Subaru Class Action Lawsuit Claims Soy Wiring Attracts Rodents

A new class action lawsuit claims hundreds of Subaru vehicles are defective because they contain soy-based wiring insulation that mice, rats, and other rodents love to eat, resulting in expensive repair bills for their owners.

Just one month after purchasing a new 2015 Subaru Forrester from Servco Subaru, Maui plaintiff Joy Diane Shuey says she took her vehicle to a Subaru service facility because her check engine light was on and there was a pervasive odor of gasoline. At that time, the vehicle’s odometer showed less than 600 miles.

Upon inspection, it was discovered that the Subaru vehicle’s fuel line and rear wiper hose had been chewed through by rats and needed to be replaced. According to the Subaru class action lawsuit, the vehicle fuel lines and wiring employ a soy-based insulation and composition purported to be biodegradable and more environmentally friendly and less expensive than traditional insulation.

Shuey says she shelled out about $320 for this initial repair in August 2015 from her own pocket since Subaru did not cover the rodent damage under warranty. Since then, Shuey has reportedly contacted Subaru headquarters on at least two occasions, where she was told that Subaru was not responsible for rodent damage to insulation.

Unfortunately, Shuey continued to experience repeat rodent damage to her Subaru vehicle and had to take her car back for service in November 2015, July 2016, and August 2017 where technicians found evidence of “rodent droppings and evidence of nest building”, and she again she was forced to pay out of pocket to repair the rodent damage, allegedly caused by the soy-based wiring, the Subaru class action lawsuit states.

The last straw came when on August 24, 2017, just days after her last costly repair, Shuey drove her vehicle back to the Servco Subaru Maui service facility and reported that the digital dashboard was malfunctioning with fuel gauge bars not displaying, a low fuel light was blinking, and the engine light was on. Servco discovered that the rear wiring harness had been damages and noted “rats chewed wiring harness”.  The damage cost Shuey $2,433.40 to repair.

Shuey says she has tried to prevent rodents from chewing the soy-based wiring, including rat traps, home remedies, and even spraying coyote urine every single night on top of each front wheel and on top of the air filter.

However, despite these efforts and the fact many Subaru owners have experienced similar rat-related problems, as evidenced by several online complaints, Subaru refuses to cover repairs for these vehicles, leaving owners with little choice but to pay thousands out-of-pocket. Shuey asserts that Subaru could have easily avoided this issue if it had paid more for a non-soy based insulation, but instead the vehicle maker chose profits at the expense and safety of their customers.

The proposed soy wiring Subaru class action lawsuit seeks to represent a class of consumers who purchased Subaru vehicles sold or distributed by Servco Subaru during the period Nov. 22, 2013 to the present. Along with recovery for monetary damages, Shuey is requesting the court grant a permanent injunction requiring Subaru to replace all insulated wiring, hoses and lines subject to rodent damage on all Class members’ vehicles.

Shuey and the proposed Class are represented by James J. Bickerton, Bridget G. Morgan, and Christopher S. Bouslog of Bickerton Dang LLLP.

The Soy Wiring Subaru Class Action Lawsuit is Joy Diane Shuey, et al, vs. Servco Subaru, Inc, et al, Case No. 17-1-0490, in the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit, State of Hawaii.

4 thoughts on “Subaru Class Action Lawsuit Claims Soy Wiring Attracts Rodents”

  1. I am from Canada but I hope to get some help and information,
    we leased a 2018 outback Subaru fully loaded with malfunctions;

    On A brand new car the trunk opens without command.

    There has been multiple times where I had to jump start the vehicle.

    The light button in the trunk is moved on and off with loading and unloading the car which causes the battery to drain. If the battery is dead, we have to reprogram the windows, along with everything else, which has to be done by the dealer every time. Impressive car?

    Sometimes I can’t turn the radio on or off,
    The screen often gives snowy images or refuses to function along with the GPS.

    The engine has already stalled three times in the middle of traffic, I could start the engine immediately afterwards, but either way, this shouldn’t happen.

    We’ve already told our mechanics multiple times that something is wrong with the computer,so far, they made 1 attempt to solve the problem, but with no results.
    This is a company car, time and delivery is important.
    For the price you pay on a new vehicle, we would at least like to have a reliable one. This was an expensive vehicle and we did not get what we paid for.

    Moral of the story; The 2018 outback Is a malfunction! This vehicle has multiple faulty electric problems and it needs to be fixed. We have attempted to contact the head office but no one is willing to listen or do anything to solve the problem. To top it all off, when calling the company online about my concern, they requested my credit card information with a charge of $5 in order to talk to them about THEIR mistakes!

  2. I wold appreciate any information regarding the CA lawsuit, as, I, too have shelled out hundreds for new wiring on my 2016 Forester. Just this week I paid the Subaru dealership $387 to replace chewed wiring after dash lights went crazy. Too much on a newer car. This wiring is definately a defect.

    • I would like to know if there a current lawsuit against Subaru going on in the US in regards to their soy-based wiring? I have had a 2017 Impreza for 18 months and have needed to replace the O2 sensor twice (at $600 a pop) due to the wire attracting rodents. I have tried traps, mint, dryer sheets, moth balls, but to no avail. I was told by the Subaru service center that they have had many complaints regarding the same issue. One poor woman has had her entire wiring harness chewed up twice so Subaru service is going to try to wrap all the wires with Honda’s rat repellant tape. I also have a 2017 Forester but don’t seem to have a problem with that car. This is my third Subaru but it will be my last unless Subaru makes good on this serious problem.

  3. Same with our 2016 forester. $500 twice for the wiring that leads to the fuel level sensor and now $3400 for the bulkhead wiring harness. UNACCEPTABLE.


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