Subaru recalls 660,000 vehicles for potential road salt brake-line corrosion

Subaru of America is recalling more than 660,000 vehicles in 20 “salt belt” states and the District of Columbia for potential brake-line corrosion that can occur when salt water enters through a gap in the fuel tank protector, the company said today.

The recall covers the 2005-09 Outback and Legacy, 2008-2011 Impreza, 2008-14 Impreza WRX/STI and 2009-13 Forester. Vehicles will only be recalled in states -- where they are either currently or have formerly been registered -- with heavy road salt use in winter.

The states listed in the recall 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, Wisconsin and D.C.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, saltwater corrosion could lead to brake-fluid leakage, resulting in the need for longer distances to slow or stop the vehicle.

Subaru, a unit of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., alerted dealers to the recall on June 10 and said it would notify owners within the following 60 days. If dealers do not detect brake-fluid seepage in the recalled vehicles, anti-corrosion wax will be applied to the brake lines, otherwise, they will replace the brake lines and also rustproof them with anti-corrosion wax.

The company recalled about 225,000 2005-09 Legacy and Outback vehicles in April 2013 for a similar potential for saltwater corrosion in the brake lines. Subaru said those vehicles are part of the current recall and still need to be rustproofed.

A Subaru spokesman said the defect was found in testing and the recall is a precautionary measure. No injuries or accidents have been attributed to the potential corrosion.

You can reach Kathleen Burke at kgburke@umich.edu

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