Subaru Battery Drain Settlement Announced. Insufficient Battery Capacity Failed To Support Vehicle Components

Subaru Battery Drain Settlement Announced. Insufficient Battery Capacity Failed To Support Vehicle Components

Last Updated on June 15, 2023

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.

View Full Settlement Details

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 Payments

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.

Vehicle reliability research tool.

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.

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Important Settlement Updates

Settlement details have been added under “Status of the Subaru Battery Drain Class Action Litigation” section.

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26 thoughts on “Subaru Battery Drain Settlement Announced. Insufficient Battery Capacity Failed To Support Vehicle Components

  1. Avatar
    Reply
    Patricia Long
    November 25, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    I am sole owner of my Subaru outback 2019. I am having the same issues with dead battery. My battery is almost new. Put it on a charge all last night still dead
    What should i do the dealership is in Georgetown and i live in Lakeway
    I only have 20,000 miles on my car. Please please help

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      November 25, 2023 at 4:25 pm

      Patricia, you need to see if your vehicle qualifies for settlement benefits.

  2. Avatar
    Reply
    GRAndrus
    August 22, 2023 at 9:06 pm

    We own a 2019 Outback purchased new from a Subaru dealer. Car has 28k miles, and has had battery replaced 4 times. Several of these situations put us in particularly critical situations. Solutions from both the dealer and Subaru America have ranged from ineffective to dismissive to non-sensical. Over the past years we have purchased 6 Subaru cars. However because of both dealer and national organisation disinterest in solving the continuing problem, we will never purchase from Subaru again.

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      August 23, 2023 at 11:51 am

      Perfect example of a manufacturer ignoring a good customer. Thanks for adding your voice to this settlement.

  3. Avatar
    Reply
    Christine
    August 7, 2023 at 10:54 pm

    My 2017 Outback had three battery replacements in the first year of use. Another replacement just before the warranty ran out. Last October that battery began losing it’s charge. Called the dealership to have the battery changed under the extended warranty but was told for weeks that they had no batteries and could not give me an appointment. Found a dealership 150 miles away that took a booking for battery replacement mid November. A few days before the appointment it was cancelled because no batteries were available. A month later the battery died for good in my garage. Still no batteries available at Subaru. Had AAA come out and change the battery because the car was not drivable otherwise. I was denied reimbursement for the $200 new battery for “reasons”. I will never own another Subaru.

  4. Avatar
    Reply
    rito
    June 6, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    My Subaru legacy 2019 battery was drain and dead after less than 2 years and brought it to dealership and replaced without costs , sadly the problem is recurring and the gaps are closing , after the first replacement , its dead again after almost a year , then drain again after a month , is there any way this will stop? , how should this be corrected , been trying to reduced brightness of the dashboard , turn off welcome voice , but its still happening , lucky it happens all on the driveway that what’s needed is just jumpstarting….

    1. Avatar
      Reply
      Susu
      June 9, 2023 at 8:37 pm

      We have owned three OutbackS. A month ago we had the same battery drain issue with 2017 Outback. DCM chip needs replacement and Subaru is out of these indefinitely, plus out of class settlement deadline last month. The only fix is to unplug battery every night so it does not drain power. Subaru of America not helpful at all providing a solution. In addition the car needed registration renewed but could not pass inspection due to car info being erased with battery connection lost nightly. No guarantees what will happen even after chip replaced.
      We now have peace of mind…with a new CRV Honda Hybrid.

  5. Avatar
    Reply
    NoMoSubs
    May 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.

  6. Avatar
    Reply
    William P White
    May 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.

  7. Avatar
    Reply
    Beth
    May 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!!

    1. Christopher Rossen
      Reply
      Christopher Rossen
      May 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.

  8. Avatar
    Reply
    Nicci Vargas
    April 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!!!

  9. Avatar
    Reply
    Art
    February 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.

  10. Avatar
    Reply
    Katie
    February 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.

    1. Avatar
      Reply
      Ronald R houlette
      June 20, 2023 at 4:37 pm

      This was my 3rd Subaru Outback. I am starting (sic) to think I my go to a different brand. Good luck to all of us.

  11. Avatar
    Reply
    Rebecca
    February 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?

    1. Christopher
      Reply
      Christopher
      February 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?

    2. Avatar
      Reply
      Kathleen
      February 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!

  12. Avatar
    Reply
    Virginia B
    January 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.)

    1. Avatar
      Reply
      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.

  13. Avatar
    Reply
    Louis B
    January 18, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    My girlfriend’s 2023 Legacy is doing the same thing so it hasn’t been fixed.

    1. Avatar
      Reply
      Robert C Tiedeken
      January 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?

        1. Christopher
          Reply
          Christopher
          September 24, 2023 at 9:16 am

          Interesting. Thanks for sharing this Matt.

  14. Avatar
    Reply
    Stephanie
    November 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?

  15. Avatar
    Reply
    J hildebrand
    October 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!

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