Producing junk in record numbers?

Subaru faces third lawsuit over alleged engine defects
CHERRY HILL – Subaru of America is facing a third lawsuit over alle ged engine defects in two high-performance models.
Each proposed class-action suit contends a different flaw causes premature engine failures in the Cherry Hill firm’s Impreza WRX and WRX STi v ehicles.
"We deny the claims and point to the long history of WRX sales," Subaru spo kesman Michael McHale said Wednesday.
The latest lawsuit alleges cars built in the 2009 through 2014 model years have “improperly designed and manufactured pistons.”
It says cracks in the piston ringlands, described as separations between th e piston rings, can expose drivers to potentially dangerous breakdowns and costly repairs.
The suit, which seeks to represent more than 100,000 motorists across the n ation, includes a sampling of complaints from vehicle owners to the Nationa l Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Several describe a problem that began with smoke coming from the exhaust an d a motor struggling to accelerate.
“To correct the failure, the engine had to be taken apart at the de aler and have new parts installed,” reported a motorist identified only as a resident of Wappinger Falls, New York.
“The car was out of my possession for two weeks,” the drive r added. “The car had only ~8000 miles on it.”
A separate lawsuit, filed by a Missouri man in December, blames a crankshaf t defect for engine failures in the 2009-14 vehicles.
And a suit brought by another Californian in October focuses on alleged met al shavings from an engine part known as a rotating assembly. It contends o il contaminated with metal particles can cause engine failure for WRX and W RX STi vehicles from model years 2012 through 2017.
All of the suits assert Subaru and its Japanese parent company, Subaru Corp ., concealed the alleged problems from customers.
The court challenges have come at a time of falling sales for WRX and WRX S Ti models.
Sales of the vehicles fell by 5.8 percent last year, to 31,358 units, and b y 10.2 percent for the first two months of 2018, according to Subaru.
Despite that, the firm had a record 647,956 sales for all vehicles in 2017. It has posted record sales for nine straight years, and has predicted it w ill set a new mark in 2018.
The company cited its sales growth earlier this month in announcing the pro motion of Tom Doll, its president since 2013, to chief executive officer.
Doll will be the firm’s top executive with the departure of Chairma n and CEO Tomomi Nakamura, who was named president of the parent company.
The latest suit, which seeks damages of more than $5 million, was filed Mar ch 18 by Christopher Thompson, a Subaru owner from California.
Thompson’s attorney, Gary Graifman of Chestnut Ridge, New York, dec lined to comment.
The suit contends Subaru modified engines used in vehicles like its Forrest er and Outback, to provide nearly twice as much horsepower for the WRX and WRX STi models.
But it argues the changes “did not include necessary internal engin e modifications to prevent damage to the piston ringlands.”
It contends pistons in the high-performance cars were made in a way that wa s cheaper for Subaru but that left the engine parts “more brittle. ”
And it says a design flaw allowed “excessive crankcase oil vapors … into the engine combustion chambers.” This allegedly led to damage to engine components, “including piston and piston ringla nd failure.”
The suit also alleges clean-air rules led Subaru to make adjustments ? ?that further strained the already overstressed internal engine component s.”
Subaru in 2016 settled a fourth class-action suit alleging excessive oil co nsumption by multiple models made between 2011 and 2015.
Subaru denied any wrongdoing under the settlement, which extended warranty protections for Forester, Impreza, Crosstrek, Legacy and Outback models mad e from 2011 through 2015.
More than 665,000 people owned or leased vehicles in those categories, acco rding to the suit. subaru-wrx-sti-engine-lawsuit/461823002/
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