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Subaru Brake Light Problems Lead To Recall of 1.3 Million Vehicles

More than a million Subaru Forrester, Impreza and other vehicles have been recalled, following nearly a dozen reports of a brake light switch failing, which may prevent the rear lights from illuminating and not allow the vehicle to be shifted out of the Park position.

The Subaru brake light recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this month, after the auto maker determined that contaminants can enter the brake light switch and prevent it from illuminating, which creates an increased accident risk.

The recalled Subaru vehicles are all equipped with an electronic brake switch, which may become exposed to silicone gas. In this event, silicone dioxide may form a layer on the switch contact terminal and cause a connectivity failure.

In the event of the contact failure, Subaru warns the brake lights may malfunction and not illuminate when the brake is pressed, increasing the odds of a rear end collision.

In addition, the break light problem may cause the keyless ignitions to fail to start, and the variable transmission may not be allowed to shift out of the Park position. Affected vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes, vehicle dynamic controls and lane-departure systems may also fail to alert and assist drivers in avoiding an imminent crash.

The recall affects approximately 526,941 model year 2014 through 2016 Foresters, 363,566 model year 2013 through 2017 Crosstrek vehicles, and 413,000 model year 2008 through 2016 Impreza and WRX models.

Subaru announced it will be withdrawing approximately one million more impacted vehicles from the Japanese market, bringing the total of recalled vehicles globally to 2.3 million.

The manufacturer will begin notifying customers of the recall late next month and will provide instructions on how to schedule a repair appointment at their local dealer, where dealers will be instructed to replace the brake light switch free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin on April 29, 2019. Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding their vehicle should contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614.

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