Subaru is recalling 271,694 Ascent SUVs for a potential fire risk involving electrical connections with the heater. The recall covers models from 2019 through 2022.
The specific problem is with a ground bolt that connects the ground terminal for the SUV's Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heater. This is essentially an electric-style heater used to deliver heat to the cabin before the engine warms up. Subaru says the bolt in question may have been improperly installed during assembly. This could create some electrical troubles, possibly melting the ground terminal and nearby components when the heater is in use. If things get hot enough to melt, there's naturally a risk for fire, hence the recall.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Subaru Ascent
There have been no crashes or injuries related to this issue, according to Subaru. However, there are a handful of related incidents that the automaker is aware of, including some that led to a vehicle fire. Subaru recommends 2019-2022 Ascent owners to park outside, away from other vehicles and structures until an inspection – and repairs if necessary – can be done.
Speaking of which, there is a plan in place to make these repairs happen. Subaru dealerships will inspect the PTC area and replace the ground bolt. In a small percentage of vehicles, it may also be necessary to replace the ground terminal and connector. Until the inspection is done, Subaru advises Ascent owners to immediately stop the vehicle and turn the ignition off if any smoke or burning smells in the cabin are encountered.
Gallery: 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Edition
Owner notification through the mail will occur within 60 days of this announcement. Concerned Subie owners can also input their Ascent's VIN at https://www.subaru.com/recalls.html to see if the vehicle is part of the recall.
Subaru certainly isn't the only automaker as of late to encounter problems with fires. In the last month alone, the Nissan Rogue, Ram HD pickup trucks, and numerous Ford SUVs were recalled for fire concerns. The Kia Niro Hybrid was also recalled during this period for bad relays installed as a recall for a previous relay/fire issue.
Looking for more car content? Check out the Motor1.com Star Awards in the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.