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Updated Subaru Drained Battery Lawsuit Settlement - What Owners Need To Know

There is updated information on the Settlement in the Subaru drained battery lawsuit. Here is what Outback, Forester, Ascent, WRX, and Legacy customers need to know.


Subaru of America (SOA) has been battling an issue with drained batteries on the Outback midsize SUV, Forester compact SUV, and Ascent SUVs. The original lawsuit from 2020 against SOA alleged the three SUVs had defective electrical systems causing premature battery failure. A second lawsuit in 2021 against Subaru claimed defective electrical components in the Subaru Forester, Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and WRX vehicles.

Which models are affected?

According to the Subaru battery settlement website, the Subaru vehicles in the lawsuit settlement include the 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy sedan, 2015-2020 Subaru WRX, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUVs.

Subaru drained battery lawsuit settlement

The lawsuit said 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 Outback, Forester, Legacy, WRX, and 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 class action against Subaru of America claims the Camden, N.J. automaker issued multiple TSB service bulletins filed with the NHTSA over drained battery issues since 2015. The class actions say Subaru has failed to recall the vehicles and fix the problem under its warranty obligations.

Subaru drained battery lawsuit settlement

Who is included in the Settlement?

The report says to qualify for settlement benefits, “you must have bought or leased the model year 2015–2020 Outback, the model year 2015–2020 Forester, the model year 2015–2020 Legacy, the model year 2015–2020 WRX, or model year 2019–2020 Ascent.”

Subaru drained battery lawsuit settlement

What does the Settlement provide?

1. Extended warranty service for qualifying battery failures experienced on or after the date of the Notice. The Settlement also provides, where applicable, cash reimbursement for:

2. Battery replacements and related battery testing and diagnosis performed by an Authorized Subaru Retailer, or in some situations, an independent third party, for qualifying conditions on a Settlement Class Vehicle before the date of Notice (“Pre-Notice”);

Subaru drained battery lawsuit settlement

3. Towing services in connection with a Pre-Notice Qualifying Battery Failure.

4. Reasonably Reimbursable Costs related to a Settlement Class Member being stranded due to a Pre-Notice Qualifying Battery Failure.

Subaru drained battery lawsuit settlement

What should Outback, Forester, Legacy, WRX, and Ascent do now?

The report says 2015-2020 Subaru Outback, 2015-2020 Subaru Forester, 2015-2020 Subaru Legacy, 2015-2020 Subaru WRX, and 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent owners should review the notice materials on the Important Document page here.

This is the only way to get a reimbursement. The deadline to submit Claim Forms and supporting documentation is 60 days after the Effective Date, which could be as early as March 9, 2023. Stay tuned to Torque News via Subaru Report for updates on the latest Subaru drained battery lawsuit.

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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: Subaru USA
Story credit: Thanks to the tip from Torque News reporter John Goreham


Yolanda (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 3:31PM

In reply to by Jolane sutherland (not verified)

Think back to whether or not you had the hatch open for more than ten minutes. This is when it happens to me. Happened at least five times. CANNOT leave the hatch open for more than a few minutes.

Valerie (not verified)    October 11, 2022 - 1:37AM

In reply to by Hanns (not verified)

My 19 Ascent is at the dealership for the 2nd time in 4 days. They incompetently charged my already once replaced battery only to be returned the next day requiring a jumpstart to get it to the bay.The Manager told me I needed another warranty claim number for it to be serviced. I suggested he keep my claim number on file for at least the next 50 thousand miles and read the settlement. There should be inconvenience restitution and dealership ignorance pay too.

Kimberly (not verified)    December 21, 2022 - 12:46PM

In reply to by Valerie (not verified)

Needing jump starts in remote Mtn locations causes major issues for me constantly, high anxiety being stranded a lot. I have had roadside assistance jump me in driveway twice, also and now finally it's towed into dealership for electrical system or lock security system check. This same issue continues, since my Subaru outback 2019 purchase in oct 2020. cost Replacing my factory battery with a new dealership battery hasn't solved issue. That may have been an un necessary expense, also. Much embarrassment and stress. How can I stand next to my newer dealership purchased newer used Subaru outback 2019 and be proud knowing I have bought a lemon? That's what it's felt like since day one of these battery failures in remote wilderness area where I was alone and stranded as result of my first experiencing this consistent worry, concerned that my new cars battery drainage has made my vehicle, since day of purchase, a lemon and undependable. I'm 63, a grandma. I don't have a dependable vehicle and I did pay est $36,000 for vehicle and good Warranty. I purchased it 10-2021. It's in being serviced now. I still will not trust this car, as much as I need to trust it after they 'fix it' today at dealership svs dept.
What exactly in the electrical system is draining our batteries? Not alternator. Is it lock/ security system or other? Why did my vehicle pass electrical inspections for vehicle certification prior to my purchase? Subaru was aware of issues? This isn't right.

Virginia (not verified)    January 31, 2023 - 12:28PM

In reply to by Kimberly (not verified)

My crosstrek 2019 battery died frequently. I exchanged for a new forester 2021 thinking it would be more reliable. I am on my third battery. I need jumps regularly and have been stranded i will never buy another subaru why dont they fix the problem. They sure are losing customers

Yolanda (not verified)    June 11, 2023 - 3:28PM

In reply to by Kimberly (not verified)

Did your battery die after having the hatch open for a short period of time? That is what keeps happening to me. I have a 2019 outback and it has happened at least six times if I leave the hatch open too long.

Ken Johnston (not verified)    July 31, 2023 - 3:27PM

In reply to by Yolanda (not verified)

Yes, and furthermore, when I attempt to start the car the the rear gate opens and shuts a tiny bit. And, of course, the car will not start since the battery is dead. Moreover, the push botton ignition has become faulty. It will not shut off; I must disconnect the battery, or it will be dead by morning. Also, the radio turns on by itself while one is driving along. And now we are being told that it will cost over $1000 to fix the car, if it can be fixed. The battery is $400 alone just to replace it, and naturally there are none in stock. They have to be ordered from Michigan and shipped to our dealership in California. Our Outback has only 31,700 miles on it and we cannot even trade it off in this condition. We were never notificed by Subaru that there was a recall or a lawsuit. The deadline for filing for remuneration of costs was May 23, 2023. When I called Subaru at the number suggested by the dealership in order to get diagnostic codes to repair our car, they pretended that their computers were down. I had to look up the website myself in order to find out that I was screwed. We have owned Subarus since 2001, and that is the thanks we get!

Sean McCaffree (not verified)    September 30, 2023 - 4:15PM

In reply to by Ken Johnston (not verified)

NexPow 2500a will jump start your battery without having to find someone to help jump your car...I have a Crosstrek and have battery issues also...rather than spend a whole bunch of money on other possibilities, I chose this one and it works like a charm...I've yet to get the upgrade for my alternator so this works for when you're not within reach of someone else's only $67 from Amazon and there are other's a pain having to open and close the hood, but this'll work...

Tom (not verified)    September 30, 2023 - 7:19PM

In reply to by Ken Johnston (not verified)

I have a 2019 and have replaced my battery 5 times and had to get AAA to jump my car over 5 times I called Subaru and told them they gave me a case number never heard back from them I had to get jumped again today very mad at the company I will never buy a Subaru again and I will tell friends not to because of all the trouble I had with my 2019outback with drained batteries.

Be Green (not verified)    July 26, 2023 - 1:31PM

In reply to by Kimberly (not verified)

The Class Action suit settlement: Almost useless. (They must have had terrible lawyers).
My 2019 Outback Touring ... now third battery. Finally, one of the dealers near me, found (one of likely more) parasitic power drain(s) in the DCM Circuit (I told them to check that first). They are replacing that unit -- BUT I have to pay for it!! Luckily I have extended warrantee and pay $100. I am going to go after Subaru America for that and complain everywhere! Just replace battery is not a solution! Must check EVERY circuit that passes through the two (2) fuse boxes (One under hood, One under dash to left of steering wheel down low) with that car OFF and the KeyFob inside the car!!

Alice utter (not verified)    October 2, 2022 - 11:19AM

Have my forester for 5 years and to have towed 2 times had 3 batteries put in I kept telling not to put Walmart batteries in my car next time going somewhere else I’m 75 hard for me to get stuck somewhere

Jean Milici (not verified)    October 2, 2022 - 8:50PM

I own a 2018 Subaru Outback. Three months ago my battery died. I called AAA who came & replaced the battery.

Dennis D (not verified)    October 17, 2022 - 8:03AM

In reply to by Jean Milici (not verified)

Dennis-Thanks so much for the info.We are on our fourth battery for our 2020 Subaru Forrester.To add insult to injury,the dealer said that I had to pay for a new Subaru battery because I had an after market battery installed and that would comprise an inspection of the electrical system.They advised me to call corporate headquarters to seek reimbursement.Like probably many other customers,I had no idea of the extent of this parasitic drain problem.The remedy provided by the settlement of the lawsuit seems inadequate.Why is Subaru not required to fix the cause of the drain as opposed to leaving customers with the inconvenience and possible danger of being stranded in perpetuity? The constant need for relying on road service as well as the many trips back and forth to the dealer are not something that Subaru owners should be forced the deal with.Please reply at your earliest convenience and thanks for helping all of us trying to comprehend the extent of this very frustrating problem.

ray (not verified)    November 9, 2022 - 4:43PM

In reply to by Dennis D (not verified)

I am now on my 3rd battery in as many months for my 2020 Forester. I have become an "expert" on jumping the car and have invested in some pricey charge machine.

Subaru keeps changing the battery without addressing the parasite drain. Why do t they just come clean and figure out a solution?

Being disabled and living.out in the boondocks is

James Lep (not verified)    October 2, 2022 - 10:39PM

My wife and I own a 2018 Subaru Outback premium 2.5 and we were never notified of this current problem, also the problem with the low flow fuel pump where Subaru had to install higher flow fuel pump, the car shifting out of gear, windshield never replaced, why weren’t we notified. Bought the car brand new at world Subaru in Shrewsbury NJ, please get back to me, ty.

Eva Rowan (not verified)    October 9, 2022 - 9:38AM

I’ve been having issues with my 2015 Subaru Forester for the last couple of years! It’s funny bc I keep getting spam calls and messages from Subaru for extended warranty. lmao So now I’ll get a real not spam warranty. I deserve to be compensated for my troubles.

Carolyn Sheeks (not verified)    October 10, 2022 - 2:19PM

I have a 2017 Forster I have had to have AAA out many time and have gotten battery's from them and my last on I got from Subaru . I just went to have my oil changed and they told me my battery was low and they gave me your number plus i got a card from you. what do I do about my low battery? Im 81 and this is a big problem for me.

1st Time Subie Owner (not verified)    March 14, 2023 - 10:03PM

In reply to by Sue A (not verified)

I would not suggest switching to a 2023 in hopes it will run right. I just purchased a 2023 Outback a couple weeks ago and it already has a charging issue. The dealership denied any knowledge of the battery issue Class Action Lawsuit. I called Subaru America and they assigned a Case Number and told me Subaru is still having battery charging issues. Begs the question why they keep manufacturing this faulty system. I am not feeling the “Love” and now regret my purchase. I am a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD and the last thing I need is having to be hyper-vigilant about whether my new Subaru will fail me anywhere anytime or any place. I already have trouble trusting and this just confirms that.

ray (not verified)    November 9, 2022 - 4:55PM

In reply to by GEORGIA Mason (not verified)

We're in the same leaking boat! My 2020 Forester has had four batteries so far! They just keep replacing batteries without addressing the root cause of faulty electronics and parasite drain!

Jettia Traylor (not verified)    October 12, 2022 - 6:45PM

I would like to file a valid claim for cash reimbursement. Pls send me the form to do so. I own a 2017 Forester.

Ann Carollo (not verified)    October 21, 2022 - 8:32PM

I own a 2019 Outback. Replaced 5 batteries in less than a year. Stranded at least 5 times. Subaru said 4 were bad batteries and the fifth I had to pay for. Taking the car in again next week since we noticed Battery acid everywhere and this battery is a month old. Filled out the claim form for the Subaru battery settlement. We will see if the dealership can fix the problem. Problem is I can’t sell this vehicle with the battery problem . I need a reliable vehicle and this isn’t it.

Susan P (not verified)    October 31, 2022 - 10:29AM

2017 Outback replaced battery once, now not turning over easily after one year with new battery. Died once and left us stranded, so disappointing!! 1st Subaru, probably my last!