Subaru has discovered a problem affecting a range of its 2023-2024 models due to a critical issue with the front drive shaft that could lead to severe a broken drive shaft and potential loss of drive power. The issue also raises concerns about the vehicles rolling away unexpectedly when parked without the parking brake engaged.
The problem was first identified during a routine magnetic particle inspection by a Subaru supplier, where cracks were discovered on the outer diameter of the outer race of the drive shaft assembly. This discovery led to a joint investigation between Subaru and the supplier, culminating in a deeper understanding of the severity and scope of the issue.
The affected vehicles are identified as the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, 2023-2024 Subaru Forester, 2024 Subaru Impreza, and 2023 Subaru WRX. These models are suspected of having a front drive shaft assembly with an outer race susceptible to cracking. The defect report attributes this problem to a malfunction in the cooling process during manufacturing. Specifically, a hole in a water pipe on the supplier's production line led to reduced cooling water flow around the outer race during heat treatment, potentially causing quench cracking on the surface.
Over time, these cracks could lead to the outer race breaking entirely, resulting in a loss of motive power in the vehicle. Moreover, there is a risk of these vehicles rolling away when parked if the parking brake is not set, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
To address this, Subaru will contact the owners of the potentially affected vehicles. Owners are advised to visit their dealers for an inspection of the left and right front drive shafts and will replace parts as necessary.
Subaru’s dedicated recall number for this issue is WRP-23, and it is also registered under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number 23V-754.