Christine Powell has become the lead plaintiff in a class action complaint in New Jersey against Subaru of America (Subaru) alleging the carmaker was “manufacturing, marketing and selling new vehicles with defective and dangerous windshields that were spontaneously and/or unreasonably cracking, chipping and otherwise breaking.” Powell also claims the vehicle manufacturer was aware of its replacement windshields also being defective in her amended complaint. Powell is seeking a trial by jury, as well as compensation for damages and legal fees. Subaru has yet to file a response to Powell’s allegations.
“Powell demands that the defendant [Subaru] accept responsibility for replacing damaged windshields under its new vehicle warranty at no charge to the plaintiff [Powell] and reimburse the plaintiff and for losses suffered as a result of the defect and/or that Subaru be required to buyback the class vehicles,” a portion of the amended complaint reads.
The 2017-2019 Forester and Outback were the vehicle models listed in the complaint. According to Powell, the windshields pose an imminent and significant safety hazard to vehicle operators, the public, and are causing others affected (class members) to incur substantial monetary losses and other damages.
“[Subaru] has been on notice of this defect in the class vehicles for years but has concealed its knowledge from the public and continues to deny the existence of the defect. Complaints of the defect are widespread and have been brought to the defendant’s attention but defendant is forcing consumers to bear the costs and expenses associated with the defect,” a portion of the amended complaint reads.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Subaru refuses to replace its broken windshields under its warranty or to reimburse consumers for the broken windshields and other losses resulting from the defect. However, Powell and other class members claim to have complained to the vehicle manufacturer prior to filing the initial complaint in court. Both also assert claims for breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, breach of the consumer protection statute and unjust enrichment against Subaru.
According to the complaint, on or around August 19, 2017, Powell purchased a new 2018 Subaru Forester and was unaware that the vehicle contained a “defective” windshield. Within a few months after purchasing the Subaru, her windshield cracked suddenly. In December 2017, she took her vehicle to an authorized Subaru dealer. At this time she learned the windshield claim would have to be handled through her insurance company, as Subaru “denied being responsible for the breakage.”
“The plaintiff was advised that Subaru was not replacing broken windshields under the new vehicle warranty that comes with the Class Vehicles. In May 2019, Powell’s vehicle suffered another break in the windshield,” a portion of the amended complaint reads.
According to her complaint, Subaru was made aware of its alleged windshield defect through the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), as there were several recall notices issued for the previously mentioned affected vehicle models.
Due to the allegations mentioned in Powell’s amended complaint, she is seeking a trial by jury. As of press time Subaru has yet to respond to the current amended complaint, look to a future edition of glassBYTEs for more information on this suit.