Subaru recalling nearly 500,000 cars for replacement airbag inflators

Subaru will recall 497,922 cars to replace airbag inflators that were previously swapped in for other faulty airbag inflators as part of one of the largest recalls in automotive history.

The recall covers many models sold by Subaru from 2003 to 2014, including the 2003-2006 Baja, 2009-2013 Forester, 2004-2011 Impreza, 2003-2014 Legacy, 2003-2014 Outback, 2004-2014 WRX, and 2005-2006 Saab 9-2X.

Faulty airbag inflators installed in millions of cars could potentially explode and over-inflate, spraying shrapnel into passengers. The airbags, which were made by the bankrupt supplier Takata, have been linked to 16 deaths and more than 250 injuries across the U.S.

The latest recall covers Subaru cars and crossovers that may have received replacement airbag inflators previously, as part of a “like for like” temporary fix. Subaru will replace those airbags now with inflators that don’t contain any hazardous propellant.

Subaru has separated their recalls by specific regions, based on climate. Federal regulators identified hot and humid areas as potentially more susceptible to inflator degradation and malfunction.

In documents filed with federal regulators, owners will be notified this month and to bring their cars in for free repairs. The schedule to notify owners is as follows:

Jan. 7: Model years 2003-2004
Jan. 16: Model year 2005
Jan. 23: Model years 2006-2007
Jan. 30: Model year 2008
Feb. 6: Model year 2009
Feb. 13: Model year 2010
Feb. 20: Model year 2011
Feb. 27: Model year 2012-2014

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