Subaru is recalling nearly 500,000 cars for faulty airbags that could explode and shoot metal projectiles throughout the vehicle.
The recalls apply to a number of Subaru models released between 2003 and 2014 that have Takata airbags in the front passenger seat. These can explode when deployed and send sharp metal fragments flying, which could seriously injure or kill the driver or passengers. The driver’s seat front airbag is not in danger of explosion.
The inflators could explode when the propellant that triggers the airbags degrades after many years of exposure to “high absolute humidity” — the amount of water vapor in an air sample — high temperatures and toggling between extreme heat and extreme cold, the NHTSA said.
Vehicles affected include:
2003-2006 Subaru Baja
2009-2013 Subaru Forester
2004-2011 Subaru Impreza
2003-2014 Subaru Legacy
2003-2014 Subaru Outback
2004-2014 Subaru WRX
The recall applies to those models sold or registered in all 50 states and Washington, plus Puerto Rico.
Subaru should notify all owners whose cars are affected by the recall. Local Subaru dealerships will replace all passenger airbag inflators for free with an appointment, and the repair should take about three hours.
Owners can also contact the Subaru recall team at 888-575-1382 or look up their vehicle identification number (VIN) with NHTSA to check whether their vehicle is subject to recall.