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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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!
I have a ‘13 and at 67K the engine blew in mine. No modifications done, I emailed Subaru about what happened after hearing this and it’s been over a year and no response yet
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.
Sent from my iPhone Begin forwarded message: From: Subaru Ambassador Headquarters <[email protected]> Date: September 24, 2018 at 10:00:28 AM PDT To: Marlene Shibayama <[email protected]> Subject: RE: 2013 WRX Hello Marlene, Thank you for reaching out to us. For any issues or concerns relating to your Subaru vehicle, please reach out to Subaru Customer Service at 800-782-2783 or you can email them at [email protected] They should be able to direct you to the appropriate dept. to address your vehicle concerns below. Best Regards, Marlene S Subaru Ambassador HQ Client Relations 800-779-6965 -----Original Message----- From: Marlene Shibayama <[email protected]> Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2018 1:03 PM To: Subaru Ambassador Headquarters <[email protected]> Cc: Ernie <[email protected]> Subject: 2013 WRX Greetings, I am a second owner of a 2013 WRX 2.5, liter turbo charged, EJ engine that has 38k before having engine failure. The engine failure was due to rod, bearing and oil contamination. With only having 38k on the engine (breaking in period), this has been a very unbelievable experience until seeing other Subaru owners going through the same issues, I have gone through. After more investigation I am now reading about countless numbers of complaints against Subaru and a settlement from Subaru due to engine failure with the same engine problems I have had. This is only the beginning of a long troublesome experience of events, from car rentals to overtime work in order to accumulate money ($6000 plus), for engine repairs to be more precise a new short block. I could easily continue on about loss of value on our car and the undependability we have of driving our car due to the chances of engine failure again.
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.
I have a 2012 wrx. Had my motor replaced at 65k by Warranty due to insufficient oil causing a thrown rod. I had the oil changed the week before. They decided to put a used motor in with 15k and it hasn't ran the same since, and the warranty company won't work with me any more. I love these cars and this is my first one that I have owned, to be honest I get frustrated every time I drive it.
I have a 2013 sti which blew up the first time at 47,000 mile which they replaced the block heads turbo that they down graded to a wrx turbo just to have it blow up the second time at 67000 miles on a road trip now my car sits at the Reno dealer ship where they are denying my claim
Hey! I was wondering what the outcome of your situation was. I'm going through the exact same thing right now, rebuilt at 46k and now knocking at 73k and they've also denied my claim.
Didn't they swap the wrx to the larger sti turbo in 2009 and it's just turned down? P.s. 2009 wrx here with 111k miles, JUST replaced timing belt and all 4 idler pullies for $1100. Engine pulls strong but I have injector Rick or something and had my throw out bearing blow apart and destroy my clutch and wear the nose of my transmission right off, that all cost me $2200 just this past December. $3500 spent and the only performance mods I have are my license plate relocator and my rally armor mud flaps and my DBA rotors and hawk pads. But yea....
I have a 2014 STI hatch, 6,000 miles, hope I don't have catastriophic failure, but I don't get on boost until after 3K RPM. Checked oil this morning, was a quart low. Very surprising as the car is RARELY driven hard. Time will tell................
I just had my Subaru Forester's (2013) engine develop a "rod-knock". It is at the authorized service center right now. Their diagnosis was that the engine needs to be replaced and they "think" it will be covered by the Warranty. Please guys, let me know what stack of paperwork I should prepare to justify the warranty coverage, or fight a denial of coverage. What address/phone should I contact to fight a denial? Many thanks in advance. I will post updates on my case.
2016 pre egnition engine failure led to my spark plugs melting into internals and motors was replaced under warranty. FA motore 16 models are coming in waves. Not enough to cause a recall yet when you have to replace the FA motore twice would be a sign that there is risk to be managed post haste with this model.
Update: The warranty company (First Extended Warranty Corp.) got the engine replaced. It took a month for the approval to come by and a few days for the replacement to be done. Paid for a rental car out of pocket for the whole time. Do not buy a Subaru.....they are not reliable.
My 2015 sti (100% stock) had a blown motor at 37,000 miles, with my wife and kids in the middle of nowhere coming back from a road trip. I've had 6 subaru's and I use to think Subarus were bullet proof until this happened. Subaru of America doesn't care and wont help. If you want them to respond you will need a lawyer! Don't try to be a nice guy... The dealer took 74 days to complete repairs since according to them, the had a huge backlog of blown engines. Im now stuck with a car I don't trust, and has lost value. I will trade in soon and they just lost a very loyal customer. Anyone on the fence over buying a Subaru, stay away!!!
Whst state did this happen in? I know within Nevada if repairs surpass 30 days lemon law triumphs dealership in civil court of law. Engine replace very grateful for the warranty however poor workmanship at the dealership in Las Vegas led to manifold replacement due to forgetting to put the gasket when dropping warranty motor in. In addition to the 7 quarts of oil new motor had to tolerate of back pressure it tolerated for 4 months This led to turbo burning out, driving around for four months yet all is up to spec is what I was told. Not even one check engine light no codes and back on the road with faulty sensors that do me no good. Frustrated, loosing faith in this brand and getting to a point of distrust. Hang in there and keep updateing if possible. Aloha.
Just had this happen for the second time. First time was exactly 1 year before this most recent one. I've never had anything like this happen to any other car. I've always heard such good things about Subarus, but I guess they dont make them like they used to.