Subaru has announced the recall of 633,842 vehicles due to an electrical problem that could potential cause a fire. Subaru spokesman Mike McHale said there have been no incidents of injury or accidents associated with the defective puddle lamps. He said that the company has received “less than 10” reports of electrical shorts that produced smoke, and that there have been no reports of actual fires.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Subaru believes that only 53,999 of the sedans, crossovers and wagons involved in the recall will actually require repairs to faulty puddle lamp wiring that can short if exposed to moisture. The company has been forced to recall nearly 640,000 vehicles, however, because the optional puddle lamps were installed by dealers and there are no accurate records of which vehicles actually received the faulty lamps.
In its NHTSA filing, Subaru said vehicles that might have received defective lamps include model years 2006 – 2012 Tribecas, 2009 – 2012 Foresters, and 2010 – 2012 Outbacks and Legacies. Owners whose vehicles received the optional lamps are being instructed to take their autos to their local dealer for repairs. Owners who are unsure whether or not their vehicles have the puddle lamps can also have them inspected at their dealerships and repaired if necessary.
The faulty puddle lamps, which are located just below the vehicles’ side view mirrors, will be fitted with an extra electrical harness and fuse to prevent fires if the wiring does short out. Subaru dealers will make the repair at no charge beginning next month.
Subaru is not the only Japanese automaker to have to recall vehicles for safety concerns. Honda had to recall about 3 million vehicles during the third quarter of last year to repair faulty transmissions and Toyota recalled approximately 7.43 million vehicles to repair faulty window switches. Approximately one third of those recalls were for vehicles sold in the U.S.