Subaru is recalling certain 2014 Forester Wagons for a floor mat manufacturing flaw that may result in curling of mats when exposed to heat.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website said that the safety recall affects 2014 Subaru Forester wagons built from January through March 2013.

Documentation from Subaru (PDF) submitted to the NHTSA indicates that the number of Foresters potentially affected is 10,137 vehicles.

The problem

According to the NHTSA bulletin and Subaru, the floor mat backing was not manufactured to specification. Subaru said that the resin composition used for the mats was out of spec and, as a result, can cause curling of the mats under heat exposure.

Such a curling condition of the mat on the driver’s side could distract the driver and/or interfere with the operation of the vehicle’s clutch, brake and/or accelerator pedals. The NHTSA bulletin warns that “brake or accelerator pedal interference may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash.”

Subaru discovered the problem April 1, 2013 at the Vancouver, Washington port where 21 Forester wagons were found to have curling mats. The automaker began an investigation and determined that a recall was necessary on April 15.

What Subaru will do

Subaru will notify owners and dealers will replace all four floor mats at no charge. The Subaru safety campaign, identified as WQH-44, is expected to begin with owner notification by the end of April.

In the meantime, owners of 2014 Subaru Forester wagons 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. 13V159000.


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