More than 140,000 Mitsubishi Outlander and Lancer vehicles have been recalled due to a risk the front control arms may rust and break, which could cause drivers to lose control of the vehicles.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Mitsubishi Outlander and Lancer recall on May 26, indicating the front control arms and cross members were not adequately coated with the proper rust protection to sustain long term exposure to anti-freezing road treatments.
The affected vehicles are equipped with a suspension system that contains control arms coated with general steel sheets. These may rust faster when consistently exposed to snowmelt water and anti-freezing agents, such as salt, used on roadways which get snow every year.
Officials warn that in the event of significant corrosion occurring, the lower control arm could eventually break off, resulting in loss of vehicle control and an increased risk of a crash and injury.
Mitsubishi indicates it first learned about the issue in June 2016, after receiving a consumer complaint of a detached lower control arm. After a years-long investigation, Mitsubishi determined field reports related to lower control arm detachments were significantly higher in states that experience seasonal snowfalls, where roadways are treated with salt mixtures.
According to Mitsubishi’s defect investigation, Lancer and Outlander vehicles manufactured prior to 2016 were designed with control arms containing general steel sheet coverings, which are subject to an accelerated course of corrosion. The manufacturer indicated the steel sheets were replaced with Zinc-coated steel sheets in 2016, which have higher corrosion resistance.
The recall includes certain model year 2008 through 2010 Lancer, 2010 Lancer Sportback models, 2008 through 2013 Outlander, and 2011 through 2016 Outlander Sport models that were originally sold in, or ever registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The vehicles were manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. They were distributed throughout the United States to licensed dealers.
Mitsubishi announced it will begin notifying customers of the recall by mail, with instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer. The dealers will be instructed to analyze the level of corrosion and either apply a sealing and anti-corrosion or replace the front cross member with a model made of anti-corrosion material.
The recall is expected to begin on July 14, 2020 when repair parts become available. Customers with additional questions or concerns may contact Mitsubishi Customer Service at 1-888-648-7820 and reference the recall campaign number SR-20-003.