Range anxiety isn't just for EVs.
Range anxiety is a major issue for EV drivers and the automakers that produce them. Subaru isn't among them, but some of its drivers may experience what it's like in the Japanese automaker's conventional vehicles all the same.
Subaru has announced the recall of more than a quarter-million of its vehicles due to a software glitch that could fail to warn drivers when the fuel tank's running empty. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “the low fuel warning light may not illuminate,” and to make matters worse, “the miles-to-empty display may incorrectly” display the amount of fuel left in the tank.
The problem is estimated to affect 228,648 examples of the 2018 Legacy sedan and Outback wagon in the United States – specifically those made between February 1, 2017, and August 17 of this year. The fix will be as simple (for dealers and owners) as reflashing the vehicle's software, but since “the reprogramming tools needed to perform this repair are not yet available,” a timeframe for enacting the recall has yet to be identified.
The Outback alone stands as Subaru's most successful model in America, accounting for 188,886 of the total 647,956 vehicles it sold here last year.
The Legacy (on which the Outback is closely based) ranks much farther down the company's sales charts, accounting for 49,837 units last year – behind the Forester, Crosstrek, and Impreza, but ahead of the WRX and BRZ. The combined total of the the Legacy and Outback sales from 2017 come to just over the number of vehicles being recalled. So unless you bought your Legacy or Outback early in the year, you should expect to get a letter in the mail notifying you to bring yours in to your local dealership once the equipment arrives.