Subaru Legacy, Outback Recalled For Possible Brake Line Corrosion

April 3, 2013

Subaru is recalling certain 2005 to 2009 model year Legacy and Outback vehicles sold in 20 salt belt states and Washington, D.C. to check for possible corroded brake lines.

2005 Subaru Outback

2005 Subaru Outback

Enlarge Photo

An official safety recall notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website said the Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles affected by the recall were manufactured from December 3, 2003 through April 2009 and are currently or formerly registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

In documentation (PDF) submitted to the NHTSA, Subaru said that the exact number of vehicles affected by the recall will be determined after receipt of R. L. Polk registration information. A report in The Detroit News said that a Subaru spokesman wrote in an email that the company estimates about 200,000 vehicles are covered by the recall.

The problem

The NHTSA bulletin said that “salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the brake lines.” Subaru said that its own investigation determined that brake lines “could perforate after exposure to 7 or more winter seasons,” and could eventually lead to brake fluid leaking.

The potential consequence of brake fluid leakage is that the vehicle may require longer distance to slow down or stop. This increases crash risk.

Reuters reported Subaru’s statement that “no reports, accidents, injuries or incidents of failure have occurred.”

What Subaru will do

Subaru will notify owners and dealers will inspect vehicles for possible brake fluid seepage. If no seepage is observed, dealers will rustproof the area with anti-corrosion wax. On vehicles where brake fluid seepage is detected, dealers will replace the brake lines and follow-up with application of anti-corrosion wax. The service work will be performed at no charge to owners.

The Subaru safety recall campaign is identified as WQG-43, although no owner notification schedule has yet been submitted.

In the meantime, owners of 2005 through 2009 Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles with any questions or concerns may contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V110000.

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