Subaru Recalls Over 118,000 Vehicles Due to Airbag Malfunction

Subaru has announced a recall of 118,723 SUVs and sedans in the United States due to a faulty sensor that can prevent airbags from deploying in the event of a crash. The recall, which was reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Wednesday, affects certain 2020 through 2022 model year Outback and Legacy vehicles.

Faulty Sensor Causes Airbag Malfunction

According to the NHTSA, the issue stems from a capacitor in the sensors for the Occupant Detection System (ODS), which may crack and short circuit, preventing the front passenger airbag from deploying during a collision. Subaru has stated that it is aware of 23 technical reports and 253 warranty claims related to this issue, but there have been no reported crashes or injuries.

To address the problem, Subaru dealers will replace the ODS sensors on the front passenger seat at no cost to the vehicle owners. The automaker emphasized its commitment to safety, stating, “Safety has been, and always will be, the driving force within every Subaru – from engineering to real-world results.”

Subaru has advised owners of affected vehicles to refrain from using the front passenger seat until the necessary repairs have been performed. Owners can check if their vehicle is included in the recall by using a tool provided by the company or by contacting their local retailer at 888-575-1382.

Third Recall Involving Same Issue and Supplier

This recall is the third in recent months involving the same issue with parts produced by the same supplier. In December 2023, Toyota recalled 1.12 million vehicles, while Honda called back 750,000 in February 2024. The recall is part of the larger Takata airbag inflator recall, which is the largest recall in automotive history and affects vehicles across multiple manufacturers.

The Takata airbag inflator recall has been ongoing for several years, with millions of vehicles affected worldwide. The issue stems from potentially defective airbag inflators that can rupture and send metal fragments into the vehicle cabin, posing a serious risk of injury or death to occupants.

Subaru’s recall is aimed at addressing the specific issue with the Occupant Detection System sensors, which are manufactured by the same supplier as the problematic Takata airbag inflators. By proactively recalling the affected vehicles, Subaru is taking steps to ensure the safety of its customers and prevent potential accidents or injuries.

Challenges Posed by Widespread Recall

The automaker acknowledged the challenges posed by the widespread nature of the recall, stating, “This recall affects millions of vehicles worldwide from various manufacturers, including Subaru. This means that the availability of replacement airbag inflators and service space at our stores may be affected. Everyone’s safety is equally important to us, and we are taking every measure to meet this challenge.”

Subaru’s commitment to addressing the issue and ensuring the safety of its customers is evident in its proactive approach to the recall. The company has taken steps to inform owners of affected vehicles and provide them with the necessary resources to have their vehicles repaired.

However, the scale of the recall and the involvement of multiple manufacturers may lead to challenges in terms of parts availability and service capacity. Subaru has assured its customers that it is working diligently to overcome these obstacles and ensure that all affected vehicles are repaired as quickly as possible.

Subaru's Commitment to Customer Safety

The recall of over 118,000 Subaru vehicles due to a faulty airbag sensor highlights the importance of vehicle safety and the need for manufacturers to address potential issues promptly. Subaru’s swift response and commitment to resolving the problem demonstrate the company’s dedication to its customers’ well-being.

As the recall process unfolds, Subaru owners are encouraged to stay informed and take the necessary steps to have their vehicles repaired. By working together, Subaru and its customers can ensure that the affected vehicles are safe and that the risk of injury or accidents is minimized.

Vehicle recalls, while inconvenient, are an essential aspect of maintaining road safety and protecting consumers. Subaru’s handling of this recall is an example of responsible corporate behavior and a commitment to customer safety.