Subaru Recall Targets Faulty Fuel Pumps Due to Crash Risk

Laguna Hills, CA – April 30, 2020 – An issue with a low-pressure fuel pump is causing some Subaru Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models to stall and not restart or run roughly. That might lead to an accident, Subaru recalls say.

Deformed Impeller Prompts Recall

  • 2019 Subaru Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, and Outback cars and SUVs
  • Low pressure fuel pump might stop working.
  • 188,207 vehicles in the U.S. are recalled

A bad impeller inside the low-pressure fuel pump could become deformed over time, the NHTSA recall notice says. The deformation could cause the impeller to jam inside the low-pressure fuel pump and disable it. If that happens, the “check engine” warning light or the “malfunction indicator” light on the dash might signal a problem. The Subaru also might run roughly if it does not stall. Restarts might become impossible, which increases the risk of a crash, Subaru of America says.

Subaru Specifies Recalled Models

The fuel pump recall does not apply to every car listed above. Subaru says it only applies to the following models when respective owners confirm it in advance. Doing so requires using the “Vehicle Coverage Inquiry” link at Subarunet.com. The number of Subaru recalls in the U.S. and their respective build dates are:

  • 40,950 Ascent SUVs built from June 26, 2018, through Jan. 18, 2019
  • 40,797 Impreza cars built from June 18, 2018, through Feb. 25, 2019
  • 20,198 Subaru Legacy cars built from June 29, 2018, through Feb. 19, 2019
  • 86,278 Subaru Outback cars built from June 29, 2018, through Feb. 19, 2019

Subaru says a limited supply of replacement fuel pumps will arrive soon to support the recall. Additional models are recalled in Canada, which pushes the total number recalled to more than 200,000 in North America.

New Fuel Pump Fixes the Problem

Subaru says the replacement fuel pumps will arrive soon in limited quantities. Once the replacement parts start arriving, Subaru will replace the faulty fuel pump with a new one after respective owners confirm the service online. It expects to start replacing the faulty Subaru fuel pumps on June 5. The matter has not caused any reported accidents or injuries, Subaru says.

More Stalling Problems for Subaru

Subaru fuel pump problem is the latest to cause stalling problems in recently built Subaru vehicles. Recent Subaru safety issues due to stalling include an October 2019 recall that addressed faulty engine control modules in up to 500,000 Impreza and Crosstrek made from 2017 to 2019. The carmaker also recently recalled certain 2019 Crosstrek, Ascent, and Forester SUVs due to a stalling problem. A faulty PCV valve could separate and cause motor oil and valve pieces to enter the engine.

Does This Recall Affect You?

To determine whether the Subaru fuel pump problem affects your vehicle, it is not enough to just know the make, model and year. The way to be completely sure is to look up your vehicle ID number (VIN) on our free lookup tool, and if there are any open recalls on your vehicle you will be able to connect with dealers who can repair the problem at no cost to you.

Joe GlaserSubaru Recall Targets Faulty Fuel Pumps Due to Crash Risk

Subaru Recalls Certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles 

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 12, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. is recalling certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles. The issue involves the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve; the valve is at risk of separating, which causes motor oil and parts of the valve itself to flood the engine, resulting in a loss of power for the vehicle, which can occur while driving.

The potential number of units affected is estimated at 51,613.

The Defect

Subaru believes that certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester and Ascent vehicles possess this defect with the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. Due to a manufacturing error, these PCV valves are defective. While the vehicle is being operated, the PCV valve can separate, allowing motor oil into the combustion chamber that can prevent the engine from functioning. In addition, pieces of the PCV valve can make their way into the combustion chamber as well, damaging engine components and preventing the proper filtering of gases from the crankcase.

Timeline of Events

On December 2, 2019, Subaru of America discovered a defect in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve on the aforementioned vehicles. Later, on December 11, they released a recall notice notifying owners of the issue. Vehicles likely to be affected by this defect were identified by manufacturing and production records. Retailers have been sent notifications to identify and stop the sale of possibly affected vehicles in their inventory until a remedy becomes available. Official instructions state that the recall is expected to begin January 24, 2020, with instructions on the repair and remedy process having already been sent to retailers.

The Solution

Plans for the removal process of the defective PCV valves have not been finalized for consumers. Subaru recommends that owners do not operate their vehicles. Owners will be notified when repair and removal services become available for this specific issue. Dealers will review and train in the provided remedy procedures, and inspect any vehicles brought in under suspicion of possessing the defective valves. If a Subaru vehicle is found to possess this defect, it will be repaired. When the recall starts for already sold vehicles, vehicle owners will receive these repairs free of charge. Replacement and repair of these devices should only be undertaken by professional repairmen.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalls Certain 2019 Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent vehicles 

Another Recall Ordered For Subaru Impreza and Crosstrek Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 29, 2019 – Approximately 205,000 hatchbacks and SUVs distributed and manufactured by Subaru of America are due to be recalled over concerns that the engine may power off as a result of a faulty PCV valve. The vehicles in question, Impreza and Crosstrek, are also subject to a separate recall related to potentially damaged electronic control modules.

This particular Impreza and Crosstrek recall is scheduled to occur Dec. 13, which is the day Subaru expects to distribute notifications to owners informing of this engine cooling issue. Those who receive the communiques should bring their automobile to an area Subaru dealer so a repair can be arranged. There will be no charge for the fix, if one is needed.

The Defect

In paperwork submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Subaru is getting ready to recall 205,000 Imprezas and Crosstrek vehicles – model years 2017 through 2019 and 2018, respectively – after discovering the positive crank ventilation valve may be compromised in certain automobiles. Made from aluminum, the PCV valve may crack and cause the components within it to fall into the engine itself. Such a scenario could prevent the engine from functioning and lead to a crash should the engine turn off or cause the automobile to stall.

Timeline of Events

NHTSA maintains a portal that consumers can use to see when recall takes place and the events that led up to actions requiring correspondence with government traffic safety officials. Among the documents typically made available is what is known as a Product 573 Safety Recall Report. It chronicles recall-specific investigations on a month-to-month basis and also describes the proposed remedy to rectify the safety issues in question. However, this report was not made available at press time.

Several Product 573 Recall Reports have been revealed by NHTSA in 2019 overall, and for Subaru in particular. One stemmed from faulty brake pedal mounting brackets that Subaru became aware of over the summer and another for defective driveshafts. The driveshaft problem first came to Subaru’s attention in June and the voluntary recall became official less than a month later.

The Solution

As to the Impreza and Crosstrek recall, Subaru says it’s aiming to inform all the parties for whom this safety risk applies beginning Dec. 13. In the mailers set to be distributed, owners will be asked to bring their automobiles to a dealership so a repair order can get underway, assuming the PCV valve is damaged. This can only be determined by bringing the car in for inspection. If a problem is found, the PCV valve will be replaced free of charge.

It’s very possible that you’re driving a car that may be subject to a recall. Find out for sure by entering your VIN at MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesAnother Recall Ordered For Subaru Impreza and Crosstrek Vehicles

Nearly a Half-Million Subarus Recalled Due to Stall Risk

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 25, 2019 – A massive recall is about to get underway for Subaru of America, after the automaker discovered certain Impreza and Crosstrek vehicles – whose model years stretch from 2017 to 2019 – may have faulty engine control modules. Specifically, despite the engine being turned off, the ECM may continue to run, a circumstance that has the potential to cause a short circuit or blown fuse. This could lead to an accident if either of these outcomes take place while motorists are traveling.

The automaker expects to inform registered car owners of this 2017-2019 Subaru recall by Dec. 13. Recipients are encouraged to then bring their vehicles to their local dealership so diagnostic test can be performed. This will determine whether the ignition coil requires replacing or if some other modification. Whatever is deemed necessary, there will be no charge for parts or labor.

The Defect

Approximately 466,205 Crosstrek SUVs and Impreza hatchbacks are due to be recalled by Subaru, according to documents prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It appears that the engine control module, which manipulates the actuators controlling the internal combustion engine, fails to power down when the engine is shut off. Left unchecked could result in a blown fuse or short circuit of the engine. Either scenario dramatically increases the risk of the automobile stalling and the possibility that the operator encounters an accident.

Timeline of Events

Typically when safety recalls are ordered, the NHTSA produces what is known as a Part 573 Safety Recall Report. This document details the various elements of an automotive recall, including a chronology of how a performance or safety issue came to light and what led the automaker to make the decision that it did regarding the recall. These particulars were not available in the NHTSA’s portal at the time of publication.

Subaru prides itself on its safety record and is a perennial favorite to receive recognition for building some of the safest automobiles on the road from the likes of J.D. Power and Associates and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute and Kelley Blue Book. In fact, last year, the Camden, New Jersey-headquartered nameplate landed seven models on IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ list, two of which were the Crosstrek and Impreza, specifically the sedan and 5-door option. Others that received the highly coveted honorific  included the Subaru Outback, WRX, Ascent and Legacy.

In order to be included among IIHS Top Safety Pick+ selections, vehicles must undergo a battery of tests that analyze how well they hold up in the event of a crash at a high rate of speed, including front, side, rollover and how well the head restraints prevent passengers from experiencing a head or neck injury. Vehicles must received a “good” rating for these tests. Headlights must also receive a “good” rating, while the front crash prevention test must elicit a “superior” or “advanced” score.

“Each year we continue to improve and innovate the safety features in our vehicles for our customers, said Thomas Doll, CEO and president at Subaru of America, in a press release. “For the Subaru brand to lead the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards with seven winners reflects our commitment to making safety the top priority in our vehicles.”

The Solution

The recall is anticipated to begin officially on Dec. 13, the first day in which Subaru plans to distribute mailers to owners of the models in question. Recipients are urged to bring their vehicles to an area Subaru supplier so the ECM can be inspected and the engine coil replaced or modified. Some of these automobiles may also need to have their front exhaust pipes swapped assuming ignition coil damage is confirmed.

For more information on the 2017-2019 Subaru recall as well as any others announced within the last few months, please visit MotorSafety.org to get the details.

Sean ReyesNearly a Half-Million Subarus Recalled Due to Stall Risk

Subaru Recalls Forester Vehicles Due to Air Bag Risk

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 14, 2019 – Subaru of America has announced the recall of more than 366,000 Forester vehicles equipped with heated seats, due to a defect that could potentially deactivate the front passenger air bag.

An indicator acknowledging the loss of the air bag’s function will illuminate if deactivation occurs, so hopefully drivers will be fully aware if their vehicle is affected. However, the problem still brings with it an increased possibility of injury for the individual in the passenger seat, thus necessitating the field action.

The Defect

Documents describing the defect note that it applies to certain 2015-2018 Subaru Forester vehicles, and is caused by electrical issues.

“Over time, due to a decrease in contact pressure between terminals in the occupant detection system (ODS) sensor mat harness, a temporarily unstable electrical connection may be possible,” Subaru’s safety recall report describing the defect pointed out. “If the connection is temporarily unstable, the ODS may not properly determine the status of a front right seat occupant.”

Because the sensor cannot ascertain whether or not the front right seat is occupied, it may fail to activate the air bag.

Timeline of Events

Subaru’s own chronology report regarding the defect goes back more than three years, as the issue first surfaced in April 2016. At that time, the manufacturer received its first field report related to the ODS sensor issue, which described the condition as it affected a 2016 Forester vehicle. Further reports of the same issue continued to find their way to the automaker throughout much of 2017, although no root cause could be determined by either Subaru or its supplier.

By September 2018, it had ultimately been determined that “other factors could cause connection instability, such as harness connectors and/or harness routing,” which led to a crucial update of the manufacturing process. Roughly one year later, Subaru finally concluded that the root cause of the failure was the unstable electrical connection described above.

The manufacturer was able to decide the scope of the recall by comparing vehicle production information, results of their own investigation, and field reports describing specific vehicles that contained the defect. Of the 366,282 vehicles currently reported to be included within the recall, Subaru estimates that roughly 10% of them contain the defect.

The Solution

“Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, replace the ODS sensor mat harness, free of charge,” stated an official letter that Subaru filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Dealers have already been notified of the field action, and owners of vehicles affected by the recall will themselves be fully informed by the end of November. However, the parts being used for the repair are not currently available, so owners will be contacted once again, at a later date, when they can actually bring their vehicle in for the remedy to be implemented at no cost.

For information on other vehicle recalls involving Subaru and other major automobile manufacturers, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalls Forester Vehicles Due to Air Bag Risk

2020 Legacy and Outback Vehicles Recalled For Brake Pedal Mounting Bracket

Laguna Hills, CA – Sep. 29, 2019 – Subaru of America has announced the recall of certain 2020 Legacy and Outback vehicles in order to inspect and potentially repair the brake pedal mounting bracket.

The brake pedal mounting bracket in the affected vehicles, most of which were produced in August 2019, may not contain all the bolts required to function properly, or may feature a bolt that was insufficiently tightened. As a result, the mounting area for the brake pedal may deform, which could reduce braking performance and thus increase the risk of a crash.

The Defect

In the Legacy and Outback vehicles involved in the recall, the brake pedal mounting bracket may include an insufficiently tightened or outright missing bolt.

“Over time, if a brake pedal mounting bracket has an insufficiently tightened or missing bolt/nit, the brake pedal mounting area may deform,” stated the safety recall report that Subaru filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make a formal note of the issue. “Deformation of the brake pedal mounting area could reduce braking performance, increasing the risk of the crash.”

The recall population includes 2,862 Outback vehicles, and 605 Legacy vehicles, according to the same report. Subaru estimates that one percent of those vehicles contain the defect.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology included in Subaru’s safety recall report, knowledge of the potential for the defect came to light on Aug. 29, 2019, when an associate discovered an insufficiently tightened bolt on a vehicle in the midst of assembly.

“Upon closer review, it was observed that certain hardware located on the brake pedal mounting bracket may have been insufficiently tightened or missing,” according to the report.

An investigation was opened shortly thereafter, and the condition was quickly traced to a defective bolt feeder, which was removed from the assembly line on Sept. 4. Further investigation allowed Subaru to determine that the flagged hardware may have serviced a number of vehicles that were produced between July 30 and Aug. 29.

Subaru decided to conduct the recall on September 11, and informed dealers on September 18.

The Solution

Dealers have been informed of the defect and a stop order has been placed on all vehicles potentially containing it that have not yet sold. All of those vehicles will be inspected – and repaired if necessary – before being made available for sale once again.

Owners of vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by Subaru no later than Oct. 1, according to the report filed by the automaker with the NHTSA. These customers will be instructed to bring their vehicle to an authorized dealer, who will inspect the brake pedal mounting bracket hardware, and then replace the hardware of the brake pedal assembly if necessary.

If you own one of the listed vehicles and have further questions, you may contact Subaru’s customer service line at (844) 373-6614. For information on additional Subaru recalls and other news from the automotive industry, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean Reyes2020 Legacy and Outback Vehicles Recalled For Brake Pedal Mounting Bracket

Subaru recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 26, 2019 — Subaru of America has recalled dozens of sport utility vehicles potentially equipped with defective driveshafts, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2019 Subaru Ascent SUVs produced between June 8, 2019, and June 11, 2019. The Japanese automaker suspects that all of the vehicles involved in the recall contain these defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with driveshafts whose support bracing surfaces and bolts have been inadvertently painted and are therefore disconnection. Continuous vibration could shake these essential fixtures lose, leading to driveshaft separation and sudden loss of motive power. The defective parts pose a serious hazard to owners and occupants as a consequence. That said, Subaru has yet to receive any reports linking the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

On June 12, 2019, quality assurance personnel inspecting recently assembled vehicles at the Subaru of America production plant in Lafayette, Indiana encountered a 2019 Subaru Ascent with an out-of-specification driveshaft torque brace bolt. The automaker connected with its driveshaft supplier, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, based in Monroe, Georgia, and requested that it conduct an internal investigation to understand error. The supplier executed a review June 13, 2019, and found that some production teams were not masking driveshaft support mounting surfaces during the painting process. Subaru and Hitachi then used assembly records to assess the extent of the issue between June 14, 2019, and July 1, 2019.

The automaker reviewed all investigation findings and approved a voluntary recall July 2, 2019.

The Solution

Subaru has directed dealers to inspect the recalled vehicles and replace any defective driveshaft components, free of charge, per NHTSA documents. The vehicle manufacturer intends to contact owners via first-class mail July 26, 2019. Those who need additional assistance can connect with Subaru customer service staff by calling (844) 373-6614. Callers should use the recall identification code WUI-94. Owners can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesSubaru recalls SUVs with defective driveshafts

Subaru Recalling 10,417 Vehicles Because of Power Steering Problem

Laguna Hills, CA – March 12, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. announced the recall of certain 2019 Forester and Crosstrek vehicles.  A connector inside the Electronic Power Steering unit may short-circuit, causing a loss of electric power steering assistance. Up to 10,417 vehicles are potentially affected by this issue.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, a connector inside the Electronic Power Steering control unit may form small gaps in the plastic material molding during the manufacturing process. Consequently, connector terminals inside the plastic molding may have insufficient isolation between terminals. If a loss in isolation happens, the EPS warning lamp will light and the EPS assist may be disabled. When this occurs, steering will become more difficult, increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

Subaru received the first report of a vehicle experiencing loss of power steering assist Jan. 8, 2019. The report came from a transport truck driver who had just restarted the engine to load the vehicle for transportation. The problem occurred before the vehicle was in motion. Subaru requested part collection to begin a supplier investigation.

In the following week, Subaru received ten additional incidents of vehicles with disabled EPS assist. In all ten new cases, the issue happened shortly after the engine was restarted but prior to driving the vehicle, similar to the original occurrence. All eleven of these cases surfaced in Japan, while still under the automaker’s control.

The Investigation proceeded with a supplier-conducted examination of the failed parts, review of the manufacturing process and an inquiry into the history of the composition of raw materials involved in the connector’s fabrication.

On Jan. 16, Subaru received the first report of this problem occurring while a vehicle was in motion. Like the previous incidents, the failure was reported by a transport truck driver while the vehicle was still in Japan under manufacturer control. As a result, all production and shipping of potentially affected vehicles was halted.

Subaru of America subsequently placed a hold on these vehicles on Jan. 21. Since all the vehicles were in the shipping process and hadn’t yet arrived in the U.S., the hold kept the automobiles at their various ports of entry. Back in Japan, a safety recall was announced Jan.30 by Subaru for the Japanese market, because some of the potentially affected Forester and Crosstrek vehicles had already been sold.

In the U.S., Subaru went ahead with distribution of the vehicles to retailers beginning Feb. 4, so that dealers could make repairs. A voluntary safety recall was issued at that time.

The Solution

The recall of potentially affected vehicles began Feb. 7, 2019. As of that date, none of the affected vehicles had been sold yet. Subaru has notified dealers of the issue, and they will inspect the steering gearbox and replace it as necessary, free of charge.

Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-373-6614. Subaru’s number for this recall is WUC-88. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V065000.

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalling 10,417 Vehicles Because of Power Steering Problem

Subaru recalls 1,303,530 vehicles for brake light switch issue

Laguna Hills, CA – March 7, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. is recalling certain 2014-2016 Forester, 2008-2016 Impreza sedans, 2012-2016 Impreza station wagons, 2008-2014 WRX sedans (including STI), and 2013-2017 Crosstrek vehicles. When exposed to certain contaminants, the brake light switch may malfunction, preventing the brake lights from illuminating. The same problem may also prevent starting of keyless ignitions and shifting of CVT/automatic transmissions out of park. As many as 1,303,530 vehicles are potentially affected by this issue.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Recall Report on this issue, silicone gas may seep into the brake lamp switch housing. If this happens when closure of the contacts occurs, silicon dioxide may form a deposit layer on the switch contact terminal. The contact switch may fail to operate once this compound buildup reaches a certain level.

Depending on the particular vehicle model, this may have a harmful effect on the functioning of brake-lamp illumination, shifting from park, push-button ignition, the anti-lock brake system, vehicle dynamics control (VDC) and Eyesight operation. Brake light failure represents one of the most critical possible consequences stemming from this flaw, resulting in the inability to alert other drivers that the vehicle is slowing or stopping and increasing the chances of a rear-end collision.

Timeline of Events

Subaru received the first technical report of a failure of an ABS/VDC warning lamp due to brake lamp switch problems from the U.S. market in March 2012 and began a supplier investigation at that time.

In August 2012, the investigation revealed oxidized silicon on the contact surface. Since no silicone-containing products were used in the manufacturing process of related parts, it was assumed that exposure resulted from some consumer product containing silicone. Subaru concluded the issue was an atypical incident, not requiring immediate action, but continued to monitor reports from the field for any changes.

From August 2012 through December 2017, additional field data suggested additional problems, so the investigation continued. From January 2018 to January 2019, Subaru determined that a brake lamp switch with a different mechanical design would be beneficial, so it began the specification and validation process for a new component. By February 2019, a voluntary recall was instituted in Japan, and later in the U.S., for the following vehicles and model years: the Subaru Crosstrek from model years 2013-2017, Subaru Forester of 2014-2016, Subaru Impreza of 2008-2016, Subaru WRX of 2008-2014.

The Solution

Effective March 1, 2019, Subaru began informing dealers of the recall of certain Crosstrek, Forester, Impreza, and WRX vehicles to replace the brake lamp switch. Subaru will begin notifying affected vehicle owners by mail around April 29, 2019. Owners with a valid email address will be notified by email as well. If parts are not available by the time these notifications go out, owners will be told that parts are not available yet and they will be re-notified once the replacement parts have been received. Retailers will be advised when the notification is scheduled.  Dealers will replace the brake light switch, free of charge.

Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-373-6614. Subaru’s number for this recall is WUE-90. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V149000.

Sean ReyesSubaru recalls 1,303,530 vehicles for brake light switch issue

Subaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List

Camden, N.J. – February 27, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2010-2013 Forester, 2010-2014 Tribeca, WRX, Outback, Legacy, and 2010-2011 Impreza vehicles sold or ever registered in specific regions, in two separate but related recalls. The range of vehicles included specific models and years, and is confined to potentially hot and humid regions. The total potential number of units affected is 373,514.

Vehicles being recalled are from the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,  Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed on January 9th, all the recalled vehicles are equipped with Takata air bag inflators with propellant wafers that contain non-desiccated ammonium nitrate. The injectors are part of full passenger frontal air bag modules which have been utilized over many years as original equipment and replacement equipment. Takata’s investigation to date has revealed that the propellant wafers can degrade over time, especially when exposed over long periods of time to high absolute humidity and drastic temperature cycling.

This degradation can lead to explosive combustion in the event of a crash that triggers deployment of the passenger frontal air bag. Excessive internal pressure when the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated can cause the inflator to rupture, causing metal fragments to pass through the air bag. As the sharp metal fragments exit the air bag module at high speed, they can enter the vehicle interior and strike the front seat passenger, driver or other occupants of the vehicle, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

On November 3, 2015, the NHTSA and Takata entered into a Consent Order surrounding the defective airbag issue. On May 4, 2016, the NHTSA and Takata forged an amended agreement on the basis of testing and analysis conducted by Takata (and further independent testing by third party unaffiliated research organizations). Due to the results of those tests, the NHTSA concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will, at some point in the future, reach an unstable and dangerous threshold level of degradation. NHTSA then ordered Takata to file certain defect information reports (DIRs) which Takata submitted. On May 20, 2016, Subaru determined to launch a voluntary recall.

Subsequently, further DIRs were submitted by Takata in January of 2017, 2018 and 2019 in accordance with the schedule outlined by the NHTSA to roll out waves of recalls in order of priority and highest risk, and to allow time for manufacture of appropriate replacement parts to stock dealers in preparation for the recall. Subaru has issued regular recalls for subsequent series of vehicles in cooperation with the Takata DIR filings.

The Solution

The recall began January 25, 2019. Subaru is notifying owners to take their vehicles to dealerships where dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs. In the owner letters, Subaru has warned owners not to allow passengers to ride i the front passenger seat until the defect has been remedied. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614.

Subaru’s numbers for these recalls are TKA-19 and TKB-19. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Campaign Numbers for these recalls are 19V007000 and 19V008000.

Sean ReyesSubaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List