Judge Orders an End to Spontaneous Breakage Lawsuit

U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued an order that effectively ends the civil class-action lawsuit between Subaru of America (SOA) and plaintiffs Lucia Luong and Brian Mann in California’s Northern District. The plaintiffs alleged the auto manufacturer was responsible for “spontaneous windshield breakage.”

This order comes on the heels of a joint motion to dismiss, in which both parties met and went to two mediation meetings. The mediation resulted in new terms, to which both SOA and the plaintiffs agreed. According to the jointly filed motion, both parties agreed to end the class-action lawsuit and each side would be responsible for his or her legal fees.

Background

Luong had alleged the windshields of 2015 through 2016 Subaru Outback and Legacy vehicles “contain one or more design and/or manufacturing defects that cause the windshield to crack, chip and/or fracture.”

Luong is an owner of a 2015 Outback, which was purchased new during that year. She claimed she noticed a crack had “spontaneously appeared” from the base of the windshield, with no visible point of impact in March 2017. According to her complaint, she was denied warranty coverage, and the replacement windshield she received suffered from the same defect.

SOA’s attorneys responded by stating the “plaintiff and her counsel have taken an individual warranty claim worth less than $1,000 and gone nuclear with it, attempting to plead a full-blown class action lawsuit, alleging that all windshields in all model year 2015 and 2016 Subaru Outback … and Legacy … vehicles are defective because they ‘crack, chip and/or fracture’ ‘for no reason at all’ ….”

The auto manufacturer filed previous motions looking to end the suit. However according to court documents, its previous motions were denied. Following the denied motions, SOA answered some of the plaintiff’s claims. SOA stated it issued both a technical service bulletin and an owner notification letter after it learned about potential issues of windshields cracking in a small section of some of its 2015 and 2016 models. Therefore, the corporation believes it fulfilled its obligation to inform customers with those specific models.

In SOA’s response, it denies Luong’s claim of not being notified of an issue involving her windshield and potential cracking.

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