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NHTSA Orders Subaru to Recall its Defective Impreza Headlights

August 29, 2022

According to an online news report published on, Subaru was urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration not to recall its defective Impreza headlights.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined Subaru's request and now the company must replace headlight assemblies in more than 190,000 hatchbacks and sedans built in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Subaru will replace the two front headlight assemblies in Impreza sedans and hatchbacks sold from 2016 to 2019. The issue could be problematic due to supply chains.

This situation began back in the summer of 2019 when an NHTSA investigation decided that the vehicle's left front halogen assembly was not properly lighting the road and posed a glare hazard for oncoming motorists.

Subaru tried to fix the issue by substituting mold inserts for the left-hand low-beam reflectors. Months later, NHTSA discovered that the side reflex reflectors were defective when causing the left low beam reflectors to fail. The department's Safety Recall Report states that while the headlights were being manufactured, a side reflex reflector part fell into the mold causing damage to the mold and causing the side reflex reflectors to have reduced reflective performance. 

Subaru will now have to tear out and replace the halogen assemblies in nearly 190,000 halogen-equipped Imprezas. However, the NHTSA states that Subaru initially tried to avoid a recall, sending the NHTSA a Petition of Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance, which stated that the company did not feel the problem was severe enough to merit a recall. 

Headlights are extremely important. Car manufacturers should not try to ignore lighting complaints. Fortunately, the NHTSA pushed Subaru to initiate the safety recall. Subaru will notify affected owners before mid-October. You can check your vehicle's recall status now by visiting the NHTSA's VIN search tool

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Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.