Skip to main content

Subaru Recalls 2015 WRX/STI; Subwoofer Overheating May Cause Fire

Subaru announced a recall of the 2015 WRX and WRX STI sedans. A subwoofer can overheat and cause a fire.


Don’t crank up the tunes in your 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance car until you get it checked out by your dealer. Subaru of America announced a recall of the fourth-generation performance sedans with an optional factory-installed subwoofer in the trunk.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall says 9,178 2015MY WRX/STI shipped to the U.S. from Subaru’s factory in Gunma with the factory subwoofer in the trunk could be effected. An electrical short may damage the subwoofer amplifier, and could result in the subwoofer overheating, increasing the risk of a fire in the WRX/STI with this optional feature.

The issue

The NHTSA says items in the trunk like luggage contacting the wire can possibly move the wire out of its fixed position. This may cause the subwoofer wiring to contact the subwoofer metal frame, possibly resulting in an intermittent short, causing the integrated circuit (IC) in the subwoofer amplifier to be damaged. NHTSA says in some cases, the damaged IC may create a continuous electrical current into the subwoofer, causing it to overheat, increasing the risk of a fire.

The remedy

The defect was first noticed in a WRX from Australia which resulted investigations into the problem. Subaru dealers will check the subwoofer and if the wire is dislocated from its fixed position, they will replace the subwoofer with a new one. Only 2015MY WRX/STI vehicles are effected. In 2016MY performance cars, an updated subwoofer amplifier was implemented in production for other reasons, which happened to have a protection circuit to protect Integrated Circuit (IC) from damage by intermittent short.

What should owners do?

If owners hear a crackling noise, they should turn off the audio system immediately to prevent this defect from occurring. Subaru will notify 2015 WRX and WRX STI owners, and dealers will inspect the subwoofer wire, install a wire retainer clip, and, as necessary, replace the subwoofer, free of charge. The Subaru of America recall began October 31, 2017. WRX/STI owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru's number for this recall is WTQ-76.

Photo credit: Subaru