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Subaru Gets Hit With 2nd WRX STI Engine Failure Lawsuit

Subaru gets hit with a second lawsuit targeting the Subaru WRX and WRX STI 2.5L boxer claiming more engine failures.


Subaru is under fire this week as their WRX/STI 2.5L engine is under attack again. They were just hit with another class-action lawsuit, the second time this year, against their WRX and WRX STI performance cars. In October of this year, Torque News reported Subaru of America (SOA) had a lawsuit filed against them claiming an engine defect in 2013-2014 WRX and WRX STI models. Now, The Courier Post reports a second lawsuit was filed this week claiming a crankshaft defect can cause “premature catastrophic engine failure” in 2009-2014 Subaru WRX and WRX STI powered by a 2.5-liter turbo boxer engine.

This second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Missouri resident Michael Augustine, whose 2010 Subaru WRX experienced engine failure in November 2016. The suit contends automotive engines typically should last for at least 120,000 miles but those with the high-performance 2.5L turbocharged engine “often fail at less than 50 percent of their reasonably expected useful life.”

It says Augustine’s WRX engine failed at 73,000 miles, and he claimed the breakdown occurred close to home, but added, “I feel that an issue like this could present an unsafe situation were it to happen on the many long road trips that I take, often in unpopulated or rural areas."

Augustine says it will cost him $6,000 to $8,000 to replace the engine block in his 2010 Subaru WRX. The lawsuit filed in the Camden, New Jersey court is seeking more than $5 million in damages for people who owned or leased the 2009-2014 Subaru WRX and WRX STI models, and calls the alleged defect “a serious safety issue” because the vehicle’s “sudden power loss and/or stalling severely compromises the owner's ability to maintain vehicle control.”

This second lawsuit goes on to say the defective 2.5-liter turbo engines are “high performance versions” of the same engines used in other Subaru models, like the Forester XT, that earned WardsAuto "10 Best Engines" award, and Outback turbo versions, and says Subaru “nearly doubled the horsepower, but failed to make necessary changes to prevent damage to the connecting rod bearings and main crankshaft bearings.”

The class-action lawsuit contends the problem in the WRX/STI 2.5-liter engine was “further exacerbated by inadequate oil lubrication to the bearings and crankshaft” causing “sudden and catastrophic engine self-destruction as overheated internal parts seize” and by “severe driving conditions.” The suit estimates the number of WRX/STI owners could number more than 100,000 people.

The Courier Post reached out to Michael McHale, Director of Corporate Communication for Subaru, who said, “We will investigate this claim, but in general we stand by the engine in question, which has a long history of proven performance.”

What do our readers think? Do you think these lawsuits against Subaru’s 2009-2014 WRX and WRX STI 2.5L turbo boxer engines are accurate, or driver error? If you think this article would interest your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.

Photo credit: Subaru USA


Mark Day (not verified)    December 22, 2017 - 6:07PM

It's worse: Nothing is perfect, but a company should step-up when problems arise – Subaru hasn't, and doesn't, hence the lawsuits.

ScottK (not verified)    December 23, 2017 - 2:54PM

The engines fail. My 2013 WRX not modded and not driven very hard had to have engine rebuilt at 100k. My friends at 65k. Subaru has not stepped up to back their product failure caused by their defects

Ken Irvine (not verified)    December 23, 2017 - 2:55PM

Give me a break! With hi performance engines, life expectancy is never as good as with lower rated versions. They are driven much harder so even though they have improved internal parts, they can still be broken. Then there is a question of enough maintenance.

Kevin wilson (not verified)    December 27, 2017 - 7:45AM

Christmas Eve in the middle of the Scottish Highlands we experienced total failure in our 2007 2.5 Sti. 56k miles full service history and to be honest it’s never had a hard day in its life. It’s going to be an expensive Christmas! Subaru UK are as unhelpful as ever so will investigate if any civil actions have been taken against them here.

gabriel (not verified)    December 29, 2017 - 10:57PM

subaru it's a disgrace regardless TOYOTA owns about 16% of the company! their boxer or flat six engines are useless for a man driving more than 20000 km or 12000 miles a year! uncomparable to my 1990 BMW E34 520i M20B20 straight six engine car! it's at almost 250000 kms ,it's almost 28 years old and runs like new,normal fuel consumption,normal oil consumption 150ml per 1000 kms, normal top speed 205 km/h,normal everything! if it weren't for some rust spots I would say this car is perfect! I would buy it again NEW or get naughty and buy a 535i M30B35 straight six engine! these engines can run for 800000-1000000 milion kms! take that subaru! and think about it!

Guy Gonzalez (not verified)    January 10, 2018 - 1:37PM

from my experience i would have them replace the whole freaking thing. Ive have the shortblock on my 13 replaced and it was never the same hatch after that, but dealers when they have to warranty anything especially like (pacific in Hawthorne) they do only whats needed and narrow it down to the least amount of work possible
when its not a warranty item they have to take responsibility for they want to replace everything including your shoelaces and charge you premium for everything, thats their game on my 17 i have a full warranty and even tire hazard insurance, the dealer i goto now is trustworthy since i service all my cars with them.

i would seriously get a second opinion at a different dealer before they take her apart and then tell you shes all good, mind you down the road if they even for a min missed the timing and or a torque spec-- it will be all on you then they with use the line driver error ( and run it up to S/USA and vote on your cause )
service records are a very important ammunition to keep too..

Greg (not verified)    January 19, 2018 - 2:48PM

My 2012 WRX STi engine spun three bearings at 19,000 miles. The engine was full of oil at the time, and oil was changed every 3,000 miles (superior oil with OEM filter). Pistons & ringlands were fine with no sign of detonation. Engine failed when driving on the highway. I took the off-ramp and the engine died when I came to a stop. I sent the entire long-block to IAG to rebuild correctly.

Jake (not verified)    February 25, 2018 - 8:57PM

In reply to by Greg (not verified)

Mine spun bearing #3 at 29,000 miles. Subaru denied my warranty, everything checked out except for the fact hat I didn’t have oil filter receipts, I have plenty of oil jugs, a aftermarket filter on it and bad ( not horrible) oil that has been changed out but kept because I haven’t disposed of it to prove changes. But nope, they want 9,000$ to replace everything because I don’t have the oil filter receipts, oil looks golden still which would also say something about it being changed. Only aftermarket parts are my spt exhaust which is Subaru factory installed. Time to forge it If Subaru won’t pay

David (not verified)    April 11, 2018 - 10:54AM

The girlfriend has a 2012 STI and her engine just randomly failed while she was driving at about 45 MPH on a local street. She has her scheduled oil changes and maintenance done at the dealership, so she spends top dollar to keep the car tip top. She just finished paying $1500 to have her rack and pinion changed, which I found odd since the car has under 47k miles on it. Now the engine is going to need replacing? This car is female driven, never raced around and doesn't have a single modification done to it. There has to be something wrong here. We shall see what Subaru does to support their customer, because for her to have to lay down $8k on a new engine when she is barely 10k outside of warranty...would be insane and terrible representation of their product.

Mark Day (not verified)    April 12, 2018 - 1:56PM

The difference: A 2012 Toyota RAV4 V6 I have had a noisy transaxle – functioned normally. Toyota had a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) regarding the issue. Took my vehicle to the dealer, explained the situation (with TSB in hand) and it was replaced – about a $6k job. The new transaxle is the quietest gear-driven anything I've ever experienced.

Aldo (not verified)    May 8, 2018 - 2:54AM

My 2012 Subaru WRX STI just gave out BEFORE CHRISTMAS, so i was driving home and i came out of the freeway and down shifted to slow down *was about 4k in revs* and it just died im here slamming the brakes just bearly made it, im trying to restarted and nope nothing so i push it to the side *i was APPERENTLY blocking the exit* so i take it to the dealer i get smaked with $5,588.34 w...... wut..... apperently my Connecting rod gave out and i also need a new block wu... wut.......... i had $2300 in my hand just in case keep in mind im at 77k miles on my sti everything is original nothing has been replaced except for the air bags *recall*

gil (not verified)    November 26, 2018 - 6:24PM

2016 sti engine failure, rod bearing problem... 30,000 miles. I had backed up Subaru as a customer for a long time.. but now, im done with Subaru!

James Holland (not verified)    December 2, 2018 - 9:43PM

My 2014 Subaru WRX STI has 53,500 miles on it and the motor has given too. Suspected connecting rod and main bearing. Currently waiting to see what’s the best option to pursue.

Gil (not verified)    December 4, 2018 - 3:19PM

In reply to by James Holland (not verified)

Yea same here.. it’s at Av Subaru now being torn apart for inspection.. I have bad feeling they are gonna try to put the blame on me so the warranty doesn’t cover it.. will find out this week. Really sucks!! Keep me posted on what happens on your end

Rodel Rodrigo (not verified)    February 1, 2019 - 11:22PM

My newly bought 2019 wrx sti with 10k miles,just broke down in the middle of the freeway. I was cruising at 65 mph and the engine lights flashed; the engine knocked louder and louder as tried to move it to the shoulder. I’ll get the findings after the weekend

John (not verified)    February 22, 2019 - 1:08PM

2008 sti w 128000 miles modded to stage 1 with Cobb access port and SPT sports exhaust. No issues whatsoever other than replacing power steering pump at 9k due to excessive noise. Replace oil every 3000 to 3500 miles. Driven hard and autocross. Guess I am one of the lucky ones.

Marshall Sachtleben (not verified)    March 23, 2019 - 11:26AM

Had to rebuild my 2012 sti with 30k miles for $7000 without any help from Subaru!! My car was well maintained. Slightly modified by a very reputable tuning company and driven to the limits expected of an sti! This is a off the lot racecar we are talking about here. If it can’t handle 30k of truth be told light to moderate wear then Subaru needs to step back from producing cars that can’t handle their own power! Not to mention these cars see about a 30% failure!!! From a company with a reputation so “precious” you would think they would tend to their customers instead of instantly trying to take them to court and hide the cases from the public.

Tommie (not verified)    May 1, 2019 - 5:07PM

I am curious to find out what blog platform you are using?
I'm having some small security problems with my
latest site and I would like to find something more secure.
Do you have any solutions?

Lou (not verified)    October 15, 2019 - 12:29AM

I have a 2018 wax sti whose engine just blew at 30000 miles n less than 10 months. Dealership trying to put blame on my driving. Help

Waleed (not verified)    December 2, 2019 - 6:55PM

One of my pistons cracked on my 2015 STI and caused ofcourse total engine failure after just performing a major maintenance as per Subaru's recommended schedule, the car had 0 mods and just at 80,000 KM

joshua peretti (not verified)    July 3, 2020 - 5:16PM

i have a 2011 with 33k on it, the piston rod shattered in the block destorying the block have yet to fix it but its completely done.