Fire Risk Results in Recall of Subaru Ascent Vehicles from 2019 to 2022 Model Years

The Subaru Ascent recall comes following 11 reports of incidents, including two vehicle fires.

Nearly 300,000 new model year Subaru Ascent vehicles are being recalled because they may contain defective electrical components that can cause the vehicles to unexpectedly catch on fire.

The U.S. National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Subaru Ascent recall on December 13, warning vehicle owners to park their new cars outside and away from structures, due to a risk that a wiring connection may may cause a fire while the heater in use.

To date, Subaru has become aware of 11 reports of problems related to the electrical issues, involving at least two vehicle fires and one car that exhibited smoke. Officials are instructing owners not to park their cars inside garages until the recall repair is complete.

The auto maker received the first reported Subaru Ascent fire related to the defect on September 29, 2021. An investigation was opened, but ultimately could not determine the root cause. A second Ascent fire report involving a vehicle from the U.S. market was reported in May 2022.

Internal testing by the automaker determined that the bolt that secures the positive ground terminal on the Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heater may have been inadequately torqued during production. Subaru announced this may result in the melting of the ground terminal and surrounding components when the PTC heater is in operation.

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While Subaru suspects that only 1% of the recalled vehicles may contain the defect, since a change in production corrected the tightening defect in April 2022.

The recall includes an estimated 271,694 model year 2019 through 2022 Subaru Ascent SUV’s manufactured between February 23, 2018 and April 28, 2022.

Subaru will begin notifying owners of the recall on or about February 6, 2023 and will provide instructions on how customers can schedule a free repair at their local dealer. Dealers will be instructed to replace the PTC heater ground bolts and, if necessary, replace the ground wire and the connector holder.

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