Girardi | Keese

Class action lawsuit claims Subaru failed to disclose oil issues

Many residents of California drive Subaru vehicles, especially those individual who enjoy venturing into more rural areas. While the traction of the Subaru all-wheel-drive is a common reason for ownership, a group of owners in another state have filed a class action lawsuit claiming that Subaru failed to notify consumers of a defect that causes excessive oil burning.

According to reports, Subaru of America did issue technical bulletins to service professionals at dealers. The bulletins recommended that service departments replace piston rings in Subaru cars that presented with excessive oil consumption. According to the lawsuit against the car maker, however, the service advisory did not completely address the problem.

Reports are that the piston replacement is also expensive. Since the engine has to be removed to complete the job, the resulting labor hours and parts cost can be more than $8,000, says the lawsuit. According to reports, the oil-consumption problem occurs as piston rings wear. The issue is reportedly related to Forester, Outback, Legacy, Impreza and Crosstreck vehicles made between 2011 and 2014.

The lawsuit says that the impacted vehicles burn up to a quart of oil for every 1,200 miles driven. The suit also claims that Subaru knew about the defect and didn't inform consumers appropriately. The lawsuit cites numerous complaints posted by Subaru owners and seeks a nationwide class-action certification. The suit also claims that Subaru's actions violated consumer protection laws in several states, including California.

Class action lawsuits can be complex, as they normally span numerous states and legal issues. One of the first steps in such litigation is seeking certification of the lawsuit as a class action.

Source: New Jersey Law Journal, "Subaru Owners Bring Class Action Over Excess Oil Consumption" Charles Toutant, Jul. 17, 2014

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