Rusted Brake Lines Recall

Subaru is recalling 660,000 cars with brake lines that can rust out due to road salt. The recall only affects Subarus sold in cold-weather states … so basically all of them. This isn’t Subaru’s first brake line rusting rodeo, either. Full details can be found on our site, but here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.

The “road salt” problem: It’s no surprise that road salt is corrosive, its job, after-all, is to eat through surface ice. We use a lot of the stuff here in Vermont during the long winters. In fact, I’m pretty sure Vermonters are made up of at least 3% road salt (the other 97% is a combination of maple syrup and Ben & Jerrys). And while the chemistry of road salt is pretty awesome, it’s a lot less awesome when you realize it’s not just eating away at ice – it’s also feasting on your door panels, undercarriage and brake lines.

Once brake lines corrode, brake fluid pours out and that whole “being able to stop your car” feature disappears.

The vehicles affected: The recall covers 660,000 vehicles including the 2005-2009 Outback, 2005-2009 Legacy, 2008-2011 Impreza, 2008-2014 Impreza WRX/STI, and 2009-2013 Forester. It’s important to note:

  • Only cars originally or currently registered in “salt belt states” (see below) are affected.
  • Any car previously recalled for similar issues will need to be repaired again.

The “salt belt” states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia

What to Do Next: Subaru hasn’t announced when the recall will begin, but when it does dealers will check the brake lines for any fluid leaks and apply rustproofing or anti-corrosion wax if necessary.

Concerned owners can contact Subaru at 800-782-2783 and refer to recall number WQK-47