Subaru of America Inc. has recalled more than 660,000 vehicles, including its model years 2005 to 2009 Outback and Legacy vehicles, for a potential problem that could cause brake lines to rust and brake fluid to leak. In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker said that brake lines could corrode when they come into contact with salt water through an opening in the fuel tank protector. Subaru of America is the U.S. sales unit of Japan-based automotive and aerospace conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries.
Subaru says the potential defect has not caused any reported incidents so far. The automaker previously recalled 215,000 legacy and Outback models in April 2013 for the same problem. The current recall also involves other models, including the 2008 to 2011 year Impreza and 2009 to 2013 Forester vehicles. Subaru said in its filings with NHTSA:
Brake line corrosion may result in brake fluid leakage. Fluid leakage may result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Sabaru’s dealers will provide the free services of testing the recalled vehicles and fixing them, if needed. Dealers will test the brake systems by holding down brake pedals and checking for leaks, according to Subaru. If there is no leakage, it will treat the vehicle by rustproofing the affected components with anti-corrosion wax, Subaru said, and if its test detects brake fluid leaks, then it will replace the brake lines before treating the parts with the wax.
Subaru in March 2012 recalled some 275,000 Subaru Forester vehicles because their seat belts may prevent a child restraint system in the rear center seat from securely attaching to the car. That recall involved certain model year 2009 through 2012 Foresters manufactured from Nov. 26, 2007, through March 13, 2012. The automatic locking retractor in the rear center seat belts of these vehicles do not meet locking requirements and fail to comply with federal safety crash protection standards, according to the notice that NHTSA posted at the time.
The seat belt problem could lead to the insecure installation of a child restraint, which “can increase the risk of injury to a child during a crash,” the notice said. According to the noncompliance information report that Subaru had filed with NHTSA, automatic locking retractors are provided in the Forester vehicles for every seat except the driver’s in order to allow for the installation of a child safety seat.
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