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Subaru Recall on Nearly 900,000 Vehicles

Niel Stender

Subaru recalls have been issued impacting nearly 900,000 models. One relates to an ignition coil defect; another relates to rear stabilizer brackets.

Subaru Recall on Ignition Coils and Suspension Bolt

2018 Subaru Impreza Wagon - carsforsale.com
2018 Subaru Impreza Wagon - carsforsale.com

Subaru issued a statement on April 15 regarding a pair of safety recalls. One of these recalls impacts the ignition coils on a little more than 466,000 Impreza and Crosstrek vehicles. The other recall has to do with a rear suspension, stabilizer bracket on 405,000 Forester and Crosstrek models.

What’s the Issue with Subaru’s Ignition Coils?

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0L H4 - carsforsale.com
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0L H4 - carsforsale.com

At issue on the ignition coil recall is an improperly programmed engine control module (ECM). Under certain conditions, the ignition coil can remain energized longer than intended after the engine is turned off. In this scenario, the internal temperature of the coil can get too high causing a short circuit and subsequent blown fuse.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek - carsforsale.com
2018 Subaru Crosstrek - carsforsale.com

If this were to happen after the vehicle is parked, it would likely not start back up next time. If the car is moving, “the vehicle may experience a loss of motive power while driving without the ability to immediately restart the engine, increasing the risk of a crash”, according to Subaru. The defect is estimated to affect 100% of the 466,225 subject vehicles, which are categorized as follows:

  • 2017-2019 Impreza 4-door: 68,965
  • 2017-2019 Impreza station wagon: 139,597
  • 2018-2019 Crosstrek: 257,663

This issue dates to 2017 when Subaru received the first technical report on it and began investigating causes with the ECM and ignition coil supplier. A key finding was that the “occurrence rate appears to increase with the number of engine OFF cycles.” Subaru is telling owners to watch for irregular vibrations or a cylinder misfire, during vehicle operation, as identifiers of the problem.

What’s Being Done to Fix Subaru Ignition Coils?

2017 Subaru Impreza - carsforsale.com
2017 Subaru Impreza - carsforsale.com

To fix the defect, Subaru dealers will reprogram the ECM and update the software along with inspecting the ignition coils for any damage, cracking, fissures, etc. Customers can expect the reprogramming and inspection to take about 30 minutes. If damage is discovered, the coils will be replaced and the repair may take longer. As well, the exhaust front pipe will be replaced, due to potential catalytic converter damage, if the following diagnostic codes are found:

  • P0301, P0302, P0303 or P0304: Cylinder Misfire Detected (for cylinder 1 through 4)
  • P0420: Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold Bank 1

What’s About the Subaru Suspension Recall?

2019 Subaru Forester - carsforsale.com
2019 Subaru Forester - carsforsale.com

The suspension recall is due to the potential for rear stabilizer bracket bolts to come loose. Typically, a stabilizer bar system is made of several components that work together to reduce body roll and fine-tune the suspension. Not only could a loose bracket affect the handling of the vehicle, but it could also interfere with other suspension parts, causing damage. This recall affects 2019 Foresters and Crosstreks, totaling about 405,000 vehicles. Dealers will be examining the bracket and re-torque the bolts as necessary.

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2019 Subaru Crosstrek - subaru.com
2019 Subaru Crosstrek - subaru.com

Subaru is reporting no accidents or injuries related to either recall, at this time. They will be mailing notifications to owners by mid-June and in both cases, the repairs will be carried out at no cost to customers. Owners can input their VIN into the NHTSA site www.nhtsa.gov/recalls for details on any open recalls or call Subaru at 844-373-6614 for more information.

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Niel Stender
Niel Stender

Niel got his start in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer with SVT at Ford. He still has dreams of running figure eights on the wet pad in an S197 GT500. These days, when not fending off karate kicks from the 3 tiny humans that run his household, he can be found on St. Louis backroads pretending to be Ken Block in his 6-speed Mazda 6.

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