• Apr 7, 2008


JL sent us over an email from Subaru of America that's instructed dealers to immediate cease sales of all Subaru models equipped with the turbocharged, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The directive effects some 2008 and 2009 models built in January and February, including the Forester, Legacy 2.5GT, LTD, 2.5GTB and Impreza sedan and wagon.

The issue involves reports of an "engine knocking noise" that's been affecting vehicles outside the U.S. market, and an initial investigation has found that there is some kind of internal wear that may be causing the noise.

Currently, no U.S. vehicles have been affected, and a Subaru spokesperson told us that the stop sale has been issued as a temporary measure to nip it in the proverbial bud and that once the issue is addressed sales will begin again. You can read the full directive and see the exact production dates of the affected models after the jump.

IMMEDIATE STOP SALE ORDER
TO: GLR-- MAR-- NWR-- SCR-- SDC-- SWR Dealers
FROM: Subaru of America, Inc.
DEPARTMENT: Service
DATE: 04/07/2008

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Legacy vehicles have been added to the Stop Sale

We regret to inform you that we must place an immediate stop sale order on all of the 2008/2009 Subaru Impreza, Forester and Legacy vehicles equipped with a 2.5L Turbo Engine produced with the beginning chassis number and later as shown below.

Model
Body Type
Chassis Number
Production Date

Forester Wagon 701045 or later 2008/01/08 or later

Legacy 2.5GT-LTD 222825 or later 2008/02/04 or later
2.5GT-B 222958 or later 2008/02/04 or later
OBK 2.5XT-LTD 353835 or later 2008/02/01 or later

Impreza Sedan 523363 or later 2008/01/08 or later
Wagon 825183 or later 2008/01/08 or later


The reason for this immediate Quality Assurance action is that there have been several reports of "Engine Knocking Noise" from other markets on vehicles produced after the production dates listed.

Initial investigation confirms an internal wear issue on the failed units.

In the interest of preventing any possibility of failures for our customers, we have chosen to isolate any potentially affected vehicles by ceasing sales of the potentially affected units until the root cause and correction can be identified.

All the other displacement engines and the 2.5L Natural Aspirated Engine are excluded from this action.

Your region/distributor will be contacting you with a detailed list of affected vehicles assigned to your dealership. However, dealer trades cannot be tracked so please be aware of the affected VIN range.

If you have a vehicle in inventory that falls into the affected vehicle range, please ensure that your sales and service staff are immediately notified that the unit is un-saleable until further notice from SOA or your region/distributor.

If any of those vehicles has an unusual engine noise, please notify the SOA Technical Helpline immediately with all of the details and submit an E-QMR.

Should a customer bring an affected vehicle into your service department for an unusual engine noise, please immediately arrange that they are given the use of a clean SSLP vehicle and notify the Technical Helpline and submit an E-QMR.

You will be contacted shortly thereafter on how to proceed.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like EVO X will be killing the market with this news.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Should not be a problem since nobody bought one
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh well... won't affect them anyway because those things were selling anyways. Now only if they would issue a recall on the looks, and start an investigation as to why their cars look like Hyundais
        • 6 Years Ago
        How so??? At least the new sonata is just boring, and not bland and offensively ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This would never happen to a Japanese automaker...

      Oh wait.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The part involved is probably a turbo-specific engine part.

      The cams, and other internal parts are different in the turbo engines than the NA engines based on the same block design. If one of them wasn't heat treated correctly, or something, it could be prematurely wearing.

      Gotta give SOA credit on this one, despite my being critical about their marketing practices, which result in low-sales.

      At least they are nipping this in the bud, and getting owners into other loaner cars before the engine grenades itself over one little part that might be replaceable beforehand, and prevent it. They seem to be blanketing the lineup, to be overly cautious, rather than under-estimating the problem.

      Luckily my '05 GT is not effected, (must be a NEW part) and I'll keep driving it confidently, with a 5-speed stick.

      A Subaru is a confident purchase. If you buy one, and something becomes apparent, they will let you know. They seem to be very confident that the issue is not relating to the non-turbo cars.

      I'll bet they'll encourage you to talk to the service manager, or other knowledgeable person, to get more technical details that might illuminate why the NA engine, or even older turbo engines are not affected.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Of course, letting more of these cars get into the hands of drivers would mean more potential issues on the consumer front. That could absolutely sink the Subaru boat.

        Er! I mean, fly the Subaru plane into the mountainside.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So A7C4, i'm curious what is it you drive?
        It must be pretty special.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't worry about AC74. He's probably just a troll that's too bitter about not being able to afford anything more than an '94 Geo Metro. Probably thought that the Civic DX he was riding in was the great Type-R wit VEE-TECK and was wowed by the extreme torque that could beat out a 2.5 turbo any day.

        In any case, I was planning on picking up a WRX within the next year; good thing they addressed this so quickly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Somebody sounds like a bitter econocar owner.

        You left out that they're some of the best handling cars for the money.

        I wonder why Subaru's "peaky" motors manage to win awards. Also seems strange some folk would choose to put these "peaky" engines in planes...

        Let me guess: you'd prefer an underpowered, low-torque, front-wheel-drive car with a spaceship interior...
        • 6 Years Ago
        A7C4,

        why don't you? As far as I can tell that post is a complete waste...

        Heaven forbid someone but you have something to say or contribute to the discussion.

        If you have nothing positive to say, maybe you should follow your own advice.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Perhaps they will come up with another bottle of stop leak to solve this problem too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh my GOD stfu!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not selling - the MY08 Impreza is selling 14% better than the MY07.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not any more it's not. This is going to KILL dealers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      maybe they should recall the body work on the new impreza.

      i was behind one this morning and i thought it was a Hyundai or a Kia until i got close enough to see the suby badge. no joke. and i am usually able to distinguish a car from a good distance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not sure how Toy and the General are to blame about this problem. It's good to hear about a Manufacture nipping a potential problem in the bud.

      Congrats to Subie. :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone else wondering why the recall doesn't affect the identical NA 2.5L unit? Just because the turbo version has "premature wear" doesn't mean that the NA version won't...

      My wife is about to put down for a 2.5L (NA) Impreza and I may now tell her to wait... :(
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because the NA version isn't identical.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "How is improper oiling "rather likely" in a horizontal engine? Especially one with as well proven a design as this? "

        Because the bottom end isn't really at the bottom, it's in the middle, above the oil in the sump.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Unless thiss "knock" is "rod knock" which really means improper oiling. Which honestly is rather likely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How is improper oiling "rather likely" in a horizontal engine? Especially one with as well proven a design as this?

        I'll bet it is a batch of bad con rods or crank shaft journals that are failing prematurely under the pressure of the blower.

        Nothing likely to affect the atmospherically charged (normally aspirated) engines. Subaru engines are generally pretty stout.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I fail to see how Toyota, Fuji Heavy, the Japanese Govt., the eco guy in the Suburu commercial (also deer, rabbits and blue heron), Hyundai, Jim Press or anyone else can take responsibility for this problem when we all know it's GM's POOR QUALITYaffecting Toyota and their subsidiaries.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While they're at it, can they give Toyota their Camry body molds back?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a terrible joke, we all know they're not selling.
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