Subaru sued over claims of dangerous auto defect

Some Subaru vehicle models have a defect that could lead to engine failure while they're being driven, a federal lawsuit says.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the state's consumer fraud act, breach of express warranty and other violations. It says piston rings in the vehicles wear out quickly and some vehicles burn excessive amounts of oil.

The models affected by the defect are the 2011-14 Forester 2.5L, 2013 Legacy 2.5L, 2013 Outback 2.5L, 2012-13 Impreza 2LĀ and 2013 XV Crosstek 2L, according to the lawsuit.

The oil consumption issue "can cause engine failure while the Class Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving condition or speed," the lawsuit says. "This exposes the driver and occupants of the Class Vehicles, as well as others who share the road with them, to an increased risk of accident, injury, or death."

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Camden. It seeks unspecified damages and an order that Subaru initiate a recall to fix the problem.

The lawsuit says Subaru of America, which has headquarters in Cherry Hill, has "long known about" the defect but has refused to address it or repair affected vehicles without charge. Also named as a defendant is Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., identified in the lawsuit as a Japanese corporation located at Subaru headquarters in Tokyo.

Subaru said in a statement Friday that it is aware of the lawsuit and believes the oil consumption of its vehicles to be within acceptable levels. It said it's continually working to reduce the amount of consumable goods its vehicles use.

The two plaintiffs, Keith Yaeger, of Escondido, California, and Michael Shuler, of Lakeland, Florida, are seeking class action status for the lawsuit.

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