Over 2,000 Subaru Outbacks and Legacy Sedans Recalled Over Bad Spot Welds

Affected owners will have the option of exchanging for a whole new car.

byChris Tsui|
Subaru News photo

Subaru is issuing a recall for precisely 2,107 Outback wagons and Legacy sedans from the 2019 model year over spot welds on "the duct below the cowl panel" that may not have been applied properly during production. As a result, the Subies may suffer from "long-term reduction of body strength" and not hold up as well as they ought to in the event of a crash, heightening the risk of injury. 

According to NHTSA's recall report, the issue stems not from a Subaru plant but from the factory of a parts supplier in Austin, Indiana. From the report:

"During the manufacturing process at the supplier's factory, the spot-welder tip is cleaned and re-shaped by a dresser (grinding machine). During production of potentially affected parts, the grinding machine may have been blocked by excess metal chips/powder, thus reducing the effectiveness of the welder."


Of the 2,107 affected cars, just 142 are Legacys while the overwhelming majority are Outbacks. Speaking to Consumer Reports, a Subaru spokesperson says the majority of the recalled cars haven't even made their way to the dealerships from the factory yet and that less than 20 are actually customer-owned.

The handful of affected Subaru owners will have the choice of either exchanging for a whole new car, having Subaru buy the defective car back, or having the bad welds repaired for free.

This isn't the first time the company has had weld issues lead to customers getting brand new replacement cars. Last summer, Subaru recalled almost 300 Ascent SUVs over spot welds in B-pillars that were missing entirely. All of those cars had to be crushed and replaced with new examples. Only nine Ascents were sold through to customers at that point.