Subaru of America Inc. is set to recall more than 100,000 of its popular Outback, Legacy, Forester and Impreza models over a potential defect that can cause a part in the air pump to melt and catch fire. In documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a relay in a secondary air injection pump was pointed to as being prone to continuous running, leading the part to overheat and in some instances melt and cause internal fire. However, the check engine light does go on when the pump fails, and no injuries have been reported due to the defect.
The recall will cover 2007-09 model year Legacys and Outbacks, 2008-14 Imprezas and 2009-13 Foresters totaling 100,127 vehicles, all equipped with turbocharged engines, according to NHTSA records. Subaru will replace the pump and relay without cost to drivers, but a start date for the recall has not been set. Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), received an initial technical report in April 2011 that noted the check engine light was coming on because the secondary air pump was failing. The company investigated and found the cause was “insufficient contact point pressure of the relay.” according to court documents. Fuji told the supplier of the part to make changes to the pressure mechanism and inspect every part, but in 2013 the company learned of a car fire caused by the pump failure. “FHI attempted to investigate; however, this was not possible as the fire department collected the affected parts,” NHTSA documents said.
After another pump fire was reported in 2015, another investigation was opened, and ultimately the company decided to recall all of the potentially affected parts in the U.S. The air pump recall comes not long after NHTSA announced that Subaru would be recalling about 593,000 vehicles over faulty windshield wiper motors that can malfunction and, again, in some cases start a fire. That recall also covers certain 2010-14 Outback and Legacy models. In its recall report to the NHTSA, Subaru said the issue comes as a result of poor manufacturing of the bottom cover for the wiper motor installed in front windshields, which could cause interference between two motor components.
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