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Subaru Could Issue Massive Recall Affecting Many U.S. Models

A massive Subaru recall could be coming to Japan and will also affect many U.S. models. Will your Subaru be on the recall list?

When it rains it pours on Subaru Corporation. Reports out of Japan say the Japanese automaker is about to issue a huge recall that will affect several hundred thousand vehicles in Japan and the U.S. because of a faulty engine part. A report from The Asahi Shimbun says Subaru will be reporting the huge recall in Japan to the transport ministry by November 5.

According to sources in Japan, “a valve spring could break and hamper the workings of the engine.” The report says every vehicle Subaru manufactures, except for their Mini vehicles, (not sold in the U.S.) are affected which means hundreds of thousands of Subaru vehicles in the U.S. could be recalled.

This would include all models like Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ sports coupe. It would also include the Toyota 86 jointly produced with Subaru and uses the same Boxer engine.

The report did not say which model years are affected by the faulty engine part. All Subaru vehicles are powered by a Boxer engine and many models may be using the same valve spring that is causing the potential engine issue. The sources say in Japan alone, the recall will likely apply to hundreds of thousands of vehicles. The costs for the planned recall over the engine part problem could exceed 25 billion yen ($223 million US) in Japan alone.

Subaru could take another image hit

If the report is accurate, the huge recall will also affect thousands of vehicles in Canada, Australia, the UK, and Europe. The engine valve spring issue along with the latest WRX/STI engine failure lawsuits in the U.S., and the fuel mileage falsification scandal in Japan could further damage the Japanese automaker’s image.

Torque News will follow this story and bring customers the latest updates on the potential huge Subaru recall. Stay tuned to see what model year Subaru Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ models are being recalled. Subaru Corporation is expected to report this to the transport ministry in Japan by November 5 when they release their financial statement for the half-year period.

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Photo credit: Subaru Global


harold L (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 11:16AM

What has been the update regarding engine failure lawsuit? My car is affected and ive left 3 voice mails with my dealership. Are customers to receive any notices? How do I get the extended warranty as a result of the lawsuit?

Aleksandr (not verified)    June 3, 2020 - 2:49AM

In reply to by harold L (not verified)

I have 2017 Subaru forester 2.5 limited addition and I love this car but man my windshield is cracked half while i was driving, crazy. Just keep me posted if anything thing. Thank you

@jpapex (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 11:39AM

As an STI owner, this is good/bad news. I hope Subaru steps up its engine development with the next STI. I want a suitable engine to swap into my car when the time comes.

Wayne L Pendley (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 12:51PM

I thank Subaru for responding positively to this engineering problem and I love my two Foresters!

The Subaru Eyesight safety system saved my wife's life just last month - no doubt about it. I will never buy another brand of car.

(Former Toyota addict)

Heather (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 12:29PM

In reply to by Wayne L Pendley (not verified)

Loved my outback. Went smaller with a Impreza with eye sight ,
I know I feel better in construction zones with adaptive cruise control. Long hours pluse miles to home covered in ice. My Subaru, gets me there comfortably, safely, and it’s fun to drive. I bought the Impreza with all the extras cause the WRX was going to be trouble for me. Lol any how... recall whatever on my Subaru, I’m going to buy a BRZ when I retire..

Mark Day (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 3:25PM

Wondering about the history of the Boxer engine. It's apparently a Porsche design/engine - don't know if Subaru has a license from Porsche, or the patents ran out? Many engine problems for sure.

Shawn Warnick (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 8:34AM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

Its not a Porsche design. Some of the first cars were 2 cylinder boxer engines. Henry ford almost decided to put a boxer in the model T and decided he wanted a inline 4

Raffy Shammay (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 4:50PM

I too have been saved by the eyesight system this year. And Subaru's 'fessing up is a good thing, not a bad thing. They are a responsible company by doing that because it will cost them money but they are going to fix it nonetheless. Go Subaru

Jim (not verified)    October 26, 2018 - 5:08PM

We bought a new 2015 and sticker was $31,000 plus!! . Our windows won’t roll up properly and we have to reset them constantly! Very annoying in the rain when you can’t get your window up!! Then our “leather” driver seat wore down and tore! And for the price it should have the rear bumper protective black strip! Already had catalytic converter replaced! Now this engine part recall! We will NEVER buy a Subaru again!

Pam (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 10:18AM

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

Subaru are junk! There is more wrong then this part there talking about my brand new 2018 Burns a quart of synthetic expensive oil every 1200 miles. At my expensive.... Subaru avoids the subject said they did an oil consumption test... Then over filled my motor with at least a quart over filled.... So I wouldn't notice it getting lie so fast. They then says no the consumption test is good. Basically go away were not admitting or fixing this problem. Heard from lots of others while at the dealer same problem for them. My old car I traded in had almost 200,000 miles and did NOT burn a drop off oil EVER. Problems do happen but SHAME ON SUBARU... For the way they treat customers. SHAME on them for not fixing these motors that have had problems for years. A few class action suit won by people with these dam cars and still they DIDN'T fix the problem, it admit there is a problem. Just strong us along until your warranty is up then to bad on you. NEVER BUY A SUBARU. Because of the shitty way they deal with these problem (avoidance) I WILL NEVER BUT ANOTHER OF THERE JUNK VEHICLES.

Guit (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 12:11PM

In reply to by Pam (not verified)

Same happened to me with a 2011 Forester. Exactly. They said it's normal. 1 quart / 1000 miles. That's almost 8 quarts of oil between oil changes if you happen to live in a non excepted state and can drive 7500k between oil changes. But in cold weather states it's still 3000k. In the fine print after they sell it to you and you have problems with it burning oil.

Greg Livingston (not verified)    October 30, 2018 - 7:15PM

In reply to by Guit (not verified)

Anyone that waits for 7500 miles to do a oil change, needs his head examined. I have owned 33 Subaru's since 1982- 2019, and have never had any issues with oil consumption. I have my oil changed after 1000 miles break in , and every 3000 miles there after, also how many adhere to not running their engine over 4000 rpms, during break in period ???? It's all about how the engines are broke in, the internal parts of these engines need time to break in, you over rev them above 4000 RPM's, during that period you are just asking for trouble.

Brad (not verified)    December 30, 2019 - 2:40PM

In reply to by Greg Livingston (not verified)

The 80's called and it wants your oil change schedule back. If you are changing your oil before 5,000 miles you are just wasting money and natural resources. Do you think just maybe oil and filter technology has improved slightly over the last 30 years? Subaru has oil consumption problems. They know it and we know it.

DLE (not verified)    October 28, 2018 - 10:29AM

In reply to by Pam (not verified)

Your dealership is to blame for this. I am a Subaru Senior Master Technician currently employed at a dealer. In the last two years I have repaired no less than 40 cars for this specific concern. The reason is that my dealer performs the consumption test properly and transparently. Subaru corporate has stood behind their product and fixed all the cars which legitimately have failed the test. If what you say is true, your dealership is being dishonest and providing false reports to SOA.

Ron blessing (not verified)    October 29, 2018 - 10:42AM

In reply to by DLE (not verified)

I'm a new Forester 2018 owner and I love this car. I had a 2015 Jeep Renegade that had the same oil consumption problem, along wit MANY other problems. The dealer told me that the amount of oil in the newer engine was much less than in the past and that a quart of oil every 1000 miles wasn't unreasonable. I lived with it but didn't like it. Haven't notice anything like that with the Forester. Just having the CVT on the Forester is enough to make me glad I replaced the Jeep, the Jeep's 9 speed transmission never did work right and the sun roof creaked and cracked for about 1 1/2 years before I found a dealer that would admit it had a problem and fixed it for me.
I agree it's a matter of finding a competent dealership. The Jeep dealer we finally found did a good job of making the vehicle better for us, the previous dealer couldn't find put an oil filter on correctly. Our local Subaru dealer has been amazing at helping us and I look forward to a long and pleasant relationship with them.

Mike ellis (not verified)    March 11, 2019 - 5:07PM

In reply to by Pam (not verified)

My 2013 Outback had a oil consumption issue around 48 thousand miles. I contacted My dealer and Subaru of North America and the faulty piston rings were replaced. At about 78 thousand miles the head gaskets needed replacement . The head gaskets were replaced when the piston rings were replaced. Now at 125 thousand miles it is at the dealer having the front engine gasket replaced. I have never been charged for any of these repairs and have also been given a loner car car at no charge, My dealer here in North Carolina has always provided exceptional service . Sorry your dealer hasn’t.

Dennis King (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 11:11AM

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

Never heard of windows not going up since 2015. There is a lemon law, why not look into it. I love my outback, the only thing they can improve upon is the boxer engine. Also I bought the self adhesive rear bumper guard for 50 dollars.

Brz_STI (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 11:31AM

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

Cry baby, sounds like you don't take care of your car, I've had 4 Subarus in the, first one was a 2001 Forester, before I traded it in it had 271,000+ miles on it, only issue I had out of that one was I needed to get a new clutch cable at 250,000 miles. Had another Forester 2011 had it for about 6 months before I found a 2013 Impreza STI, them shortly after the series. Yellow BRZ came out, traded the Impreza in for that, never had any issue it off any of them. Seats will wear out depending how much you use the dang thing. Or what you put in them. If the windows don't work, don't half a$$ it and just reset them, but new motors and or relays. Something warranty should cover if not, go aftermarket. Subaru may not be cheap but what car isn't anymore unless you go base model and don't get any bells and whistles. If you want something that won't wear out, just walk

Mo (not verified)    October 27, 2018 - 1:14PM

In reply to by Brz_STI (not verified)

I bought a new wrx in 2017 and had loads of issues with it when it comes to rattle and clucking noises. Took the car in probably 4 or 5 times to see if they can figure it out but they had a hard time, spent many hrs at the dealership - changed out the cv on the front left and still clucking, it ended up being a bad lower control arm. All this was going on for a few months and I only had about 400 miles on it then. Still a few rattles and tattle left - I called subie America and lodge my complaint and guess what .....they sent me a brand new Dyson vacuum cleaner, the vacuum sounds better around the curves in my house than the my wrx with less rattles. I guess I bought a dud but what can you say.

Christopher (not verified)    June 29, 2020 - 12:22AM

In reply to by Mo (not verified)

I know your a busy man an understand if you can not return my question my father starting buying cars from our cousins husband who owned lighthouse motors in Brewster NY which is no longer but was a Sabba an suburu dealership cousin husbands was a head mechanic in the Norwegian Air Force which used Sabb engines . My sister s 2012 legancy has 40 ty thousand miles or so have to replace a strut which is odd . Also the bigger complaint is the oil consumption? Do you have any suggestion where the regional dealership rep might help he’ll I will even drive from New York to You for that matter if there is a warranty or recall?914 5571051