Subaru WRX STI 2.5-liter engine lawsuit, 2012-2017 Subaru WRX STI
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Settles WRX/STI 2.5L Engine Lawsuit Following Months of Discovery

Subaru settles a lawsuit against the 2012-2017 Subaru WRX/STI equipped with the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. See what the plaintiffs get.

Subaru was hit with three lawsuits last year claiming there’s an engine defect in 2012-2017 WRX and WRX STI models equipped with the EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. A report from Law360 says the lawsuit has been settled following months of discovery.

Subaru WRX/STI owners, contended in the lawsuit, the 2.5-liter turbo engine had a defect which allowed contaminated oil to carry “damaging metal debris through the engines” and Subaru knowingly sold the cars with defective parts that led to engine failure. The motion says "Plaintiffs alleged that defendants were aware of this engine defect, but failed to disclose it to consumers.”

The proposed settlement was reached with Subaru of America “following months of negotiations and discovery.” Owners who filed the lawsuit asked a New Jersey federal judge last week to approve a settlement that includes reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket repairs and compensation to those who sold or traded in their vehicles.

According to the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, class members will also receive a warranty extension providing free repairs for a period of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, which is double the length of Subaru's new vehicle limited warranty, and a notable increase over Subaru's powertrain limited warranty (5 years or 60,000 miles).

2012-2017 EJ25 2.5L Turbo Boxer engines

The settlement covers 2012-2017 Subaru WRX and WRX STI vehicles manufactured between Oct. 11, 2011, and Nov, 16, 2016 equipped with an EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine with bearing vehicle identification numbers ending with CG203168 and up for five-door hatch models and CG006225 through H9826807 for four-door sedan models.

Lead plaintiffs Vicente Salcedoi, Gerald Linden and Brian Mervin hailed from California, Michigan and New Jersey. The report from Law360 also says hundreds of proposed class members have directly contacted plaintiffs' counsel, and the suit cited numerous consumer complaints about the alleged defect made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The report says Subaru WRX/STI owners who traded in their vehicle “With a qualifying failure prior to obtaining a repair are also eligible for reimbursement. Class members must submit a claim form proving they presented the vehicle to an authorized Subaru dealer with a qualifying failure, that they subsequently sold or traded it un-repaired and that, based on the Kelley Blue Book value, they received less than fair market value by comparing the prevailing Kelley Blue Book value at the time of the transaction, up to a maximum of $4,000.”

Subaru will agree to reimburse all class members for 100 percent of all out-of-pocket expenses they incurred for parts and labor that they paid to a Subaru dealer for the cost of a qualifying repair performed during the extended warranty period.

2012-2017 Subaru WRX/STI class action members will be notified by mail and Subaru will also set up a dedicated website that will include the notice, claim form, settlement agreement and other relevant documents. "We are very pleased with the settlement and believe it will provide significant relief to class members," Matthew D. Schelkopf of Sauder Schelkopf LLC, lead attorney for the plaintiffs,” told Law360 last week.

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Wow. Even great rides from great manufacturers get disease that can be fatal. Subaru has grown and grown in recent years and this ‘growth pain’ clearly happened as a result of lack of attention to detail. The 2.5 has had a long run that had outlived it’s competitive and technology shelf life. The 2.0 turbo is better and more modern is every way and should be the power plant option modified to produce competitive, Winning specification. Regardless, the 2.5 has outlived it’s usefulness and should be replaced by a far more modern and far more powerful and efficient engine to be relevant against competitors from other manufacturers who have technology wise surpassed STI and the entire range of Subaru vehicles that utilize the 2.5. Please make the right call Subaru. Be Great. Be the Best Again.
That engine is the reason I did not buy an STi in 2014 when I bought my 2015 WRX Limited. Why buy a brand new car...with a 12 year old power plant that gets almost half the mpg of the WRX and very little power difference thanks to the WRX twin scroll turbo.
Because the STI is different in every screw regarding chassis, gearbox and AWD handling. I only say DCCD.
The Corvette's pushrod engine is a 70-year-old design. I guess NOBODY should be buying that.
That's a dumb comment. Is it still carb'd? no. Is it still obd1? no. Does that 70 year old engine use forged titanium connecting rods? Sodium filled exhaust valves? no.
There's been a lot of attention to detail...just not attention to performance detail. Subaru as a company is really not on the performance game (and I can't blame them) - it's simply not as profitable as other segments. Now why didn't Subaru take the relatively simple steps with the EJ of: A) strengthening the pistons, and B) advocating an oil with better shear stability for superior bearing protection? - two things that would have probably saved them a small fortune in warranty claims. That I'll never understand. The FA20 is newer, much more efficient, has a lower boost threshold and a powerband that is more usable for a street driven car, but no one has provided hard data on long-term reliability as far as I know. For that matter, Subaru's most capable cars (including their track cars) are still powered by the old 2.0 liter EJ20...NOT the FA, so there's not even a lot that can be said with race applications.
Thanks Denis, for this comprehensive report - valuable information.
I wonder if this would affect any of the WRX's in Canada as well...
Subaru Canada told me it does not... the cars are made in the same place. Seems unfair somebody should do a lawsuit here haha
Will this span to the 2018 models since it uses the same engine??!!!
I don’t know why US are still getting the EJ , in Australia we have had the FA since late 2014 They also have there problems I hear .
We have the FA20T in the WRX, but the STI gets the old EJ. Even in Australia.
Personally im not a fan of the WRX twin scroll turbo currently work as a Technician and have seen many Wastegate Failures on these causing fluctuating boost pressures eventually leading to a serious lack of power. The EJ257 its a super bad engine needs more refining to remove these troubles such as cracking oil pick ups causing oil starvation leading the bearing failure. They have redesigned other motors and the EJ257 is long overdue for an upgrade in its design.
That’s funny 2014 to 2017 when it just happened to my 2018 subaru I bought brand new with 30 miles. Had to sue Subaru and won apparently their excuse was someone put disel in gas tank which caused cylinders to miss fire and when they took engine block apart it was full of metal shavings and pistons were gone.
What happened to your 2018 wrx? I have one and making me nervous lol
Thank you Denis for the reporting... So my engine went just a few weeks ago. 80K miles, and they replaced the engine within weeks of this lawsuit. My question isn't how well they are now performing these changes, and standing up to their extended warrenties, since it is my belief they are doing WELL by the consumer. What are they replacing my engine with? Will they warranty the new block? Is it only on the 100K warranty, or will the block have a new 60k warranty?
What happened if you own a 2010 that had the problem? Is there still any help out there? I really don’t have the space to have it sit in my garage and can’t afford to fix it all at once. If anyone knows about other lawsuits for the older models with that problem please reply to this.
I have a 2013 wrx and i contact subaru due too a failure engine and they try to blame me due too lack off maintenance when i bought the car with 12,000 miles and bring the car to the dealer 4 different times for services and the car failure engine went with only less than 22,000 miles ahd nobody contact me back yet.,
Keep the pressure on them. Mine grenaded at 42k miles and they were waffling about replacing the short block or not cuz i did all my own oil changes. They eventually covered not under warranty they said, but as a good will gesture.
So I'm actually looking forward to buying a subaru wrx sti here in California in the next few weeks. Was not aware of such a deal with the engine. Thinking if I should just look into a totally different sports car altogether now.
As far as going with another car it depends on what you were planning to do with the STi. If you were getting it to leave it stock and abide by the warranty and (hopefully) have things covered, it’s a fun car with great handling and a decent amount of power. Now if you are planning on doing anything to it, you can say goodbye to your warranty (which is confusing since Subaru sells intakes and exhaust upgrades for the cars at their dealerships which are OEM produced, but if you put them on they will say they can’t warranty any problem with the car because of “aftermarket parts”). Now on the other hand if you don’t care about the warranty these cars have great potential but for the same amount of money there are a lot of other options out there for a fun sports car but I am partial to Subaru and love building them because they can be made to suit you and exactly what you want from the car since there are an endless supply of parts and companies that make parts for them.
What about the other models that use the turbo 2.5l EJ engine? I own a 2011 Legacy GT and had to pay out of pocket to have my headgaskets done on a car with 68K! They denied my warranty because I had replaced the OEM chargepipe which cracked (known for becoming weak/brittle and breaking) with an upgraded chargepipe that corrected the issues of the OEM one. That part has nothing to do with the cooling or function of the cooling system. Also, these models don’t come with a temp gauge!! On a car brand that is known for having cooling/headgaskets issues!! That issue and the way it was handled completely changed my view on Subaru.
Can a Subaru engine reach 200K miles. Honda & Toyota can reach a million miles even.
I have had a legacy 96 230k on it before sold, 99 ej25 Forester with 335k (rebuilt for external oil leak at 115k), and an 09 ej25 Forester with 205k before we sold it. I would trust a 04to2010 for at least 250k or more. Newer models... i can't say.
i was sold a WRX STI Limited in august 2017 with 54,000 miles and was told nothing of this and found out after buying it that it had the engine rebuilt at 33,000 for a spun bearing buy finding the reciept for the work in the owners manual, and it now has just over 65k. i was told the factory warranty was expired did not take a extended warranty due to when i asked about what was available they were asking $4,760. just for a 2yr / 24,000 warranty and that was just completely unreasonable though i was looking for at least to a 100k warranty but at the 2/24 cost, it probably would of cost me $8,000 - $10,000 for the 45,000 mile coverage. i even told the guy that the warranty on my Duramax didnt cost that much and it was a GM certified truck with a partial warranty still left and i bought a 3/36 for $1600. about 6 years prior but he wouldnt budge. i guess it should of thrown a red flag right there, anyway what im wondering is if there is a resolution for those of us that got sold one of these cars during this time that this suit was going on and wasnt notified of the suit, is subaru going to cover my car as well or do i have to file another suit.
My 2001 STI has 70,200 miles on it and engine NUMBER 3 ! was installed at 69,000 miles and I am super pissed off mostly because of the BLAME that Subaru and independent shops gave ME for supposedly doing something wrong or abusive to my car !!! I put the deep oil pan and split oil pickup in when we put in engine #2 and that motor only lasted 20,000 miles ! I have over $20,000 out of my pocket dealing with this coverup. Subaru ...I DO NOT FEEL THE LOVE. Shame on you.
Shavings and main bearing spin out at 61000mi. I’m the third owner and it was modified by intake, exhaust, and tuning. I can’t imagine it helped anything, but the result was the same. Just replaced the motor with a more robust one and got it on the road. I didn’t know the recall was happening. But my VIN is in the recall. I’ll have to call and find out what the story is. Additionally, I have a 15 Outback 3.6. There was squealing from the transmission. Never had a CVT so I thought it was brakes. 3 different dealers took a look at it in as many years... 30k miles worth. Only when I said it has to be the transmission did the 3rd dealer get it fixed under warranty. The Outback and STI??? Not feeling good about Subaru being forthright and taking care of their customers. BTW I’ve had a Legacy and Forester XT as well. Getting uneasy with this brand.
I have been living a nightmare with my 2013 WRX. After the engine and turbo blew at 42K, my car has been in the shop 19 times in 20 months. I need a lawyer willing to take my case. I am filing suit with Attorney Generals, etc. It say in the article: "According to the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, class members will also receive a warranty extension providing free repairs for a period of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, which is double the length of Subaru's new vehicle limited warranty, and a notable increase over Subaru's powertrain limited warranty (5 years or 60,000 miles)." DOES THIS mean free repairs for just the engine OR all of the car? If I didn't buy an extended warranty I would be bankrupt and without a car.
Just had the engine go out on me at 59k. No mods, regular oil changes. Just missed the stock powertrain warranty as it's a 13. When can I expect an update on the settlement?
This happened to our car