Subaru, Toyota Seek Dismissal of Lawsuit Alleging Engine Defect

Subaru, Toyota Seek Dismissal of Lawsuit Alleging Engine Defect

  • By: Staff Writer
  • Published December 23, 2020

A putative class action alleging an engine defect in certain Subaru and Toyota vehicles is facing possible dismissal.

Defendants, Subaru of America Inc. (“Subaru”) and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. (collectively, “Toyota”), filed a motion in September 2020 seeking to dismiss Plaintiffs’ amended complaint, filed in July 2020.

The lawsuit alleges that alleges Toyota and Subaru sold vehicles with an engine defect that leads to sudden stalling and failure of engines.

The class action lawsuit alleges that the 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, and Subaru Crosstrek XV vehicles have defective valve springs that can increase the risk of a crash as a result of engines malfunctioning and stalling.

Subaru and Toyota began to instruct owners of the vehicles to contact Subaru or Toyota dealers to have the valve springs replaced, said they would fix the “engine stalling” and “risk of a crash” problems, and that they would replace all valve springs free of charge with new and improved ones.

However, the Complaint alleges the recall not only failed to remedy the hazard, but actually increases the risk of valve spring or other engine malfunction, and has increased the risk of vehicle crashes due to vehicles suddenly stalling.

According to the Complaint, the following cars have the defective feature:

  • 2013 Subaru BRZ
  • 2013 Subaru Crosstrek XV
  • 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S

In part, Toyota and Subaru’s motion to dismiss argues that any claims challenging the recall itself are within the primary jurisdiction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Defendants also argue Plaintiffs fail to state a claim for relief in relation to the recall, since a motor vehicle recall “is not a warranty or other enforceable contract (or promise),” “[n]or is it a sale or other commercial transaction between two parties from which a claim of economic loss (much less fraud) could possibly arise.”

The parties are still currently engaged in briefing on the motion to dismiss.

The case is Cristian Nunez, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc., et al., 1:19-cv-18303-JDW, in the District of New Jersey.

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