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Subaru faces class action lawsuit for alleged oil consumption defect

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 29, 2014

CAMDEN, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - Subaru has been named in a class action lawsuit for an alleged oil consumption defect in five of its vehicles.

The plaintiffs brought the class action against Subaru of America Inc. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. on behalf of themselves and other former Subaru vehicle owners and lessees with allegedly defective piston rings in 2011-2014 Subaru Forester, 2013 Legacy, 2013 Outback, 2012-2013 Impreza and 2013 Crosstek.

Keith Yaeger and Michael Schuler claim Subaru failed to disclose to them and other consumers that the vehicles were predisposed to an oil consumption defect, according to a complaint filed July 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The plaintiffs claim the defect will inevitably cause the vehicles to prematurely burn off and/or consume abnormal and excessive amounts of engine oil.

"Significantly, the existence of the oil consumption defect poses a safety risk to the operator and passengers of the class vehicles because it prevents the engine from maintaining the proper level of engine oil, and causes an excessive amount of engine oil consumption that can neither be reasonably anticipated nor predicted," the complaint states.

The oil consumption defect can cause engine failure while the class vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving condition or speed, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim this exposes the driver and occupants of the vehicles, as well as others who share the road with them, to an increased risk of accident, injury or death.

"Not only did Subaru actively conceal the material fact that particular components within the class vehicles' engines are defective, they did not reveal that the existence of the defect would diminish the intrinsic and resale value of the class vehicles and lead to the safety concerns..." the complaint states. "Subaru has long been aware of the oil consumption defect. Yet, notwithstanding its longstanding knowledge if this design defect, Subaru has routinely refused to repair the class vehicles without charge when the defect manifests."

Subaru has also refused to take any action to correct this concealed design defect when it manifests in the vehicles outside of the warranty period and, since the oil consumption defect typically manifests within and/or shortly outside the warranty period for the vehicles, any attempt by Subaru to limit the warranty with respect to the oil consumption defect is unconscionable, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking for class certification and compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are represented by Matthew D. Schelkopf, Joseph G. Sauder and Benjamin F. Johns of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP.

The case was assigned to District Judge Jerome B. Simandle.

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey case number: 1:14-cv-04490

From Legal Newsline: Kyla Asbury can be reached at classactions@legalnewsline.com.

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