Toyota and Subaru Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over FR-S, BRZ Valve Spring Recall Fiasco

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Back in March, The Drive broke the story about dozens of 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ owners who reported experiencing catastrophic engine failure shortly after a valve spring recall repair largely due to the fact that—full disclosure—I was one of those owners.
Now, Toyota and Subaru are facing a class-action lawsuit that claims the recall fix is, as we originally theorized, causing more problems than it’s preventing, increasing the risk of engine failure and, in some cases, causing cars to dangerously catch fire—just like this FR-S in California did 2,000 miles post-recall. The issue apparently extends beyond the Toyobaru twins as the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek and the Subaru Impreza from model years 2012 to 2014 are named in the lawsuit as well.
“Unfortunately, and upon information and belief, the Recall Work is not remedying the hazard, but instead, is increasing the risk of valve spring and/or other engine malfunction, is causing catastrophic engine damage to the Class Vehicles, and is increasing the risk of vehicle crashes caused by vehicles suddenly stalling while being driven,” reads the lawsuit via Top Class Actions.
In late 2018, Subaru issued a recall on a total of 400,000 vehicles over valve springs that are apparently at risk of fracturing, causing engines to stall. Since we first reported on the snafu, the Center for Auto Safety has called on the NHTSA, Toyota, and Subaru to put a stop to the repairs until they figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, an FT86Club-curated spreadsheet of post-recall engine failures has ballooned to 75 cars (62 Scions and 13 Subarus). At a glance, 75 reported failures out of the hundreds of thousands of recalled cars doesn’t actually sound that bad, but it’s important to note that the entire recall campaign was triggered by just 11 valve spring failures over a three-year period.
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