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Subaru Gives New Key Reasons To Dismiss Defective Windshield Lawsuit

What is going on with the Subaru cracked windshield lawsuit? See why Subaru asks the judge to dismiss the case.


The defective windshield class-action lawsuit against Subaru of America could include 2.5 million vehicles in the U.S. and cost the Camden, N.J automaker millions if the judge rules against them. Torque News reported on February, 15 new plaintiffs were added to the lawsuit. Subaru has recently added new information to the court motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The 2017-2020 model year Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent models are included in the current case. Subaru has asked the judge to dismiss the case because drivers can’t sue over models they didn’t drive.

2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, defective windshield lawsuit

According to court documents obtained by GlassBytes, Subaru stated no plaintiff has ever purchased, leased, or owned a: Subaru Legacy of any model year; any 2017 Crosstrek, Forester, or Impreza; any 2019 Impreza; or any 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, or Impreza.

The lawsuit filed last year on behalf of Christine Powell, contends 2017-19 Forester and Outback models have "dangerous" windshields that are prone to "cracking, chipping and otherwise breaking.” Subaru’s new motion to dismiss says multiple errors have been made.

2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, defective windshield lawsuit

The motion states, none of the vehicles use the same types of windshields, come from the same suppliers, and the “plaintiffs have failed to make allegations regarding the alleged windshield defect with a degree of specificity that would enable anyone else to believe the alleged problem is shared across differing model-year vehicles.”

Subaru contends the plaintiffs have never owned the model years they say have the same defective windshields. “As previously noted, that similarities exist between different model-year vehicles cannot confer standing upon plaintiffs who have never owned those vehicles,” according to court documents. Subaru is asking the court to dismiss the case for these reasons on July 6, 2020.

What should owners do if they have a cracked windshield for no apparent reason? If you own a 2017-2020 Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, or 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent model you can file a complaint with the NHTSA, or call 1-888-327-4236. Look for a future edition of Torque News for more information on this lawsuit.

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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 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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Photo credit: Subaru, Competition Subaru


Gary (not verified)    June 20, 2020 - 7:38PM

I said for three years that the windshields crack the easily. I had two that cracked in identical places in a two week span.

I won't buy another Subaru becuase replacing the front glass in tails calibrating the cameras. The camera calibration on a 2020 requires factory support.

The glass issue combined with the tires always needing to be replaced as a set, meaning all 4 at a time, is enough for me to avoid them all together.

Sonja C Folska vick (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 2:01AM

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

I bought a 2019 Subaru outback MAY a year ago..
The 3rd month of haven't this vehicle I got a crack on my windshield from going on the freeway... Little Rock hit that was it cracked and Winchell... Took a disable rule they said nothing they can do about it because a rock it... A car is 3 months old..... Just replace tire.... They wanted me to buy 4 tires... Just for one tire I needed... I paid 154 from 1 tire to be shaved to this same size of the other tires... Crazy

Lee Taplinger (not verified)    June 24, 2020 - 10:19PM

In reply to by Sonja C Folska vick (not verified)

You are so lucky that you knew or someone you know knew about tire shaving. I know 2 people who didn't know about it and the tire shop sold them 4 new tires. That's a lot of money, and needlessly spent.

Lee Taplinger (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 8:16AM

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

Agree with you about the defects but as for tire replacement, there's a computer controlling the AWD that depends on tire diameter being the same on all four tires. What many people don't know is that if one tire is ruined and the other 3 have lots of tread, you can buy one tire and find a tire shop with a shaver - it cuts the new tire down to the tread depth of the other 3. Tire shops that don't have one won't mention it and gladly sell you 4 new ones, then resell your other 3 as used.

Sam (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 4:11PM

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

The weakest point of any Subaru Outback is its windshield. 2 months after buying brand new outback 2018 the windshield crack. Now 5 months after getting my Outback 2020 the windshied cracked again due to temperature differential. I drove Honda for 10 years and all sort of chip hit the windshield witch never cracked. I am fed up and this is my last subaru in Canada.

John (not verified)    June 22, 2020 - 1:37PM

In reply to by Gary (not verified)

You don't necessarily need to replace all 4 tires. Discount tire will shave a tire down to match the tread level of the others in a set. To be honest, any AWD system will have some version of this. Especially a full time AWD. You really shouldn't even put a donut spare on the drive axel of a 2wd vehicle.

Now the windshield issue, that's actually Subaru's screwup. Especially since Eyesight calibration is such a major undertaking. I've had plenty of highway debris hit the windshield of my 18 Crosstrek, and it's held up fine. I do think some specific partod their supply chain had an issue. If it's a vendor that failed to deliver glass to spec they should be liable. If it was a Subaru internal problem, they need to track the QA problems and address them ASAP. Either way, they should extend and honor warrenty on glass.

Chris Braim (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 4:34PM

As an owner of a Subaru product and an auto glass shop owner, I personally have not seen an abnormal increase i windshield replacement. The design of these windshields is no different than any other type of vehicles.

DAVE SCHREIBER (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 6:02PM

Subaru has a point about the window glass being from a variety of suppliers and a variety time periods. It would be highly unlikely that all the suppliers were manufacturing glass with the same defect. However, they were all manufacturing the windshield to the same specifications. Is it possible that the defect wasn't in the design of the glass but in the design of the window frame? If the frame wasn't supporting the glass correctly, then it could cause the glass to break the same way multiple occasions. I would check the structure of the window frame.

Helen Weindling (not verified)    October 21, 2021 - 9:31PM

In reply to by DAVE SCHREIBER (not verified)

Your idea makes a lot of sense. I just recently had the windshield replaced (and calibration) on my 2019 Crosstrek. In July I went into a lecture hall (having noticed nothing unusual about any part of my car) and came out two hours later (it was after 9 PM, so it was dark) and almost immediately noticed a long crack in the windshield! It was truly a puzzle, because it was just a crack beginning at the passenger side about half way up, and went horizontally towards the driver side, about 18 inches! No sign of impact to the windshield, just a crack. It started at the frame, so you might be on to something!

Cheryl Marks (not verified)    June 21, 2020 - 10:59PM

I have a 2012 Legacy that I have had to replace the windshield twice due to cracking not caused by a stone. I have never had to replace a windshield on any other vehicle I've owned. Definitely not just the years mentioned. That being said, I still love my Subaru!

Derek (not verified)    June 22, 2020 - 7:17AM

So everyone is focused on the quality of the windshield? No mention that a design flaw in the frame of the vehicle could be adding stress to windshield. A slight out of alignment bend or other angle in the windshield frame could be more likely the problem. As the vehicle models in question travel the road and flex, the abnormal stress cracks the windshield.

Jeff (not verified)    June 22, 2020 - 7:59AM

Insurance pays for the camera recalibration along with the glass. Tires being replaced as a set is the norm for most all brands of all-wheel drive vehicles. Most specify a wear limit difference between the tires in case you need to replace tires. Not sure why you think this is a real problem as I always replace all 4 at a time for all my cars, all-wheel drive or not. If you take care of your tires and alignment and do rotation, they will wear evenly. As for a replacing a flat, I've never had a flat that could not be repaired in 40+ years, so never had to replace only one tire due to a flat. Mixing old and new tires is a bad idea anyway for a few reasons. (I've owned all-wheel drive vehicles since the mid-80's and currently own 4 of them--Subaru, Audi, and Toyota)

Brenda K Jacobson (not verified)    December 23, 2020 - 2:21PM

I have had two windshield replaced on my 2014 Subaru within 6 months due to cracks that have splintered across my window. I believe there are weak windshields. I have owned so many other cars that I have never had issues related to their windshields. I am upset about this especially if so many people actually got together and filed a lawsuit! I don't have much money and thought this would be my dream car. i am starting to think I was wrong.

Roland Weinhandl (not verified)    May 12, 2021 - 12:50AM

we have spent about a month trying to get our 2020 Forester windshield. We have
so far not have it replaced, the buck goes there and everywhere so far no luck.

Bruce Macdonald (not verified)    July 5, 2021 - 9:58PM

2020 Model, loaded, 18k kms, just sitting in laneway talking with people and heard a
'tink' turned around and saw crack midway up on drivers side 'a' pillar, across to mid point of windshield to below mirror. Insurance ok but deductible with dealer to be discussed tomorrow with inspection.