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It's not unusual these days for an automaker to recall a specific vehicle(s) several years after it was discontinued, or replaced by the next generation model. Today's latest auto recall involves the previous generation 2010-2014 Subaru Legacy and Outback, specifically about 27,000 of them. According to the automaker and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, this recall is due to a defect with the electronic parking brake in vehicles with manual transmissions. And no, this has absolutely nothing to do with last week's discovery of Subaru's Japanese test engineers falsifying brake and steering system test results.
The issue at hand is a magnetic ring on the brake's internal circuit board which could potentially crack and thus stop the electronic parking brake itself from engaging.
Affected owners will probably know something is wrong because a warning light will turn on in the instrument cluster if that magnetic ring is cracked. And yes, if there is a crack on the magnetic ring the vehicles may roll on an incline, but will likely remain in place on level ground. The fix is quite simple, involving certified Subaru dealers replacing the ring with a new and stronger unit.
A total of around 8,000 Legacy sedans and 19,200 Outback crossovers are included in the recall. Owners are scheduled to receive a recall notice by mid-November, according to Subaru and the NHTSA.
Automatic transmission-equipped Legacys and Outbacks are unaffected, which is good news for Subaru because a majority of buyers opted for the slushbox. In fact, Subaru ditched the manual option for both vehicles beginning with the 2015 models. As of this writing, no injuries and/or crashes have been reported as a result of the cracked parking braking parts.
But in case you do own a 2010-2014 Subaru Legacy and/or Outback with a manual gearbox and that warning light has chimed on, then it's best to head straight to the nearest Subaru dealership, get a rental car, and not take any chances.