Subaru has recalled the 2019-2022 Ascent three-row SUV for a faulty secondary heater that could catch fire, the automaker announced Friday.
The recall encompasses 271,694 Subaru Ascents in the U.S. Subaru reported 11 known domestic cases, with two vehicles catching fire out of the overall recall population.
The issue centers on a faulty ground bolt for the positive temperature coefficient heater, which is usually a secondary heating element beyond the core heater. In the case of the Ascent, it’s located near the driver’s side footwell. The ground terminal could melt, and cause surrounding components to melt, thereby increasing the risk of fire when the heater is in use.
Subaru recommends owners park the Ascent outside and away from garages and other structures, and not leave the vehicle running unattended. An owner may notice or smell smoke coming from the lower part of the driver’s side dash. If that happens, drivers are instructed to stop the car and turn the engine off, and call Subaru’s roadside assistance service or the nearest Subaru dealer.
Subaru will replace the ground bolts, as well as the ground wire and connector holder if need be, at no charge to owners. Subaru estimates 0.6% of vehicles will need a ground and connector replacement. Owners will receive notification by mail of the recall, and can visit Subaru’s recall page for more info.