Subaru of America has issued an auto defect recall for the 2020 Subaru Outback wagon and 2020 Legacy sedan models because the car’s rearview camera may shut down reducing the driver’s ability to see cars or people behind the vehicle when it is backing up. According to a news report, 7,741 2020-model year Outback and Legacy models are affected by the recall. This is the second recall for the two cars manufactured at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
The Problem with the Backup Camera
Both the Subaru Outback and Legacy equipped with high-grade and mid-grade multimedia navigation are under this recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) report says that the August 2020 over-the-air software update may have timed out without completing the installation, corrupting the data and causing the rearview display to shut off intermittently.
Subaru says a timeout failure during the data writing sequence could cause the data to be corrupted. This could in turn cause the center information display to go blank. In such cases, the rearview camera may not function as intended increasing the risk of a crash. About 6,768 2020 Outback vehicles and 973 Legacy vehicles have been affected in this recall.
Subaru has said it will notify vehicle owners within 60 days and dealers will reprogram the software and if necessary, replace the cockpit control module free of charge. The recall will begin Jan. 22. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Last year, Subaru recalled the two vehicles in September 2019 because the brake pedal mounting bracket may have had a missing bolt and insufficient tightening.
Auto Product Liability Issues
According to the advocacy website, KidsandCars.org, in the United States, at least 50 children are being backed over by vehicles every week. Most victims are between 12 and 23 months old. Over 60% of back-over accidents involve a larger size vehicle such as a truck, van or SUV. Tragically, in more than 70% of these incidents, a parent, neighbor or close relative is behind the wheel of the vehicle that struck and killed the child. On March 31, 2014, NHTSA announced that it would require all automobiles sold in the United States built beginning in May 2018 to include backup cameras.
When a back-over accident occurs as the result of defective backup cameras, the automaker can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Victims and their families can seek compensation by filing an auto product liability lawsuit against the automaker and other applicable parties. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise victims regarding their legal rights and options.