Subarus are often bought by people who love the great outdoors, which is just as well, because that’s exactly where you might want to park your Ascent SUV right now. The automaker is warning owners of 2019-22 SUVs not to park in a garage or car port in case the car catches fire.
More than 287,000 Ascents globally, including 271,694 in the U.S., are being recalled over the wiring on the car’s positive temperature coefficient, or PTC, heater. Subaru believes the earth wire in some cars might have been incorrectly fastened, which could lead to the terminals melting and might potentially set the vehicle on fire, though no one has been injured so far.
Subaru says Ascent owners will be contacted by mail within 60 days, and while they wait for their car to be checked and fixed are being told not to park in or near structures, or to leave the vehicle unattended when the engine is running. It also advises any owner who gets A-scent of burning (come on, these recall stories are as dry as a brush-fire-in-waiting, so indulge me) or sees smoke coming from the dash or footwell to immediately stop the vehicle and switch it off.
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If your Subaru SUV manages not to spontaneously combust in the next couple of months your Subaru dealer will replace the PCT heater ground bolts, and also renew the ground wire and connector if necessary, though the automaker suggests only 0.6 percent will need the second fix.
The repair will, of course, be free of charge, but if you’re self-employed and have to miss work, unplanned visits to your dealer can still end up costing you money in real terms. And they’re inconvenient for everyone, regardless of employment status. But since Consumer Reports this year rated the Ascent one of the 10 least reliable vehicles in the U.S. there’s a chance you were going to be heading down to the dealership anyway. Every cloud, and all that (just as long as it is a cloud, and not smoke).