— Subaru valve spring recall problems have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges repairs performed during the recall caused engines to stall and fail.
The lawsuit names Subaru and Toyota as defendants because both automakers developed the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, but the plaintiff says it was Subaru which created the engines used in the vehicles.
- 2013 Subaru BRZ
- 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S
- 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
- 2012-2014 Subaru Impreza
Subaru and Toyota customers complain their vehicles are safety hazards to them and the public because the engines stall and fail after the vehicles were recalled in November 2018.
In addition, once the valve springs fracture a driver can't restart the vehicle.
During the valve spring recall, owners were told to contact their Subaru or Toyota dealers to have the valve springs replaced with springs that were of an "improved design." But according to the lawsuit, the repairs made the valve spring and engine problems worse and increased the risk of catastrophic engine damage.
The lawsuit also alleges Subaru knows the recall repairs have caused more problems but the automaker allegedly refuses to accept liability and places the cost of additional repairs onto vehicle owners.
Texas plaintiff Cristian Nunez purchased a new 2013 Scion FR-S made by Toyota, a car the plaintiff still owns. Nunez received a recall notice in August 2019 issued by Toyota, so he took the car to the dealership for recall repairs.
A week later the plaintiff was driving his car when he allegedly heard a loud knocking noise coming from the engine right before it shut down. Because he was stranded on the road on Labor Day weekend, the plaintiff says he was forced to wait until the following Tuesday to get the car towed into the dealership.
The technicians found metal shavings inside the engine and engine oil which caused bearing failure even though the car was supposed to have been repaired during the recall.
According to the plaintiff, multiple dealer representatives blamed the failed engine on the plaintiff working on the engine, a claim denied by the plaintiff. Nunez says he hadn't worked on the car at all, and the metal shavings weren't there when the same dealership performed the recall repairs a week earlier.
The dealership said the Scion needed a new engine at a cost of $6,500, an amount the plaintiff would need to cover entirely. Even though dealer personnel blamed the problem on the plaintiff, he was still made an offer to leave the car at the dealership while technicians checked to see if Toyota would pay part or all of the cost. In addition, the plaintiff was provided a loaner vehicle.
The wait was allegedly useless because the lawsuit alleges Toyota declined to pay anything. But according to the lawsuit, that wasn't the only bad news.
"Moreover, Plaintiff was informed that he was required to either (1) agree to a $1,500.00 charge to have a representative of Toyota travel to the dealership to inspect the vehicle firsthand; or (2) pay to have the vehicle towed from the dealership’s premises, and immediately return the loaner vehicle that Plaintiff had been using to travel to work, and for other necessary personal travel."
Nunez also claims the dealership told him he would need to "pay for the use of the loaner vehicle during the time period in which his car was being evaluated by the dealership and Toyota."
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff has been left without a vehicle because he is in no position to pay the money Toyota wants. Nunez says he didn't do any maintenance work on the Scion and he shouldn't be forced to pay for Toyota's mistakes.
The Subaru valve spring recall lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Nunez, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc., et al.