Subaru recalls vehicles due to fire risk

On behalf of Rawson, Merrigan, & Litner, LLP Posted in Product Liability on 01/16/13

Massachusetts residents rely upon their vehicles every day to get them wherever they need to go. Because vehicles consist of many parts, there is always the possibility of defects or errors in manufacturing, including some that could cause an accident or injury. If that happens, the consumer might consider filing a product liability lawsuit.

Subaru is the latest car manufacturer to issue a product recall for a number of the vehicles in its line. The problem that led to the recall stems from the puddle lights underneath vehicle doors. According to the company, if moisture gets into the lights, they can short circuit. That short circuit can lead to melted plastic or even a fire starting. However, the company claims there have been no reports of accidents or fires yet. It discovered the problem after receiving complaints about smoke coming from the lights.

Among the vehicles included in the recall are 2010 and 2011 Outback and Legacy models, as well as Tribecas from 2006 to 2012 and Foresters from 2009 to 2012. According to Subaru, only about 54,000 vehicles will need to be repaired for the defect, although they are including about 634,000 vehicles in the recall. Subaru will begin the recall in February, at which time they will install an additional fuse for free.

Massachusetts residents should have a reasonable expectation that vehicles they purchase are free from automobile design defects. As the safe operation of a motor vehicle is dependent on many parts working together, even one defective auto part can cause an accident that may result in serious injury. If a consumer injury occurs as a result of any defective product, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. It is important for those affected to know their legal rights in such instances.

Source: Associated Press, “Subaru Recalls Nearly 634,000 Cars And SUVs For Fire Risk,” Jan. 3, 2013