At the beginning of May, Subaru announced a recall of 10,137 Foresters from the 2014 model year due to a potential manufacturing defect in the floor mats. If the floor mats are exposed to heat, the resin material used on the underside of the mats can curl and come in contact with the pedals, potentially obstructing the driver’s control of the brake, shifter, or accelerator. As the NHTSA explained, this defect can possibly increase the risk of a crash and put consumers in danger.
On Monday, Subaru issued another recall due to a serious problem with a steering column. The company is recalling approximately 5,379 of their 2013 Legacy and Outback vehicles that were manufactured from February 15, 2012 through June 15, 2012. According to official documents filed with the NHTSA, the inner and outer shafts of the steering column assembly were possibly not “press-fitted” sufficiently to keep the pieces together. If the shafts become separated, the driver may not be able to steer the car.
Subaru discovered a problem with the steering shaft on June 14, 2012. Following a visual inspection, the manufacturer repaired or released the 2013 Legacy and Outback vehicles. However, customers subsequently complained about the loss of steering ability to Subaru on February 19 and April 9 of this year. Fuji Heavy Industries, the Japanese conglomerate that oversees Subaru, investigated the history of the vehicles and determined that the visual inspection may not have been effective, resulting in the announcement of the safety recall.
Subaru will notify owners of the recalled vehicles, and dealers will replace the steering assembly at no charge. According to Subaru spokesman Michael McHale, “[i]f owners feel unsafe driving their vehicles before the repair has been completed, Subaru will arrange to have cars brought to the dealership.” Customers who have questions or concerns can contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.