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Subaru Battery Drain Lawsuit - How The Final Settlement Affects Owners Now

Subaru of America’s battery drain lawsuit gets final approval. Here are the settlement details if you are a Subaru Forester, Outback, Ascent, Legacy, or WRX owner.


Subaru of America’s battery drain lawsuit has reached a final settlement. Subaru of America (SOA) has been battling an issue with drained batteries on the Outback midsize SUV, Forester compact SUV, Ascent SUV, Legacy sedan, and WRX sports car. The first lawsuit from 2020 and a second class action in 2021 against SOA alleged the Subaru vehicles had defective electrical systems causing premature battery failure. Now owners will be compensated.

A recent report from Bloomberg Law (by subscription) says the terms of the nationwide class 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,” according to earlier filings in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

2015-2020 Subaru Outback

The deal is fair, reasonable, and adequate, Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez said Tuesday. He also approved $4.1 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses.

Which models are affected by the Settlement?

According to the Subaru battery settlement website, the Subaru vehicles in the lawsuit settlement include the 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy sedan, 2015-2020 Subaru WRX, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUVs.

2015-2020 Subaru Forester

What does the Settlement provide?

1. Extended warranty service for qualifying battery failures experienced on or after the Date of the Notice. The Settlement also provides, where applicable, cash reimbursement for:

2. Battery replacements and related battery testing and diagnosis performed by an Authorized Subaru Retailer, or in some situations, an independent third party, for qualifying conditions on a Settlement Class Vehicle before the Date of Notice (“Pre-Notice”);

2019-2020 Subaru Ascent

3. Towing services in connection with a Pre-Notice Qualifying Battery Failure.

4. Reasonably Reimbursable Costs related to a Settlement Class Member being stranded due to a Pre-Notice Qualifying Battery Failure.

What should Outback, Forester, Legacy, WRX, and Ascent owners do now?

This is the only way to get a reimbursement. The deadline to submit Claim Forms and supporting documentation is 60 days after the Effective Date, which could be as early as May 5, 2023. Subaru owners do not need to do anything now to ensure coverage under an extended warranty.

The report says 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy, 2015-2020 Subaru WRX, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent owners should review the notice materials on the Important Document page here.

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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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Photo credit: Subaru


Scott Graves (not verified)    January 29, 2023 - 10:19AM

I guess all that love that Subarus have must be hard on the batteries. Well, theres no such thing as a free lunch.

Sharon Catania (not verified)    January 29, 2023 - 5:59PM

A few weeks after I received a notice in the mail regarding the Civil suit against Subaru, my battery was dead. I managed to get a jump before I went to Subaru of Bend where they worked on it all day long, and by 5pm, I was told they wanted to keep it charging all night long, even though it was completely charged. So, I was given a car to drive until the following day. Then the first 3days of January, I had a dead battery again. I have roadside service, so I called a tire company in town to give me a boost. After the boost, I went grocery shopping. When I walked out the grocery store with my bags and try to get in my car, the battery was dead again. It took 2 hrs for a tow to reach me to give my battery a boost again. Since that time, I have charged my battery daily at home. I want to trade my car in, but I’m not sure if Subaru will cover the battery for new owners.

Laura Mathias (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 4:50PM

In reply to by Sharon Catania (not verified)

Yes Subaru will replace your battery for free but you must go through the lawsuit to do it. Call your Subaru dealership and ask them what you need to do. I had my new battery installed and now have to send in the paperwork to be reimbursed. FYI you can also be reimbursed for towing or buying a charger. Check for the different things you can be reimbursed for.

Mike K (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 9:32AM

In reply to by Laura Mathias (not verified)

Subaru will not just replace the battery. In order for Subra replace your battery at no charge, the dealer has to run a test on the car to confirm the battery is failing and will replace the battery only if the car fails the test. Otherwise Subaru will only charge the battery and send you on your way. We have now gone through this twice with our 2019 Legacy.

Bill Johnson (not verified)    April 27, 2023 - 4:41AM

In reply to by Laura Mathias (not verified)

We have a 2021. Outback. The battery is driving us CRAZY. The dealer says my wife is not driving it enough to keep it charged. We have driven it 15,000 miles in 2 years.. I wil be @ the dealer @ 10:00 in the morning. "MAD"

Marv Bohnert (not verified)    November 4, 2023 - 5:14AM

In reply to by Bill Johnson (not verified)

Driving it is EXACTLY what is killing the Battery ! They have Software in the Vehicle that thwarts charging the Battery UNTIL the Vehicle passes a series of "tests" .... and the bottom line is the Battery will not get recharged for up to 30-miles OR up to 30-Minutes !!! Meanwhile the battery is slowly being damaged.
SO ... if you try to "Re-Charge The Battery By Driving...." you are going to have to WASTE A LOT OF GASOLINE and TIME; of course Subaru did NOT tell the US EPA about this well hidden Charge-Program in their Vehicle's (hidden) Software !!!!

Kim (not verified)    June 12, 2023 - 5:32AM

In reply to by Laura Mathias (not verified)

They denied my claim which included my battery replacement and expenses of being stranded in WA for 3 days. Cost me $2500 and I am appealing them denying me. I want my damned money back.

Timothy J O'Connor (not verified)    June 16, 2023 - 11:58AM

In reply to by Kim (not verified)

My claim was also denied. Apparently I made the grave mistake of having the local shop that's 2 miles from my home rather than a dealer who is 19 miles away replace the original battery then the second time it happened I replaced it myself with an affordable battery from Costco. Given the horrid service I have already received from the dealer I originally purchased my Outback from, this will be my last Subaru.

Sheila Toman (not verified)    November 25, 2023 - 9:09PM

In reply to by Timothy J O'Connor (not verified)

My Subaru Outback was fine until I retired and wasn’t driving much. Even though the Subaru dealership submitted my claim, it was denied because I went to a local shop to get a new battery (twice) instead of to the dealership. I have to start up my car every third day and let it charge or it is dead the next time I go to drive somewhere. The Subaru dealership denied there was a battery drainage problem. I guess I am screwed and have no recourse.

Michael (not verified)    May 21, 2023 - 8:14AM

In reply to by Sharon Catania (not verified)

My 2017 Subaru Forester is on its 4th battery. The first two were factory and the last two I paid about $500 for the two. I carry a portable jump starter with me. I had the computer updated and that has helped. It has 95,000 miles on it and seems to be holding up well mechanically. The battery probably is a problem but there are far worse recalls on every type of car out there. I have only had to replace batteries and my ball joints so far.

P.W. (not verified)    May 24, 2023 - 11:43AM

In reply to by Michael (not verified)

That "there are far worse recalls on every type of vehicle out there" is irrelevant to the fact that Subaru's handling of these cases is unacceptable. If you're okay having purchased 4 new batteries, and having spent over $1K unnecessarily, that's your wallet & your prerogative. I daresay that, sadly, more people are willing, like you, to accept garbage business practices because they'd rather do that than go to the trouble of "complaining." I'm not okay with my own vehicle failing to function as it should, and I'm far less okay with Subaru doing nothing about it while I spend thousands to clean up after their slipshod manufacturing. That this is happening to many people is 100% "unsat." My most recent issue is the cam carrier seals were busted on my car, causing a massive leak. The dealership was being incredibly shady, saying this repair would cost nearly $6K "if I was lucky," AND going so far as to recommend services I knew my car did not need. Thus, I took my car to a trusted private mechanic who confirmed the dealership was lying about the extras and had quoted the repair at nearly $2K more than what it should cost, even on the high end. Because I didn't use "genuine Subaru parts/service," the Subaru of America rep told me Subaru wouldn't make good on a problem that many have had, and one that shouldn't by ANY means be happening to a vehicle with fewer than 75K miles on it. Why on earth would I use Subaru parts when they were what had failed in the first place? And why would I use Subaru service when they are confirmed liars, so clearly looking for the money-grab? Yes, "the dealership is always more expensive," but this was ridiculous.) Subaru of America is completely folding on customer service/satisfaction these days. This was my first Subaru, and it's been an horrible experience from the word "go. In fact, I've never had more problems with any other vehicle I've owned. Result: I'll never buy another Subaru again. Maybe it's not a big deal to Subaru to have lost one customer who's only ever bought one car from them. Being from Upstate NY, however, my family has owned numerous Subarus over the years. That won't be happening again. My parents, my brother, two of my aunts, and a couple friends have all chosen "other" after having experiences similar to my own, and they're glad of it. Have a nice day.

Kim Quintrell (not verified)    October 24, 2023 - 2:42PM

In reply to by P.W. (not verified)

Same here, first time Subaru owner, and last. I am just now finding out about this battery issue and getting ready to do battle with Subaru over who is going to pay for the $400 battery that Subaru is now recommending. I am mad like a wet hen! I actually feel sorry for the person at Subaru that is going to have to deal with me. I so dislike being taken advantage of and that is exactly what Subaru has been doing to so many!!!!

Sam Lopez (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 12:49AM

In reply to by Sharon Catania (not verified)

Bought a 2023 Ascent in January and by May I had to boost the battery everyday. Took to the dealer. They told me the battery was defective and replaced it. Had a 60 amp and replaced it with an 85 amp. Sounds very suspicious to me. How long before the 85 amp gets drained to?

Marv Bohnert (not verified)    November 4, 2023 - 4:29AM

In reply to by Sharon Catania (not verified)

You need to go into FULL COURT PRESS :
1) Remove that stupid foam insulating "box" from around the Lawn Mower Battery ;
2) Buy a 900(+) CCA Battery (WalMart @ ~$100, not those hideously over-priced Subaru's)
3) Disregard ALL Subaru propaganda, they constantly flood the world with useless "info" !
4) Keep your Battery in DeSulphated State by using a (EBay) Battery Maintainer;
5) Subaru's constant Chronic UNDER-CHARGING destroys batteries by allowing un-corrected Sulphation of the Battery Plates; use your Battery Maintainer over weekends.

Brad (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 3:41AM

Someone should start a lawsuit for the older models like my 2008 Impreza WRX. The brake and clutch pedal assembly is so dangerous. It's very common for the whole assembly to drop after some tiny spot welds break

Bree (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 6:29PM

What about Australian owners?
I’ve had my 2007 model WRX since new & im still having to continue charging my battery every 3 days or so. Multiple new batteries over the years

Russ Johnson (not verified)    January 31, 2023 - 4:40PM

To me that sounds really fishy to charge your battery just once a month...everybody knows that car manufacturers don't put in the best batteries that there will come a time that the battery will die...I swear some people are so f--ing stupid
They think they deserve stuff for free

Matt (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 4:12PM

In reply to by Russ Johnson (not verified)

Russ Johnson, I think we agree on just two points, but your sentences are vague. First, I don't know who you're replying to, because I don't see anyone saying they have to charge their battery "just once a month."

Second, what's fishy? That it's *just* once a month?? Or that there's nothing unusual about having to do that??

What the hell are you talking about with "everybody knows that car manufacturers don't put in the best batteries..."? What an absurd generalization. Which manufacturers? What does "best" mean? What evidence do you have? Don't project your fantasy onto what "everybody knows."

As for "...there will come a time that the battery will die" who is arguing that point??

We agree that some people seem to think they deserve stuff for free. Many others, though, including myself, do not feel so entitled. Over the decades I've eaten countless expenses and endured countless problems that seemed unfair. Unfortunately, that's life. But I can easily believe there's a design flaw with these Subarus and/or batteries because my battery was dead in my *new Forester* the day I bought it 8 years ago. The salesperson had to jump it on the lot. Then it left me stranded at least two more times. I complained and got resistance at first, which made me angry. They finally gave me a new battery, which they claim was removed from another car, leaving some other poor sap with my problem. Irresponsible! And then the replacement battery was equally weak, as determined by a Subaru mechanic. I never had such issues with any previous car.

We agree on one other thing: some people *are* stupid, though I would be cautious of such judgment if I couldn't form sentences clearer than yours. Other people, like yourself, just come across as insulting and overly quick to jump to conclusions.

Jackie (not verified)    April 24, 2023 - 5:13PM

In reply to by Matt (not verified)

I have a 2019 Subaru outback. I have now had my car towed in due to a dead battery. The second time they replaced what they called an ECM unit. This is what was suggested to the Subaru dealer to fix the issue.
This did not work because now my batter is dead for the 3rd time now. Something is draining batter. My battery is dead after about 30 to 45 days. And it is after I did not use my car for 3days. I still have not been reimbursed for my towing.

christine (not verified)    October 10, 2023 - 8:21AM

In reply to by Jackie (not verified)

I’ve been researching battery, drainage in outbacks. I too have a 2019 Subaru outback and then all of a sudden within the last year been experiencing battery drainage. I have now had a dead battery three times. It seems to be some parasitic drain I think from Starlink. What was your resolve on this matter from Subaru? I just had to put in a claim for my infortainment system as all of a sudden it has what they call apparently a ghost touch. I think they possibly have a class action suit started on this matter as well. I think I’m going to have to call Subaru again and put in a complaint about my battery. I’m hoping that they have gotten enough complaints and they will fix this problem with my battery as I am on battery number three now. So frustrating to have an unreliable car.

Jackie (not verified)    April 24, 2023 - 5:13PM

In reply to by Matt (not verified)

I have a 2019 Subaru outback. I have now had my car towed in due to a dead battery. The second time they replaced what they called an ECM unit. This is what was suggested to the Subaru dealer to fix the issue.
This did not work because now my batter is dead for the 3rd time now. Something is draining batter. My battery is dead after about 30 to 45 days. And it is after I did not use my car for 3days. I still have not been reimbursed for my towing.

P.W. (not verified)    April 16, 2023 - 2:38PM

In reply to by Russ Johnson (not verified)

I've owned my car since 2018 and I'm about to replace the battery FOR THE SECOND TIME! This is not normal and it's why people are complaining. Visit any of the forums. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. This is not normal wear & tear.

Patrick Walsh (not verified)    March 15, 2023 - 11:13AM

Extremely poorly written story! Leaves mores questions than answers. No hotline, no way to contact anywho who can answer questions! My question is: After submitting my claim successfully and receiving a claim number for having to purchase a new battery, will I receive any dollars or what do I have to do now, again, to be reimbursed. I traded the forester ergo no longer own it. Simple question! If anyone can find that answer in this article, I will be amazed. Thank you, I have since moved on. Subaru and their "feel good" ads are just hype. The product was a nightmare. Thanks for reading and responding. Enjoy your day!

Gerry Herrington (not verified)    March 18, 2023 - 12:03PM

I have a 2012 Outback that has to be started every day or the battery dies. I'm not happy the settlement only goes back to 2015 but that doesn't concern me as much as there seems to be no fix for this. I've taken it to the local dealership, before the settlement, and they acted like they had never heard of this. They blamed the battery as being defective and sold us a new one. That battery didn't last and we had to get another. I've been left stranded at 3 times because of dead batteries. We bought a new Outback in 2021 and the dealership offered us 5k for the old one as a trade in. I should have taken the deal. Why is there no fix for this?

Marilyn Varallo (not verified)    March 28, 2023 - 11:41AM

After AAA changed 3 batteries, I took the car to Subaru of Morristown. They never mentioned the drainage problem, removed a good battery, and replaced it with their own. When the car would not start again I had the battery jumped and took it back.They removed a fuse which would allow the battery to function without draining. Now I have no Bluetooth and I'm out the money for two batteries. Despicable!

Jacklyn M Portz (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 4:47PM

VIN 4sbsadc8g3321432 Claim Number P8URM-653HY
what is happening with this.

Bern Mueller (not verified)    May 9, 2023 - 2:11PM

My battery on my 2020 Forester has now left me stranded 2 times. I fully charge it but next day car won't turn over. There is a huge problems with with dead batteries on these Subarus, I was never informed by Subaru that there was a Class A Action Law suit settlement, but not clear whether I can still submit a claim for a Battery replacement> I don't want to bother going back to the dealer as they will do nothing for me except charge me for a new crappy Battery.