Japanese automaker Subaru will recall more than 2 million vehicles in the U.S. to repair a brake light problem that could lead to ignition trouble and increase the risk of collision.
Aside from the Takata airbag recall, which affects millions of Subaru vehicles globally, the brake light recall would be Subaru’s largest-ever recall in the U.S., the automaker’s largest market.
The recall affects some 2 million model-year 2008-2017 Subaru Impreza and Forester models in the U.S., with another 300,000 cars in Japan and other countries.
According to Motor1, certain liquids such as cleaners containing silicone can seep into the brake light switch, causing it to stop working. While this doesn’t affect the braking performance in any way, a faulty brake light switch could cause the brake lights to not illuminate when stopping or slowing, thereby increasing the risk of a rear collision.
Subaru says it is aware of “approximately 33 technical reports” of the brake light problems occurring.
Reuters reports that the brake light defect could lead to ignition problems, but a report by Motor1 says that a link between the brake light and ignition wasn’t mentioned in the recall information it obtained from Subaru. In many vehicles, the brake lamp is linked to the ignition system as a safety measure, requiring the driver to apply the brakes while starting the engine.
Subaru says it will start contacting owners of the vehicles affected by the recall within the next 60 days.
The recall covers some but not all of the following vehicles: 2013-2017 Subaru Crosstrek; 2012-2016 Subaru Impreza; 2008-2014 Subaru Impreza; and the 2014-2016 Subaru Forester.
According to Reuters, Subaru has been grappling with several quality issues in recent years amid explosive sales in the U.S., triggered in part by a successful sales campaign appealing to affluent and liberal-minded consumers. Subaru has tried to keep pace with U.S. demand by ramping up production, but the increases haven’t always gone smoothly for the automaker.
In January, Subaru suspended operations at its only production facility in Japan for nearly two weeks after discovering a major safety flaw in a power steering component. The halt in production held up 60 percent of its global output, according to Reuters.