A class-action lawsuit filed in a New Jersey federal court against Subaru alleges that 2017-2019 Forester and Outback vehicles are equipped with defective windshields that are prone to “cracking, chipping and otherwise breaking” suddenly.

Owners of the affected Subaru vehicles may find that that the windshield cracks without an apparent cause while the vehicle is in motion or parked. In other cases, the windshield damages easily, with minor chips and cracks quickly worsening to the point of needing a windshield replacement, the Oct. 18 complaint alleges.

But the problem doesn’t stop there. Lead plaintiff Christine Powell of Wisconsin alleges in the suit that Subaru refused to repair the windshield on her 2018 Forester, which had cracked twice in an 18-month period when the vehicle was still under warranty. The first time the windshield cracked, her Forester had just 3,500 miles on it.

Ms. Powell had her Subaru’s windshield replaced at her own expense, but the automaker replaced it with the same defective glass, the complaint alleges. In May 2019, when the vehicle had 15,000 miles on it, the windshield cracked for the second time.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that cracked windshields in the affected vehicles can interfere with the performance of Subaru’s EyeSight safety system, which monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and warns drivers when they sway outside their lane.

The dynamic between Subaru windshields and EyeSight means that replacing a cracked or broken windshield costs more because the safety system must be recalibrated when the windshield is replaced.

The class action alleges that instead of addressing the costly hazard and repairing it, Subaru conceals the problem and continues to deny the windshields are defective.

The complaint seeks to spur Subaru into action by acknowledging the defect, paying for the windshield replacements, or buying back the affected Forester and Outback vehicles.

The Powell lawsuit is the second lawsuit filed against Subaru in less than a month. Another class action filed in the same New Jersey federal court on Sept. 24 alleges that a recent safety recall worsened the risk of engine stalls and potential crashes in Subaru 2013 BRZ and XV Crosstrek and 2012-2014 Impreza. The same lawsuit also alleges that Subaru-built engines in the 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S are prone to the same ongoing engine-stalling defect.

Beasley Allen is not accepting these claims at this time. 

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