Subaru has issued a vehicle defect recall for more than 198,000 Ascent SUVs from the 2019 and 2020 model years and Outback SUVs and Legacy sedans from the 2020 model year because they could suffer sudden transmission failure.
According to Consumer Reports, a software issue in the transmission control unit (TCU) may allow the continuously variable transmission to engage before the drive chain is properly secured. This transmission failure could put drivers and passengers in danger.
Details of the Transmission Failure Recall
The automaker says in documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that this could result in the chain slipping and breaking, a type of transmission failure that may result in a loss of power and a risk of a crash. This recall also includes Ascent SUVs that were part of a previous recall. NHTSA documents show Subaru found out about the issue in December 2018 in a technical report that indicated a vehicle owner was not able to shift their vehicle into drive.
Both Subaru and its supplier collected more data after collecting and reviewing the failed part. But, the problem persisted in 2021 with a total of 23 reports of various issues including the inability to shift into Drive or Park, the inability to start the engine, contaminants in the transmission fluid, and the drive chain slipping while the vehicle was moving.
When the recall begins in February, dealers will reprogram the TCU, inspect it for chain slippage and visually inspect parts of the transmission, which will be replaced if there is evidence of slippage or damage. All of the repair work will be done free of charge, as required under federal law.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Issues relating to a vehicle’s transmission can cause even the most experienced driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. Transmission failure can cause crashes that affect not just other drivers, but also others on the roadway such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Injured victims in such cases can file a product liability claim against the automaker seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Injured victims and their families would be well advised to seek the counsel of a nationally renowned auto defect law firm that has the resources to perform independent investigations and the tenacity to stand up to large automakers and their high-powered legal defense teams. The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.