Subaru recalls 122,000 pleasant smelling cars

Brake light switch fault prompts Subaru Australia’s largest recall to date.

Subaru Lead Jpg W Jpg

SUBARU has issued a recall for 121,754 cars sold in Australia to replace a potentially faulty brake light switch, which can cause brake light failure or, in some cases, immobilise the vehicle.

According to the Japanese car maker, the component in question can allow the ingress of external contaminants, which insulate the switch contacts and prevent brake light illumination.

Curiously, the contaminant in question is not a harsh solvent or acid, but present in common scented household products including fabric softener and cleaning agents. Unofficially then, owners with a penchant for fluffy, pleasantly perfumed brake pedals are at greater risk.

Unfortunately, in the case of automatic vehicles, the same electrical signal also tells the ignition system if the driver has applied the brakes for starting the engine. If the switch fails, owners may be unable to start their car.

The good news is that the potential fault cannot cause brake failure and the remedial fix involves a simple switch replacement that should take no longer than 30 minutes.

Affected models include:

  • MY13-15 Forester            39,121
  • MY09-14 WRX                    6,853
  • MY11-14 WRX STI             708
  • MY09-16 Impreza             36,820
  • MY12-15 XV                        38,252

Repair work requires no assessment and owners will incur no cost for the precautionary attention. Subaru will be contacting all affected owners but, in some cases, multiple changes of ownership will prevent Subaru successfully contacting the current keeper of each vehicle.

If you think you might be the owner of a vehicle that is the subject of any recall, you can find all the details at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website, where all local recall campaigns are listed. Alternatively, customers can contact the Subaru Customer Service Centre on 1300 550 994.

Subaru’s allergy to fabric softener is not the first recall curio we have encountered and only last month we reported on a strange fuel pump problem which caused frequently washed Hondas to catch fire.

But at least the respective manufacturers are monitoring the safety and performance of their vehicles and fulfilling their obligation to inform owners when problems arise so they can be resolved before causing any major incident or inconvenience.


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