Subaru Addresses Potential Engine Fires

Subaru is recalling several vehicle models in the U.S. due to engine problems that have the potential to cause fires. The defect was the result of an inappropriate manufacturing process, according to documents compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Subaru is recalling 100,127 Foresters from 2009-2013, Legacy and Outback models from 2007-2009 and WRX and STI models from 2008-2014. All models are equipped with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The problem is that a faulty relay in these engines can cause the secondary air injection pump to fail. The pump may then end up working constantly, possibly overheating and melting and then igniting. Subaru believes that the check engine light would be lit if this had a chance of occurring in an affected vehicle.


April 25, 2011: Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc. learned of a secondary air injection pump failure that caused the check engine light to go off, but did not result in fire. Fuji investigated and found that the relay associated with the pump had insufficient contact point pressure.

Oct. 10, 2013: Fuji learned of another secondary air injection pump catching fire, but could not investigate it properly.

May 8, 2015: Fuji was able to investigate a separate fire report and determined the cause.

Sept. 30, 2016: Fuji advised Subaru that it would have to conduct a recall of all affected vehicles in the United States.

Proposed Remedy

Subaru dealers will replace the affected secondary air injection pump with a countermeasured replacement pump. This will be done free of charge for all owners.

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