Subaru is recalling certain 2013 model year Outback wagons and Legacy sedans for a potential steering flaw that could cause loss of steering control.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 5,379. Affected vehicles were built from February 15, 2012 through June 15, 2012.
The NHTSA bulletin and documentation from Subaru (PDF) identify the problem as a defect in the steering column assembly. Specifically, the steering column assembly contains splined inner and outer shafts that are intended to be a tight press fit.
However, in June 2012 Subaru discovered during yard operations that the press fit was insufficient to maintain contact between the inner and outer shafts, a condition which could allow the shafts to become disengaged. As a result of this visual inspection, vehicles were either repaired or released.
Should the shafts become disengaged, the driver would lose steering ability, increasing the risk of a crash. Subaru said it had received two customer complaints regarding loss of steering ability in February and April 2013 and began an investigation into the two vehicles, deciding on May 8, 2013 to conduct a safety recall.
What Subaru will do
Subaru will notify owners and dealers will replace the steering column assembly with a new one. The service will be performed at no charge.
The Subaru safety recall campaign, identified as WQI-45, began May 14, 2013. Owners of 2013 Subaru Outback and Legacy 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 http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V194000.
(c) 2013, High Gear Media.