Which Subaru models are affected by the Takata airbag recall? In the most extensive recall, Consumer Reports (by subscription) says vehicles made by 19 different automakers (34 brands) have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both, in what NHTSA has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.”
The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were installed in Subaru vehicles from the model years 2003 through 2014. Unfortunately, some airbags could deploy explosively, injuring and even killing car occupants. Here are the Subaru models that are affected by the recall.
Subaru vehicles recalled for Takata airbag replacement.
2003 to 2006 Subaru Baja
2004 to 2011 Subaru Impreza
2009 to 2013 Subaru Forester
2004 to 2014 WRX and WRX STI
2003 to 2014 Subaru Legacy
2003 to 2014 Subaru Outback
2006 to 2014 Subaru Tribeca
What is the airbag problem?
Consumer Reports (CR) says, “At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force. If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin, a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly lifesaving device.”
What should customers do?
Customers of the cars listed above should call your local Subaru dealer and schedule an appointment to have the airbag replaced. CR says there is no wait for parts to arrive and no particular emphasis on localized climates or regions. Because second owners may not know where the previous owner of their vehicle lived or drove the car, Subaru will not focus on any particular area of the country.
The NHTSA urges Subaru owners to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and others from this severe threat to safety. First, the Subaru recall only concerns the passenger-side front airbag in certain Subaru vehicles. It does not affect driver-side front airbags, which were not equipped with Takata inflators. Therefore, if your car requires an airbag replacement, Subaru and the NHTSA recommend that occupants not use the front passenger seat until the repair is performed.
How can I check if my Subaru has an open recall?
Subaru owners may contact Subaru customer service at 844-373-6614. This issue has three recall numbers: TKA-20, TKB-20, and TKC-20. To see if your Subaru Forester, Outback, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, WRX STI, Tribeca, or Baja has an open recall, use the VIN Lookup Tool. Subaru encourages owners to re-check every three months for updates.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker’s models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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