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

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