TOKYO: Subaru on Thursday (Feb 28) announced a global recall of 2.2 million SUVs, the biggest ever for the company, over a brake light glitch that could affect how the vehicle engines start.
The models affected are the 2014-2016 Model Year (MY) Forester, 2011-2014MY WRX (4-Door), 2008-2016MY Impreza and 2012-2017MY Subaru XV.
The recall affects about 3,500 vehicles in Singapore, said Motor Image Enterprises, the distributor of Subaru cars in Singapore, in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.
Asian customers also affected by the recall include those from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In Japan, Subaru is recalling 306,728 units of the Impreza and Forester cars, while the remaining 1.96 million vehicles will be recalled in North America and other regions.
"It is the biggest (recall) as far as the number goes," a Subaru spokesman told AFP.
No accident has been reported in connection with the problem.
The company said that silicone gas from certain consumer products, including cleaning items, could seep through the housing of the brake light switch, interfering with the lights turning on properly and also engine ignition.
"If the defect occurs, the brake lights will not light up and may cause other road users to be unaware of the driver’s intention to stop the vehicle. This could increase the risk of accidental collisions," Motor Image told Channel NewsAsia.
Motor Image said it will notify its customers in the region about the recall and replace the brake light switch and related parts, free of charge.
"Motor Image is committed to the highest safety standards and quality driving experience for all our customers," it said. "Motor Image is in constant contact with Subaru Corporation for any further updates and will notify affected customers accordingly."
Subaru, which filed a document with the transport ministry, did not disclose the cost of the recall, but the Nikkei newspaper said the company expects it to be around ¥10 billion (US$90 million).
Subaru's reputation, built partly on it touting the safety of its vehicles, has been dented by various scandals in recent years.
It had to admit to a mileage-data cheating scandal as well as acknowledging it allowed factory staff without proper authorisation to conduct final inspections on some vehicles.