Subaru Oil Consumption: There’s a Lawsuit for That

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Two weeks ago, we wondered if Subaru is flying too close to the sun. Of course, that was in reference to the company’s reliability problems that are stemming from its growth in the United States. One of those problems is excessive oil consumption in the 2011-2014 Forester, 2013 Legacy, 2013 Outback, 2012-2013 Impreza, and 2013 XV Crosstrek. The offending motors are the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter 4-cylinder mills.

This is a serious problem that can lead to engine failure, but has quietly escaped the wrath of the mainstream media. The good news is that Subaru has taken steps to make sure its customers are well taken care of.

I know, because I’m one of them.

My wife and I purchased a new 2013 Legacy and have had more than 80,000 miles of adventure in the three and a half years since. We have had the oil changed every 5,000 miles, with full synthetic oil, at the same dealer from which we purchased the car.

Even with that rigorous maintenance schedule, we have had to add up to two quarts of oil between services. We’ve complained for most of those three and a half years with the only response being, “Yes, those cars tend to burn oil. It’s normal, just keeping adding quarts as necessary.”

That seemed like an unacceptable response for such a new car.

The lawyers apparently agreed, and have secured a judgement against Subaru for the defect. That judgment extends the standard warranty on the affected vehicles from 5-years/60,000 miles to 8-years/100,000 miles.

Yesterday my car, with 83,000 miles, was found to be on the verge of death due to its oil consumption problem and will receive an all new engine block, head gaskets, and spark plugs courtesy of Fuji Heavy Industries.

If you’re in the market for a used Subaru, have a dealer check out the vehicle and tell you if an oil consumption test has been performed. If you own one of these cars and see the oil light on the dash, head to your dealer right away.

A new motor might be in your very near future.

Subaru’s oil consumption problem is being addressed, but will it affect your decision to purchase one?


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  1. A quart of oil every 2500 miles is an acceptable oil consumption level in any car. I don’t think any manufacturer would say that is excessive. Nor any mechanic.

  2. I and many, many others have had problems with our Priuses. I have high mileage now but since about a hundred thousand I have had to add about 1 quart every thousand miles. If I don’t check it and it goes past it will drop down to 2 or 3 quarts low. And the dealer says the same thing Subaru dealership said. Does anyone know of a class action suit against Toyota?

    • I don’t know of anything at this point, but will update this post if I hear of anything in the future.

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