The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday that Subaru has issued a voluntary recall of over 271,000 Ascent SUVs.
Subaru initiated the recall in response to certain Ascent SUVs that the safety recall report may have an “improperly attached” ground stud for their PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heaters.
When heaters are operating with “improperly tightened” bolts, their grounding connections could be exposed to excessive heat, potentially leading to melting and an “increased risk of fire,” the report said.
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According to the NHTSA press release, two fires have been reported in connection with the issue. The automaker said there were “no known accidents or injuries resulting from this condition.”
The more than 271,000 SUVs affected by the recall are select Ascent models from 2019 through 2022, the NHTSA said.
People who own them should park outside and well clear of buildings until they’re repaired, Subaru and the NHTSA said. Owners should not leave vehicles that have not been repaired unattended, they added.
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According to the company, owners should turn the ignition “off” and refrain from driving the SUV if there is a burning smell or smoke near the dashboard or driver’s side footwell. They should also “immediately contact Subaru Roadside Assistance or the nearest Subaru dealership” for assistance, according to the safety recall report
“On all affected vehicles, Subaru dealers are replacing the PTC heater ground screws and, if necessary, the ground wire and connector retainer,” the safety recall report said. “Subaru will reimburse owners for repairs under the general plan presented in May 2022.”
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Dealers received notice of the recall by December 12, while owners are due to be notified beginning “on or about” February 6, according to the safety recall report.