A 2017 Subaru Outback owner has filed a second lawsuit against Subaru of America over defective fuel pumps. The first lawsuit filed earlier this year included the 2017-2019 Subaru Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models. The latest class-action lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court in Hawaii.
In the latest lawsuit filed against Subaru, owner Roman Anderson, represented by attorneys Imanaka Asato in Honolulu, HI, claims his car has shown signs of a defective fuel pump. His Outback failed to start, and once, in November 2019, it stalled while stopped at a stop sign. Because the cost to replace the fuel pump is around $1,000, and his car is not under the recall, Anderson has not had the fuel pump replaced.
The first lawsuit claimed Subaru knew about or should have known about the fuel pump defect "after running countless tests and diagnostics throughout production, yet continued to manufacture, market, sell, and lease their vehicles without disclosing the defect to the public."
Anderson purchased a certified pre-owned Subaru Outback in Hawaii. He also said the automaker's latest recall to address the faulty equipment is too limited and doesn't include all of the vehicles affected, including his 2017 Outback.
The supplier, Denso International America, located in Michigan, supplied Subaru with the defective "low pressure" fuel pump before July 2019 and began using a new fuel pump with a filter and higher density impeller after that date.
Subaru and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a recall of 2019 Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models. They said fuel pumps could fail, causing the engine to stall without the ability to restart the car, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall affected 188,207 U.S. vehicles.
Both class-action lawsuits ask Subaru of America to cover the costs of repairing fuel pumps in the earlier model (2013-2018) Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models using the same faulty Denso fuel pumps.
How will owners know if they have a defective fuel pump?
There are three symptoms to look for if your Subaru has a defective Denso fuel pump. The first thing you will notice is the engine is idling rough and not running smoothly. The car's check engine light might also come on. Then the vehicle might stall and quit running altogether. If the engine does stall, it may not restart again. The symptoms are due to a lack of fuel getting to the engine's fuel-injection system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says fuel pumps in some Subaru models could fail, causing the engine to stall and not restart. The most significant risk for drivers is having the engine stall while driving, increasing the crash risk. Subaru says it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.
What should owners do?
Some owners reported on the NHTSA and Car Complaints websites, their cars would not start, and others said their vehicles lost power while driving at low speeds or just after starting the vehicle. If owners experience their cars running rough, see a check engine light, or have a loss of power, they should pull off the road or highway to a safe place and have the car towed to a Subaru retailer for inspection.
If you own or have leased a 2019 Subaru Outback, Ascent, Impreza, or Legacy model, you are under the recall that began June 5, 2020. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WRD-20.
If you own or have leased a 2013-2018 Subaru vehicle with a Denso low-pressure fuel pump and have experienced reduced engine power, stalling, or engine shutdown due to a faulty fuel pump, you may qualify to join this investigation. You can contact attorney Clay Barnett in Beasley Allen's Atlanta office to discuss potential legal claims.
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 and the founder of 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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