DETROIT Subaru of America is recalling about 200,000 Legacy and Outback sedans and wagons from model years 2005-2009 to check for corroded brake lines.
Subaru, a division of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, said the vehicles were sold in 20 "salt belt" states, mainly in the Northeast and Midwest, and most were built at its U.S. assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
An official recall notice released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that "salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the brake lines."
NHTSA said corrosion could cause brake fluid leakage, which could result in longer vehicle stopping distances, increasing the risk of a crash.
Subaru on Tuesday said "no reports, accidents, injuries or incidents of failure have occurred." It said the problem was discovered by its Japanese parent during an internal testing program.
Subaru in its NHTSA recall filing said vehicle brake lines could be perforated after exposure to salt over seven or more winter seasons.
Owners can take their cars to Subaru dealers for a free inspection. Dealers will rustproof the affected area with anti-corrosion wax and, if necessary, replace the brake lines.
(Reporting By Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)