Subaru Fuel Pump Class Action Lawsuit Partly Dismissed

Subaru class action alleges a fuel pump recall was issued too late and the repairs don’t work.

March 20, 2022 — Subaru fuel pumps caused a class action lawsuit that will continue in court, although multiple claims were dismissed by the judge.

The Subaru fuel pump class action lawsuit was consolidated from four separate class action lawsuits, including Griffin v. Subaru, Anderson v. Subaru and Adnan v. Subaru, and all filed after Subaru recalled the fuel pumps.

On April 16, 2020, Subaru issued a recall of more than 188,000 model year 2019 Subaru Impreza, Outback, Legacy and Ascent vehicles.

“The affected vehicles may be equipped with a low pressure fuel pump produced during a specific timeframe which includes an impeller that was manufactured with a lower density. If the surface of the lower density impeller is exposed to solvent drying for longer periods of time, it may develop fine cracks. Those cracks may lead to excessive fuel absorption, resulting in impeller deformation. Over time, the impeller may become deformed enough to interfere with the body of the fuel pump, potentially causing the low pressure fuel pump to become inoperative.” — Subaru fuel pump recall

According to the fuel pump recall, Subaru dealers will replace the pumps with new parts.

Once Subaru announced the fuel pump recall, owners began filing lawsuits alleging multiple claims against Subaru and how the automaker allegedly waited too long to order the fuel pump recall. The class action suits also allege Subaru didn’t include all the affected vehicles in the recall.

The current consolidated class action case includes 34 plaintiffs who allege all Subaru vehicles built since 2013 contain defective low-pressure fuel pumps manufactured by DENSO. The plaintiffs say Subaru’s recall repairs are inadequate and technicians don’t know how to properly work on the fuel pumps.

In August 2021, Subaru announced another fuel pump recall of 165,000 of these vehicles.

  • 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent

  • 2018 Subaru Forester

  • 2018-2020 Subaru Impreza

  • 2018-2020 Subaru Legacy

  • 2018-2020 Subaru Outback

  • 2018-2019 Subaru BRZ

  • 2018-2019 Subaru WRX

  • 2018-2019 Toyota 86

Subaru Fuel Pump Class Action Lawsuit Partly Dismissed

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Subaru argues the plaintiffs lack standing to bring claims based on laws of states where the plaintiffs “neither reside nor purchased their vehicles,” and the judge agrees.

Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez also dismissed a claim from one plaintiff because the plaintiff owns a Subaru vehicle that doesn’t even contain the defective fuel pump in question.

Subaru’s motion also argues Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims shouldn’t be heard because the fuel pump class action lawsuit fails to name at least 100 plaintiffs as the Act requires. The judge agrees and says the court lacks jurisdiction over these claims.

And because the plaintiffs failed in their Warranty Act claims, state warranty law violation claims were also dismissed because they are tied to Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claims.

As for implied warranty claims against Subaru, the plaintiffs allege their vehicles “were not merchantable or fit for their ordinary purposes.” But Subaru argues 13 plaintiffs never allege they had any fuel pump problems, and the judge agrees.

Subaru also argues the plaintiffs never allege they provided the automaker with pre-lawsuit notice as required under the state laws which caused the judge to dismiss claims from eight plaintiffs.

Subaru also argues implied warranty claims of 12 plaintiffs should be dismissed because their vehicles had their fuel pumps replaced under the recall. But this time the judge ruled against Subaru because the class action lawsuit doesn’t say the plaintiffs received new fuel pumps.

According to the judge, Subaru’s internal records show the 12 vehicles received new fuel pumps, but the judge says he can’t rely on those records.

However, the judge did dismiss an implied warranty claim from one plaintiff because the fuel pump was replaced for free under warranty.

According to the fuel pump class action lawsuit, Subaru lied when it advertised the safety of the vehicles, along with the “dependability” and “reliability” of Subaru vehicles. But Subaru argues these statements cannot provide the basis for a fraud claim because they are mere “puffery.”

Judge Rodriguez agrees and says the advertising “represents the type of exaggerated statement regularly made by companies, which [are] unbeatable.”

The judge also agreed to dismiss negligent recall claims because the plaintiffs have no authority to replace the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding safety defects.

Additionally, the judge says, “The majority of Plaintiffs experienced no symptoms of the defect in their Subaru vehicles and did not bring their vehicles to Subaru for repair of any kind. No Plaintiffs allege that they suffered physical injury while driving their Subaru vehicles, or rented a car at their own expense while having their vehicles repaired.”

The Subaru fuel pump class action lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey: Cohen, et al., v. Subaru of America, et al.

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