— A Subaru cracked windshield class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of consumers who purchased or leased any 2017-2019 Subaru Forester, 2017-2019 Subaru Outback and 2017-2019 Subaru Legacy vehicles.
According to the lawsuit, the Subaru windshields are dangerous because they spontaneously crack, chip and break whether tiny objects strike the windshields or not.
Having a dealer replace the windshield allegedly only leads to one defective windshield replaced with another defective windshield, and typically at a huge expense.
"While driving down the highway July 2017, a very small rock hit within bottom 2 inches (near the center) of the windshield that over the course of a few days grew. Took it in and due to the eye sight re-calibration had to pay $1600.00 to have it repaired by the dealer. This past week, with a bump of my hand on the front windshield it cracked again! My insurance deducible is $1,000 so hardly worth reporting it. The cost to replace is exorbitant." - Subaru Outback owner
In addition to interfering with the ability of a driver to clearly see the road, the plaintiff says windshield cracks affect Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology.
EyeSight is marketed as capable of detecting vehicles traveling in front and can activate to avoid or lessen the impact of a crash. With the help of two Subaru-developed color cameras mounted behind the windshield, "EyeSight can identify vehicles traveling in front, traffic lanes, obstacles and pedestrians."
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the system has helped reduce the rate of pedestrian-related insurance claims by 41 percent. But the system is practically useless once the windshield is damaged.
The class action also alleges Subaru dealers often refuse to replace the windshields even when the vehicles are still under their warranties, leaving owners with the bills.
Subaru sent technical service bulletin (TSB) 12-192-15R in October 2016 concerning cracked windshields in 2015-2016 Legacy and Outback models:
“Further investigation has determined the root cause for many of these failures to be the ceramic materials used for the black-colored printed perimeter combined with the silver-colored material used for the wiper deicer portion of the windshield glass.” - TSB 12-192-15R
According to the lawsuit, Subaru dealers routinely tell owners that rocks or other objects struck the windshields even when there is no evidence. This allegedly allows Subaru to skip out on paying for windshield repairs and replacements when the vehicles are still covered by warranties.
The plaintiffs claim Subaru's "systematic denial of valid warranty claims is part of a concerted effort orchestrated by Defendants to minimize the cost of warranty claims."
The Subaru cracked windshield class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Armstrong, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc., et al.
The plaintiff is represented by Capstone Law, and Berger Montague.