There’s good news for Subaru customers who will be buying a new 2019 Forester or Crosstrek. Subaru Corporation restarted their Gunma, Japan plant production as of today, Monday, January 28. The plant was originally shut down on the evening of January 16, 2019, due to a power steering defect. The defect affected new 2019 Forester, Crosstrek, and Impreza models, but the problem also shut down complete plant operations and all vehicle production was halted.
Subaru’s Gunma plant accounts for about 60 percent of its global production. Subaru’s plant in the U.S., in Lafayette, Indiana, that manufactures the Outback, Impreza, Ascent, and Legacy models has not been affected by this latest power steering unit defect.
How it affects customers
The plant closure in Japan is expected to have a production impact of more than 10,000 units, and delays can already be seen in delivery to customers. U.S. customers could see delays for the new 2019 Forester and Crosstrek since these models are not produced in the U.S. plant. According to data from WardsAuto, the redesigned Forester SUV already has low inventory levels with a 20 day supply, and the 2019 Crosstrek CUV only has a 15 day supply on dealer lots.
Torque News reported last week that Forester and Crosstrek customers with vehicles produced in late December through January 16 could be affected. Here’s what to look out for. Customers will see the steering control warning light in the instrument panel light up, the power steering function stops, and the steering wheel operation becomes heavy (it will require more force to turn than usual). Should such a situation occur, stop driving immediately and contact your local Subaru dealer.
New 2019 Subaru Forester and Crosstrek models built during this time frame and still on dealer lots will be pulled for sale until they are inspected or repaired. Customers who have just recently purchased a new 2019 Subaru Forester or Crosstrek should call their dealer to check production dates. Stay tuned for any recall information.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA