Consumers who purchased or leased certain 2019-2023 Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester and WRX vehicles equipped with The Starlink infotainment system need to pay close attention to their legal rights after consumers recently filed a Subaru class action lawsuit.
Current or former owners or lessees of these vehicles should be aware that the California lemon law and other state and federal laws may force Subaru to either “buy the vehicle back” or provide further significant compensation for those experiencing this defect.
Under California’s lemon law, qualifying “lemons” must be bought back, and that can mean a large cash refund and payoff of your loan or lease. The refund could be as much as everything you paid for the vehicle and everything you owe: monthly payments, down payments, tax, finance charges, license, registration, etc. You could even qualify for 2 times your money back depending on the circumstances.
What Subaru would have to buy it for has nothing to do with how much the vehicle is currently worth. The law has a formula that starts with you getting all your money back and then taking certain deductions and exclusions away from your payment. Those refunds and exclusions are challenging to understand and can be fought against by knowledgeable consumer attorneys.
For free information on your legal right to seek compensation, fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-OPT-OUT1 (1-855-678-6881). Watch your email and contact a consumer lawyer for advice as to your options.
Subaru Class Action Filed Over Starlink Infotainment Defect
A federal class action lawsuit titled Cillufo et al. v. Subaru of America Inc. et al., case number 1:23-cv-01897, was filed on April 4, 2023, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
The lawsuit claims that the Subaru Starlink Infotainment system has a defect that causes it to shut off, become nonresponsive and reboot, among other problems. (“Starlink Defect”). In particular, the Starlink Defect allegedly causes system freezing, rebooting and turning off, audio skipping when connected to Bluetooth, and a nonresponsive touch screen, among other things, which can pose a danger, the suit contends.
According to the Complaint, Subaru learned of the defect via pre-release testing. Subaru’s knowledge of the defect is also “supported by” service bulletins, consumer complaints on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website and other sites, and consumers who brought their 2019-2023 Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester, and WRX vehicles in for repairs related to the problem.
Status Of Class Action Litigation
The complaint was filed on April 4, 2023. As such, there are no pre-trial or trial dates set in this class action lawsuit at this time.
However, New Jersey-based Subaru of America Inc. settled a class action in 2019 relating to similar problems in 2017 and 2018 Subaru vehicles, the plaintiffs note. Some owners have had their head units replaced, only to discover that the issues continue, they say.
What Are Your Options?
When it comes to vehicles what to do can be a complicated decision, as it can depend on many factors. These factors include:
- how old is your car?
- has the defect occurred in your car?
- have you taken it in for repairs on more than one occasion?
- do you still own the car?
- is the car still under warranty?
- Where do you live?
We are available to help you sort through these questions and make an informed decision. Fill out the following form, and we will contact you. For a free lemon law consultation fill out the form below or call us at 1-855-678-6881.
Subaru Class Action FAQ
What are the affected vehicle models identified?
2019-2023 Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester and WRX vehicles equipped with The Starlink infotainment system.
How many vehicles are impacted by this defect?
Although the exact number of vehicles affected is presently unknown, based upon the number of Subaru Outback, Legacy, Forester and WRX vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S. between 2019 and 2023, the number of potentially affected vehicles appears could be over 1.5 million vehicles.
How does the Starlink Defect violate the vehicle warranty?
The Subaru Starlink Infotainment system falls under the express 3 year/36,000 miles warranty. Plaintiffs experienced the Starlink system defect within the warranty period.
Despite the existence of express warranties (including but not limited to Subaru’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty), Defendants failed to inform Plaintiffs and class members that the Class Vehicles are defective and failed to fix or eliminate the defect.
Are Cars with This Starlink Defect Unsafe?
According to the Complaint, beyond severe inconvenience, the defect in the Starlink system presents a safety issue.
Rebooting, freezing, and non-responsive infotainment screens can pose a driver distraction. This can also impact operability of connected features, including the backup camera, which is a critical safety feature.
If a backup camera screen freezes or the system re-boots or shuts off during a backup, Class Vehicle owners and lessees who rely on backup camera screen may not realize that the displayed rear view is not in real time (if frozen) or may lose the camera view (if the system re-boots or goes blank) and may hit a pedestrian or experience a collision.
Have the consumers been offered anything by Subaru to resolve this issue?
Not at this time.
Is there anything I need to do at this time?
If you decide you want to bring your own claim, you can do so now and opt out later when you receive notice relating to the lawsuit. Or the class will be defined as persons who did not bring an individual lawsuit, which would automatically opt you out of the class action lawsuit.
If you would like to discuss your options with us, please call us at 855-678-6881.
What is the Song Beverly Warranty Act?
The Song-Beverly Warranty Act, California Civil Code §1793.2(d)(1), is a California state law that requires manufacturers to repair defects after a reasonable number of repair attempts.
What is “reasonable” is not part of hard and fast rules – safety defects such as the Starlink defect should be fixed immediately, for example. The defects have to be important, and must “substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, OR safety.” Civil Code §1793.22(e)(2).
Under Civil Code §1793.2(d)(1), manufacturers must promptly offer repurchase or replacement of the Vehicle they cannot fix in a reasonable time frame. In addition, Civil Code §1794(c) and §1793.2(d) provides that customers are entitled to a civil penalty in an amount up to two times actual damages if manufacturers acted “willfully” (meaning knowingly, but not necessarily with wrongful or malicious intent) in ignoring or failing its obligation under Song-Beverly.
Finally, under Civil Code §1794(d), manufacturers such as Subaru must pay plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs as part of the settlement, as the Song-Beverly Act is a pro-consumer fee-shifting statute.
What Compensation Could I Get If I Bring an Individual Lawsuit?
Current or former owners should be aware that the California lemon law and other state and federal laws may force Subaru to either “buy the vehicle back,” or provide other important compensation. Under California’s lemon law, qualifying “lemons” must be bought back, and that can mean a large cash refund and payoff of your loan or lease.
The refund could be as much as everything you paid for the vehicle and everything you owe: monthly payments, down payments, tax, finance charges, license and registration, etc. In fact, you could even qualify for Two-Times your money back, depending on the circumstances.
What Subaru would have to buy it for has nothing to do with how much the vehicle is currently worth. There is a formula in the law, that starts with you getting all your money back, and then taking certain deductions and exclusions away from your payment.
Those refunds and exclusions are difficult to understand and can be fought against by knowledgeable consumer attorneys. Don’t settle for small dollar payments or more possible fixes without speaking to qualified consumer attorney who has your individual best interest in mind. Watch the mail, watch your email, and contact a consumer lawyer for advice.
Have Questions? Contact Us
There are a lot of factors to consider in deciding whether to pursue individual claims. We are available to help you sort through these questions and make an informed decision as to your options. Fill out the following form, and we will promptly contact you, or call us at 855-678-6881.
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