A Subaru engine lawsuit is currently pending in court in Seattle. The lawsuit claims that the automaker deliberately tuned the engines on thousands of models to fail on federal emissions tests in an effort to fix ignition timing issues with certain cars.
The plaintiff’s car, a 2021 Subaru Forester, was purchased at a local car dealership in March of this year, but by May of this year, she had moved out of the car lot and into a new car lease contract. According to the complaint, the manufacturer violated the warranty on her car by adjusting the engines at regular intervals without first notifying her that the cars would be recalled.
Subaru Engine Lawsuit
Subsequently, the defendant called the plaintiff’s car warranty department on numerous occasions to advise her that her car would be recalled and again requested that she bring her car in for maintenance. Eventually, on June 5th, the car was towed away to a locksmith shop as part of the manufacturer’s recall process. On July 12th, the car was once again towed to the same locksmith shop where it was repaired once more. On both occasions, the plaintiff was advised that her car would be recalled if it were not fixed immediately.
Subsequently, on August 3rd, the auto maker released a press release saying that it was “fully satisfied” with the evidence indicating that the vehicles involved in the car recalls had improper ignition timing.
Subsequently, the complaint was filed against the company. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff states that she suffered “injury, pain and suffering, loss of income, physical disability, and suffering”. The complaint further claims that the defendant “knows or has reason to know that it is illegal to modify ignition timing in automobiles with recalls”. On a motion to dismiss for lack of personal injury or negligence, the complaint is scheduled for trial on September 8th.
According to Automobile News, Subaru’s U.S. attorney, Michael J. Schwab, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Subaru’s emissions recall program was first disclosed in June of 2021. In its entirety, the automaker says that “it considers that the scope of the program, as well as the details contained in this document, are too broad for us to accurately determine whether the product qualifies as a ‘wear and tear’ product under our rules”. In addition, the automaker reiterates, “Subaru will address any issue related to the validity of the underlying claim before reaching a judgment in a court of law.”
As noted above, according to Automobile News, “Subaru faces the challenge of proving that it was not negligent in releasing a vehicle-based emissions warning about six months before a major North American automobile accident that claimed the lives of six people and injured another dozen.”
The automaker also says that it “will vigorously defend its position in this case and will not give into the request for class-action certification.”
Given the breadth of Subaru’s emissions-warnings program, and the company’s strong resistance to class-action lawsuits, it’s quite possible that Subaru could be facing a potential class-action lawsuit as a result of its turbocharged engines.
If a lawsuit does go forward, however, the plaintiff would need to prove three things:
(1) that there was negligence on the part of the automaker; (2) that the negligence was a direct result of the release of the engine recall; and (3) that the harm caused by the alleged engine malfunction was the direct result of the recalled engine.
If these conditions are met, the plaintiff is likely to receive compensation for the time they wasted during their time away from work, lost wages, and potential medical expenses. If the circumstances described above do not describe the situation at hand in this case, then the defendant is likely to prevail in its defense of the case.