Subaru of America has issued another recall for certain new 2019 Outback SUV and 2019 Legacy sedan models built at the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says spot welds located on the duct below the cowl panel may have been improperly applied, impacting the vehicle's body strength. In the event of a crash, the reduced strength of the vehicle body may increase the risk of injury.
There are a total of 2,107 vehicles affected with most of them being new 2019 Outback models. The number of affected Outback vehicles is 1,965. The recall population includes certain 2019 model year Legacy vehicles. The number of affected Legacy vehicles is 142. Affected vehicles will need to be returned to the U.S. factory for repair and customers will have the option of getting a new vehicle. This now raises new concerns with the quality of the new 2020 Outback model change.
The NHTSA says during the manufacturing process at Subaru’s Indiana factory where the Outback, Legacy, Ascent, and Impreza are manufactured, the spot-welder tip on the body assembly line, is supposed to be cleaned and re-shaped by a dresser (grinding machine). During the production of some Outback and Legacy models, the grinding machine may have been blocked by excess metal chips/powder, thus reducing the effectiveness of the welder.
Subaru dealers will be required to inspect the duct for the “B” line identification mark. If the part was produced on the affected line, the spot-welds will be inspected by a Subaru manufacturer’s representative. If certain spot-welds are improperly applied, the vehicle will be returned to the Subaru Indiana Automotive factory for repair. If a customer vehicle is confirmed as containing an affected part, the customer will have the option of “exchanging the vehicle, repurchase or having the vehicle returned to the manufacturing facility for repair at no cost,” according to the recent recall report by NHTSA.
What should customers do?
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the 2019 Outback and Legacy models and repair or repurchase the vehicle, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on July 26, 2019. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WUH-93.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA, NHTSA