2009-2014 Subaru WRX, WRX STI, lawsuit, engine failure
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Hit With 3rd WRX/STI Engine Failure Lawsuit

Subaru faces a third lawsuit over alleged WRX and WRX STI 2.5-liter engine failure. See why the 2.5-L boxer is under attack again.

Subaru of America is facing another lawsuit over alleged engine defects in the 2009-2014 WRX and WRX STI performance models. Both models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbo boxer engine in which the newest lawsuit contends a flaw in the pistons causes premature engine failure.

This is the third lawsuit against Subaru’s WRX and WRX STI performance cars in the last six months. In October of last year, Torque News reported Subaru of America (SOA) had a lawsuit filed against them claiming "an insufficient supply" of oil to connecting rod bearings caused engine failure from metal shavings in the oil in 2013-2014 WRX and WRX STI models. In December, a second lawsuit was filed 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.

The Courier Post reports a third lawsuit has been filed again Subaru of America. The article says, 2009-2014 WRX and WRX STI performance models have “improperly designed and manufactured pistons.” The lawsuit contends cracks in the piston ring lands, (separations between the piston rings) can cause complete engine failure and subject owners to costly repairs.

This third lawsuit was filed last week on March 18, by Christopher Thompson, a Subaru WRX STI owner from California, who is seeking more than $5 million in damages. Thompson’s attorney, Gary Graifman with the law firm Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. of Chestnut Ridge, New York, declined to comment in the Courier Post story.

The third lawsuit says Subaru Corporation used modified 2.5-liter engines from Forester XT and some Outback turbo models and pumped up performance to provide nearly twice as much horsepower for the WRX and WRX STI models. The lawsuit contends the changes in the high-performance cars were made in a way that was cheaper for Subaru but “did not include necessary internal engine modifications to prevent damage to the piston ring lands and left the piston “more brittle” leading to engine failure. The suit also alleges Federal clean air standards led the Japanese automaker to make adjustments “that further strained the already overstressed internal engine components.”

All three of the lawsuits assert Subaru of America and Japanese parent company, Subaru Corp., concealed the alleged problems from customers. With thousands of 2009-2014 Subaru WRX and WRX STI sedan and hatch models on the road, there’s the potential to cost Subaru millions. Michael McHale, Director of Corporate Communication for Subaru, told the Courier Post, "We deny the claims and point to the long history of WRX sales" he said Wednesday. Stay tuned.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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I have 2012 and 2013 Sti. Both engine failed at around 60K miles. Subaru rebuilded first with resulting in hudge oil consumptions. I am lucky enough to have enough $$ and I took care of them elswhere. Subaru lost its quality after 2008. Be aware!
From Subaru: "Michael McHale, Director of Corporate Communication for Subaru, told the Courier Post, "We deny the claims and point to the long history of WRX sales". Typical Subaru response - deny, deny, deny, - and accept zero responsibility for their defective products.
Lost my 2013 WRX to catastrophic engine failure at 67,000 miles. Got a ton of backlash from, and was highly disrespected by the company from which I bought it from and will likely never purchase another Subaru product.
It happened to my 2011 subaru!!
Nearly everyone that I know who has/had a 2008-2014 wrx/2008-2016 sti have engine failure. SOA needs to provide free warranty repair. And don’t just put another faulty engine in. Fix the ringland issue before putting another junk motor in the cars.
So what changed in 2008 with the EJ25 that was different than previous turbo EJ25s? Also curious if the cars involved in the lawsuits were stock or modified in any way? Hate to hear the EJ25s have given some people issues, especially when there are so many stories of the EJ20s running faithfully past 200k for people.
Nothing really. I have an 07 with ringland failure at 78k. Its my understanding that the shortblocks are identical.
2010 wrx @90k rod bearing knock due to oiling issue. Typical Subaru denying fault. Even after purchasing extended bumper to bumper warrantee they deny any fault within a week after driving off the lot.
Bought a 2009 STI brand new.. Started knocking at 40,000 miles. I own a truck repair shop. Do my own oil changes. Local dealer broke my balls. No oil change receipts. After a month, they replaced the short block. At 10,000 miles, I did intake, exhaust and tune by a great shop. Drove that motor for 140,000 miles. started to miss due to one cyl, low compression. Installed a new short block, did the heads, all by the same shop. added a header, car about to hit 200,000 miles. Best car I ever owned. plenty of power to have fun, but I'm not abusive. Original clutch!!! love this car
Would a Crawford Air/Oil seperator help with preventing this issue?
Im hopin so. Bought one with a new short block from subaru. My logic is that reduced oil in the intake will prevent dillution of the fuel and reduce detonation.
Put almost 80k on my stock 09 sti and sold it after buying a ‘12. Guy that bought it had ringland failure and blew it up 2 days later. Lucky me I guess
I must be one of the lucky ones. At 96,000 miles on my 2011 STI and don’t have any issues. Constantly beat the hell out of it and it’s still running smooth and strong. I usually use Royal Purple and once in a blue moon Castrol full synthetic 5w-30. Oil changes on time and proper maintenance is very important, timing belt change coming up very soon..
Happend to my 2013 subaru sti. 4815 miles on the car cracked piston ring and subaru denied any responsibility.
My 2010 WRX at 34k miles was consuming 1-1.5 quarts of oil per week. My power steering rack started leaking like crazy. Then my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear syncros all died. Once my turbo started blowing more smoke than Snoop Dogg, I had enough! At first they tried giving me crap for not having receipts for one oil change... But once I raised my voice and started fighting them about it they quickly folded. They replaced my entire long block, transmission, turbo, power steering rack, radiator, pretty much everything under the hood except for the intercooler. Didn't charge me anything for it. I was very happy, and drove the car another 90k miles with 0 problems before selling it!
My 2014 WRX hatch spun a rod bearing @ 23,000 miles. Subaru denied warranty stating “lack of lubrication”. They quoted me $10,000 to replace the engine. It took me almost 2 years to save the money and had to fix it myself. It was the biggest nightmare. I drove a $500 car while it sat in the backyard of a friend. I spent $6500 out of my own pocket and countless hours rebuilding and locating where each bolt went. Literally all bolts were in one box, thanks Subaru. I had the car for 4 months when it happened. I did buy it used with 12k miles.