Readers often ask us if the 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV, Outback midsize SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Ascent 3-Row SUV, and other new models are reliable vehicles. One indicator is how many recalls auto manufacturers have for their new cars.
A new report from Automotive News (by subscription) says the U.S. saw a record number of recall campaigns in 2021. The report says individual automaker recalls reached a record high of 406 in 2021 compared with 317 in 2020, and the total number of vehicles affected was 21.6 million.
photo credit: Competition Subaru
So far in the first quarter of 2022, there have been 89 recall campaigns affecting 8.9 million vehicles and putting the U.S. on pace to reach about 36 million cars for the year. The data comes from Stout, an investigation group's analysis.
Subaru has no recalls in 2022
Through the first four months of 2022 and 20 days in May, Subaru of America has had zero recalls on any new models sold in North America. That includes the 2022 Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, and BRZ manufactured in Japan, and Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana. The 2023 Subaru Solterra EV will make its U.S. retailer launch next month.
photo credit: Competition Subaru
What changes did Subaru make?
In December 2020, Subaru Corporation CEO Tomomi Nakamura revealed what the Japanese automaker is doing to fix past and present problems and improve future quality in the new Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent models.
Nakamura told Automotive News, "We are making good progress in quality reform. There are two approaches. One is to ensure we have the right quality for vehicles currently in development. The other is to react and develop solutions to defects in vehicles already in the market."
Anson Smuts, manager of disputes, compliance, and investigations group at Stout, said the smaller number of automaker recall campaigns "may relate to an improvement in the ability to detect recall-worthy defects earlier on and an improved traceability of those vehicles, thereby reducing the number of vehicles manufactured with those defects."
Subaru had numerous recalls in 2021
The zero recalls in 2022 are in stark contrast to 2021, when Subaru of America had some big recalls in the first six months. In January 2021, the Subaru Outback and Impreza sedan and hatchback models were recalled. The NHTSA says both models are recalled for a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) shifter lever cable nut that may not be adequately tightened.
Another big Subaru recall came in April 2021 when the automaker recalled Crosstrek and Impreza models for a faulty engine control module. Another recall for bolts on the rear stabilizer bracket on Forester and Crosstrek could come loose over time. The total of the two recalls included 871,200 models.
Subaru Corporation's only problem in 2022 is an engine sensor malfunction in the 2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Outback, and Levorg models manufactured in Japan. A report from U.S. News said Subaru temporarily stopped production of the models to fix the problem.
It did not affect any models sold in the U.S. because Subaru of America does not offer the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the faulty sensor in the U.S. spec Forester or Outback.
With zero recalls for the 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other new models so far in 2022, it appears Subaru has made progress in its quality and reliability reform.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Competition Subaru