Subaru oil consumption class action lawsuit, Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru’s Oil Consumption Lawsuit Awards Some Owners New Redesigned Engines

Subaru’s oil consumption class action lawsuit has been settled, What did the plaintiffs receive?

Some owners who filed a class action lawsuit against Subaru of America (SOA) will get new engines out the final settlement. The lawsuit was filed because owners claimed some 2011-2015 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy models were using excessive amounts of oil between normal services.

Some owners get new engines

U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle, in Camden, NJ signed off on the agreement Wednesday. According to the settlement, even though they admitted no wrongdoing, Subaru of America has agreed to put a “redesigned” $4,000 boxer engine in some of the vehicles found to burn excessive oil. These engines are likely a new-generation engine Subaru developed for all their vehicles.

More than 665,000 people owned or leased 2011-2015 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy models, according to the suit. Subaru spokesman Michael McHale said, its vehicles were "properly designed, manufactured, distributed, advertised, warranted and sold.” We believe that by this settlement, Subaru has affirmed its reputation for standing behind its products and taking care of its customers.”

Subaru says very few of their vehicles had oil consumption issues

Subaru also says "more than 98 percent of the settlement class vehicles (Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy models) have not experienced, and will not experience, any oil consumption concerns.”

Because of the settlement, Subaru will also offer free oil-consumption testing and reimbursement for past expenses, including “certain repairs and replacements of engine components.” They will also extend warranty protection for problems related to excessive oil consumption. The settlement calls for Subaru to pay up to $1.5 million to attorneys who sued the Japanese automaker. They will also pay the nine named plaintiffs $3,500 each in incentive awards.

The vehicles affected most seem to be 2011-2014 Forester (2.5-liter engine), 2013 Legacy (2.5-liter engine) 2013 Outback (2.5-liter engine) 2012-2013 Impreza (2.0-liter engine) and 2013 XV Crosstrek (2.0-liter engine). If you are experiencing excessive oil consumption, check with your Subaru dealer for any new technical service bulletin repairs connected to the “alleged” defect. Read the entire settlement agreement here.

Source: Courier-Post

Image: Denis Flierl

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Does it apply to Canada as well?
They do now. Finally Subaru Canada has sent me a letter stating it will extend my warranty to 8 years/160,000km on the engine oil problem only. What if you're like me and already have over 160,000km? Subaru gives you another year. Wish these came as quick as they do in the states. Now, what are you doing about this CVT issue that gets extended warranty in the States Subaru Canada?
We own a 2016 Subaru Forester with the mentioned 2.5 liter boxer engine. It used 2 quarts of oil in 3000 miles, and showed a low oil light, caught us totally by surprise. Issue is not resolved yet, but we are driving the car. Dealer has it on an oil consumption testing plan to determine extent of the problem. This is TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY unacceptable that any engine could use this much oil or even close. In Salem, Oregon.
Although Subaru is apparently experiencing widespread oil consumption problems with it's boxer engine design over multiple model years and trim levels, the 'what is an acceptable rate of oil consumption' question is not confined to Subaru. Other manufacturers seem to have similar impractical perspectives regarding what is acceptable for oil usage. Subaru's position re oil consumption is that it is normal to burn 10.6 oz. of oil in 1,200 miles, which equates to a little over 1.6 quarts per 6,000 mile standard oil change for it's newer vehicles (Note: Subaru expects owners to change their oil every 3,000 miles under 'severe' driving conditions, among which includes winter driving, driving in the wet, dusty road conditions, etc...which are common conditions to all drivers in the northeast and mid-west). In checking a Toyota owners manual (2008 4X4 pickup) it says that 1.1 qts. per 600 miles (or 2.2 qts. per 1,200 miles) is even more bizarre perspective than Subaru's. You might want to check what your own manual says on this topic. The important thing to remember is, even if your vehicle doesn't burn oil yet these gray areas for what is acceptable oil usage might create problems for you in the event your car eventually does burn oil before the warranty period expires. Perhaps we (car owners) should be contacting our respective state and federal representatives on this issue and requesting that a reasonable national standard be set for 'normal' oil consumption' for vehicles sold to average consumers. Leaving it up to the manufacturers doesn't seem to be working.
Purchased 2017 Subaru Impreza new and it is consuming oil. In less than 600 miles went from full on dipstick to low and low oil light went on. Have done a few service checks and nothing done. Except noted that it's consuming oil. It can't even go 2000 miles with out being low on dipstick. How is it going to make the 6000 mile normal oil change. So disappointed that I bought a new car and I'm monitoring the oil as if it was an d clunker. So concerned, what will happen when I'm out of warranty. I can't believe this is happening with my new Subaru. Help!
I’ve had a lot of oil consumption with my Forester(2015) bought in 2014. They took the engine apart and said it was fixed now I’m having the same problem! NOT a happy person here!!! Anyone else out there?
Will the extended warranty protection for problems related to excessive oil consumption be given to all 2011-2014 Forester owners or just those who were included in the class action suit?
I have a 2011Subaru Forester XT. Is there a number to call for this law suit?
Our Forester started making a rattling sound a few days ago, intermittently. Checked the oil this morning. Added 4 quarts to bring it into range on dipstick. No sign of low oil light recently, light works at ignition on. We've had this used Forester for about 6 months. Very disappointed.
What year is your Forester. I have a 2013 that's using oil. Dealing with the bs at dealerships. They top off the oil consumption tests so they don't have to give you new engine. Have to stay with the car at all times to make sure they don't do that. They did it to me today. I'm so upset!!!!
Even if the oil consumption test itself is adequate for determining if a car is prematurely and unreasonably burning oil (and that's a big if), the validity of such a test is only as good as the process used by the dealer to conduct it. Reputable dealers will NOT overfill the crankcase when testing for excessive oil use, since overfill is never a good thing for the engine and it defeats the point of the doing the test to begin with. Before they begin the test on your car, tell the dealer you'd like to check your dipstick oil level AFTER they change the oil but BEFORE they seal the dipstick or start the vehicle.... so that you can verify that the oil level is normal for the test. Use your cellphone to to video-document the oil level if you wish. If the dealer refuses your request, document the circumstances in writing, send a complaint letter to Subaru, copy it to the dealer and then have the test done at a more accommodating dealer. I doubt that crankcase overfilling or similar cheating is tolerated by Subaru, and by lodging a formal written complaint you not only help lay a paper trail for resolving your oil consumption problem but also put both the manufacturer and the dealer on notice that cheating (or the appearance thereof) won't be tolerated. Check your oil regularly (at least every 500 miles) and document any situations where you need to add oil between oil changes (document in a log the mileage, date, date of last oil change, and the amount of oil you needed to add to bring the oil level back to normal). Use the recommended oil type and keep your your receipts for oil and/or any emergency oil-related service work (in the latter case file a request for reimbursement to Subaru...depending on the circumstances, emergency services up to $500 may be reimbursable). Check your manual and your warranty coverage booklet. Do your best to take precautions against running low on oil and to ensure, to show that you've taken reasonable steps to avoid problems, and that you have proof for whatever problems your car is experiencing. I.e., be your own best advocate. And, don't forget to contact your legislator if your problems persist, worsen, or if you believe the practices used by the dealer/manufacturer in addressing the issue are illegal or in conflict with consumer laws. The voice of one can become the much stronger voice of many if we each take the time to stand up to unfair business practices and shoddy product quality.
Settlement is a Complete Farce. I started adding oil before my scheduled oil change, at around 70k. Dealer never told me about the law suit or problem that they knew about. I have a 2013 Outback. By 90k I was adding a at every 2000 mllss and complained to the Dssler. Twin City in Berlin, VT. Then they told me about the Oil Commsumoyion Test. BUT I would not fail the test at that time because the Settlement was in order to fail you had to be using more 1qt of oil every 1200 miles! So now, I’m at 110k and I am adding oil every 600 miles and it seems to be getting WORSE every day!!!! The 100,000 Mile Settlement is BS!!!!
I’m with you. At about 50k miles, they replaced the oil seals on my 2011 forester. Said that was the oil problem. They never mentioned it suggested the oil consumption test. When I heard about the suit, I had 100,098 miles and was out of the extended warranty period. Never did they send a letter saying there was a potential issue. I’ve had to add a quart ever 1k miles. At least. Total BS….
We were able to get a new engine for our 2014 Forester. Though the dealership refused, claiming that the oil consumption did not meet the standards for engine replacement, my wife persisted, talked to a Subaru corporate supervisor who approved the new engine.
Do you have a direct contact number for Subaru corporate?
2013 Subaru burns to much Oil. Purchased new but acts like old car. Subaru you should be ashamed. Fix it!!!!!!!!!
we have a 2013 Subaru Outback that we bought in 2015 when it had 18,000 miles on it. oil light was coming on regularly so we were adding a quart often. a friend told me to "google" the problem and that is when i found out about the oil consumption defect. i contacted Subaru and we were already over the 100,000 mile limit. BUT they allowed us to have the oil consumption test. we live in a small town with the nearest dealership 2 hrs away. we had them do the test and then half way through getting to 1200 miles i checked and it was 1/4" over the full dot. sure enough, it passed the test. i complained to Subaru and they said we could do it again, so we went to another dealership. it failed the test there. so we get a new engine, right? nope, they say they will pay for half of the total engine replacement. should i be happy that they're paying for half? or pissed they're only paying for half?
Purchased 2015 Outback from Belknap Subaru in Tilton, NH , used in May 2019 with 32,000 miles. Vehicle has 50,000 miles on it now and have noticed that I have had to add oil every 1,000 miles. Not happy about this. Subaru dealership told me they haven’t had any problems with this model, so I went online and found all these same complaints. Will be checking dipstick very regularly now.
I have a 2015 Subaru Forester and just recently failed an oil consumption test. I fought with Subaru - my motor is 6 months out of the old Class Action Lawsuit that Settled in 2016. I am having to fork over $1400 for a new motor(that is after Subaru agreed to pay the rest). I'm seriously thinking about starting up a new lawsuit - this oil consumption issue is NOT fixed.
I just found out my 2015 Subaru 80k miles has the same oil consumption issue. Can I ask if Subaru helped you resolve your issue at all?
I am now on engine block #4 and hoping it doesn’t burn like the other 3 engine blocks. I called subaru corporate and complained and the dealership has covered the costs of repairs. If it starts consuming again - I’ll lawyer up - this car has been a lemon from the get go.
I’m having trouble with my Forester also. They repaired it once and now the same problem again. It’s very expensive and I’m soon to be 79! Bought it new for over $31,000. I still am working but cannot afford any more’n
Has anyone with a 2018 or newer Impreza experienced the oil consumption issue? Are most of the previous comments from Owners of manual or automatic transmission Subaru’s? My 2018 manual transmission Impreza did not experience an issue until almost 3 years - about 18k miles - I bought it new and did all the required maintenance with a Subaru dealer. It failed the oil consumption test after the low oil light came on only after 6 months driving on the highway 20 min 2x a day.... not anywhere long to a long or excessive highway commute - previously I did not do a lot of regular highway driving... Has anyone seriously considered another class action lawsuit? Thank you for any feedback. Teg
My 2015 sti just seized engine went through all oil in 2500 miles not a drop left and oil light never came on really sucks any body got any ideas if theres any recourse
I have a 2014 Forester that was tested for oil consumption shortly after I purchased it Now I have to add about a quart to quart 1/2 half way between oil changes I call the dealership after reading this and they told me the PVC valve needs to be changed at my expense
With my 2010 Forester I noticed oil burning in the 70K mileage. I did nothing expect add oil and then around 150,000 it started faulting with "catalyst bank 1 below threshold". I replaced the upstream and downstream oxygen sensors at the catalytic converter with OEM parts. This did not fix my issue, which points to the catalytic converter needing replacement but with the oil burning consumption (and no oil leaks) and the >$2000 cost to replace and the engine would still send oil into the new catalytic converter which would damage that unless the oil burning is fixed. Would the total fix be >$5000? I think so. I am driving it faulted which unfortunately knocks out the cruise control. The fault resets and faults regularly.
Six weeks ago I bought a 2014 Subaru Forester, six speed with only 78000 miles. Bought it for $14500.09 thinking it was a good deal; to my surprise this thing burns badly a quart of oil on every 500 miles. Dealership that did the test won’t do anything, neither Subaru Corp will not fix it. A new engine will cost me $5500.00. I wish I could Sue Subaru Corp, or the guy who sold me. Very very frustrated. Always thought Subaru were great cars. I have two; an Impreza and a Legacy, which do not burn oil. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thank you.
subaru used to make a 2.2 engine that ran forever and rarely required added oil between oil changes. Many reached 200k miles. Then subaru created the 2.5 with head gasket problems, and now the new engines use ridiculous amounts of oil due to the low viscosity. The oil companies must love them. Like most products subaru made the best car with the 2.2 engine but people were keeping them too long, and subaru was not making enough money.