Little local impact from Subaru recall |

Little local impact from Subaru recall

Ryan Hoffman

In Colorado, where it might seem that every other car on the road is a Subaru, a recent recall on two popular models is affecting a limited number of vehicles, including nine sold locally.

Subaru is definitely a “Colorado car of choice,” said Carroll Winkler, general manager at Glenwood Springs Subaru. With that in mind, nine vehicles sold at the dealership, which Winkler said sells seven out of 10 Subarus in the market area, have been flagged as part of the recall.

In those instances the dealership contacted the owner and performed an on-site inspection to determine whether the car was safe to drive. Winkler did not know exactly how many required a repair.

Subaru notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on May 11 of the recall on 2016 Outback and Legacy models manufactured between Feb. 29 and May 6. The recall also extends to 2017 Outback and Legacy models, which Winkler said have not even hit dealers’ lots yet, manufactured between April 18-29.

Anyone who suspects they might have an affected model can call the service desk at 888-598-4534 and run a check on the vehicle identification number.

The issue, according to the NHTSA notification, stems from an incorrect setting of a tool used in the production of the steering column, which could prevent the steering column shaft from engaging properly. That could result in loss of the ability to steer the vehicle.

Owners of potentially affected Subarus are advised not to drive until the vehicle has been inspected.

The total number of vehicles in the recall is 22,000, including approximately 1,000 in Colorado, said Michael McHale, a spokesman for Subaru of America Inc. Considering that some recalls can run in the millions, the steering-related issue amounts to a “very small recall,” he added.

Winkler credited Subaru for reacting quickly and going to great lengths to minimize any burdens on affected vehicle owners. The company has covered towing costs for vehicles and paid for temporary transportation in cases where the problem could not quickly be fixed.

“Frankly I’ve been very impressed with how Subaru handled” the recall, he said.

While the recall has understandably received a high level of attention due to safety concerns, the impact locally has been minimal, Winkler added.

Anyone who suspects they might have an affected model can call the service desk at 888-598-4534 and run a check on the vehicle identification number. If the number falls within the manufacturing time-frame associated with the recall, the dealership will assist the owner, regardless of where they purchased the vehicle, Winkler said.

Owners also can contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783 or by visiting The number for this recall is WTD-65.

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