A hundred years ago, any fault you had with your car could only really be diagnosed to one of three problems: It either had no fuel in it, hadn’t been cranked hard enough to start, or a piece had fallen off. Nowadays, unsurprisingly, cars are significantly more complex. Both literally and metaphorically, there are a lot of moving parts. They can be hacked, they can have wifi issues, and they can (apparently) have electrical faults caused by the chemical scents emanating from your nice soft clothes.
As the Australian is reporting, Japanese car manufacturer Subaru is planning to recall as many as 2.3 million cars worldwide over an issue where chemical compounds found in products like fabric softener and car polish could cause a film to form over the brake light switch, which could prevent the brake lights from coming on. While does not prevent the car from braking, it does mean that cars behind you would not be aware that you are about to slow down or stop — which, obviously, is why we have brake lights. Furthermore, the issue could also cause cars to fail to start after the switch has failed.
Models in the recall include Imprezas, Crosstreks, and Foresters, with manufacture dates ranging from 2008 through to 2017.
According to CBS, the problem has not affected a large number of vehicles at this stage, with the issue only being reported in 33 vehicles in the US. Speaking to Cars Guide, Subaru Australia said that the repairs will be conducted free of charge and should take approximately 30 minutes to undertake.
In a statement, Subaru Australia said that if your car has been affected by this issue, “a warning light will be illuminated in the Combination Meter Display,” which is presumably located somewhere on the dash.
An official recall has not yet been filed in Australia but details should be available from the ACCC website if and when it happens.