The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday that Subaru has issued a voluntary recall of more than 271,000 Ascent SUVs.
Subaru issued the recall in response to some Ascent SUVs that potentially had an “incorrectly attached” ground bolt for their positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heaters, according to the safety recall report.
When “improperly secured” bolted heaters are in operation, their ground terminals could experience excessive heat, which could lead to melting and an “increased fire risk,” the report said.
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Two fires have been reported in connection with the issue, according to the NHTSA release. The automaker said it was “not aware of any 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 far away from buildings until they are fixed, 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 put the ignition “in the ‘off’ position” and not drive the SUV if a burning smell or smoke is coming from near the dashboard or from the driver’s side footwell. They should also “immediately contact Subaru Roadside Assistance or the nearest Subaru dealer” for help, according to the safety recall report
“For all affected vehicles, Subaru dealers will replace the PTC heater ground bolts and, if necessary, replace the ground wire and connector holder,” the safety recall report states. “Subaru will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs under the master plan presented in May 2022.”
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Dealers were notified of the recall by Dec. 12, while owners are expected to be notified beginning “on or around” Feb. 6, according to the safety recall report.