A lawsuit was filed last month against Subaru of America Inc. in a New Jersey federal court. The proposed class action alleges certain vehicles have a defect that causes the hood to fly open at high speeds and crack the windshield, endangering drivers and diminishing the value of their cars. It’s alleged that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received 17 complaints about the hood of the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca unlocking and smashing the windshield while being driven. It’s alleged further that Subaru won’t do anything to fix the alleged defect. The complaint states:
Despite longstanding knowledge of the defect through public complaints and internal testing, Subaru has failed to take responsibility for the problem, refusing to issue a recall and denying consumer requests to pay for necessary repairs occasioned by the defect.
The hood of the Plaintiff’s vehicle flew open in May while she was driving at approximately 65 miles per hour, cracking her windshield and dislodging the rearview mirror, according to the complaint. The Plaintiff said she was unable to see the road because of the broken hood but managed to safely make it to the side of the road, where she was helped by passing drivers.
The Plaintiff says when she contacted Subaru about the accident, the automaker wouldn’t take responsibility for the alleged defect, wouldn’t compensate her for the cost of repairs and refused to even look at the vehicle. Apparently the Plaintiff’s experience is not an isolated incident. While numerous consumers have complained online about the same alleged defect, NHTSA has received 17 complaints about the 2006 B9 Tribeca describing a similar experience to that of the Plaintiff. It’s alleged in the complaint:
It is well known that car manufacturers, in general, and Subaru in particular, closely monitor NHTSA complaints, so there can be no doubt that Subaru has long known of this issue from the NHTSA website.
The Plaintiff contends that Subaru actively concealed the alleged defect, which she said tolls her claims, and failed to disclose that the alleged defect would diminish the value of the vehicle. The Plaintiff is asking for certification of a national and Pennsylvania class of drivers who bought or leased the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca. She said at least 18,000 of the class vehicles were sold by Subaru.
The complaint asserts claims for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, breach of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, breach of express warranty and common law fraud, among others. Hadley said Subaru should be ordered to repair, recall and replace the class vehicles and extend their warranties, as well as pay any damages to the proposed class. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
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