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As Automakers Add Technology to Cars, Software Bugs Follow


About six months after Gary Gilpin leased a Subaru Outback from a California dealer, the screen went blank and wouldn’t come back on. Mr. Gilpin took the car to the dealer for what he figured would be a quick reset.“It was a whole month before I got my car back,” said Mr. Gilpin, who runs a sailboat chartering and brokerage business.Some people would have just fumed. Mr. Gilpin sued.He is among thousands of car owners, encouraged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, who have joined class-action lawsuits that accuse carmakers of selling vehicles with faulty entertainment and related systems. Their complaints are as numerous as they are varied: screens that freeze, flicker or go dark; sound that cuts out or unexpectedly blasts at high volume; backup cameras that fail. Often the pro …

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