Missing Lube Hole Prompts Recall


Subaru will recall 809 model year 2010 and 2011 cars starting Aug. 6 because of a crucial missing lubrication hole within the vehicles six-speed manual transmissions.

As a result, certain gears within the transmission could eventually break due to a lack of lubrication, the auto maker stated in its July 19 recall letter to Subaru dealers. This recall will involve modifying the transmission transfer case by opening the oil lubrication passage at the originally intended location. Additionally, affected vehicles with 6,250 or more miles will require replacement of the main shaft and third through sixth gear set. The recall repairs will be free.

The affected Legacy and Outback model vehicles were built between April 28, 2010, and June 23, 2010. In its July 15 letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Subaru noted workers at its transmission supplier discovered June 23 that the lubrication hole within the 6-speed manual transmission transfer case had not been drilled due to a programming error.

When milling at one area of the transfer case was discontinued in the processing program, processing of the lubrication hole was erroneously eliminated at the same time, the company explained. To correct production vehicles, manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries in Tokyo, Japan, added a processing program on June 24 to include the oil lubrication hole in the transfer case.

The recall letter further detailed the potential safety risk associated with the missing lubrication hole, and emphasized the importance of lubrication. If the transmission gears are not properly lubricated, a groaning sound will begin to develop, alerting the driver of a problem, the letter continued. If the sound is ignored, and no action is taken, the gears will eventually break and there will be no transfer of engine power to the wheels. This condition will lead to vehicle power loss, which might result in a crash.

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