Subaru Australia has announced a recall this week on models in its Impreza, XV and Forester lines, over potential for a wiring harness malfunction.
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Forming part of a global 236,000 vehicle campaign, the local recall centres on a fault in the steering column, where friction between the wire harness and a metal plate may lead to a short circuit.

“The metal plate may cause excessive wear of the harness coating due to vibration, which in turn, could trigger a short circuit due to exposure of the metal wire,” the recall notice states.

Subaru says the recall involves 54,572 vehicles in Australia, although it expects the failure rate of the fault to be no more than 0.007 percent.

If a short circuit occurs, it could cause deactivation or malfunction of the airbag, while a fuse blowout could disrupt the Engine Control Unit’s power supply, potentially causing engine stalls.

Other effects can include malfunction of steering-mounted controls, including cruise control, wipers, head lights, horn and mobile phone use.

2013 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT 31

“If the harness coating is damaged, but not the metal wiring itself, this can be fixed by the application of tape insulation together with the attachment of urethane foam to the edge of the metal plate. This process is estimated to take 0.5 hours.

“If damage is identified in the metal wiring, the damaged wire needs to be repaired and urethane foam attached to the edge of the metal plate.”

Models affected include 16,263 Impreza and XV models in the 2012 model year, 13,648 in the 2013 model year and 5182 in the 2014 model year. Subaru notes that WRX and WRX STI models are not included in the recall.

In the Forester range, there are 14,794 vehicles affected for the 2013 model year, and 4685 in the 2014 model year.

Subaru has confirmed it will contact owners of affected vehicles by mail to arrange an inspection. Customers can also contact the Subaru Customer Service Centre on 1800 226 643.