Subaru Corp is hit with more bad news and has just announced they have shut down their Gunma factory in Japan because of a power steering component defect. The 2019 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, and Impreza models are the models affected by the issue. The Japanese automaker said its only auto factory in Japan could be shut down for nearly two weeks until they get the problem resolved.
Production of all the all-new 2019 Forester, hot-selling Crosstrek and Impreza models had stopped as of the night shift on January 16 but was just reported for the first time today. Subaru said that it hopes to restart production on Monday, January 28 at the earliest. The Subaru plant in Japan accounts for about 60 percent of its global production. Subaru also has a plant in the U.S., in Lafayette, Indiana.
A complete shutdown of its lines for one week would hit operating profits by about $123 Million USD, according to Nomura Securities analyst Masataka Kunugimoto. The Asahi newspaper said the impact on production so far has exceeded 10,000 units, and that delays were starting to be seen in delivery to customers.
What does it mean for U.S. customers?
If you have a new 2019 Subaru Forester or Crosstrek SUV that was produced in late December through January 16, it could be affected. U.S. customers who have a new Impreza sedan or 5-Door model are likely not affected because the compact model is produced in the U.S. plant also. Forester and Crosstrek are built in Japan. Subaru says they are investigating whether its U.S. plant has been affected, although production is continuing for the time being.
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 Forester or Crosstrek should call their dealer to check production dates. Stay tuned for any recall information.
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Photo credit: Subaru Corp