Subaru recalls millions of vehicles due to perfume-induced brake light failures

subaru brake recall chemical smell 16637155816 ef519aa43e o

Subaru is issuing a major recall of more than 2.3 million SUVs, including about 1.3 million vehicles in the United States and nearly one million more in the rest of North America and Japan, the Wall Street Journal reported. The issue stems from an emissions problem that results in brake light failures, but the cause may surprise you.

While the issue is related to emissions, it’s not emissions from the car that are causing problems. Instead, the issue stems from chemical compounds emitted from common consumer products like shampoo, perfume, fabric softeners, polish, and cosmetics. Those chemicals seem to be the source of some sort of interference by creating an insulating barrier on brake light switches. That barrier causes reduced flow of electricity to the lights and renders them useless.

The recall caused by the chemical compound issue will reportedly affect the company’s Impreza, Forester, and Crosstrek models produced between the years 2008 and 2017. It’s unclear what will be required to fix the issue.

While brake lights appear to be primarily what is affected by the chemical compound, those issues can lead to bigger problems for Subaru owners. The recall warns that the faulty brake light switches could put the vehicles at risk of suffering from ignition issues. Because of that possibility, the company appears to be taking the recall quite seriously.

The recall will be the largest in the history of the Japanese automaker and comes at a time when the company is already suffering from some bad press. Last year, the company revealed that two of its factories were caught manipulating fuel efficiency data. The scheme took place between December 2012 and November 2017 and reportedly affected about 900 of the more than 6,000 cars produced by the plants.

Late in 2018, Subaru also had to issue another recall, that time over faulty valve springs. The recall affected 400,000 vehicles and required a labor-intensive process to perform the necessary fixes. And early this year, Subaru had to halt production in its Japanese factories because of a power steering issue that was affecting some models of the company’s cars. The shutdown, albeit brief, forced the company to stop operating factories that account for two-thirds of its global vehicle output.

Social Media

Instagram is crashing repeatedly for some users. Here’s the latest on the outage

Thousands of Instagram users said Tuesday that the social media app was repeatedly crashing or not opening at all, the third time in just over a month that the social network has experienced issues.

Built-in coolers, tents, and kitchenettes make these the best cars for camping

For a successful camping trip, you’ll need a tent, s’mores, and some quality humans to share them with. A good car can transform the entire experience, though, so we’re counting down 15 of the best cars for camping.

Manual vs. automatic vs. CVT: Different types of transmissions explained

From automatic to manual to CVT, there are several types of transmissions in the automotive world. In the battle of automatic versus manual, which wins? We'll help you pick the right gearbox for you.

Having issues with iOS 12? These fixes will help you get back on track

Apple's iOS 12 has a lot going for it, but it's not perfect and several issues have cropped to annoy people. Here are some of the most common iOS 12 problems we've heard about, with some advice on how to fix them or work around them.

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

Uber’s in-car shopping service now sells way more than just snacks

The Cargo Box launched in 2018 to offer Uber drivers an easy way to sell snacks and drinks to riders. The service is now expanding to include lots more items, including tech products and travel accessories.

Formula E races aren’t just exciting, they’re driving EV tech into the future

Formula E made its annual trip to the Big Apple, showing just how far the all-electric racing series has come. The cars are faster, and the racing is closer, but the tailpipe emissions are still at zero.

The last two affordable station wagons in America are about to retire

Volkswagen confirmed it will stop making the Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack by the end of 2019. Both station wagons are at the end of their life cycle, but they won't be replaced because they compete in a shrinking segment of the…

How Lexus, one of the industry’s hybrid champions, is preparing for the 2020s

Lexus predicts significant shifts will reshape the automotive industry during the 2020s. The hybrid champion is preparing to branch out into electric cars, it's investing in autonomous technology, and it wants to keep focusing on SUVs.

Cadillac’s new 2020 CT5 sedan lets you Super Cruise across America

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors-owned luxury brand still cares about sedans. Introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it's optionally available with Cadillac's Super Cruise technology and a lineup of turbocharged engines.

Toyota’s futuristic golf cart will transport people around at the 2020 Olympics

Toyota is reinventing the golf cart for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The company designed a vehicle named the Accessible People Mover that will transport visitors, athletes, and staff members from venue to venue.

Younger motorists may be banned from night driving in U.K. safety push

The U.K. is considering banning newly qualified motorists from driving at night in a bid to boost safety on its roads. Other measures could include banning passengers under a certain age from traveling with young drivers.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette arrives with supercar specs and a bargain price tag

Chevrolet completely reinvented the Corvette Stingray for the 2020 model year. While the first seven generations of the car came with a front-mounted engine, the eighth-generation model switches to a mid-engined layout.

The five key things we learned during the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s unveiling

Digital Trends attended the mid-engined, 2020 Chevrolet Corvette's unveiling in Los Angeles. Here are five important points that stood out to us after seeing the car in person, and chatting with the people who developed it.