Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S recall announced for owner manual error

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Scion FR-S

Despite only having been on sale for a few weeks, the Scion FR-S and Scion BRZ are subject to a recall. Photo Credit: Motohide Miwa/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

A recall has been announced for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, the car developed jointly by Subaru and Toyota and sold under different brands. An error was detected in the owners’ manuals for the cars which must be fixed.

Cheap and cheerful

Part of how Japanese automakers became dominant forces in the U.S., apart from iron-clad reliability and fuel economy American companies couldn’t match, was with cheap and cheerful sports cars. Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda and Subaru all have made cars that were fantastic to drive but wouldn’t break the bank in sticker price, fuel or repair costs. Cars like the Datsun and later Nissan Z series, the Toyota Supra Celica and so forth were big hits.

Today, cars like the Subaru WRX, the modern Nissan 340Z have a loyal following. Mazda has mastered the concept, as the MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-seater in existence.

That is why a lot of people were excited about the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, the joint project by Toyota and Subaru. It went on sale recently, but is going through some growing pains as the car, according to the New York Times, is already subject to a recall.

Save the manuals

The issue is not over a mechanical defect, which new owners can begin thanking their lucky stars over. Instead, the issue is with a misprint in the owner’s manual. According to Inside Line, owners won’t even have to go to the dealership to get the problem fixed.

[It isn’t always easy settling on where to buy a car online]

The defect is with a “description of the operation of the “Front Passenger Occupant Classification System,”” according to the New York Times, found in the owner’s manual. In other words, there is an inaccurate description of the front passenger airbag system, according to Inside Line, which weighs the passenger in the seat. The manual, which is written by Subaru for use in all vehicles, doesn’t differentiate fully between a child and a small woman, which is required wording by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, aside from a wording issue, there isn’t a technical problem with the car and no accidents were reported. There are 1,156 Scion FR-S and 1,886 Subaru BRZ units affected by the recall, according to the New York Times. Subaru will simply mail owners corrected manuals.

One mechanical issue may exist

There is, however, a rumor with at least one defect in the car, according to AutoGuide. A technical service bulletin was issued by Toyota to dealers who sell and/or service Scions, regarding an issue with the rear tail light. At least one owner complained in a post in the official FR-S/BRZ owners’ group website that condensation had been building up in at least one tail light. A second bulletin was also issued, alerting dealers that there may be ill-fitting body panels.

Neither are necessarily dangerous, but anyone who agrees to pay more than $25,000 for anything likely should have the expectation that it all fits properly.


Inside Line

New York Times


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