Update: Subaru provided us with some updated details pertaining to this recall. Here's what the company had to say: "The cars in question can be and will be repaired; they will not be junked or scrapped. We are offering a replacement vehicle as to not inconvenience the owners. We expect the number of affected cars actually in owners hands to be between 12-20. We are checking the entire population, but the defect rate is low and we estimate just 200 cars are affected."
Subaru is recalling a total of 2,107 brand-new vehicles due to faulty welds located on the duct below the cowl panel that could compromise the vehicle’s body strength, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. The 2019 Outback and 2019 Legacy are the two models involved with the recall. However, there are only 142 Legacys impacted, whereas 1,965 Outbacks are being called back. Subaru says customers will have a few options if they have one of the affected vehicles. You’ll be able to exchange the vehicle, let Subaru buy it back, or return the car for some intensive repairs.
Perhaps this recall reminds you of the situation the Ascent was in last year. The large Subaru SUV was recalled due to it missing a series of spot welds on the B-pillar, weakening the structure. Subaru said it planned to destroy all 293 Ascents that were thought to be affected at the time.
These new faulty welds are described differently than the ones we saw previously. Here’s Subaru’s explanation for what went wrong: “During the manufacturing process at the supplier’s factory, the spot-welder tip is cleaned and re-shaped by a dresser (grinding machine). During production of potentially affected parts, the grinding machine may have been blocked by excess metal chips/powder, thus reducing the effectiveness of the welder.”
Subaru reportedly told Consumer Reports that most of the vehicles being recalled haven’t even reached the dealerships yet, with fewer than 20 of the vehicles in customer hands. That makes sense, as Subaru says the affected vehicles were built between May 31 and June 6, 2019. Subaru said a bodyshop employee initially noticed the defect on June 6, which prompted an internal investigation, leading to the recall.
We asked Subaru if it could provide any more detail about the recall beyond what the official documents show — the latest information can be found at the top of the post. If you have a 2019 Outback or Legacy affected by this issue, expect to receive a letter in the mail soon. Thankfully, there won’t be many people who will be getting those recall notices.