Subaru recalls many models for brake line issues |

Subaru recalls many models for brake line issues

Alan Maguire, The Park Record

Subaru of America announced a recall earlier this month for brake line issues with many of its automobiles.

"Depending on driving conditions, salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the lines," according to Subaru.

"Brake fluid may leak due to the brake line corrosion and may result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash," stated the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a letter acknowledging the recall.

The Subaru models subject to the recall are as follows:

  • 2009-2013 Subaru Forester
  • 2008-2011 Subaru Impreza, WRX or WRX STI
  • 2012-2014 Subaru Impreza, WRX, or WRX STI

Most Utah residents who own those vehicles won’t be notified of the recall by Subaru, however. Recall notices were only sent to owners of those vehicle models above that are, or were at any time, registered in "Salt Belt" states, as that term is defined by the NHTSA. Those states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin, plus Washington, D.C.

Subaru has stated that it will still perform the recall repairs on vehicles that haven’t been registered in the Salt Belt, but the onus is on individual owners to reach out to their local dealer to schedule the repairs.

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The Park Record reached out several times to the NHTSA as to why residents of a state like Utah, which gets its fair share of snow and appears to have plenty of salt on the roads in winter, won’t be notified about their vehicles’ potentially compromised brake lines. No answer to that question was provided, and an NHTSA representative would only confirm that "affected vehicles not currently, or formerly, registered in the Salt Belt states identified in this recall are eligible for repair, at no cost to the customer, upon request."

"A concerned owner can contact Subaru and arrange for a free repair if it is needed," the representative stated.

A Subaru retailer in Salt Lake City confirmed this week that it is performing the recall repairs for affected owners who request it. The repairs take "a couple hours," according to the retailer.

In the notice Subaru sent to owners in Salt Belt states, the company says "There are several important precautions you should take until this repair has been performed."

Those recommended precautions include "immediately" contacting a Subaru retailer if:

  • a vehicle does not appear to be braking as quick as it should,
  • any fluids are observed leaking from the vehicle, or
  • the brake system warning light stays lit without the parking brake engaged.

Subaru also states in its recall notice that "it is highly recommended that you use extra care while operating the vehicle in confined areas such as parking lots and while parking your vehicle in a garage, car port or other structure."