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