Following a Reuters report, Subaru told Roadshow that it intends to voluntarily recall approximately 1.3 million vehicles in the United States.
This recall involves the Crosstrek, Impreza and Forester vehicles, whose model varies from 2008 to 2017. The recall depends on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), as not all the vehicle lines used to build these cars bore not the central part of the recall.
The problem comes from the brake light switch, a component located behind the brake pedal that regulates the use of brake lights at the rear of the vehicle. The use of silicone-based consumer products, such as cleaning products or lubricants, near the brake pedal can cause the product to seep into the housing of the brake light switch. If this happens, a layer of film on the switch may prevent the brake lights from turning on when the pedal is depressed.
It is important to note that if the switch is covered with a silicone film it only affects the brake lights. This does not affect the brakes themselves – pressing the pedal will stop the vehicle as intended. However, if the brake lights do not work, the risk of a rear-end collision can increase.
Subaru itself has discovered the problem. In an email, a Subaru spokesman claims to have received "only about 20 reports" of problems reported by the owners. Given the low incident rate, it is likely that few other owners have experienced this problem, but functional brake lights are somewhat needed.
The owners will be informed later by first class mail. To remedy this problem, Subaru technicians will replace the brake light switch. In the meantime, do not spray a lot of rubbish near your brake pedal.