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Subaru Lemon Law Buyback

Cars are complex machines, and sometimes they can experience repeated issues despite numerous repair attempts. This can be frustrating for the consumer and can lead to significant inconvenience, financial strain, and overall dissatisfaction. To protect consumers from such situations, laws have been enacted – aptly named 'Lemon Laws' – that can lead to car manufacturers or dealerships replacing the defective vehicle or refunding the purchase.

Subaru, a brand renowned for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, is not immune to these situations. To ensure they uphold their brand reputation, Subaru offers a Lemon Law Buyback program to remedy situations where a vehicle is deemed a 'lemon.'

The Subaru Lemon Law Buyback program offers Subaru owners peace of mind against a 'lemon' vehicle.




Understanding the Lemon Law

Lemon Law is a term that originated in the United States in the mid-20th century to protect consumers from cars that are constantly in need of repairs. This law provides a remedy for purchasers of cars and other consumer goods to compensate for products that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance.

Although the specifics can vary by jurisdiction, the overall purpose of the law is to ensure that manufacturers and car dealerships uphold their warranties and provide fully functional products. For vehicles, the law applies when a new car has a defect, often referred to as a 'nonconformity,' that substantially impairs its use, safety, or value, and that can not be fixed within a certain number of attempts or a specified amount of time. This can include issues with the engine, the steering, breaks, electrical issues, air conditioning or glitches with the infotainment system.

  • Stipulations About Repair Attempts

In most states, if the car spends a substantial amount of time in the repair shop during the first year or two of ownership, or if there have been multiple unsuccessful attempts to repair a persistent issue, the vehicle may be deemed a 'lemon.' At this point, the consumer is usually entitled to a replacement or a refund.

  • The Lemon Law Varies by State

Importantly, lemon laws apply to new cars that are under warranty. Some states, like California, also have 'used car lemon laws', which extend protections to used cars that are sold with a warranty. However, this can vary significantly between states, so it's always important for consumers to research the specifics of lemon laws in their state of residence. The California lemon law is widely acknowledged to be one of the most consumer-friendly and comprehensive in the whole of the United States.

What Qualifies for a Subaru Lemon Law Buyback?

The Subaru Lemon Law Buyback Program applies to vehicles that meet the criteria of a 'lemon' under the Lemon Law of the state in which they were purchased. The specifics can vary somewhat by state, but a Subaru vehicle generally has to meet the following criteria to qualify for a Lemon Law Buyback:

  1. New or Relatively New Vehicle: The vehicle must be new or relatively new, typically within the original Subaru warranty period. Some states also have used car Lemon Laws, but this varies by state.

  2. Significant Defect: The vehicle must have a significant defect or safety issue that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety. Minor issues or defects such as minor scratches or dents, normal wear and tear of brakes and minor noises and vibrations don't usually qualify.

  3. Reasonable Number of Repair Attempts: The manufacturer or dealer must have had a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect. What's considered 'reasonable' can vary by state, but it is usually three or four attempts for the same problem.

  4. Out of Service: In some cases, if the vehicle is in the repair shop for a significant number of days (often 30) within a certain period (usually the first 18 months or 18,000 miles of ownership), it is more likely to be considered a 'lemon.'


Understanding the Subaru Buyback Process

If you believe your Subaru vehicle may qualify as a 'lemon,' it's crucial to understand the buyback process. This process ensures that your rights as a consumer are protected and that you receive the appropriate remedy for the persistent issues with your vehicle.

  1. Report the Issue: As soon as you notice a persistent problem with your vehicle, report it to your Subaru dealer. Make sure you keep a detailed record of all the repairs, including dates, the nature of the problems, and the work performed on the vehicle.

  2. Give Subaru a Chance to Repair: For a vehicle to qualify as a lemon, you must give Subaru a reasonable number of attempts to repair the vehicle, usually three or four times for the same issue, or the vehicle must be out of service due to repairs for a significant number of days.

  3. Initiate the Buyback Process: If your vehicle is determined to be a 'lemon,' you can then initiate the buyback process. This usually involves providing Subaru with certain documentation, such as proof of purchase, service records, and any written communications related to the defects.

  4. Vehicle Evaluation: Subaru may require a final evaluation and inspection of the vehicle. This is to confirm the persistent issue and that it has not been resolved despite several repair attempts.

  5. Buyback Calculation: Once the buyback is approved, Subaru will calculate the buyback amount. This usually includes the original purchase price, along with taxes, registration fees, and other associated costs, minus a reasonable usage fee based on the mileage driven before the first repair attempt for the persistent problem.

  6. Receipt of Payment: Upon agreement with the buyback calculation, Subaru will provide the reimbursement. This may be in the form of a check or a direct payment to your auto lender if the vehicle was financed.

  7. Consult a Lemon Law Attorney: If needed, consider consulting with an attorney experienced in lemon law to guide you through the process and ensure you receive fair treatment.

Types of Subaru Vehicles Covered by the Lemon Law

The Lemon Law covers a wide range of Subaru vehicles as long as they meet certain conditions. These include:

  1. New Vehicles: The primary focus of the lemon law is on new vehicles. This includes all new Subaru models, from sedans like the Subaru Legacy and Subaru Impreza to SUVs like the Subaru Forester, Subaru Tribeca and Subaru Outback, to performance cars like the Subaru WRX and Subaru BRZ.

  2. Leased Vehicles: In many states, leased vehicles are also covered under the Lemon Law. This means that if you lease a new Subaru and it turns out to be a lemon, you can still take advantage of the lemon law protections.

  3. Used Vehicles: Some states (such as California) extend lemon law protections to used vehicles, but the specifics can vary widely. The amount of recovery for used vehicles in California is hotly contested but what isn't contested is that it must still be covered under the original manufacturer's warranty. A used Subaru could be considered a lemon if it meets these criteria and has a persistent defect that can't be fixed after multiple attempts.

  4. Demonstrator (Demo) Vehicles: Demo vehicles, or cars that have been used for test drives or by dealership employees, are usually considered new vehicles for the purposes of the Lemon Law. Therefore, a demo Subaru would likely be covered if it has a substantial defect that can't be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts.

Common Subaru Lemon Defects

Subaru vehicles are known for their robustness and reliability, but like any car manufacturer, there can be issues with a percentage of vehicles. While these issues are relatively rare, there are a few defects that have been reported more frequently:

  1. Excessive Oil Consumption: Certain Subaru models have been reported to consume engine oil at an accelerated rate. This can result in engine damage if not caught and remedied quickly.

  2. Transmission Problems: Some Subaru owners have reported transmission issues, including rough shifting or difficulty getting the car into gear. In severe cases, the transmission may need to be replaced.

  3. Head Gasket Failures: Certain models of Subaru have been known to have issues with head gaskets failing prematurely. This can lead to significant engine damage and costly repairs.

  4. Wind Noise: A number of Subaru owners have reported excessive wind noise while driving, particularly at highway speeds. This can be due to issues with the vehicle's seals or door alignment.

  5. Problems with the Infotainment System: Some owners have reported issues with the vehicle's infotainment system, including the system freezing or not responding to inputs.

  6. CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) Issues: Some Subaru models with CVT have had issues with shuddering, jerking, or suddenly losing power.

Recent Subaru Recalls

  • 2019-2022 Ascent: These vehicles have been recalled due to a fire risk. The positive temperature coefficient heater's wiring connection may have a production-related defect that can cause a fire while the heater is in operation. So far, two fires have been reported, but there are no reported injuries or crashes.

  • 2018-2019 Crosstrek, 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid, and 2019 Forester: These vehicles have been recalled because the rear stabilizer bracket bolts may loosen and detach. Missing bolts may allow the rear stabilizer bracket to shift, increasing the risk of a crash.

  • 2019-2020 Ascent, 2018 Forester, 2018-2020 Impreza, Legacy, Outback, 2018-2019 BRZ, WRX, and Toyota 86: These vehicles have been recalled because the low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail. Fuel pump failure can cause an engine to stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

  • In addition to these recent recalls, Subaru has also issued recalls for Subaru Takata airbag inflators. These inflators have been known to deploy with excessive force, which can cause serious injury or even death.

Choose The Beck Law Office to Represent You

If you live in California and suspect that you might have a lemon on your hands, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced lemon law lawyer; someone who not only specializes in this area of law but also has extensive knowledge of California's specific lemon law regulations.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for car companies and manufacturers to adopt some misleading tactics that might bewilder consumers. Therefore, it is vital that you opt for legal representation that can confidently safeguard your consumer rights, which you are legally entitled to.

The Beck Law Office is a trusted lemon law firm based in California and has over ten years of experience in successfully advocating for clients in lemon law claims. Our competent team of attorneys are well-versed in California's lemon law regulations and is proficient at identifying and countering the strategies that manufacturers and dealerships may use to evade their responsibilities.

Our services extend throughout California, reaching out to clients in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Riverside, and numerous other cities across the state. Our team is committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.

Our Assurance to You

At The Beck Law Office, our approach is entirely client-centred. Understanding the intricate nature and potential stress related to a lemon law claim, we strive to provide consistent support and empathy to each client throughout the process. We are here to ease your stress and ensure a smooth experience.

Moreover, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means our remuneration is directly tied to the outcome of your case. We don't levy any legal fees unless we are successful in your claim. This commitment removes the financial burden that often accompanies the pursuit of lemon law cases, providing our clients with the assurance that we devote our resources and expertise to secure the most favourable result in each case.

Get in Touch With Us Today

If you are in need of expert advice from an experienced lemon law attorney don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation or a no-obligation case evaluation.

We are passionate about serving our clients and stand ready to provide you with the legal guidance you need to navigate the complexities of your lemon law case.



If a vehicle has many defects it will qualify for a lemon law claim under California lemon law.
A defect that will substantially impair a vehicle's safety on the road will qualify the vehicle as a lemon.
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