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Subaru’s Dumbest Class-Action Lawsuit Just Got Thrown Out Of Court

A class-action lawsuit against Subaru was just thrown out of court. See why Little Tree air freshners are behind the latest case against Subaru of America.

You have probably seen the little tree air freshener hanging from a Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or another car’s rearview mirror. Car Freshner Corporation is behind the Little Trees brand air fresheners headquartered in Watertown, New York.

A report from Bloomberg Law (by subscription) says the company that for more than 60 years has sold tree-shaped air fresheners that dangle from cars’ rearview mirrors sued Subaru of America and its business partner Staples accusing them of infringing trademarks for the Little Trees-branded products.

2022 Subaru Forester tree air freshners
Photo credit: Walmart

Car-Freshner Corporation and Julius Samann Ltd., the exclusive licensee and owner of the trademarks, said Subaru of America and Staples had sold baseball caps bearing a tree design that’s “virtually identical” to their trademarked design. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

According to a filing in federal court in New York, a new report from Bloomberg Law says Subaru of America and Staples no longer face a trademark class-action suit by Car-Freshner Corporation.

2022 Subaru Forester tree air freshners
Photo credit: Little Trees Air Freshener Royal Pine 2

Car-Freshner Corp. and Julius Samann Ltd. voluntarily dismissed the suit recently without an option for re-filing. Bloomberg says, “It wasn’t clear whether the dismissal was the result of a settlement.”

Since its inception in 1952, Little Trees has grown into a global brand, and they have 39 different fragrances to keep cars smelling like a forest, apples, bubble gum, leather, and even Bourbon.

2022 Subaru Forester tree air freshners

Subaru of America sells baseball caps with a tree on them because the Camden, N.J. automaker’s slogan is “Leave no trace,” “Don’t feed the landfills,” and have been “Partners in the environment” for over twenty years.

If you see a Subaru baseball cap with a tree logo on it, remember it’s different than the Little Trees air fresheners you see hanging on a Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or other cars’ rearview mirror.

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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. Check out 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: main image Subaru of West Palm Beach


David radzieta (not verified)    October 26, 2021 - 6:26AM

Subaru owners should sue Subaru for making the ugliest cars now. Toyota and Honda too. Hyundai, Kia. Audi have the best designers now.

Matt Tucci (not verified)    October 26, 2021 - 8:41AM

As a former Subaru Tech, parts packaging makes up for that zero landfill. I got an air conditioning part that would have fit in a 3 x 18 inch tube, they ship it in a 3 foot by 2 foot by two foot box.Just one example.