If you drive a Subaru model, be aware that things could get heated on your next drive – literally. The Tokyo-based automaker recently announced the recall of more than 100,000 vehicles registered to owners nationwide over a defect that poses a fire risk.
Company officials and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say a manufacturing defect can cause a vehicle’s relay system, which controls the secondary injection pump to fail. In such cases, the “check engine” warning light will illuminate, and the pump could continuously operate, overheat, and melt causing odor or smoke to occur and possibly catch fire.
Models affected in the recall are:
- 2007 to 2009 Legacy
- 2008 to 2014 Impreza
- 2009 to 2013 Forester
All affected vehicles are equipped with turbo-charged engines.
Subaru officials tell the NHTSA that they first got word of the issue from a supplier in 2011. The supplier had received a report of a “check engine” problem that didn’t involve fire. Between April 2011 and Sept. 2013, the supplier investigated and determined the root cause for the check engine warning light illumination is insufficient contact point pressure of the relay associated with the secondary air injection pump. The supplier decreased the contact pressure in an attempt to remediate the issue.
However, in Oct. 2013, the company received the first report of an air injection pump emitting smoke and catching fire, prompting a second report to Subaru in May 2015. News of a second blaze soon followed. A subsequent investigation that wrapped in September confirmed the need for the safety recall.
Subaru will notify registered owners of affected vehicles and dealers will replace the secondary air injection pump relay free of charge. In the meantime, you can confirm whether your vehicle is part of the recall by entering the VIN in a search engine on the company’s website.
Harrell and Harrell urges all vehicle owners to take recall notices seriously. If you or someone you love is injured in an incident you believe was caused by a manufacturing defect, report the incident, get medical attention and call 800-251-1111 to speak with a product liability attorney.