updates.
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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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