Subaru Is Blaming a Single Factory Worker for Its Latest Recall

Recalls happen from time to time, especially in the automotive industry. So it wasn’t totally unusual for Subaru to announce a recall for a certain number of the 2021 Subaru Outback and 2021 Subaru Impreza models in the United States. Unfortunately, what is unusual about this recall is who’s being blamed for it. Because, according to Subaru, it all comes down to a single employee.

2021 Subaru Outback in the wilderness
2021 Subaru Outback | Subaru

The latest Subaru recall comes down to improper torque wrench technique

Now, as we said, recalls do happen from time to time. But this time around? This particular Subaru recall involves an improperly tightened nut. Fortunately, it only impacts a select number of 2021 Subaru Outback and 2021 Subaru Impreza models. But, calling it an improperly tightened nut is simplifying things just a tad.

According to CarScoops, this latest Subaru recall comes down to the vehicles’ continuously variable transmission (CVT) select lever cable nut. CarScoops reports that this particular nut was not properly tightened during the manufacturing process. And, unfortunately, that incorrect tightening can be attributed to a single factory worker who used “an improper torque wrench technique.” Now, Subaru says that this employee had been trained for the job, so the jury’s out on what exactly happened. But all in all? Subaru says this employee’s “improper torque wrench technique” could result in the cars’ gear selector not functioning properly.

The NHTSA provided further information about the recall, adding that, “A single associate assigned to a specific production line working between the production dates specified (12/14/2020 – 12/21/2020) was found to be using an improper torque wrench technique. All vehicles potentially affected by this associate are included in the identified population.”

2021 Subaru Impreza in the rain
2021 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

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How many Subaru models are included in this recall

The good news is that this employee’s poor technique didn’t impact all that many vehicles. According to the NHTSA, the recall only includes certain 2021 Subaru Outback and 2021 Subaru Impreza vehicles, all of which were built between 12/14/2020 and 12/21/2020. The total number of potentially affected models? The NHTSA reports that number amounts to 314 Subaru Outback models and 69 Subaru Impreza models.

Another bit of good news? Subaru reports that it’s not currently aware of any reports of accidents or injuries related to this improperly tightened nut. But, even still, out of an abundance of caution, the automaker has decided to conduct a recall for the potentially affected vehicles. Definitely not a bad idea, I’d say.

The 2021 Subaru Impreza driving
2021 Subaru Impreza | Subaru

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What next steps for owners will look like

Now, if you’ve recently purchased a 2021 Subaru Outback or a 2021 Subaru Impreza, you’re going to want to double-check whether or not your vehicle is part of this recall. Because, according to this bulletin, “If the CVT select lever cable nut was not properly torqued and loses retention, the gear select may not function properly. If the gear select does not function properly, there is an increased risk of a crash.”

Fortunately, Subaru will be notifying unlucky owners beginning February 19, 2021. At that time, owners can then head to their local Subaru dealership to have them check the torque of their Subaru’s CVT select lever cable nut, and if necessary, apply the proper torque. And because of the recall, that will come at no charge to the customer, says Subaru.