Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 172 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In most respects I like my 2015 Outback very much, but I, like clearly MANY other late model Subaru Outback owners have been negatively impacted by Subaru's decision to significantly under-size the batteries they place in these vehicles. I haven't looked, but I suspect this issue exists with the remainder of the Subaru fleet as well. I am curious if anyone knows of, or has attempted to initiate a class action lawsuit against Subaru? In three years, I have been left stranded in my garage too many times to count. My local Subaru Service Department's answer was to drive my car more as it often sits not driven for a week or so. My old 54 Chevy truck sits for months sometimes and starts right up! I believe that in this new era of having more and more power consuming components and systems installed in our vehicles, to include those that consume power even when the vehicle is not in operation, that manufacturers would understand the need for more battery capacity. Instead, for whatever reason, they chose to install the smallest battery possible in terms of cranking amps and reserve. Anyone else think this is a good idea, and if so, are there any lawyers in the group interested in making this happen?
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Touring
Joined
·
1,412 Posts
What would the 'class' sue for?
96 dollars for a new group 34 battery?
I'm out I guess, as I put one in during the first week of ownership.
Two weeks sitting outside. 26 below zero this morning, started right up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,879 Posts
What would the 'class' sue for?
96 dollars for a new group 34 battery?
I'm out I guess, as I put one in during the first week of ownership.
Two weeks sitting outside. 26 below zero this morning, started right up.
Like most class action suits, attorneys would take most of the proceeds and owners might get a $100 coupon good towards the purchase of a new Subaru.

Not worth the effort, spend a hundred or so on a better battery and call it good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FirstSubie4me

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My point exactly Mike. $96 you should not have had to spend if Subaru did the right thing in the first place. Just curious, what battery did you go with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I agree that members of any class action do not come away with much, but think of the impact to Subaru. Their payout could be significant enough to make them consider spending a couple more bucks on better batteries for their vehicles in the future.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Touring
Joined
·
1,412 Posts
My point exactly Mike. $96 you should not have had to spend if Subaru did the right thing in the first place.
If you could make that stretch, someone else could try to make a case for a class action suit saying that they should put tires on the car that go 60k rather than 30K.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
I replaced the OE battery in our 2015 Legacy proactively just two weeks short of three years since new, with never a dead battery or no-start (yet). The OE battery in our 2016 Outback is still healthy after 21 months since new.

My anecdotes are just as valid as anyone else's.
 

·
Registered
2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
440 Posts
Isn't the battery covered under the 3yr/36k mile warranty? If it fails to hold a charge under normal use, shouldn't Subaru replace it?
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
Isn't the battery covered under the 3yr/36k mile warranty?
Yes ... and there are two recent TSBs addressing battery charging and battery life.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback LTD 2.5
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
I also was disappointed when our 2015 2.5 OB LTD died in our garage during the 2015 summer after a trip on the highway...no interior lights left on, nada......

I took the path which was to promptly contact my dealer who dispatched a service truck......he boosted the battery and she started right up....of course. Drove it myself to the dealer, had the battery and charge system checked and, as expected, all good, nothing found. I then called SOA and nicely pointed that this bit of cost savings really stains the brand reputation far more than the several dollars of savings realized by installing a barely adequate battery......

When I mentioned that I would not have knowingly purchased a new $30K car (our then second Sube) with the knowledge that it might not start back up without a boost, I think they got it......no rationalizations, no excuses, just some much appreciated good will on SOA's part.

SOA's response was to contact the dealer and approve the no-cost swap to a 490 CCA 3.6 battery........and that was it, never another problem.

I'm at the point now where the larger battery is starting to show its age and limits in the single digit temps that New England is under.......even in our attached garage, unheated but protected, the car starts but does not spin as fast as it did in warmer temps so a new much more capable battery is under consideration.......as long as I have my onboard Stanley Boost/Compressor in my truck, I'm okay BUT the knowledge of being left in the cold is not worth the $95.......

As far as a class action suit, don't waste your time.......easily rectified yourself, a much better safety margin with a purchased battery and less frustration on your part.

Needless to say, everything else on my car is perfect......no engine noises at cold startup, no oil use, no cracked windshield, nothing so I'm happy.

Happy New Year!

Steve
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Touring
Joined
·
1,412 Posts
Isn't the battery covered under the 3yr/36k mile warranty? If it fails to hold a charge under normal use, shouldn't Subaru replace it?
Sure it is, but I'd rather pay and put it in myself (20 minutes and 96 bucks) than spend 2 hours at a dealership hanging around in a waiting room with bad coffee and underdone cookies. Also, I put in the highest capacity I can find, not another mediocre unit.
 

·
Registered
2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
440 Posts
Isn't the battery covered under the 3yr/36k mile warranty? If it fails to hold a charge under normal use, shouldn't Subaru replace it?
Sure it is, but I'd rather pay and put it in myself (20 minutes and 96 bucks) than spend 2 hours at a dealership hanging around in a waiting room with bad coffee and underdone cookies. Also, I put in the highest capacity I can find, not another mediocre unit.
The point I was trying to make wasn't that warranty replacement is a user's preferred solution, but rather:
a) that it would be difficult to win a class action suit if Subaru really does replace failed batteries under warranty; and
b) if a lot of them fail under warranty, it would be in Subaru's best interest to use a better battery in future production.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
This really comes down to whether you're (still) considering another Outback to replace your current car in the future.

If the suit works, your future Outback will cost a little bit more whether it has a better battery or not.

This should in no way diminish your disappointment for a design that is apparently engineered to suit a very specific usage pattern- daily or near-daily driving.

Just try to keep it in perspective as you choose your cure.
 

·
Registered
2018 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
549 Posts
Even batteries with higher capacity won't fix the problem for good. Just have lights on/don't turn on the car for a longer time and your high CCA battery will run out of the juice. Just it is very very less likely to happen in a reasonable use case, so buying bigger battery masks the problem for most.

There's design error that was possibly fixed with that TSB. Subaru should have fixed this by 2016 MY.

Still it does not make sense that both engines are now on a same battery. If anything, that battery is insufficient for H6.

I see that similar cars with dual engines have 2 batteries - like accord has 410 for I4 and 550 CCA for V6.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5 Outback Limited no Eyesight
Joined
·
119 Posts
Where does one find TSB's for Subaru? Are they online somewhere?
Try this one: TSB:11-174-17R (latest revision 10-31-2017) Reprogramming File Availability. This is the one I had performed.

Apparently there is another, possibly newer one too. TSB: 11-176-17 (11-16-2017) Reprogramming to Optimize ECM for Improved Battery Life
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback 3.6R EyeSight, 20mm RSB, STB, 2" ECOhitch
Joined
·
627 Posts
Even batteries with higher capacity won't fix the problem for good. Just have lights on/don't turn on the car for a longer time and your high CCA battery will run out of the juice. Just it is very very less likely to happen in a reasonable use case, so buying bigger battery masks the problem for most.
That is why some are upgrading to a DEEP cycle battery with high Discharge/Recharge Cycle like the Odyssey with over 400.

You will still get a dead battery by leaving your lights on, but when you recharge it it will be almost good as new.

Compare that to a normal starting battery, regardless of CCA or AH

BTW: This is the stupidest thread on the forrum
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5i Premium Crystal White Pearl with Ivory Cloth, with Eyesight and self dimming outside mirrors.
Joined
·
359 Posts
Back on Dec 10 it was a bone chilling 55 degrees F due east of Orlando and just shy of the coast. That day marked 6 months since we took delivery of our OB. Two days after it got to the dealer. Turned the key to start it and it just grunted, turned it off and removed the key. Made sure everything was off and turned the key to run. After all the lights, bells and whistles stopped I turned the key to start, it cranked slower than normal but started. As the wife still needs to get me a Christmas present, think I'll suggest a new battery for the OB.
 
1 - 20 of 172 Posts
Top