Subaru of America, Inc. has determined that some 1995-99 Legacy and Outback vehicles (listed below), may have been manufactured with front coil springs on which paint was improperly applied. If an affected vehicle is operated for an extended period in a “salt-belt” area (see list of states below) that use large amounts of salt on the roads in the winter, continued exposure of the salt could corrode the front coil springs and eventually cause them to break. If a front coil spring were to corrode and break, the broken spring could contact the tire, causing tire damage and possible rapid tire deflation.
A recall was conducted to address this problem. The recall involves the installation of front spring guards on the affected vehicles. The purpose of the front spring guards is to contain the front coil spring in the event that it breaks. The guard prevents a broken spring from contacting the tire.
The affected vehicles are 1995 through 1998 model year Legacy/Outback vehicles (and approximately 1,000 early production 1999 Legacy/Outback models), and is limited to vehicles in regional areas known as “salt-belt” states and affects vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of:
The affected VIN range is as follows:
Notification letters were sent to owners of vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in “salt-belt” states. Notification letters were only sent to owners of vehicles that were originally sold in or currently registered in “salt-belt” states. After release of this recall, vehicles previously registered in a non-”salt-belt” state may relocate into a “salt-belt” area. In some cases, a vehicle may be registered in a non-”salt-belt” state, and driven in a “salt-belt” area.
One or more of your customers may own vehicles that were part of the original recall, have relocated or now use his or her vehicle in a “salt-belt” area. Compare the VIN range above against your customer’s VIN. If it falls within the affected range, direct the customer to the nearest Subaru dealer. If the vehicle meets the recall requirements, the dealer should install the spring guards on the vehicle at no cost to the customer.
Aftermarket Replacement Struts
It has been determined that Front Spring Guards may not properly fit on vehicles equipped with some non-OE (aftermarket) replacement front struts. In cases where it is not possible to install the Front Spring Guards, it will be necessary to install new OE replacement front springs. In these cases, replacement of the front springs will be covered by the recall, which eliminates the need to install Front Spring Guards in order to complete the recall.
In this case, the vehicle owner will be advised that the front springs were replaced as an alternate repair method because the vehicle had non-OE (aftermarket) replacement front struts and the Front Spring Guards would not properly fit. Replacement of aftermarket front struts with new OE struts, in order to install Front Spring Guards, are not covered by this recall.
Front Coil Spring Warranty Coverage
In the event a front coil spring on an affected vehicle breaks due to salt corrosion at any time after the front coil spring guards have been installed, the owner is eligible for free replacement of the broken spring even if the vehicle is out of warranty. This extended coverage only applies to the front coil spring and does not include other components, such as the strut.
Part Number Information
|Legacy Sedan & Wagon Cover – Strut Kit Outback Sedan & Wagon
|Outback Sedan & Wagon Cover – Strut Kit OBK
The repair procedures involve inspection of the lower portion of the front coil spring in the lower seat area for corrosion damage. If the springs are undamaged, Front Spring Guards are installed. If a front coil spring is found to be broken as a result of corrosion, the spring only is replaced (not the entire strut). Both front coil springs are not replaced unless both front coil springs are found to be broken as a result of corrosion. Front coil spring guards are also installed on struts that have the spring replaced.
If the springs are undamaged, a portion of the right front mudguard must be cut. The left front mudguard does not require modification. The spring guard components are stamped “LH” for the left side and “RH” for the right side.