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Subaru Hit With Another Lawsuit Over Forester, Outback, Crosstrek Defective Windshields

Subaru has more bad news than good news in October. See what is happening to some new 2017-2019 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek windshields.

Subaru of America (SOA) can’t seem to catch a break and is now hit with its second class-action lawsuit in two weeks. Torque News reported on October 16, Subaru and Toyota have a new lawsuit over recall repairs on the BRZ and Toyota 86 causing engine fires. A new class-action lawsuit filed this week seeks damages against Subaru for the drivers of 2017-2019 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek models alleged to have defective windshields.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Christine Powell by attorney Peter Muhic of Philadelphia and attorneys for a Pittsburgh-based firm, Carlson Lynch LLC, contends 2017-19 Forester and Outback models have "dangerous" windshields that are prone to "cracking, chipping and otherwise breaking.”

2017-2019 Subaru Outback windshields2017-2019 Subaru Outback windshields

A similar windshield lawsuit was filed against SOA in 2017 claiming the 2015-2016 Subaru Outback and Legacy model’s windshield were spontaneously breaking. A judge ruled the plaintiff had sufficiently alleged claims on behalf of a proposed class of California drivers under a mix of state and federal consumer protection, unfair competition and warranty laws. The California judge ruled Subaru knew of the defects and the plaintiffs received compensation in that lawsuit.

The recent lawsuit says replacement windshields for 2017-2019 Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek models are not fixing the problem and contends the defect prevents "the safe and proper operation" of technology intended to prevent collisions. Subaru uses a driver assist safety system attached to the inside of the upper windshield and the lawsuit contends cracks in the windshield hamper the EyeSight safety system from working properly.

2019 Subaru Forester2019 Subaru Forester

Powell, a Wisconsin woman, says the windshield on her 2018 Subaru Forester cracked twice in an 18-month period. The suit says Subaru will not cover the cost of a new windshield or pay for recalibrating the vehicles' EyeSight driver-assist system which can cost from $1,000 to $2,000.

Torque News checked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website and found numerous complaints about Outback and Forester windshields cracking, and some while the car is parked.

2017-2019 Subaru CrosstrekSubaru Crosstrek

What should Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek owners do?

If you own a 2017-2019 Subaru Outback, Forester, or Crosstrek and have experienced a cracked windshield for no apparent reason, you can file a complaint with the NHTSA by going to this website link, or call 1-888-327-4236. Or you can submit your contact information here and an attorney from Carlson Lynch will be in touch to review your case further.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Resumes Production Of New Forester And Crosstrek, Expect Delays If You Want One

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Gerald S Wright (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 12:07PM

2019 outback windshield cracked halfway across last week and estimated cost is $1200.00.
Not covered in the protection plan I purchased.

wendy (not verified)    January 27, 2020 - 3:09PM

In reply to by Gerald S Wright (not verified)

I have had eleven (11) windshields replaced in my 2017 Subaru Forrester since the day I bought it in October 2016. I believe this is a record of windshield replacements in one vehicle.

Murray Wells (not verified)    May 30, 2020 - 10:10PM

In reply to by Gerald S Wright (not verified)

I have owned Subaru's since 1986,mainly new and changed every 3 years. Currently a 2018 made in Japan Outback premium. Never had a windscreen problem. I live in Auckland NZ

Joseph Sebal (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 12:28PM

I replaced a 2016 forester windshield 2 week after purchase and had chips repaired on a 2019 already

Lois (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 2:15PM

In reply to by Joseph Sebal (not verified)

Go on car for the many problems with Subaru. I have 2015 worst of the worst. I wouldn’t have another one if they gave it to me. Way too many expensive dangerous problems. Thought I was getting the best. So disappointed.

Brian (not verified)    June 30, 2020 - 1:33PM

In reply to by Lois (not verified)

Why are these comments not posted publicly?
I owned a 2010 Suburu Outback 3.6L. It is the worst car I ever owned! The last 6 months I owned the he car cost me $7,000 in repairs. I also experienced the inherent problems of replacing all the exterior light bulbs to the car twice. I also replaced the windshield twice in 3 years. I love the type of car the Suburu is but the reliability of the Suburu is terrible. I’ve owned a Ford Explorer & Expedition which I drove both over 200,000 miles. I did not have anywhere near the repairs I did with the Suburu which only had 122,000 miles on it before the accelerator stuck and the car hit a tree and was totaled. I had always wanted a Suburu and I was extremely disappointed and will not buy another one. (And btw, this was the short story of the Suburu repairs).

Arnold Milstein (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 2:16PM

I bought a 2020 Outback on September 19th in Florida. On October 17th I came out of my house in New Jersey to find a crack in the windshield. I took it to the dealership and they said it was from a chip and the cooler weather caused it to crack. It sounds plausible, but now I wonder.

Patrick Keegan (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 4:28PM

Your product knowledge seems lacking.. Today's comments re: Outback engines and horse power. Subaru no longer makes a 3.6 engine. It was a 6 cylinder engine. You suggested in your article that it was one of two choices. Please update the information given to the public.

Rodney A Bennett (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 5:54PM

It is very important to have all rock strike chips immediately repaired as the heating element on the bottom of the windshield WILL cause it to crack during cold weather...
I live in a quasi rural area where a lot of idiots have monster tires that extend past their fenders.
I have had two rock strikes because of these morons at $45.00 each to repair, so far my windshield has not cracked.

Matt (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 3:16PM

In reply to by Karen Henion (not verified)

I have a 2018 outback, already gotten 3 chips repairs within a 1 year ownership and a mysterious crack formed on my lower passenger side of the windshield. Waiting for it to get larger before I spend the money of getting it replaced. It's quite depressing as my 2003 acura has been hit with rocks on multiple occasions and it still has the OEM glass that was on the car the day it came off the lot. I thought it was just my luck but after seeing this article I'm wondering if its just the crap glass they use.

thomas h parisi (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 8:58PM

My wife has a 2017 Outback and I know a rock or road debris hit the windshield but we have so many 100's of snow like chips in this windshield like if we drove through a dust storm, I know what those are as we had lived in Phoenix for 30+years. And now are in the Midwest

Digitaldoc (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 10:22PM

Subaru needs to seriously work on these recurrent quality issues and recalls. It is disappointing to see these types of things. Hope they get it worked out soon.

Sirius Black (not verified)    October 27, 2019 - 11:50PM

First of all I think Subaru didn't know they were defective and the California lawyers are nuts. Second perhaps people should actually LEARN TO DRIVE so they don't NEED the driver assist system to get around. Lastly windshields even defective ones don't just spontaneously crack. Start looking for the ACTUAL reasons your windshields are cracking people.

Love My Outback (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 8:36PM

In reply to by Sirius Black (not verified)

Dear Sirius,
Safe driving, always important. Point well taken. Been driving safely for 45 years. However, Subaru offered a product with certain driver assist features. Necessary to the driver assist features was a windshield specifically engineered to allow a camera to accurately capture images through the windshield. Now, I would agree that windshield chips and cracks don’t occur spontaneously. However, when a windshield is measurably more subject to chips or cracks due to impact of foreign objects or variations in temperature than an ordinary windshield because of the specific engineering of the windshield to enable the delivery of driver assist, that is not ‘spontaneous.’ That is cause and effect. But not within acceptable tolerance. That is the defining characteristic of a defect. Frankly, I bought my Outback because I loved the car. Still do. This particular vehicle was equipped with driver assist. Fine by me. Less than two months after buying the car, I noticed a tiny crack in the windshield. I have no idea when it occurred. I’ve been driving a long time and this has happened on other cars. But I always heard it and knew it when it happened. Subaru didn’t offer to sell me a car with a windshield measurably more subject to chips or cracks due to impact of foreign objects or variations in temperature that would not ordinarily damage windshields commonly provided. If they did, who would buy it? Why yes, please. I’ll take the windshield more easily damaged. This is not about judging people for having vehicles with driver assist. It’s about buying a defective product. Period. I didn’t sign on for that. I still love my car, but there it is.

Steve (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 8:49PM

In reply to by Sirius Black (not verified)

Yes these windows do just crack on their own. Ours cracked and they was nobody around us at all. I checked the windshield and absolutely no chips etc. it just cracked acrothe entire windshield.

Fran S. (not verified)    November 26, 2019 - 12:38PM

In reply to by Sirius Black (not verified)

My 90 day old Forrester windshield cracked up the center this morning. Average conditions, no rock strike, driving with my own eyes, not eyesight cameras.

Tekeru Jones (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 12:04AM

People need to stop giving Subaru a hard time. Their market has grown exponentially in recent years, growing pains are to be expected. Besides if more people would use the brains they were born with and weren't so lawsuit happy we'd all have less problems. Please people LOOK at your windshields closely, use your brains. They don't "just crack spontaneously" something is causing it. A rock, weather fluctuations perhaps a careless kid that bounced a basketball off your windshield. Look at them, then go get it fixed quit complaining and sueing.

Tiny Cadon (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 10:52AM

In reply to by Tekeru Jones (not verified)

Wow, who would've thought the problem was complaining & su"e"ing & NOT defective parts that the company refuses to cover! I guess if everyone just stops complaining & suing then the windshields will just repair themselves???

Amber (not verified)    May 2, 2020 - 6:50PM

In reply to by Tekeru Jones (not verified)

Seriously?!? The reason their market has grown exponentially in recent years is because of their reputation for reliable long-lasting cars. Unfortunately, that reputation was built on cars they made 20 years ago. Not the junk they make today. I bought a brand new 2015 Forester in 2014. I was in TN, at my sisters, and my 3-year niece threw a rock to her sister, and accidentally it hit my windshield, and it caused a quarter size starburst crack. From a tiny rock, tossed by a 3-year-old!!! Imagine what a rock from a tire of a Semi doing 70 mph down I-75 would do. But, I figured it was a fluke. Then I had issues again. There was a serious issue with my brakes that cause me not to be able to shift out of park that the dealership tried to fix, but it happened again. It was a sensor that basically communicates to the car that the breaks are not depressed, when in fact, they are. When I took it in the second time, the dealership manager said we need to get you out of that car, so they gave me a brand new 2017 Outback, with a higher trim level, and tinted windows, for the same price as what they charged me for Forester, Basically a free $15000 upgrade for nothing. Then low and behold, driving my son to school one cold morning two months later, I turned on the heat and defrost. After I dropped him off, I went home, parked in the garage. My windshield was fine. An hour later when I left for work, there was a vertical crack right in the middle of the windshield, starting below the hood by the hearing element, that extended 6 inches straight up. My car had 2600 miles on it. Nothing hit my windshield, and my car was in my garage. I do not know what you would call that, but I would call that spontaneous cracking. Yes, I know what caused it. Subaru's is notorious for their bad windshields and yes, they should be sued, and continue to be sued until they fix the defective product they keep selling to the uninformed public. When you spend $37,000 on a new car, you expect the windshield to last longer than 2 MONTHS. What is even worse, they will not cover it under their warranty, and if you get it replaced with another OEM Subaru windshield you can almost guarantee the same result. I have drove at least a dozen different makes and models of cars in my lifetime, and I have NEVER had an issue with a windshield chipping or cracking. I've made numerous trips all across this country doing 75-80 on roads the likes of I-75, the Turnpike, I-10, I-85 and more, and have had many rocks hit other windshields that don't even leave a scratch! In order to improve fuel efficiency in their larger cars, they made the windshield thinner and lighter. Seems like a very risky business practice to do to something so integral to the safety of the passengers of your product. Ironically, I just found out that Subaru has now done a recall of the 2015 Forester for the brake issue, only of course after it hurt people, and several years after the sensor in my 2015 Forester was faulty, which again goes to show that they do NOT fix known issues, and do not care about their customers, just their bottom line. My advice to anyone and everyone who will listen. Stay away from Subaru's made from 2014 forward.

Steve (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 11:11AM

My question to everyone that is having the issue with the window is how can .Subaru have so many dealership around the the USA and when those customer test drive the car don't have the same problem. The only way a window can crack is driving on the road.

Jennifer N Stam (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 11:42AM

I own a 2019 Forester Sport. I have already replaced my windshield but I'm not sure if it's related. My front windshield was hit by a rock that kicked up from a semi. It cracked slightly at the time, but within a few days was cracked 3/4 of the way across.

Gary parendo (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 11:45AM

No data in this article or lawsuit. As in are Subaru windshields cracking more than others. Anyone can file a lawsuit and it is easy to find a lawyer to file a class action. All antidotal evidence. Almost every car I have owned has been chipped and cracked. I am in Minnesota and a cold snap will do it. Also chips are not because of Subaru. We just traded a 2017 Outback for a 2020 Outback. No problems at all.

John Forsythe (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 3:55PM

I bought a 2018 Crosstrek and had to replace the windshield with in the first year!! And my orange paint has chipped so bad it looks several years old already.... bad paint as well!!! Take it to the dealership and they tried to say it was just because of where I live in the mountains!!!

Frances (not verified)    October 28, 2019 - 4:31PM

Bought a 2018 Subaru Crosstrk last June. Only recall for was radio software need to be replaced. Problem solved. Love my Subaru. Great MPG, great in snow. If dump trucks covered the haul, pebbles and rocks wouldn't damage any windshields. Hwy patrol need to tickets these drivers.