In the Subaru battery drain class-action lawsuit, Torque News recently reported a new ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey that largely denied Subaru's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' consolidated class action complaint. The class-action lawsuit alleges 2015-2020 Subaru Outback and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent SUVs have electrical problems causing the battery to drain.
The lawsuit also includes 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy, and 2015-2020 Subaru WRX models. A recent ruling by New Jersey Court Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez says multiple claims against Subaru of America related to Subaru Forester and Legacy models are dismissed. The judge did not dismiss claims related to the 2015-2020 Subaru WRX models.
Subaru argued those vehicles should not be included in the battery class action lawsuit because none of the plaintiffs owned or leased Foresters or Legacy vehicles. The judge agreed and ruled none of the plaintiffs could have been harmed by a Subaru model they never owned or leased.
Subaru battery drain lawsuit background
The plaintiffs allege that the 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy, 2015-2020 Subaru WRX, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent suffer from a common defect which causes the vehicles' batteries to drain quickly and which renders their cars inoperable.
The Subaru class vehicles above contain the same electrical system called a Controller Area Network ("CAN"), through which the vehicles' "components like electronic units, microcontrollers, devices, sensors, and actuators communicate."
When the vehicle is in use, the CAN system in the car relies on an electrical current to be operated as intended. When the vehicle is not being driven, the CAN system should enter a sleep mode in which it stops drawing significant electrical current.
However, plaintiffs allege the CANs in the class vehicles do not enter sleep mode when the car turns off, resulting in a "parasitic battery drain." Causes of this parasitic battery drain include "software errors."
Plaintiffs claim that replacing batteries in their Subaru vehicles does not ensure that owners can operate their cars. The plaintiffs also allege that vehicle batteries are not designed to be continually drained down to low volumes of power. The defect, therefore, makes it necessary to replace the battery in their cars far more often than is typical with other, non-defective vehicles. Owners say they must replace their batteries frequently as a result.
What should 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent, and 2015-2020 Subaru WRX owners do if you have experienced the same battery issues? You should first report a problem to the NHTSA. If you would like more information, you can contact lawyers Benjamin F. Johns and Alex M. Kashurba here.
The 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent, and 2015-2020 Subaru WRX models are still included in the Subaru battery drain lawsuit. Claims against Subaru of America related to Subaru Forester and Legacy models are dismissed.
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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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