— A Subaru fuel pump recall has led to a class action lawsuit that alleges the automaker knew the DENSO pumps were defective when the vehicles were sold.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges the Subaru fuel pump recall didn't include all the vehicles affected by the allegedly defective pumps.
In April, Subaru recalled more than 188,000 model year 2019 Subaru Impreza, Outback, Legacy and Ascent vehicles to replace the fuel pumps.
The recalled pumps are manufactured by DENSO, which recalled about 2 million fuel pumps installed in vehicles from multiple automakers.
Subaru said the low-pressure pumps could fail because the impellers could absorb fuel and crack. A deformed impeller could strike the body of the fuel pump and cause the pump to fail, causing a vehicle to stall.
In its recall report to the government, Subaru said it received 24 complaints about engines that failed to start, and eight complaints said the engines lost power while driving at slow speeds or immediately after the vehicles were started. Those complaints were filed between July 2019 and January 2020.
Subaru also said it received one report about a fuel pump failure while driving at highway speeds, but the report came from outside the U.S.
In addition to complaints, Subaru said fuel pump problems caused at least 245 warranty claims, but no crash or injury reports had been reported.
The recall report indicated the defective pumps were manufactured between April and July 2018, allegedly the time the low-density impellers were exposed to solvent drying for long periods of time. Subaru said it was the drying process that caused the impellers to crack.
The automaker said the fuel pump recall would begin June 5, 2020, and dealerships would replace the defective pumps with newer versions built with better impellers.
According to the class action lawsuit, Subaru should have recalled 2013-2019 vehicles instead of only the 2019 model year because the vehicles contain DENSO fuel pumps have part numbers that begin with 42022.
Vehicle occupants are allegedly exposed to extreme dangers and death if the vehicle stalls while driving. Occupants are placed in danger while trying to get the vehicle off the road, then more danger awaits while occupants are stranded on the side of the road.
The plaintiffs who filed the class action say Subaru didn't provide a date for when the vehicles will be equipped with the new fuel pumps and didn't tell owners to stop driving the vehicles.
"Given the inherent dangers of driving Class Vehicles, Subaru at a minimum should have contacted purchasers and lessees and offered them free loaner vehicles of comparable make, model, or value of the Class Vehicle they drive until it could devise and implement a fix or take other action to protect consumers’ safety." - Subaru fuel pump lawsuit
And according to the plaintiffs, the vehicles have lost their resale values, especially considering most of the vehicles allegedly were not recalled for repairs.
The Subaru fuel pump lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division: Griffin, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc., et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.