— A Subaru WRX and WRX STI engine knock and spun bearing lawsuit alleges metal debris contaminates the oil from defective connecting rod bearings and causes total engine failure.
According to the proposed class-action lawsuit, 2013-2014 Subaru WRX and WRX STI cars have defective rotating assemblies and engines that aren't lubricated enough by the oil that contains the metal debris.
According to the lawsuit, the Subaru Impreza was first manufactured in 1992, then Subaru started building the “WRX” (short for world rally) version of the Impreza.
The 2013-2014 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models were manufactured with Subaru’s EJ “short block” engine, a dual-overhead camshaft 16-valve turbo four-stroke engine manufactured by Subaru.
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 rod and as the connecting rod moves up and down, this causes the crankshaft to rotate and send power to the wheels.
During this cycle, the crankshaft rotates many thousands of times per minute within each connecting rod, so to reduce friction and make the engine last longer, a bearing placed between the connecting rod and crankshaft surfaces. As a result, the connecting rod bearings allow the crankshaft to rotate within the connecting rods.
It's the job of the engine oil to lubricate the piston, cylinder wall, connecting rod bearings and other rotating and moving components as the piston moves up and down. In addition, the oil is necessary to reduce wear on moving engine parts, improve sealing and to cool the engine by carrying away heat from the moving parts.
According to the lawsuit, the defect causes an insufficient supply of oil to coat the bearing surfaces and doesn't make a good enough oil barrier between the bearings and the metal parts they are designed to protect.
This allegedly causes excessive contact between the connecting rods and connecting rod bearings, finally causing the bearings to disintegrate and fracture.
This sends metal debris through the oil so much that the oil filter can no longer remove the metal and the oil is re-circulated throughout the engine by the oil pumps, causing damage to the various components and eventually leading to catastrophic engine failure.
The knocking and rattling sounds arise as a result of the connecting rod bearings falling apart from damage to the bearings, connecting rods and crankshaft. The plaintiff also claims the damaged connecting rod bearings can cause the pistons to break through the engine blocks.
The plaintiff says he purchased a 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX in 2015, but in 2017 when the car had nearly 69,000 miles, the engine started knocking before it completely failed.
Subaru allegedly told the plaintiff the WRX “engine need[ed] to be remove[d] and [torn] down to inspect damage. Found connecting rod #1 damage sending metal shaving to cylinder walls caus[ing] damage to short block. Short block and all relating parts need to be replace[d].”
The plaintiff says Subaru told him he would need to pay $5,711.15 for repairs, but eventually the automaker said it would pay $2,000 as a goodwill gesture, but no more than $2,000.
In August 2017, the plaintiff allegedly paid $3,711.15 to pick up his WRX, a car he says wouldn't have been purchased in the first place if Subaru would have warned him about the spun bearing problems.
Subaru allegedly concealed the WRX engines are prone to failure due to knocking and spun bearings, causing the cars to lose value while Subaru refused to order a recall or offer reimbursements to WRX and WRX STI owners. Additionally, the plaintiff says the cars are a safety hazard because the engines fail while driving at highway speeds.
Subaru allegedly should have known about the knocking and spun bearing problems based on customer complaints and internal testing.
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.