One lawsuit against Subaru last year led to an investigation by the automaker and finally to a recall announced late last month. The plaintiff in the suit claimed that the hood on a 2006 Tribeca SUV opened on its own while the vehicle was moving.
According to Subaru, the culprit is that a build-up of grease and rust can cause the hood lock or safety systems' springs to fail and the hood to pop open. This could, of course, cause the driver to crash. Nissan had a similar issue with some of its Altima cars that prompted a recall of 870,000 vehicles just this year.
Subaru has recalled 77,000 of the SUVs with the model years 2006 through 2014. However, the final parts needed to repair the defect aren't yet available. Therefore, at the present time, dealers will clean and inspect the systems and also test the hood latch. A replacement will be installed if the latch fails to operate properly.
When the parts needed to replace the faulty safety and lock systems become available, dealers will replace those. Those parts are expected to be ready later this year. According to a spokesman for Subaru, to its knowledge, the auto defect has not resulted in any crashes or injuries.
Fortunately, automakers are generally becoming more proactive about investigating and recalling vehicles when defects are reported by consumers. However, one issue that we've seen repeatedly is the inability for the auto manufacturers to get replacement or repair parts in a timely manner.
When this is the case, consumers should do whatever is in their power to help ensure that their vehicles are safe until they can be properly repaired. If consumers believe that interim fixes are not enough to make their vehicles safe to drive, they may want to seek the advice of a Florida attorney to determine what their options are.
Source: Automotive News, "Subaru recalls 77,000 Tribecas for hood latch defect," John Irwin, Feb. 10, 2016