— Subaru Forester passenger airbag sensor lawsuit alleges the occupant detection systems have errors that cause the airbags to deactivate when adults are in the passenger seats.
According to the plaintiff, 2015-2018 Subaru Foresters are affected by the problems, and her 2018 Forester is a good example.
The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff took the vehicle to a dealership which found problems with the detection system. Technicians allegedly didn't make any repairs but told the plaintiff not to place electronic items in the passenger seat.
Another dealer visit allegedly cost her more than $50 even though the airbag problem wasn't repaired.
The plaintiff says the airbags work part of the time and fail other times whether a passenger is in the seat or not. This is a danger that can cause an occupant their life, and Subaru allegedly knows there are problems but has failed to warn consumers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in August into passenger airbag sensor problems after receiving 51 complaints about 2016-2018 Subaru Foresters.
According to NHTSA, Subaru owners said the passenger airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were turned off when adults were in the seats. Customers reported the airbag sensors deactivated the airbags and also caused the seat belt alarms to continually give audible warnings.
Forester owners also reported paying as much as $1,000 to repair the passenger airbag systems, and many times the waits were long because replacement parts were backordered.
Subaru recalled more than 366,000 model year 2015-2018 Foresters in October after finding the passenger occupant detection system sensor mat harnesses could experience problems because of contact pressure between the terminals.
According to the automaker, the passenger airbags could deactivate and then reactivate without warning because of the terminal problems. Subaru also admitted what customers were reporting, namely that the airbag warning lights indicated the airbags were off when they should have been on.
In documents submitted to NHTSA, Subaru said turning off the ignition then turning it back on would reset the system and correct the faults. But the automaker also said this could be a temporary condition until the problem reoccurred while driving.
When the recall was announced, Subaru also confirmed what customers had been saying about long waits for replacement parts that were on backorder. Subaru also told NHTSA that in addition to the government receiving about 50 complaints, customers had filed more than 220 passenger airbag complaints direct with the automaker.
The Subaru Forester passenger airbag sensor lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Kassien, et al., v. Subaru of America Inc.
The plaintiff is represented by Levin Sedran & Berman.