This matter came to light in February 2024 when Subaru initiated an investigation after receiving returned parts from reports indicating airbags failing to deploy as intended. Subaru collaborated with the supplier and submitted an equipment recall (24E-016) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), signalling the commencement of evaluations regarding the safety implications for Subaru vehicles and the potentially impacted population. Subaru made the decision in March to launch a comprehensive safety recall campaign.

Digging into the technicalities of the issue, the defect report highlights a convergence of factors contributing to the capacitor cracking. It suggests that the utilization of alternate component sub-suppliers during short-term natural disaster recovery, combined with certain supplier processing methods, may have led to this vulnerability. Specifically, it’s noted that during a specific production period at a particular supplier, the ODS Sensor Printed Circuit Board (PCB) might have undergone deformation, thereby initiating cracks in the capacitor. Over time, these cracks could permit moisture ingress into the capacitor, ultimately resulting in a short circuit.

The ramifications of this malfunction are significant. When a short circuit occurs, indicators such as the SRS airbag system warning lamp and the front passenger’s frontal airbag OFF indicator illuminate. This signifies a potential failure of the front passenger airbag to deploy in specific crash scenarios, thus elevating the risk of injury to the occupant in the respective seat.

In response to this concern, Subaru has outlined a comprehensive course of action. Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted and requested to visit authorized dealerships for the replacement of ODS sensors on the front passenger seat. Initial communication regarding the safety risk is anticipated to be dispatched by May 21, 2024, in the form of interim letters. A subsequent letter will follow once the remedy procedure is finalized. To facilitate communication and tracking, Subaru has assigned the recall number WRA-24, with the NHTSA campaign number denoted as 24V-227.

Subaru EyeSightSubaru’s EyeSight collision detection system is a significant advancement in automotive safety technology, offering drivers an extra layer of protection on the road. The technology works by utilizing a combination of cameras and sensors that detect vehicles ahead and objects surrounding the Subaru vehicle. If the system anticipates a potential collision, it intervenes by automatically reducing engine power, helping to mitigate the force of impact and potentially preventing accidents.

Which Subaru Cars Have EyeSight?

EyeSight technology is available across several models in Subaru’s lineup, including the Impreza, Outback, Legacy, Crosstrek, Ascent, Forester, and WRX. With its widespread adoption, many drivers have come to rely on EyeSight as a crucial safety feature, particularly in congested traffic or challenging driving conditions.

However, despite its touted benefits, Subaru EyeSight has not been without its share of problems and consumer complaints. In recent years, reports of issues with EyeSight technology have surfaced, prompting concerns among Subaru owners and leading to legal actions.

Problems and Consumer Complaints

A nationwide class-action lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court highlighted serious allegations regarding defects in Subaru vehicles equipped with EyeSight driver assist technology. According to consumers, these defects pose significant safety risks, with complaints ranging from malfunctions in the lane assist function to problems with the automatic braking system. One recurring issue reported by drivers is the system’s tendency to engage without reason, causing the lane assist function to intervene unexpectedly. Such erratic behavior can lead to confusion and potentially hazardous driving situations, undermining the confidence that drivers place in the technology.

Another common complaint revolves around the automatic braking system, which is designed to intervene in emergencies to prevent collisions. However, some Subaru owners have reported instances where the system failed to activate when needed or, conversely, activated unnecessarily, leading to abrupt stops and potentially dangerous situations on the road.

“Eyesight Unavailable”

In addition to concerns about functionality, some drivers have encountered frustration with the system displaying an “Eyesight Unavailable” message. This message can appear for various reasons, including camera obstructions, adverse weather conditions, or technical malfunctions. While the intention behind this message is to ensure the system’s reliability, its occurrence can leave drivers feeling vulnerable and uncertain about their vehicle’s safety features.

Despite the challenges and consumer complaints surrounding Subaru EyeSight, it’s essential to recognize the ongoing efforts by Subaru and other automakers to enhance the safety and reliability of their advanced driver assistance systems. As technology continues to evolve, addressing these concerns and improving the functionality of collision detection systems will be paramount in ensuring the safety and confidence of drivers on the road.

Subaru of America have decided that a defect could exist in the suspension of certain 2021 Subaru Impreza vehicles. Owners are advised to NOT drive their vehicle until the repair can be completed.

In June 2021 Subaru opened an investigation into the 2021 Impreza, after receiving a field report of a partially separated lower control arm. In August a second field report was issued with a similar condition as the previous report. The vehicle production dates were two (2) days apart and the LOT number stamped on the control arm were the same. As a result of the joint investigation with the supplier, 75 left front lower control arms containing a specific LOT number were identified as potentially containing an improper weld. An improper weld in this location could lead to a partial separation of the lower control arm from the cross member. If this partial separation occurs, the tire could contact the wheel well structure and the driver could lose control of the vehicle.

Description of the Cause: Equipment on the control arm assembly line was damaged, resulting in contact between the part ejector rod and the welding torch. This interference caused the welding torch to be unable to trace the proper welding path and resulted in an incomplete weld at the joint.

For all of the potentially affected vehicles, Subaru dealers will inspect the LOT number stamped on the left front lower control arm. If the control arm contains a specific LOT number, the part will be replaced. Until the inspection/remedy is completed, customers will be instructed not to drive their vehicle and to make arrangements with their Subaru dealer to have the vehicle inspected. Subaru’s number for this recall is WRI-21 and the NHTSA campaign number is 21V-675.

Subaru will be contacting the owners of certain 2019 model cars and SUVs because of a problem affecting the fuel system in their vehicles.

According to the defect report, the fuel pump in these vehicles may have an impeller that was manufactured with a density that does not meet the manufacturer standards. If the impeller is exposed to solvent drying for extended periods of time, it could develop cracks that would lead to excessive fuel absorption. Over time the impeller could deform and interfere with the body of the fuel pump. If the fuel pump stops working, the check engine warning will illuminate, the engine will run roughly and could stall without the ability to restart.

Vehicles Affected
2019 Subaru Ascent
2019 Subaru Impreza
2019 Subaru Legacy
2019 Subaru Outback

Dealers will correct the problem by replacing the low pressure fuel pump. Subaru’s number for this recall is WRD-20 and the NHTSA campaign number is 20V-218.

Subaru will be contacting the owners of certain 2019 Ascent, Crosstrek and Forester SUVs regarding a problem affecting the engine in their vehicle.

According to the defect report, the material used for the PCV valve case was changed from aluminum to steel on the engine production line beginning October 2018. The difference in metal combined with heating and cooling experienced during regular vehicle use could cause a gap to develop between the PCV washer and valve case. In addition, other components surrounding the PCV case could press into the case, potentially contributing to the separation of the valve components over time. If this happens, oil will enter the engine combustion chamber, changing the appearance and/or amount of tailpipe exhaust. If the vehicle continues to be driven under these conditions, drivers may experience a complete loss of engine power.

Dealers will inspect the PCV valve, and if the valve has separated, the short block engine will be replaced. Subaru’s number for this recall is WUW-08 and the NHTSA campaign number is 19V-856.

Subaru will be contacting the owners of certain 2017 Impreza vehicles regarding a problem affecting the fuel system. Due to a software programming issue within the engine control unit, the operating threshold of the radiator fan used to cool the fuel temperature is not set low enough for winter blend fuels. A combination of winter fuel, warm temperatures and low speed or stopped driving conditions may cause the fuel to vaporize prematurely. Premature vaporization causes a decrease in fuel pressure, rough idling, a no start condition or an engine stall. In some cases, if the engine were to stall, the driver may be unable to restart the vehicle for a certain period of time.

Dealers will correct the problem by reprogramming the engine control unit to turn the radiator cooling fan on at a lower temperature. Owners wanting more information about the recall can contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2738. Subaru’s number for this recall is WTP-75 and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-216.

A small number of 2017 Subaru Legacy and 2017 Subaru Outback owners will be contacted by the manufacturer regarding a problem affecting the safety restraint system. According to the defect report filed with the NHTSA, the knee guard bracket may have been misaligned with the steering beam at the time of welding. If the bracket has not been properly attached, the knee guard may not restrain the occupant under certain conditions.

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the knee guard welding, replacing the beam as necessary. Owners wanting more information about the problem are asked to contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru’s number for this recall is WTL-72 and the NHTSA campaign number is 16V-716.

Subaru will be contacting owners of certain 2017 Subaru Outback vehicles regarding a problem affecting brakes and suspension. According to the defect report, the bolts used to attach the front brake calipers, wheel hubs and the right stabilizer clamp may not have been sufficiently tightened. Drivers will be alerted to a problem by a rattling or clunking sound from the front wheel area, especially when brakes are applied. If the attaching bolts loosen or detach, the related components would also become loose and could possibly detach. The vehicle may become unstable and/or no longer provide sufficient braking capability. Continue reading