Subaru has even asked customers not to park the Ascent near garages or car ports.
Subaru has been forced to recall over 270,000 examples of its Ascent SUV for an issue that could lead to a potential fire risk. Yes, even this maker of generally reliable and safe vehicles isn't immune to recalls. Last year, the Japanese brand had to undertake a massive recall affecting nearly a million models like the Impreza, Forester, and Crosstrek, and now it faces yet another recall. According to a statement issued by the automaker, the recall affects the Subaru Ascent covering the 2019 to 2022 model years.
The reason for the recall stems from a ground bolt that secures the ground terminal of the positive temperature coefficient heater. The bolt may not have been adequately fastened during production, and a loose connection may result in the melting of the ground terminal and surrounding components, potentially leading to a fire risk.
In total, Subaru is recalling 271,694 Ascent SUVs due to the imminent fire risk. Subaru has advised its customers to park their Ascent vehicles away from garages and homes and not to leave their cars unattended while idling. These warnings sound eerily similar to those issued by General Motors when it struggled to keep the Chevrolet Bolt from spontaneously combusting. Subaru has said it will replace the PTC Heater Ground Bolts and the ground wire and connector holder if necessary. The PTC heater is a backup heating system that heats the cabin until the engine is warmed up enough to take over heating duties.
Subaru claims that the issue has not caused any accidents or injuries and estimates that just 0.6 percent of the recall population has experienced this issue. Subaru will be contacting affected Ascent owners within 60 days by mail, but customers can visit the Subaru website or the relevant section on the NHTSA website to see if their vehicle is affected by entering its 17-digit vehicle identification number.
One positive is that the 2023 model, which comes packed with more electronic features than the 2022 car, has not been affected. This latest recall shows that modern vehicles' complex electronic systems can sometimes cause more headaches than they're worth. Perhaps it's time to bring back the carburetor.