Skip to main content

Subaru Disables Starlink In All 2022 Models At Its Largest U.S. Retailer

Subaru has disabled its Starlink suite of onboard technology at its largest Subaru retailer. See why a Massachusetts right-to-repair law has caused the disruption.

Subaru of America has disabled its Starlink in-vehicle technology at its largest independent retailer, Subaru of New England. In all 2022 Subaru vehicles, including the 2022 Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs, sold in Massachusetts, a right-to-repair law is the subject of a dispute in federal court between the state and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

A report from Automotive News (by subscription) says Dominick Infante, director of Communications for Subaru of America, confirmed that they implemented the decision to disable its Starlink service in Massachusetts before the new vehicles began arriving. Subaru of New England, owned by Ernie Boch Jr., CEO of Boch Enterprises, is the independent distributor for all 21 Subaru dealerships in Massachusetts.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outbacktelematics hardware and software to comply with the new law's requirements, we feel that this is our only option."

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Subaru of New England

The legal battle is over a Massachusetts right-to-repair law enacted by voters last year that expanded access to data related to vehicle maintenance and repair.

The law requires cars sold in the state to equip new 2022 vehicles "that use telematics systems, which collect and wirelessly transmit mechanical data to a remote server, with a standardized, open-access data platform," according to the Automotive News report.

In Massachusetts, Subaru and other automakers could face potential fines of up to $10,000 per vehicle for violating the updated right-to-repair law if it is upheld in court.

Until then, Subaru's largest independent retailer, Subaru of New England, cannot sell a 2022 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or other new 2022 models with its Starlink onboard technology.

You Might Also Like: The Average 12-Month Repair Costs You'll Spend On Every New Subaru Model

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.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Main image - Subaru of New England


jg (not verified)    November 9, 2021 - 12:10PM

Awesome response to idiotic lawmakers not knowing how technology works. Will be interesting to see what the other manufacturers that have more integrated systems will do. Personally, I think there ought to be in-car access to all that data (including visual data from cameras) but I'll bet laws like this end up creating systems that will compromise/leak personal information from a "centralized location" (there's no such thing as a "standardized" server without global and federal collaboration for years).

sean juroviesky (not verified)    November 9, 2021 - 1:17PM

In reply to by jg (not verified)

This has nothing to do with lawmakers not knowing what they are doing, this is a bullshit move by Subaru because they don't want to comply with the law. They can easily meet the needs of the law without any major changes.

Bruce Boyes (not verified)    November 9, 2021 - 1:27PM

Good for MA. But this ‘solution’ throws the baby out with the bath water. Let’s hope reason returns soon. If I buy a car do I have access to its data? I’d hope so. There are standardized OBD connectors and data streams for 20 years now. There was a situation years ago where a major DSLR camera maker wanted their new image storage format to be secret and proprietary and require you to use only their software to access your photos! How absurd is that? It didn’t last long and now we have standard raw image formats like Adobe DNG. Similar story here. I should be able to access maintenance data on my own car when I want to, like before or during a long trip in the desert. That’s a safety issue. I want more than the Check Engine light.

Joe Gooder (not verified)    November 9, 2021 - 9:13PM

@ jg- "there's no such thing as a "standardized" server". Actually, its as simple as them installing 'Ubuntu' and open sourcing the code for their software that recieves the data, and allow it to connect via USB as well as Wireless Cellphone Connections.

"not know how technology works"

when i pay 30k+ on a car I should be able to know what private data it is selling, strange that you would support subaru's stance unless you are a car salesman for the company.

Joe (not verified)    November 10, 2021 - 9:48AM

You aught to just close the facility and move it across the boarder to NH or CT. Why waste all that money on litigation you deserve to lose? MA has the right to set its own rules and you shouldn’t waste my investment money fighting something so trivial. Of MA doesn’t want Subarus business then simply leave the state.

Joe (not verified)    November 10, 2021 - 9:54AM

I was a huge Subaru fan until right now. I’ll work on getting rid of both my Subarus asap while they decide to disregard our rights. For now I’m selling all my FUJHY shares. Hope you’re happy Subaru you just lost a lifelong customer.

Scott (not verified)    November 11, 2021 - 1:30AM

Centralized Server ... Sounds like someone wants easy access to track every movement because big brother wants to charge everyone who is not on 'official' business ie. The rich and famous while us peasants see our ability to move freely restricted and when we do move states it'll cost a whole bucket load of cash.

Cash Biden and friends is going to make worse and harder to earn because they keep wanting to shut off our ability to be independent...

Guy and his cronies have lost their minds #LetsGoBrandon

Jrod (not verified)    May 8, 2022 - 8:49AM

In reply to by Scott (not verified)

You are an idiot if you had any clue as to the info the trump administration was stealing from everyone and you want to put this on biden alone your a fool.. but keep thinking the most crooked administration in history (aka the trump administration) didn't steal your info for their own personal gain you truly are an idiot.. every administration does it and has been doing it since the 70's

sean (not verified)    November 11, 2021 - 6:14PM

Scott you're an idiot with no understanding of what any of those words mean. This literally give you possession of your own data.

You illiterate imbeciles are dragging this country to hell on your way out.

Fuck off boomer.

Pete D (not verified)    December 10, 2021 - 10:42PM

In reply to by sean (not verified)

+1 Sean - Scott’s misinformed on a variety of topics.

I just bought a 2022 subaru and found this restriction out the hard way. I called subaru and asked for an official statement from the company for their rationale. They wouldn’t provide one and instead offered some customer service $$.

Subaru can easily choose - today - to comply with the law without disabling starlink entirely. The right to repair law does not require them to share every bit of data - just what is relevant to repairing the car that is not available via other means - a loophole auto manufacturers are allegedly beginning to exploit. It will be interesting to see what other manufacturers are doing for 2022. I haven’t heard of any company other than Subaru. When Toyota and Honda and every other company with telemetrics figures out the unsolvable problem of how to comply without disabling their telemetrics entirely I will bet Subaru will miraculously also figure it out.

I’m a new subaru customer, disappointed by this, hoping the company comes to its senses.

Joseph Arshawsky (not verified)    March 8, 2023 - 7:41AM

Subaru can do whatever it wants. The Brattleboro (VT) Subaru dealer did not tell me what features Subaru of America, Inc. would be disabling if I registered the vehicle in Massachusetts. The Right to Repair law only applies to vehicles SOLD in Massachusetts. They won’t fix my car. IT IS NOW DANGEROUS and it is a 2022 OUTBACK with less than 4000 miles on it! I will never buy a Subaru again. 3rd and last. I am filing lawsuits against everybody. This is bulls**T!