Subaru recalls nearly 119,000 vehicles over air bag problem


Subaru has recalled 118,723 vehicles because a sensor may short circuit, preventing the front passenger air bag from deploying in a crash.

The recall covers the Japanese automaker’s 2020-2022 Outback and Legacy models. An air bag malfunction would increase the chance of a passenger suffering injury in an accident, Subaru said in recall documents submitted last week to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

No injuries have been reported to Subaru related to the air bag issue, the company said. 

The affected Legacy and Outback vehicles have a sensor that detects when someone is sitting in the passenger seat. That sensor is connected to the vehicle’s Occupant Detection System (ODS). Subaru said that an outside company hired to make the ODS may have used faulty circuit boards inside the system, the company said in its recall notice.

Having a cracked circuit board allows moisture to leak in and can eventually cause a short circuit, Subaru said. When a short circuit happens, the vehicle will not detect if someone is in the passenger seat.

If there’s a possible short circuit, the dashboard on the Outback or Legacy will alert drivers and the “airbag system warning lamp will illuminate, the front passenger’s frontal airbag OFF indicator will illuminate and the front passenger airbag may not deploy in certain crashes as designed,” the recall states.

Subaru said it will replace the ODS sensors free of charge for Outback and Legacy owners who take their vehicle to a dealership. The company plans to notify dealerships about the recall and replacements on Wednesday.

Subaru owners with questions about the recall can contact the company at (844) 373-6614 and mention recall number WRA-24. Owners can also contact NHTSA at (888)327-4236.

The sensor problem at Subaru is the latest in a recent string of vehicle recalls in recent months. Last week, Hyundai and Kia recalled a combined 147,110 vehicles because a part inside the cars may stop charging their batteries. Earlier this month, General Motors recalled nearly 820,000 pickup trucks because of a glitch that could cause the tailgate to open unexpectedly. 

In January, Ford recalled about 1.9 million Ford Explorer SUVs because the windshield trim panels could fly off while the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds. 



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