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Subaru Restarts New Forester, Crosstrek Production; What Is The Impact On Customers?

The Japan plant has restarted new Forester, Crosstrek and Impreza production. See how the shutdown could affect customers.


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


Glenda Lewis (not verified)    January 28, 2019 - 10:59PM

I ordered a new 2019 subaru Forester touring on December 8, 2019 and was told it would take 6 to 8 weeks to come in. That puts it around Feb. 2 or 9th to be in. I have heard nothing from the dealer. Will this special order Forester be in the new builds affected by the power steering problems?

brad (not verified)    January 29, 2019 - 12:59AM

This fault occurred with my 2018 Crosstrek. No power steering assist and CEL/ABS/Traction control lights lit. This suggests the problem isn't limited to 2019 models.

James Egan (not verified)    February 2, 2019 - 6:08AM

Ordered a Crosstrek Premium MT on 1-31-19. The next day I received an email from SOA, ETA on my Crosstrek end of May!

Ron Siegel (not verified)    February 10, 2019 - 2:41PM

2019 Subaru Forester Touring - steering is not functioning right seems to auto correct - is factory aware and is this a inherent problem? Does one of the interior switches need to be activated?