Subaru is issuing a vehicle defect recall for about 48,500 vehicles because of possible steering failure. According to a report in The New York Times, the automaker is recalling its 2015-2017 Outback and 2016-2016 Legacy models. The steering column in the affected vehicles may have been improperly built. As a result, turning the wheel may ave no effect on the direction of the wheels. The carmaker has warned vehicle owners not to drive the vehicles until they have been inspected or repaired.
Potential for a Crash
Subaru apparently launched an investigation on May 3 after an Outback owner reported a problem with the steering, according to a report on the website of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A week later, the automaker determined that the safety recall was necessary. Because of a defect in the steering system that would allow the wheel to rotate freely, the driver could lose control of the steering.
So far, the automaker does not know of any accidents or injuries caused by this auto defect. The automaker said only 22,000 of these vehicles have been sold. The others are at dealerships or in transit. So far, NHTSA has received two reports from Subaru owners who complained they had trouble with the steering in their Outback models. One vehicle owner in Pennsylvania said the steering was “wandering from side to side” and couldn’t hold the vehicle in the center of a lane on the highway or on the street.
Based on this news report, it appears that the defective vehicles offer the drivers absolutely no steering control. This means that there is a heightened risk of a car crash. When a driver loses steering control, it is not only dangerous for the vehicle occupants, but also others on the roadway such as occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you own one of these vehicles, it is critical that you contact the dealer or the manufacturer to obtain more information about repairs. The manufacturer in this case has warned drivers not to operate their vehicles until they have been inspected or repaired. If you have been injured as a result of these or other defects, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced California auto product liability lawyer who will conduct independent investigations into the vehicle defects and ensure that the automaker or the manufacturer of the defective part is held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused.