Subaru vehicles recalled for brake light issue, loss of safety functions

Camden, NJ – February 19, 2019 – Subaru Corporation (OTCMKTS:FUJHY) has recalled 1,303,530 vehicles, due to a faulty brake light. If brake lights do not illuminate as designed, other vehicles will not be alerted when the vehicle is slowing or stopping. This issue increases the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2014-2016 Subaru Forester SUVs
  • 2008-2016 Subaru Impreza sedans
  • 2012-2016 Subaru Impreza station wagons
  • 2008-2014 Subaru WRX sedans (including STI)
  • 2013-2017 Subaru Crosstrek SUVs

Recall summary  

The brake light switch is built inside of a housing and turns the lights on and off. In recalled vehicles, contaminants may seep into the switch housing and disable it. The brake will still work even if the light switch is not operating correctly.

But depending on the model, the failure may also result in the inability of the driver to start the vehicle or shift out of “Park” when trying to go somewhere.  In some cases, it may also disable the anti-lock brake (ABS) system and some important safety features, including EyeSight driver assist and vehicle dynamics control (VDC). 

Warning signs

The vehicle should display an appropriate warning light, if any of the above systems malfunction.  

Subaru Forester recalls

The 2019 Subaru Forester was subject to a recall in December 2019 because of sudden “loss of power while driving” and earlier that year for “loss of electric power assist.


Trailing vehicles must be alerted when the driver applies the brakes. If the brake light is out, the risk of a rear-end collision greatly increases. 

If the vehicle’s ABS fails, the brake pedal may become unresponsive. Both this and the loss of other essential safety features – such as EyeSight driver assist, which helps the driver to stay in his or her lane – augments the risk of crash and subsequent injury or death to the occupants of the car and other people on the road.

The repair

To fix the issue, dealers will need to replace the brake light switch. The repair is free of charge and is available now. The Subaru brake light switch replacement is expected to take 30 minutes, but your dealer may need to keep your vehicle longer, depending on scheduling.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 1,300,000 vehicles were originally included in this Subaru recall. As of October 2020 – the last date for which information is available – close to a million have been fixed or removed. To see if your car  is amongst those that still need to be fixed, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Note: February 16, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have rewritten it to include the best, most up-to-date information.

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