Subaru of America was hit with a class-action lawsuit concerning the Subaru Outback wagon and Ascent 3-Row SUV last year. The class-action lawsuit filed in April 2020 alleged 2016-2019 Subaru Outback and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent SUVs have problems with the batteries draining prematurely. The alleged defect may also be present in the 2020 Outback, according to the filing.
A new report from Car Complaints says multiple lawsuits were filed, and they have been consolidated into a new class-action titled, In regard Subaru Battery Drain Products Liability Litigation.
The original lawsuit contends plaintiff Dustin Dalen's 2017 Subaru Outback had a defective electrical system causing his battery to drain prematurely. Dalen, represented by Tina Wolfson, Bradley K. King, and Ruhandy Glezakos of Ahdoot & Wolfson PC., says his Outback's battery failed with only 12,000 miles on the odometer.
The filing stated Dalen's Outback left his wife and two children stranded at a park. When he took the vehicle to an Oregon dealership where he purchased the wagon, the technician could not diagnose the problem.
The class action also contends Subaru has known about the problem since 2017 and issued a technical service bulletin addressing potential battery discharging after repeated periods of short-trip-driving resulting in a dead battery.
The lawsuit says if owners of 2016-2019 Outback and 2019-2020 Ascent models take their vehicle in for diagnosis of the problem, dealers replace the old battery with the same OEM battery "and is thus a temporary fix only."
The latest Subaru dead battery consolidated lawsuit was also filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Subaru made a motion to dismiss the case, saying the battery drain lawsuit "is a classic vague and inconsistent 'shotgun' pleading that 'asserts multiple claims against multiple defendants without specifying which of the defendants are responsible for which acts or omissions, or which of the defendants the claim is brought against."
Subaru says the plaintiffs lack standing over claims for Subaru models the plaintiffs never owned or lease but can only pursue claims related to the Subaru vehicles they own. Additionally, Subaru says the plaintiffs cannot represent owners of other vehicles equipped with different batteries, components, and software files alleged to be at the heart of the defect allegations. Subaru says the plaintiffs do not have the standing to assert claims based on the marketing of products they did not purchase.
The judge in the case has not ruled for or against Subaru's motion to dismiss the case. Torque News will keep you updated on further developments.
What should 2016-2020 Subaru Outback and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent owners do if you have experienced the same battery issues? You should first report a problem to the NHTSA, and you can contact attorneys Ahdoot and Wolfson or Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP.
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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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