The recall affects 2010-2014 Legacy and Outback vehicles that were manufactured between November 26, 2008 and June 7, 2013, according to J.D. Power, the automotive ratings and research organization.
Due to contamination, components within the windshield wiper motor bottom cover may interfere with each other. If an obstruction on the windshield, such as a buildup of snow or ice, prevents the wiper arms from returning to the parked position, the wiper motor may overheat and the bottom cover may melt, according to J.D. Power.
Subaru recalled 195,000 cars in September 2011 for this same issue. At that time, the company focused on assembly issues within the motor and did not think the motors would melt while the wipers were switched off. Vehicles that were repaired under the earlier recall are affected by this new recall and need to have the wiper motor bottom cover replaced again.
Subaru will notify owners of the recall, and dealers will replace the windshield wiper motor bottom cover assembly free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule, but owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783 for information.
The recall is being carried out in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA recall number is 16V694000.
Subaru said it was having difficulty determining the exact problem because many of the returned wiper motors were so badly melted. It is unclear whether the wiper motor problem has caused any vehicle fires or injuries.