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Update: Subaru oil consumption class action lawsuit

Some Subaru Foresters, Outbacks, Legacys, XV Crosstreks and Impreza models may have oil consumption issues. What models are included in the class action lawsuit against Subaru?


Some 2011-2014 Subaru Forester, 2013 Outback, 2013 Legacy, 2013 XV Crosstrek and 2012-2013 Impreza may use more oil than what is normal. Here’s an update and a Q&A that may help consumers who are experiencing oil consumption issues with these vehicles.

We received more information from Girard Gibbs Law Group who filed an amended complaint in a class action lawsuit against Subaru on September 17, 2014. The lawsuit alleges that certain Subaru vehicles have defective engines, which burn a substantial portion of their oil. The lawsuit also alleges that this defect can damage the engine and other components, create a risk of stalling, and can lead to increased emissions and decreased fuel efficiency.

The lawsuit also alleges that Subaru sold and leased vehicles without disclosing that they consume a substantial portion of their engine oil. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions and answers from Girard Gibbs Law Group for consumers who own one of these vehicles.

Q. Which vehicles are included?

A. The plaintiffs have asked the court to let this case cover a class that includes everyone who purchased or leased the following Subaru vehicles:

2011-2014 Forester (with 2.5-liter engines)
2013 Legacy (with 2.5-liter engines)
2013 Outback (with 2.5-liter engines)
2012-2013 Impreza (with 2.0-liter engines)
2013 XV Crosstrek (with 2.0-liter engines)

Because the court has a role in deciding who is included in the class, it’s possible that the scope of the class could change. Girard Gibbs Law Group will provide updates if that happens.

Q. Why aren’t other Subaru models included in the class?

A. This lawsuit focuses on an alleged oil consumption defect in Subaru FB engines. Not all Subaru vehicles have FB engines installed in them.

Q. I have one of the vehicles listed above - what can I do?

A. If you have not already done so, Girard Gibbs Law Group recommends you contact Subaru of America's customer support and inform them of your oil consumption issue. They may request you take your vehicle to an authorized Subaru dealership to have the defect diagnosed and documented. The dealership may require you to undergo an oil consumption test where the dealership will fill your vehicle up with oil and have you return at various mileages to measure the oil consumption.

The Law Group also recommends that you keep a log of when and how much oil you have been required to add to your vehicle between oil changes. Please also be sure to keep any receipts of vehicle repairs and engine oil that you purchase to resolve the issue.

Q. How can I stay up-to-date on the status of the case?

Consumers can go to the Girard Gibbs Law Group website and get updates on the case.

If you own one of the Subaru vehicles with the engine listed above, and you are experiencing excessive oil consumption, take your vehicle in to your Subaru dealer and ask for an "oil consumption test." But keep in mind, it’s been reported that some Subaru dealers are telling owners that the oil consumption issue is “normal” and that normal usage is 1 quart every 1200 miles.

Not all Subarus have this issue, but if your Forester, Outback, Legacy, XV Crosstrek or Impreza with the FB engine does, take it to the dealer who should change the oil free of cost, and ask you to come back in 1200 miles. If the oil usage is over their acceptable specifications, they could replace the piston rings to correct the problem. Stay tuned.


Paul Roncallo (not verified)    September 9, 2015 - 10:16PM

In reply to by Kenneth Johnson (not verified)

I have been using synthetic oil in my Imprezza since new . I have always let the dealership do the oil change. At 40000 miles it started burning between a quart and a half and two quarts of oil between changes. Synthetic oil will not help an engine with defective rings.

Lee Kokot (not verified)    April 7, 2016 - 8:27PM

In reply to by Paul Roncallo (not verified)

I need to put in a quart about once a week, about 600 miles. I have been spending an absolute fortune on oil, and for a long time. I use synthetic all the time, and it has not alleviated the problem at all.

jack (not verified)    February 3, 2017 - 9:07AM

In reply to by Kenneth Johnson (not verified)

My 13 legacy is waiting on its replacement motor....already failed the oil consumption test...burning a quart every 700 miles.....aanyone know how long they have to fix it...ive been waiting 3 months and still got 10 plus cars ahead of me in line...guy said one has been there 90 days so far and nothings getting done

bonnie lindke (not verified)    September 3, 2015 - 12:07PM

2011 forester was reported to subaru 3x s that it used oil. The last time it was under 3 qts after less than 2,000 miles. I am under a 1,000 mile consumption test. not enough to validate consumption. I reported it at under 60,000 miles. They did not acknowledgei it until it was over 60,000. I am down about 1/4 of an inch with 300 miles to go.
I have it validated by another garage at 51581 miles and under 2 quarts. I reported it to subaru for engine damage concerns. oil light never comes on. i have never been informed about monitoring my oil. Also I do not use fuel stated 10 percent.

Timothy Bradley (not verified)    October 27, 2015 - 7:57AM

In reply to by bonnie lindke (not verified)

I've done the runaround this my dealer Tindol in Gastonia NC. Now on the 2nd block change. I had to pay $1200 labor cast for the block change on my 2011 Forester because Subaru wound not pay it for it first time! I have a 1998 Forester with NO problems. I will not buy another Subaru! Not one made after 2011!!!!!!!!

Jane (not verified)    November 1, 2015 - 12:37PM

In reply to by Timothy Bradley (not verified)

I have a 2009 outback with 77,500 miles. Six months ago I was on the tollway, when the cruise control light stayed on and then the check engine light came on. I was down almost 5 quarts of oil. The oil light never came on. Then a week ago my engine blew up! It was the bearings. $5000 for a used engine with 100,000 miles already on it. I had it towed to my mechanic. I haven't had the time to contact Subaru.
I have read that the 2005 to 2009 2.5 engines have the same problem. This is my 5th Subaru and I love it, but I am at a loss as to trading and getting another Subaru!

Cory (not verified)    September 22, 2016 - 6:39PM

In reply to by Jane (not verified)

Same thing happened to me. I have a 2009 outback 2.5L non turbo with 86k miles. I was 150 miles from home when I hear LOUD knocking in the engine. I was on the interstate when it happened. I jumped on the exit adapt and luckily there was a car quest right there. After getting a grip on myself and calling around someone told me to check the oil. IT WAS EMPTY. I put 4 quarts in it and now I'm looking for a new engine. Light never came on. Everyone has since been telling me how often I should be checking the oil like I didn't know. Lesson learned check even more. I still love my outback tho

Jane (not verified)    October 17, 2016 - 9:09PM

In reply to by Cory (not verified)

I contacted Subaru, and gave them a breakdown on what happened. I told them that the oil warning light never came on, I was told (and I already knew this) that the oil light is not for oil pressure, just low oil. This is the answer I received:
Thank you for your email response.

"We really do appreciate your contacts, comments and concern. Unfortunately, a Subaru dealership was not involved with this vehicle concern other than a basic oil change in January of the year 2014. At that time, they did not find any oil leakage and the oil was full. The recent repairs were not performed at a dealership and a "used" engine was installed. We are unable to offer any repair assistance.

We do appreciate your contact and we would like to see you continue to be a Subaru owner. Should you decide to purchase a new Subaru in the future, let us know.

Have a good day.


Lana Downs
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer/Dealer Services Department
1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)
Service Request Number: 1-12478723132"

nick tiller (not verified)    October 15, 2017 - 11:55AM

In reply to by Jane (not verified)

My 2006 Forester happened to keep shining the cruise control and engine check lights... After I checked the fault code through mod slot on car by computer, the dealership guy told me that it was the oxygen meter sensors broken, but now maybe I should keep a eye on this issue.

Steven (not verified)    February 18, 2016 - 2:44PM

In reply to by bonnie lindke (not verified)

I noticed the oil light on in my wife's 2013 Outback and she said the dealer told her that was normal as they are very sensitive. Yeah, sensitive to being low on oil. Checked it and it was down two quarts.

kathy (not verified)    March 1, 2016 - 4:30AM

In reply to by Steven (not verified)

I had the same problem happen to me and the mechanic at the subaru dealer told me that HE would show me how to check oil since I do not know how to do it. I do know how to do it and so does my husband and son in law who both checked the oil to tell me that i had NONE. this has been an ongoing problem since I bought my 2011 subura.

steve (not verified)    September 18, 2015 - 12:38PM

I've been considering the purchase of a new Subaru, but after reading about the way they're handling this problem I'm looking elsewhere. I've had Toyota, Nissan, Audi, and Honda vehicles and have rarely even had to add oil between changes, even though I use synthetic oil and extend the oil change interval to 10,000 miles after the warranty's up.

For Subaru to consider significant oil consumption "normal" is utter BS, and has lost them this potential customer.

Prashant (not verified)    October 4, 2015 - 11:38AM

In reply to by steve (not verified)

I would be interested in how Subaru American is dealing with this. People don't just randomly report something. Greater than recommended oil consumption is serious concern. I will never buy a car if this is the concern and not completely resolved by the OEM.

bonnie lindke (not verified)    September 29, 2015 - 10:19AM

my brother has 12 authentic antic cars. he claims that my forester problem might be contributed to synthentic is too thin and slides through the pistons. claims that there is an oil that is a combination of both.

Kristyna (not verified)    September 30, 2015 - 8:40PM

I bought my 2016 WRX less than two months ago, it had just over 2,000 kms on it. I was at a stop light and suddenly the car shook so excessively that I thought we were having an earthquake. Then the Check Engine light came on and the entire dashboard lights started flashing. I had purchased the absolute maximum extended warranty possible for this vehicle, yet it took speaking to eight different people and two different dealerships to finally get a tow truck for this undrivable vehicle taken to a dealership and get a courtesy car. At first the expectation was that I would be charged a daily rate as the dealership was "doing me a favour" after further aggravation, argument and disgust I finally got a much lower end, older vehicle as a "courtesy". I've lost $40,000 dollars on this "luxury sports car" This car shouldn't even be allowed to be sold as a junker. Unless you want to pay double the gas mileage for 2,000 kms, don't bother paying more than five bucks for this piece of garbage.

Sooba Rue (not verified)    October 22, 2015 - 6:58PM

In reply to by Kristyna (not verified)

I had a similar problem with my 2009 Tribeca. The dealer's service team ran diagnostics on it several times but couldn't find anything wrong. They believe it's a microprocessor design problem and can't be repaired. My experience suggests that there's a correlation to this happening when I leave the cruise control on, but have braked and am driving without it. Fortunately, I figured out how to deal with it. I carry a 10 mm wrench in my glove box. When I feel the car start to buck, I pull off the road, turn off the engine, and use the wrench to disconnect the battery. Let the electronics discharge for about a minute, then reconnect the battery. This resets the electronics in the car, and you should be fine after that.

Bud (not verified)    November 8, 2015 - 9:25PM

I bought new a 2014 Forester which now has 26K on it. It burns oil so I took it for a consumption test. They change the oil and overfilled it about a1/4 qt. I detected that and had it documented then came back after 1200 miles. It was about 1/4 of a qt low, so about 1/2 a qt in 1200 miles. To check the oil they make you wait one hour so it all drains into the oilpan. This causes it to read higher on the stick. So they can justify not doing anything. Who can wait an hour to check there oil if you are at a gas station.
Bottom line is they are tricky and play games to show the engine is not using much oil. I used to work at a dealership and they don't like warranty work because they don't get reimbursed at the retail rate but way lower.
I plan to just keep taking my car in and complaining about and documenting what it uses as best I can.
This is my seventh Subaru and my last if they don't fix this.

Bud (not verified)    January 13, 2016 - 5:03AM

In reply to by Cobbler (not verified)

Certainly but the service rep checked it after the oil was changed BEFORE it drained back into the pan, then after the 1200 miles he let it sit for an hour then checked it.
This would show a lower level to start with, and a higher level at the finish.
So to be accurate the oil should be checked the same amount of time from when the engine is shut off at the start and at the end of the test and be on level ground and warmed up.
Were redoing the test and the rep has agreed to do it this way.

Barbara (not verified)    August 31, 2017 - 8:22AM

In reply to by Lee (not verified)

According to the dealership we didn't have a problem. I trusted and believe in subaru since I ha owned a 1998 subaru and they were great about fixing things. I total my first subaru and had long to get another. We were in a position to get our 2013 subaru, which this car eat oil and is in a class action suit one of the mechanic let it slip that it did qualify to be fixed by subaru , the dealearship refused to fix it. What I don't understand is the dealership will get the money to fix it, from subaru directly and yet they refuse to fix it. I need a car that I can trust. We got rid of the piece of crap and traded it for a used honda crosstour and I love the car. What sucks about our dealership they also work on hyundai and we own a 2012 hyundai Santa re, so now we have to drive to nashville to get that car maintenance. My cars will never Wyatt Johnson in clarksville ever again. I hope they will start fixing the cars for everyone who is involved in the class action suit. I don't play games.

Dennis patterson (not verified)    November 20, 2015 - 10:40AM

I too have experienced excessive oil (at least two quarts between scheduled oil changes) in my 2011 Subaru Forester and have reported it when I go in for scheduled maintenance. However, my Subaru dealer doesn't seem to care. They hand me this flyer that implies that some oil usage ( Subaru doesn't use the word excessive) is normal. I question the honesty of my Subaru dealer. The Dealer has already conducted one oil conception test and claimed everything was normal.

Sheron (not verified)    November 27, 2015 - 10:17PM

I have a 2013 outback and before my first out change I had to put a quart of oil into it. I took in back to the dealer and complained and was told repeatedly that it's normal. I currently drive around with a 5 gallon oil container because I never know when I'm going to run low. Since I've had this car I have to put oil in it before each oil change. I feel like a 'hobo' pulling off the road replace and checking my oil. This is unacceptable. This is my 3rd Subaru and I've never had an issue before.

Scott Newland (not verified)    December 21, 2015 - 12:20AM

I have had 4 Outbacks (1998, 2001, 2005 and now a 2015). I have 22,000 miles on my 2015 and was just told Thursday that it is burning so much oil, the lower half of the engine needs to be rebuilt. HECK NO! I drove my 2001 into the dealer at 24,000 miles with smoking coming out from under the hood, same issue that I'm having now. This is totally unacceptable in a $35k car with only 22,000 miles. Subaru is aware of this issue and has done nothing to resolve it. I am waiting to hear back as to what Subaru is going to do for me. I LOVE this car, but don't want it now that it will have a rebuilt engine in it. I bought a new car for a reason. If I wanted a used car with a rebuilt engine, I sure as heck would not have bought a $35,000 car!

Scott Newland (not verified)    January 5, 2016 - 10:49PM

In reply to by Gary Garber (not verified)

Hi Gary, I have the 2.5i engine. Subaru contacted me and offered me a warranty for 7 years/100k w/$0 deductible OR $2,500. I took the warranty as I will keep driving this car until the warrant gets ready to expire and then trade it in. Unfortunately, this will probably be my last Subaru (I have owned 4 brand new Outbacks). I just can't trust this engine and don't like that Subaru has done nothing to remedy the situation.