Subaru Corp. is recalling around 2.3 million vehicles worldwide over a brake light problem, the automaker’s biggest-ever recall, as it grapples with a series of quality-related issues following rapid expansion.
Japan’s sixth-largest automaker said Friday that it was recalling around 300,000 of its popular Impreza and Forester models in its home market and 2 million of the same models in the U.S. and other countries to fix a fault with the brake light switch, which can lead to ignition problems.
Vehicles affected were produced from 2008 through 2017, and the recall is the automaker’s biggest in terms of affected units, excluding the ongoing Takata air bag recall.
Since late 2017, Subaru has been reeling from a host of problems ranging from faulty components to inspection do-overs, coupled with weakening sales in the United States. This has forced the automaker to slash its full-year profit outlook to its weakest in six years.
Quality-related issues have cast a pall on the automaker that enjoyed years of rapid growth in the United States, where it won over affluent and liberal-minded consumers with advertisements featuring slogans championing love and inclusion.
Such branding boosted the image of Subaru, prompting it to ramp up production in the United States, which accounts for around 60 percent of its global sales volume.
But in January, Subaru halted production at its sole car factory in Japan for nearly two weeks, holding up roughly 60 percent of its global output after it found a defect in a power steering component.
Late last year, it announced a global recall of its signature boxer engines over an issue with its valve springs, while it has launched a series of domestic recalls for re-inspections after it admitted to cheating on testing processes.