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Car Recall

Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Recalled over Owner's Manual Error

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2013 Subaru BRZ

author photo by Jeffrey Archer
  • The recall affects some 3,000 vehicles
  • Unclear wording in the owner's manuals is to blame
  • Scion and Subaru will mail a new manual to owners of affected vehicles

The highly anticipated Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S have been on sale for only a few weeks, and already the sports car duo is the subject of a recall. But in this case, the issue isn't mechanical-and it's unlikely to cause any injuries. The recall relates to a wording error in the new vehicles' owner's manuals.

According to Scion and Subaru, the recall affects 1,156 Scion FR-S models and 1,886 units of the Subaru BRZ. The error in the owner's manual relates to the federally mandated description of the airbag system, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes as "unclear." NHTSA says the inaccurate wording could lead to an increased risk of injury in a crash involving airbag deployment.

Scion and Subaru announced that the recall will begin later this month. Both automakers will mail recall notices to owners of affected FR-S and BRZ models, which will be followed up shortly thereafter by the arrival of a new owner's manual with corrected airbag text. Despite the seemingly unimportant nature of the recall, concerned owners can check in with Scion at 866-707-2466 or Subaru at 800-782-2783. Owners can also call NHTSA's recall hotline at 888-327-4236.

The BRZ and FR-S went on sale this spring after months of excitement from automotive journalists and enthusiasts. Manufactured by Subaru, both coupes offer a high-revving 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that produces 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Their sporty appearance is nearly identical, but the BRZ and FR-S are distinguished on the market by varying levels of pricing and equipment.

While many car owners think of recalls as major safety-related defects with potentially catastrophic consequences, a large number of automotive recalls stem from incorrect labeling. In April, Nissan recalled nearly 30,000 units of its full-size Armada SUV and Titan pickup for a label misprint, while a similar error forced Toyota to recall more than 200,000 Sienna minivans late last year.

What it means to you: If you own an early BRZ or FR-S, be on the lookout for a recall notice-and a new owner's manual.

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Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Recalled over Owner's Manual Error