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Old 08-28-2018, 07:43 AM   #1
pw-
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Default Turbo EJ connecting rod and bearing failure lawsuit nearing settlement

https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2...-lawsuit.shtml

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August 26, 2018 — A Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI engine class-action lawsuit settlement has been given preliminary approval by both parties.

Both sides have agreed to the terms that include 2012-2017 Subaru Impreza WRX and STI cars with EJ-series 2.5-liter turbocharged engines.

The proposed settlement includes any U.S. consumer who currently owns or leases, or previously owned or leased, an affected car originally purchased or leased in the U.S. and Alaska.

The crux of the class-action is the argument that premature engine connecting rod and main bearing failures cause the engines to fail prematurely.

The EJ engines use four pistons to convert pressure into a rotating motion while gasoline is mixed with air in the combustion chambers of the engine. The pistons are connected to the crankshaft via the connecting rods and as the connecting rods move up and down, this causes the crankshaft to rotate and send power to the wheels.

The plaintiffs allege Subaru knew about defects in the rotating assemblies but failed to tell customers about the problems. According to the engine lawsuit, the rotating assembly includes the connecting rod bearings, main bearings and the channels of engine lubrication.

The lawsuit alleges metal debris within the engine oil will cause the oil to lose its ability to protect the engine components, something that causes excessive contact between the engine bearings.

The original lawsuit was filed by Vincente Salcedo against Subaru and the automaker responded by filing a motion to dismiss the complaint. A separate lawsuit was also filed in December 2017 with the same court as the Salcedo action.

More plaintiffs were quickly added and the two lawsuits were consolidated and refiled in March 2018 and about a month later Subaru decided to settle the lawsuit.

Subaru has agreed to cover repairs to correct the alleged defect during an extended warranty period of 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the extended warranty will cover "qualifying repairs" performed by Subaru dealerships.

Subaru WRX and WRX STI customers who sold or traded in their cars with "qualifying failures" prior to obtaining repairs are also eligible for payments. A customer will need to show proof of the repairs and proof they got rid of the car.

They will need to do this within the extended warranty period and show they received less than fair market value by comparing the Kelly Blue Book value at the time of the transaction, up to a maximum of $4,000.

Subaru has also agreed to reimburse affected customers for 100 percent of out-of-pocket expenses they incurred for parts and labor paid to dealers for repairs performed during the extended warranty period. The same is true for independent repair shops as long as the car was first presented to a Subaru dealership.

However, there are caps for repairs during an extended warranty if performed at an independent repair shop:

Shortblock replacement with no additional component replacements - $3,500
Shortblock replacement with turbocharger replacement or turbocharger rebuild - $4,500
Shortblock replacement with cylinder head and camshaft replacement (No turbocharger replacement or rebuild) - $5,500
Shortblock replacement with cylinder head, camshaft and turbocharger replacement or turbocharger rebuild - $6,500
The proposed settlement says for any repairs performed by independent repair shops, Subaru does not warrant or guarantee those repairs and should any such repairs fail after a customer has made a claim under the settlement, the customer will not be entitled to submit an additional claim.

Based on customers supplying reasonable proof and meeting certain conditions, Subaru has agreed to reimburse all affected Impreza WRX and WRX STI customers for towing and rental car expenses (up to $45 per day for a maximum of two days) incurred as a result of having repairs, if the repairs required more than two full days in a single repair period.

Attorneys say there are certain conditions and modifications made to the cars that will exclude customers from receiving repairs under the terms of the extended warranties.

Modifications that will cause exclusions include changes made to the engine control units and any "piggyback" devices created to intercept and alter engine control unit signals.

As part of the proposed settlement, Subaru has agreed not to oppose attorneys' fees and expenses up to $625,000.

Affected Subaru WRX and WRX STI customers will be notified if the judge gives final approvement to the settlement, something that could occur in 2019.

The Subaru WRX and WRX STI spun bearing lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Vicente Salcedo v. Subaru of America Inc., et. al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Sauder Schelkopf LLC, Lite DePalma Greenberg, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, and Thomas P. Sobran.
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:26 AM   #2
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Ouch for Subaru. So glad to see this happen though. RA engines for all replaced?
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:58 AM   #3
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So why aren’t the 2009-2011 WRX’s included? Same engine right?
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by slimfit View Post
So why aren’t the 2009-2011 WRX’s included? Same engine right?
I wonder if there was a mfg change in the line beginning with the 2012 models. Or, it could be that the claimants didn't own one older than 2012.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:48 AM   #5
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On here people said the motor is just fine, it’s just the tune, etc.

Now I see why so many VA’s blew up that first summer of release. There was quite the number of thrmmon iwsti that blew, no mods.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by D-rock240 View Post
I wonder if there was a mfg change in the line beginning with the 2012 models. Or, it could be that the claimants didn't own one older than 2012.
Maybe both? I'd go with the latter though.

I think Subaru did the math on this one -- compensating those affected will be cheaper than battling it out. Especially since the stipulation of "no mods" needs to be met to qualify for compensation.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:15 PM   #7
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It's just like GM choosing to not add a $6 part to Cobalt steering columns since dealing with lawsuits of wrongful deaths would be cheaper, the cheapness of auto manufacturers truly has no boundaries.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:36 AM   #8
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Well this part sucks for half of the owners:
“Modifications that will cause exclusions include changes made to the engine control units and any "piggyback" devices created to intercept and alter engine control unit signals.”
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:02 AM   #9
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Well glad they considered everyone with a ej257.... anyone know why they cut it off at 2012??

Figures i have an 11
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
Well this part sucks for half of the owners:
“Modifications that will cause exclusions include changes made to the engine control units and any "piggyback" devices created to intercept and alter engine control unit signals.”
True, manufacturers will always fight hard for an out. I'm sure they negotiated that disclaimer as part of the settlement. We admit fault, but if you modified the ECU (Even COBB Stg1 - 2% HP and 7% increase in TQ) you're SOL.

This has always been a bone of contention for owners. Subaru - touted as highly modifiable, but oopsie, ya you aren't covered any more.

I love the brand, but they did have a manufacturing defect plain and simple. It came to light and will finally be addressed and put to rest.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-rock240 View Post
I wonder if there was a mfg change in the line beginning with the 2012 models. Or, it could be that the claimants didn't own one older than 2012.
Hard to say. I personally think they should have included 2012-2014 as well. While there were a higher number of failures pre 2012, we've all watched the youtube videos of pre 2015 STI's going down in flames.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by shadowsports View Post
True, manufacturers will always fight hard for an out. I'm sure they negotiated that disclaimer as part of the settlement. We admit fault, but if you modified the ECU (Even COBB Stg1 - 2% HP and 7% increase in TQ) you're SOL.

This has always been a bone of contention for owners. Subaru - touted as highly modifiable, but oopsie, ya you aren't covered any more.

I love the brand, but they did have a manufacturing defect plain and simple. It came to light and will finally be addressed and put to rest.
Its only touted as highly modifiable by enthusiasts, not Subaru. Like with anything you buy, if you made changes to something related to what breaks, you're SOL. I modified my previous Subaru, but I never once had the expectation that if something breaks I should be covered.

And EJs breaking won't be put to rest since people still like to complain about ringlands. This one is for the spun bearing folks.
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowsports View Post
True, manufacturers will always fight hard for an out. I'm sure they negotiated that disclaimer as part of the settlement. We admit fault, but if you modified the ECU (Even COBB Stg1 - 2% HP and 7% increase in TQ) you're SOL.

This has always been a bone of contention for owners. Subaru - touted as highly modifiable, but oopsie, ya you aren't covered any more.

I love the brand, but they did have a manufacturing defect plain and simple. It came to light and will finally be addressed and put to rest.
It was funny, someone was telling me how they were reading the terms of an aftermarket car warranty that this major dealership offered. The warranty was available for all makes and model of car, except two. The first was something really oddball and rare. The second was "ALL SUBARU WRX." We laughed. "Good call, warranty scammers."
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by slimfit View Post
So why aren’t the 2009-2011 WRX’s included? Same engine right?
Hell, what about every EJ-T built for the USDM since 2002? Our bone stock WRX spun a rod bearing at 89k miles...
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:06 PM   #15
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Been a while since I've been on the NASIOC boards, so forgive me if this is common knowledge, but since I'm seriously considering picking up a 2019 STI next Spring, are there any indications that whatever manufacturing defect caused the issue has been resolved in the 2018+ models?
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by littledrummerboy View Post
[...]And EJs breaking won't be put to rest since people still like to complain about ringlands. This one is for the spun bearing folks.
IMO, at this point, the spun bearing issue is pervasive; the ringland issue has clearly been relegated to 2nd place.
Owners don't get a chance to destroy ringlands because they end up with spun bearings way before .
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Geese1 View Post
Been a while since I've been on the NASIOC boards, so forgive me if this is common knowledge, but since I'm seriously considering picking up a 2019 STI next Spring, are there any indications that whatever manufacturing defect caused the issue has been resolved in the 2018+ models?
Who knows.
Keep oil level topped up at ALL times, fill up with the highest octane pump gas you can find (93+ is best), keep the engine and ECU bone stock and enjoy the car.
If it breaks, Subaru won't have anything against you: drop it at the dealership and they'll take care of it.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
Who knows.

Keep oil level topped up at ALL times, fill up with the highest octane pump gas you can find (93+ is best), keep the engine and ECU bone stock and enjoy the car.

If it breaks, Subaru won't have anything against you: drop it at the dealership and they'll take care of it.


Thanks for the info. Still have a few months so I'll have to do my research. I work from home, and have access to other cars, so this would be more of a toy than a daily driver. Was considering waiting for the redesign, but since it sounds like that won't be until MY 2021, and I'd want to wait a couple of years to work out any bugs, I'm sorely tempted to pick up one of the current cars, no matter how long in the tooth they are at this point.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
IMO, at this point, the spun bearing issue is pervasive; the ringland issue has clearly been relegated to 2nd place.
Owners don't get a chance to destroy ringlands because they end up with spun bearings way before .
Funny cuz i'm sure the ringland people would like to argue the other way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geese1 View Post
Been a while since I've been on the NASIOC boards, so forgive me if this is common knowledge, but since I'm seriously considering picking up a 2019 STI next Spring, are there any indications that whatever manufacturing defect caused the issue has been resolved in the 2018+ models?
Imo, don't sweat it. There is no indication things have been resolved because this is a class-action lawsuit and not an investigation. There may very well be nothing to resolve which is why its not a full-on recall, just a warranty extension and reimbursement to those that paid out-of-pocket. Subaru just didn't want to fight it out in court. Some people had it happen to them, while most haven't.

Like said above, maintain it, put good oil in it and top up between oil changes, and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:04 AM   #20
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so can I print this page out and put it in my glove box?
I like the part of getting extended warranty on this specific failure.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:32 AM   #21
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Does anyone know why the 2018 STI's are not included in this?
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:20 PM   #22
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Does anyone know why the 2018 STI's are not included in this?
Maybe because the suit was originally brought up 2 years ago and lawyers didn't want to include "future" models in that suit?
Again, that spun bearing issue is not new and the only way to stay ahead of it is to keep that engine bone stock and keep your oil topped off at all times.
This way, if your engine does spin a bearing, Subaru will have no grounds to deny warranty work.
The situation was similar for all the oil burning FB20/FB25 engines; FB20 has a low oil level sensor that reminded people that they needed to check level and top off.
But, FB25, just like EJ25, had no oil level sensor (only a mostly useless low oil pressure sensor); some owners allowed oil level to dip too low and were denied warranty repairs even though, at some level, Subaru knew some of those FB25 short blocks were busted from the factory.
Basically, don't allow Subaru to catch you with your pants down; they will shaft you given the opportunity .
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #23
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Basically, don't allow Subaru to catch you with your pants down; they will shaft you given the opportunity .


Someone speaking trufs on here?
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Pre View Post


Someone speaking trufs on here?
Yep, that needs to be said; I was extremely diligent with my FB25 and it worked out fine in the end.
Even if my wife kind of resented me for DEMANDING her to check oil level EVERY SINGLE gosh darn fuel stop . Fun times .
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:11 PM   #25
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I had a 2002 wrx that spun a bearing, no mods at the time so Subaru repaired it with a remanufactured short block. The failure was actually RIGHT after an oil change done by them with 10W-30 Synthetic. I know now that 10W-50 would of most likely saved the con rod bearings. I drove that car in a stage 2 mod until 178,000 Km when the timing belt let go 1 year after I had it replaced by a shop who did it wrong, apparently, and then closed prior to the failure...
It's been 7 years since I lost the WRX and I miss it every day.

A month ago I took a 2018 Focus RS for a test drive and it was fantastic! I actually prefer the STi's looks, size, sound, awd system, rally heritage and pricing compared to the RS. I wish it had modern 350 hp engine, launch control and those awesome exhaust cracks and pops like the RS!!

I'm super split between the two but the inherent engine flaws of the long toothed EJ257 really worries me. However, the 2019 STi has the "new ECU tuning" and "strengthened pistons" from the type RA. Does anyone here know if those improvements positively impact reliability? I'm also thinking of going for an extended warranty if I get the STi or RS.

I think a 2019 STi would be like bringing back my 2002 WRX from the dead. I miss that Subaru exhaust note!
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