Subaru is issuing a vehicle defect recall for about 660,000 of its newer vehicles because the brake lines might corrode.
According to a report in The New York Times, the recall covers the 2009-13 Forester, the 2008-11 Impreza, 2008-14 Impreza WRX and WRX STI and the 2005-9 Legacy and Outback wagon.
Approximately 241,000 of the vehicles being recalled are Foresters, nearly 185,000 are Outbacks and about 141,000 are Imprezas.
These vehicles are being recalled only if they were registered in the 20 states that make heavy use of road salt during the winter.
Problem with Brake Lines
Subaru told federal regulators that returned parts shows some brake lines could corrode after several winters due to a gap in the shielding around the fuel tank.
This could allow salt water to reach the brake lines. A hole in the line would allow brake fluid to escape. This could cause brake malfunction and potentially, a crash.
Subaru began looking into the problem in 2011 after spotting worse corrosion in some vehicles compared to others. A similar problem led to a recall last year of about 215,000 vehicles.
When the vehicles are taken to the dealers, they will replace corroded lines, protecting them with an anticorrosion wax. The repairs will be done at no cost to consumers.
The Danger of Geographic Recalls
Auto safety advocates are critical of such recalls that focus on a certain geographical region, arguing that they serve no better purpose that saving automakers some money.
The fact is that many of these vehicles are sold across state borders and find their way to other parts of the country. Safety advocates argue that such geographic recalls could miss vehicles that need to be repaired as their owners move around the country.
Automakers as well as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that approve of the geographic recalls, say they are practical and consumers are not harmed by it.
If you are about to buy a used vehicle especially from one of the “salt belt states,” it is important that you look into which vehicle models have been recalled for corrosion.
Never buy a used vehicle until it has been thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic or dealer. If you are buying a vehicle from a dealership that has been recalled, do not purchase it until the dealer fixes the issues.
Nothing is more important that your safety and the safety of your family.