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Impreza hatch/wagon - lower control arm issue re SU31)


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HI all..pleased to have found this site


2005 Impreza 2.0 - was subject of safety recall SU31 in late March 2012. Took it to nearest authorised dealer and it was "passed" as OK..i.e. no replacement of part(s) was deemed necessary.

Fast forward to late afternoon 23/12/14. Did a round trip of 24 miles on main trunk road..60 mph all the way there and back....nothing much on the road. Pull into driveway of house to park up..seconds from stopping a nasty noise from the front end...back and forth a bit..noises...didn't sound good but it was dark & raining so left it parked up until next day .

Next day reversed the car to get a better look..lower control arm in 2 pieces..rusted right through (& the attached tie-rod snapped too)..half shaft began to extract from gearbox..nice small of hypoid (leaking out). Never seen anything like it. Thank God it had not happened at 60 mph!

Have just now opened a case with Subaru support..they've been on a skeleton crew until today (or so I was told by them on Tuesday).

I've done just less than 10,000 miles since the Subaru recall test but its 33 months ago. Had 3 MOT tests in between the recall test and the latest "incident", last one in June this year. In each passed first time with no advisory re the state of the arms (i.e rust).

Scarily the car was "driving" perfectly with no symptoms of wear ..until the moment it all fell apart. Wife's Impreza was also part of same recall..also "passed"!...bit concerned about that one too..gonna be an expensive January methinks!!

Anyone care to comment...anyone had a similar experience. Are Subaru likely to do anything positive?

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Keep it polite but persistant, if no joy from your local contacts go for the regional expaling how happy you are with the Subaru product and ownership but dissappointed at the response to a potentially fatal failure etc etc


oh also - wotcha and welcome - keep us posted of progress

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thanks Jay..I have opened a case with Subaru support nationally. I bought the car privately about 3 years ago though it had a f/sh from amain dealer. Since then it's had any work done at a private Subaru specialist locally.


It'll be interesting to see how Subaru respond. I note that their logo has "confidence in motion" as part of it..indeed"!!. This is my 7th Subaru over 30 years..in the past I have always believed them to be tough cars built for purpose. I said this to Subaru. Now I am not so sure that they are as good as the old ones..I still have a 1990 and a 1993 vehicle as well as an 02 and this 05 plate on the road...must check the "wishbones" on the "oldies"..I bet they're fine!

Course now the wife is worried about driving hers (was also in the recall..also "passed"!)..so looks like I'll end up having to fit 4 new control arms not just two.

To make matters worse the garage who did the recall test is no more..sold up..now a dealership for another brand.

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  • 1 year later...

I've just had almost exactly the same thing, only fortunately an MOT inspection caught it just before it was about the break.  They declared the car unsafe to drive away though.   Had it fixed there and paid as I was unaware there was a recall.  Then when looking into the airbag recall (didn't apply to me) I found out about the recall on the government website.  So I contacted Subaru UK and they told me it was inspected in 2012 without me knowing about it and deemed ok so they are refusing to pay anything towards the repair and looks like I might have to take legal action. 


Has anybody else experienced this as I could do with proof mine wasn't just an isolated case.

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