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Subaru Recalls More Than 270,000 Ascent SUVs Over Fire Risk

» Posted February 24, 2023Resources | Share This Post

Subaru is calling back some 270,000 Ascent sport utility vehicles over a defect that poses a serious safety issue, the company recently told federal regulators.

Poorly tightened bolts in the vehicles may cause components to melt and spark fires, the car manufacturer said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

“The ground bolt that secures the ground terminal of the PTC heater may have been improperly fastened during the assembly process,” Subaru told NHTSA. “As a result, when the PTC heater is in operation, electrical resistance may increase, leading to the generation of heat. If the contact surface between the ground terminal and ground bolt is sufficiently limited, the excessive heat generated could result in melting the ground terminal and surrounding components.”

The recall covers certain Ascent SUVs from model years 2019 to 2022. Subaru plans to start notifying owners of recalled cars by Feb. 6. 

The carmaker will ask owners to bring their vehicles to a local dealer for inspection and repair - replacing PTC heater ground bolts and, if necessary, the ground wire and the connector holder - free of charge. 

In the meantime, Subaru advises that owners take certain precautions.

“Owners are advised to park their vehicle away from structures and to avoid leaving the vehicle unattended while the engine is running,” Subaru said in the NHTSA filing. “An owner who notices or smells smoke coming from the dash or driver's footwell area should immediately stop operating the vehicle and turn the ignition switch to the ‘Off’ position.”

Legal Rights for California Subaru Owners

This is not Subaru’s first dance when it comes to recalling malfunctioning and defective cars. The process has become all too common for the Japanese automaker and its competitors around the globe.

Last year, for example, the company recalled roughly 60,000 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance vehicles because of faulty backup lights and cameras. Subaru acknowledged at the time that the defect increased the risk of crashes.

The move came some eight months after Subaru called back nearly 200,000 sport utility vehicles and sedans at risk of suddenly losing power because of a transmission problem.

Subaru is not alone. Major carmakers recall millions of vehicles every year.

There is good news for car owners and lessors in California: You have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.

The California lemon law requires automakers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while the cars are under warranty. It also forces those companies to buy back or replace cars that they cannot or simply refuse to properly fix.   

Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney

If you are a car owner or lessor stuck with a lemon or locked in a dispute with a manufacturer over repairs, the lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help. 

Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer today.

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Posted By: Rick Mills