Subaru and Toyota Recall 410,000 Vehicles Over Faulty Engine Part

November 3, 2018 Updated: November 3, 2018

Subaru and Toyota are recalling some 410,000 vehicles following the discovery of a faulty valve spring that could cause engine failure.

Subaru announced the recall on Nov. 1. The recall applies to vehicles manufactured between January 2012 and September 2013. Four models are subject to recall, including the popular compact car Impreza, sports utility vehicle Forester, and sports car BRZ, according to the Dow Jones newswires, sighted by Fox Business.

The last model affected is the Subaru-manufactured Toyota’s 86 sports car, sold as the Scion FR-S in 2012 and 2013.

Of the 410,000 vehicles to be recalled, 101,153 vehicles were sold in Japan, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

The remaining 310,000 vehicles were sold overseas: about 160,000 in North America, and 100,000 in other areas, including Europe. The remaining 50,000 were Toyota’s 86 that were released overseas; of these, 25,000 are being recalled in the United States.

Owners affected by the recall will receive notice via mail starting in December. The repairs could take over 12 hours per vehicle.

Valve springs are responsible for keeping engine valves closed when the car burns fuel. Subaru and the Japanese Transport Ministry said that that excessive pressure on a potentially faulty valve spring in the engine may cause the engine to break and stop the vehicle, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

There have been no reports of accidents caused by the faulty engines, but Subaru has recorded 224 reports of engine complications since April 2012. Ninety-four of the reports were made in Japan.

Subaru explained why the company waited five years to announce the recall:

“After we received reports that the engine part had broken, we used an improved one based on a certain presumption. But it took time to clarify why the engine part had broken,” the company said, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

Subaru was hit by a scandal in October 2017 when it was found that unqualified staff had been carrying out final inspections of its vehicles possibly for more than three decades, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

In April, it was revealed that Subaru employees had falsified fuel economy and emissions data for more than 900 vehicles starting in late 2012. In June, the number of vehicles affected by the falsified data was revised to 1,551, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

A Separate Toyota Recall

On the same day as the Subaru recall, Toyota announced a separate recall of its Scion xA vehicles. The voluntary recall concerns an airbag issue that will affect about 17,000 vehicles manufactured between 2004 and 2006, Newsweek reported.

The company will notify owners of the vehicles via mail starting late December. Vehicle owners can come into Toyota dealers to replace the airbag control units with an improved model, free of charge.

The recall explains that an electrical short could damage the circuits to the airbag system, according to Newsweek. This could cause two potential problems; it could cause the airbags to deploy, and may also cause the seat belt pretensioner to deactivate. This extra seatbelt pretension pulls the bodies of the driver and front-seat passenger firmly into their seats, moments before impact in an accident. Both scenarios can increase the risk of accidents.

In October, Toyota had to recall close to 3 million Prius hybrids owing to a possible software glitch that could cause the vehicle to crash, reported. The October recall was one of the largest recalls in Toyota’s history, next to the Takata airbag recalls that have affected millions of vehicles and many major automakers.


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