Is your Subaru’s battery dying prematurely and randomly? If so, you’re not alone. Many Subaru owners have experienced the same issue. This class action settlement is designed to help Subaru vehicle owners affected by the premature battery drain defect. If own a Subaru vehicle affected by this defect, you may be eligible for compensation.
While Subaru hasn’t admitted to any wrongdoing, the class action settlement has revealed that the vehicles components required more power than the battery was able to provide. Simply put, the OEM Subaru battery did not have the capacity to support the vehicle’s electrical components. As a result, Subaru owners experienced random and sudden premature dead batteries.
If you own a 2015-2020 Outback, 2015-2020 Forester, 2015-2020 Legacy, 2015-2020 WRX and 2019-2020 Ascent vehicle, you may be eligible to receive an extended battery warranty and cash reimbursements.
Subaru Battery Drain Problems
According to the class action, the electrical system in these Subaru vehicles are subject to a continuous parasitic drain. Allegedly, the battery drain problems stem from the vehicles Controller Area Network (CAN) system which fails to enter sleep mode when the vehicle is turned off.
The CAN system is designed to let components like electronic units, microcontrollers, devices, sensors and actuators communicate and work together without a host computer.
However, a defect in the vehicle results in the CAN system drawing significant “dark current” (parasitic battery draw) even when the vehicle is turned off and not being operated.
Further investigation showed that the batteries in these Subaru vehicles just simply weren’t designed to be continually drained down to low volumes of power. Thus, the parasitic draw reduces the battery’s total charge and its lifespan significantly shortened.
As a result, the battery defect leaves vehicle owners stranded requiring a jump start or battery replacement – far more often than expected.
While Subaru hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing for the defects in the vehicles they designed and manufactured, they have agreed to a settlement.
Status of the Subaru Battery Drain Class Action Litigation
Subaru Battery Drain Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:20-cv-03095-JHR-MJS in the District Court for the District of New Jersey. This lawsuit is now settled.
Under the terms of the settlement, Class Members can receive extended warranty benefits and reimbursement payments.
Extended Warranty Details
All class members can receive an extended warranty for future qualifying battery failures. Under the terms of the settlement for the first battery replacement, the extended warranty covers:
- 100% of the battery replacement cost for vehicles up to five years and 60,000 miles
- 50% of the battery replacement cost for vehicles over five years and 60,000 miles
After five years or 60,000 miles, the extended warranty covers:
- 80% of replacement costs for seven years or 84,000 miles
- 60% of replacement costs for eight years or 100,000 miles
Cash reimbursement are also provided for past battery replacements, towing and other related costs vehicle owners paid out of pocket.
Class members are eligible to receive between 55% and 165% reimbursement for expenses based on the vehicle’s age, mileage and number of paid repairs.
Subaru Models Affected
The following Subaru models are affected by this settlement:
- 2015-2020 Outback
- 2015-2020 Forester
- 2015-2020 Legacy
- 2015-2020 WRX
- 2019-2020 Ascent
What Action Subaru Outback, Forester, Legacy, WRX, and Ascent Owners Need to Take?
If you currently or previously owned or leased a certain Outback, Forester, Legacy, WRX or Ascent vehicle in the United States, you may be entitled to benefits afforded by the class action settlement.
Subaru Battery Settlement Claim Form
To receive settlement benefits, vehicle owners must submit a valid claim by no later than March 9, 2023.
Class Members who do not submit a claim will still be able to receive extended warranty benefits.
Questions About This Settlement?
MyCarVoice.com is not counsel or the settlement administrator in this class action lawsuit. Our goal is to inform owners of these vehicles of the recent settlement.
This post will be updated when/if new settlement information is released. Please considering subscribing to this post for updates.
Submit your Car Complaint
Important Settlement Updates
Settlement details have been added under “Status of the Subaru Battery Drain Class Action Litigation” section.
Last Updated on May 3, 2023
Loves anything with a motor and wheels.
Christopher is an automotive technical writer. When he’s not at the local autocross event, he can often be found working on one of his cars. Specializes in automotive class action law, industry trends, and automotive maintenance. Email me direct, or learn more about us
16 thoughts on “Subaru Battery Drain Settlement Announced. Insufficient Battery Capacity Failed To Support Vehicle Components”
J hildebrandOctober 2, 2022 at 10:20 pm
I have battery issues. I see there are several things you can do. What is the best option? Tired of dead battery! Was told to leave keys away from vehicle. Seriously? Does not work!
StephanieNovember 27, 2022 at 9:07 pm
Thanks for this article. Isn’t there a way to stop this parasitic draw in these vehicles? Can this CAN system be fixed? Are owners of these vehicles just supposed keep getting new batteries?
Louis BJanuary 18, 2023 at 5:27 pm
My girlfriend’s 2023 Legacy is doing the same thing so it hasn’t been fixed.
Robert C TiedekenJanuary 23, 2023 at 5:12 pm
Can anyone tell me if Subaru is replacing the bad ABS sensor that is causing the drain? It sounds like they are just giving stronger batteries to alleviate the problem. If that is the case, then why is the dealer asking for $2,000 for me to replace the defective sensor?
Virginia BJanuary 27, 2023 at 11:19 pm
What good does it do in the long run if all I get is reimbursed for a new battery? Does the parasitic battery drain just magically go away with a new battery? No, it does not. I have been through 2 batteries on my 2017 Outback. I have been lucky enough that my Outback was in the garage when the batteries failed. Thank goodness for AAA as I live over 50 miles from the closest Subaru Service Center. What does it cost to resolve the problem? (Assuming that there is a resolution.)
Rick H.February 9, 2023 at 6:04 am
The 2017 Legacy from time I purchased it new always cranked slowly. I recognized early on that the factory battery was a to small piece of 🤬 and when I replaced it did some modifications to put in a battery that has almost double the cca “cold cranking amps”. It’s the maximum size that will fit in the battery box and you have to remove a few battery cable keepers to get the cables to reach. Purchased the battery at Costco. This helps greatly but when the CAN system randomly fails you can still end up with a dead battery. At least you don’t have to constantly hear that slow starter cranking sound that takes me back to the 1970’s and Chrysler’s starters whining.
RebeccaFebruary 2, 2023 at 12:15 am
I have a 2019 Crosstrek that began losing battery power in December 2022. I replaced the battery, and then one moth later, the problem returned. Is the Crosstrek not eligible?
ChristopherFebruary 2, 2023 at 4:15 pm
Rebecca, the vehicles in the settlement have a similar and high incident rate of battery failure. Other Subaru models – like the Crosstrek were not within that same category. Hope this helps clarify the settlement details. Here is a little more info on the why your car wasn’t included: Why Wasn’t My Car Included In The Class Action Settlement?
KathleenFebruary 25, 2023 at 11:07 pm
I’ve had 5 batteries in my Subaru Outback. I purchased new in 2017 and I have 36,000 miles on the car!
KatieFebruary 13, 2023 at 10:40 am
I’m going to have to sell my 2019 outback, which I have otherwise loved. And now take out a car note that I shouldn’t have to be doing so soon. I will never buy another Subaru. What a disappointment.
ArtFebruary 16, 2023 at 7:43 pm
I have only had one dead battery in my 2015 Forester. Of course I was camping at the time at a Washington State Park called “Cape Disappointment.” I had only had the car for a couple of months.
Subaru replaced the battery, no questions asked. It has worked fine ever sense.
Nicci VargasApril 13, 2023 at 2:57 pm
Just bought my 2019 outback
3 weeks later car is completely dead in my driveway
Dealership has me in a loaner
They’ve offered to replace the DCM that drains the battery vs buy vehicle back
Ugh!!!! Although my loaner is a 2023 outback and I’m headed out tomorrow On vacation!!!
BethMay 5, 2023 at 9:11 am
Just bot a 2023 Subaru Legacy. They replaced my battery after the first week of ownership when it was dead on Sunday. Today is Friday and the systems had a hard time starting up this morning, I called to let them know. Sounds like this is going to be a continuing problem uggh!!
Christopher RossenMay 5, 2023 at 9:40 am
Sorry to hear Beth. Also keep a watch for windshield cracks: https://app.mycarvoice.com/trends/SUBARU/LEGACY/2023/
Previous models experienced this, and this problem may trickle into early 2023 models.
William P WhiteMay 6, 2023 at 6:54 pm
My daughter’s Forester has the same problem. Subaru gave us the finger. The legal system failed us. You should be telling people to never buy a Subaru.
NoMoSubsMay 27, 2023 at 5:04 pm
So Subaru, known for reliability and safety, has a reliability design flaw that randomly kills the battery — do they realize how many customers they are going to lose over this? I am one of them. My Legacy dies if not started every week. Replacing the battery is not a sustainable solution.