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Subaru Issues TSB for Excessive Oil Consumption

*Update (11/28/16)

The full class-action lawsuit settlement can be found and read here (direct link)


The full list of vehicles covered (which is larger than what was stated earlier in this post) can be found on pages 10-11.

*Update (1/13/16)

The class-action lawsuit has been settled as of this writing, with the following outcomes:

  • The length of the powertrain warranty has been increased from 5 years or 60,000 miles to 8 years or 100,000 miles.
  • Vehicle owners’ costs for repairs, parts and labor, rental cars, towing and the cost of up to six quarts of oil per vehicle will be covered 100%
  • Oil consumption tests and technical service bulletin repairs for owners or leasers of the defective vehicles will be free of charge.

Again, the vehicles covered under this class action lawsuit are:

2011-2014 Forester 2.5L Non-turbo (FB25)
2013 Legacy 2.5L (FB25)
2013 Outback 2.5L (FB25)
2012-2013 Impreza 2.0L (FB20)
2013 XV Crosstrek 2.0L (FB20)


*Update (11/27/15):

What started out as a little informative post over a year go has turned into a source of information for over 36,000 people. I feel humbled, as I am someone only affiliated with Subaru as an owner and a long time fan. I do apologize for not responding to comments in a timely fashion. As I said, I’m not affiliated with Subaru, nor do I have all of the answers.


It appears that Subaru is not the only manufacturer suffering from oil consumption issues. Multiple articles earlier this year listed several vehicles from other manufacturers that are exhibiting these same issues. Of course, this is no excuse for exhibiting oil consumption issues, no matter how much most companies will try to argue that “some” oil consumption is normal with these newer, more efficient engines.

It should be noted that as of the 2015 model year, Subaru has reduced the recommended oil change interval for all models on synthetic oil to 6,000 miles/6 months. The previous recommended oil change interval for the FB20 and FB25 engines was 7,500 miles/7.5 months. As far as I know, this new oil change schedule should be followed retroactively for all FB20 and FB25 engines going forward (though, check with your dealer for their input). Remember that the 6,000 mile/6 month interval is the minimum requirement. If your driving falls under any of the severe driving conditions listed in your Owner’s Manual or Warranty and Maintenance Booklet, then your oil should be changed more frequently.


In addition, it has been brought to my attention that there is are related TSBs related to the Oil Level Monitor giving a false or premature reading. The affected models will require new ECM software, and some may require a new oil level sensor. The included models are:

11-145-14R for 2013-2014MY Legacy and Outback models
11-148-14R for 2014MY Forester models
11-149-14R for 2013-14MY Impreza 2.0L and XV Crosstrek models
11-150-14R for 2012MY Impreza models


These TSBs are listed on page 24 of TSB 02-157-14R (linked below), but I am listing them separately now to increase their visibility.

(The TSB numbers are correct to the best of my knowledge, but should be confirmed with your preferred dealer.)


*Update: Subaru has issued an updated TSB for the excessive oil consumption issue. This new TSB, 02-157-14R (direct link), indicates the new course of action for correcting the oil consumption issue is to replace the entire short block (the middle section of the engine), rather than replacing just the piston rings. This new TSB replaces all of the TSBs mentioned in the post below. Anyone who has already had one of the old TSBs performed, and still has oil consumption issues, qualifies for the updated TSB.

The information below is not current, but may prove relevant for reference:

There have been complaints regarding excessive oil consumption in some 2011-2014 Subaru models with the FB2o and FB25 engine. Subaru has linked this issue to premature wear of the Oil Control Piston Rings. The fix is to replace these piston rings on affected models. However, the vehicle must be within the 5 Year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty to qualify, and must be exhibiting an excessive oil consumption issue.


If you know someone with a 2011-2014 Subaru with an FB20 or FB25 engine, please, inform them of this TSB. Have them go to their dealer to get a consumption test performed if an oil consumption problem is suspected. The way to achieve the best outcome is to identify and document this potential issue before the powertrain warranty has ended.

More details can be found here, courtesy of The Car Connection:


Subaru will replace the piston rings on some 2011-2014 Outback, Forester, and XV Crosstrek crossovers, and Impreza and Legacy sedans, due to a problem with excessive oil consumption.On some of these vehicles, Subaru has found unanticipated wear of the oil control piston rings. In affected engines, oil consumption will be higher than normal and consistent, and the condition remains until repair is made.

The fix

Subaru has come up with a fix for this problem in the form of a change in the surface treatment of the oil control piston rings. On affected vehicles, Subaru will replace the piston rings at no charge under the provisions of the cars’ warranty. On vehicles out of warranty, customers will have to pay for their vehicle’s repairs—a major out-of-pocket expense, since the engine has to be disassembled, piston rings installed and the engine reassembled, plus any other parts that were damaged as a result of oil loss, gaskets and fluids.Owners should closely monitor their oil levels, and to report consistent drops in oil levels to their dealer, along with the relevant Subaru TSB number, depending on which vehicle they own:

2013 Legacy & Outback w/ 2.5 FB engine: # 02-143-13R. Title: “Engine - Excessive Oil Consumption, Piston Ring Wear”


2012 - 2014 Forester w/ 2.5 FB engine: # 02-144-13R. Title: “Engine - Excessive Oil Consumption, Piston Ring Wear”

2011 - 2012 Forester w/ 2.5 FB engine: # 02-147-13R. Title: “Engine - Excessive Oil Consumption, Piston Ring Wear”


2012 - 2013 Impreza w/ 2.0 FB engine; 2013 XV Crosstrek: # 02-145-13R. “Engine - Excessive Oil Consumption, Piston Ring Wear”

This Service Campaign is being managed by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and on a case-by-case basis. Owners of a vehicle that may be consuming too much oil should have a dealer inspect the vehicle.For more info or answers to questions, call Subaru Customer Service at 800-782-2783.

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