— A Subaru WRX ringland failure lawsuit alleges the cars suffer from sudden engine failures from piston detonation, a well-known cause of engine damage that causes piston and piston ringland failures.
The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all current and former owners and lessees of about 250,000 model year 2009-2018 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI vehicles and who lost money or vehicle values due to the alleged piston ringland problems.
Subaru allegedly knew WRX and WRX STI components were defective in engines coded EJ255, EJ257 and FA20. The plaintiffs say engines should last at least 120,000 miles but the Subaru engines may last just half that time before they fail.
According to the lawsuit, the pistons, positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) systems and engine management systems contribute to the ringland failures.
The plaintiffs say the engines in the WRX and WRX STI cars have increased horsepower over other similar engines used in other Subaru models, but the automaker allegedly didn't make the necessary internal engine modifications to prevent damage to the piston ringlands.
The problems were also allegedly caused by casting the pistons from hypereutectic aluminum silicon alloy, materials that allegedly make the ringlands more brittle.
According to the plaintiffs, additional problems were caused by a PCV system that allowed too much crankcase oil vapors into the combustion chambers. This allegedly lowered the overall fuel/air octane mixture and placed too much force onto the pistons, thereby accelerating the ringland failures.
Ringland failure symptoms include stalling and a sudden loss of power as internal engine components seize from overheating, a dangerous and sudden condition for drivers to handle.
The plaintiffs claim the ringland problems are clear safety hazards as the cars experience a loss of engine power without warning, a loss of power-assisted steering and reduced braking caused by a lack of engine vacuum if the engine stalls.
In addition, the drive wheels will lock and cause a loss of stability and steering if the engine stalls and the clutch is not immediately disengaged.
The three named plaintiffs claim they paid thousands of dollars to replace engines destroyed by ringland failures, with one plaintiff claiming he spent $6,500 to replace the 2016 Impreza WRX STI engine when the car had 65,000 miles on it.
Another plaintiff says he paid more than $7,500 to fix the engine problems, while another plaintiff says ringland failure cost him more than $6,000.
Subaru WRX owners have complained to the government about ringland failures in WRX models, in some cases involving cars with less than 10,000 miles on the odometers.
"I have all of the parts from my original failed engine which also showed other assembly problems. I will have the pieces of my 2nd engine when I pick the car up soon. Many mechanics are of the opinion many of these engines have broken ringlands and the owners don't know it. And it's inconceivable an engine with this damage would pass an epa emissions test."
"Before the failure white smoke came out the tailpipe and the engine was hesitating. Piston #4 had a failed ringland causing the engine to fail. To correct the failure the engine had to be taken apart at the dealer and have new parts installed. The car was out of my possession for two weeks. The car had only ~8000 miles on it and it appears to be a very common problem on 2008-2010+ subaru impreza sti's."
The Subaru WRX ringland failure lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Amato, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc., et al.