Electricity is a fickle beast. Send it the wrong way for just a little too long, and things can heat up to the point where fires can become a concern. As the latest Subaru recall shows, even something as seemingly simple as a poorly fastened bolt can become a major flashpoint.
Subaru has issued a recall for approximately 272,000 examples of the 2019-2022 Subaru Ascent three-row SUV. Owners who are concerned that their vehicle might be part of this recall can go to either Subaru's website or the NHTSA's and input their VIN to learn more.
This recall stems from a grounding bolt that is part of the positive temperature coefficient heater, which is a component that helps the vehicle deliver heat to the cabin before the engine is fully warmed up. This bolt may be incorrectly fastened to the vehicle, and if that's the case, the heater's grounding terminal and other nearby parts may melt, increasing the risk of a fire.
Thankfully, Subaru said in its press release that it has received no information about crashes or injuries arising from this issue. To remedy the problem, Subaru will replace the ground bolts in question and, if necessary, also replace the associated ground wire and connector holder. The automaker believes only 0.6% of recalled vehicles will need the full component replacement.
Owners covered under this recall should receive official notices in the mail within the next 60 days. In the meantime, the automaker recommends that owners not leave their vehicles idling unattended and that they park the vehicle away from garages or other structures until the recall has been completed.