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Subaru recalls 2010-2011 Legacy, Outback models for faulty wipers

Subaru and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall of select Subaru Legacy and Outback models over a concern that the wiper motor could overheat – causing the wipers to stop working suddenly and in the worst case scenario this could also start a fire.


This new Subaru Legacy and Outback windshield wiper recall affects 2010 and 2011 models built between January 7th 2010 and May 20th 2011, with around 195,080 units involved in the recall. In these vehicles, there are faulty components inside of the windshield wiper motor’s bottom cover that could cause the motor to overheat. Should the wiper motor overheat enough, it could cause the wipers to stop working and, in the right conditions, the wiper motor could catch fire. While having windshield wipers that won’t work doesn’t seem like a huge safety risk, considering that the engine needs to overheat to fail this condition is most likely to show itself when the wipers have been in action for an extended period of time – like when driving in a rain storm.

The Subaru Legacy and Outback recall is an odd one, as the wording in the NHTSA recall bulletin really doesn’t explain what is causing the wiper motors to overheat. The entire technical explanation of the recall issue is “components inside the wiper motor bottom cover may overheat”. That is fairly vague but with the chances of a loss of visibility and a risk of underhood fire, Subaru is making the move to get these troubled vehicles back into dealerships.

This 2010-2011 Subaru Legacy and Outback wiper motor recall is expected to begin in early November, at which point the owners of these 195,080 cars will be asked to return to their local Subaru dealership where a technician will replace the front wiper motor. This work will be performed free of charge to the owners and for more information, those owners can call Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.

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