Mitsubishi has recalled nearly 166,000 vehicles in the U.S.—including the Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Lancer Sportback, Outlander, and Outlander Sport—due to an issue with premature wear and early failure of the drive-belt system.
In vehicles with Mitsubishi's '4B1' 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, wear in the pulley assembly, for the belt that drives the alternator and cooling fan—and on some models, the power steering pump—may suddenly detach potentially causing stalling, loss of steering, and/or an overheated engine.
The issue (and parts failure) can be preceded by excessive underhood noise, the automaker points out in a report, and in some instances in overseas markets the issue had been associated with sand becoming trapped between the pulley and belt.
This isn't an issue in which a very small set of vehicles recalled actually have the defect or issue; according to Mitsubishi, 100 percent of vehicles recalled will need to be brought back to the dealership and are in need of a mechanical remedy.
Beginning this week, dealerships will be replacing the belts on all vehicles, as well as pulleys where a particular level of wear is noted. The replacement belts are a new rubber design, replacing the canvas-weave belts that were used originally.
The issue affects a wide range of models, including turbocharged and non-turbo versions, of the following vehicles:
- 2008-2011 Mitsubishi Lancer
- 2008-2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
- 2009-2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
- 2008-2011 Mitsubishi Outlander
- 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Owners are encouraged to contact Mitsubishi Customer Service at 888-648-7820, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.