Subaru is a Japanese automaker that has come to be known in the United States for its sporty, rugged cars. The company's six-star logo represents the different companies that merged to create the company in existence today. Subaru vehicles receive consistent praise for their safety and longevity. Subaru is esteemed for its environmental record and the company holds a unique environmental title: its Indiana automotive plant was the first in the U.S. to reach zero-landfill production, meaning no waste from the plant enters a landfill. In addition, the company has an extensive recycling program for end-of-life Subaru cars to further keep parts out of landfills.
Subaru Defects and Recalls
Despite the praise that Subaru's vehicles have received, the cars are not without faults. The company has had to conduct several recalls over the years. This section is a compilation of some of the largest vehicle recalls that the company has carried out, though it is not a complete list of every recall that Subaru has issued. To search for recalls related to your vehicle, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Subaru's websites.
The following are some of the most common issues Subaru owners might face:
In late 2016, Subaru recalled over 100,000 vehicles for an electrical failure that could cause vehicle fires. Certain vehicle models with turbocharged engines manufactured between 2007 and 2014 had faulty secondary air injection pumps. The pumps could fail, forcing the pump to constantly operate and eventually overheat. Overheated pumps could melt and cause a vehicle fire.
In 2013, Subaru recalled almost 50,000 vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2013 that had CVT or automatic transmissions and an Audiovox remote engine starter. If the engine starter fob is dropped it could malfunction and cause random transmissions to the engine to start and stop, causing the engine to run until fuel was depleted or causing the fob to lose battery power. Vehicles parked in enclosed areas could create deadly carbon monoxide buildup.
In 2010, Subaru recalled certain Outback vehicles manufactured in 2009-2010. Wiring located in the steering column had the potential to develop stress cracks and break, affecting the operation of the vehicle's electrical components. Breakage could effect the shift function, the driver's front airbag, and cruise control, as well as radio and horn functions.
As of January 2017, Subaru is still recalling over 53,000 vehicles for malfunctioning Takata airbags. The air bags in certain 2005-2012 Subaru models could be affected by long-term exposure to temperature cycling and humidity, causing rupture of the inflators. This rupture could cause metal fragments of the car to strike occupants of the vehicle, causing serious injury.
In 2015, the company recalled over 32,000 vehicles manufactured between 2011-2012 due to inoperable front passenger air bags. Operating devices plugged into the vehicle's power outlets or touching a metal part of the vehicle like the seat adjusters could deactivate the Occupant Detection System and prevent the front passenger airbag from deploying in a crash.
Close to 50,000 2016-2017 vehicles were recalled in May of 2016 due to a serious issue with the steering column. Subaru said the column was improperly manufactured, causing the steering wheel to have no effect on the direction of the wheels. The recall affected Subaru Legacy and Outback models.
The company faced a similar issue in 2013 when it recalled over 5,000 Outback and Legacy vehicles manufactured in 2012. The inner and outer shafts in the steering column could become disengaged, preventing the driver from having control over wheel direction.
At the time of both recalls, Subaru was not aware of any injuries, but the company did urge drivers to completely refrain from using their vehicles until the vehicles were checked.
Many customers have complained that some older Subaru Outback models have lighting issues, causing drivers to replace headlights -- sometimes multiple times a year. Subaru has not issued any recalls relating to the lighting issues.
One 2011 Outback owner filed a case against the company alleging that Subaru knew about the lighting issues, dating back to 2008 when the company changed the lighting system in Outback models. But the problem persists. The dismissed case alleged that the lighting issues were electrical in nature, caused by voltage surges that caused lighting failure.
In 2014, Subaru recalled almost 700,000 Impreza, STI, and Forester vehicles for serious issues with the brake lines. The brake lines can potentially corrode due to salt water reaching the lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector. This could cause brake fluid to leak and increase the stopping distance when drivers apply the brakes.
Subaru Safety Ratings
Despite these recalls, Subaru vehicles are typically ranked among the safest of all the vehicles on the market. About 35% of all Subaru vehicles receive five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Current models receive even higher safety ratings; about 85% of new Subarus receive five-star ratings. Subarus also often top the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick— about 14% of Subarus are chosen for this list.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
A defect in a vehicle can lead to injuries to those in the vehicle as well as others on the road. If you or your loved one has been hurt because of a defect in a Subaru, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to discuss your case. Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients recover just compensation for their injuries. Let his knowledge and expertise work for you. Contact his office today by calling (303) 825-2223, or filling out an online form.