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Subaru Subwoofers Spark Sudden Scorching

Illustration for article titled Subaru Subwoofers Spark Sudden Scorching

If you own a Subaru WRX or WRX STI, I have no idea why you would be listening to anything other than the engine’s delightful burble. But if you checked the box for the optional factory-installed subwoofer in the trunk, Subaru is recalling your car due to subwoofer sparking, overheating and, potentially, fire.


Approximately 9,000 model year 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STIs are estimated to be defective, according to NHTSA’s recall report. The defect is described as:

The subject vehicles are equipped with a factory installed subwoofer, which is located inside the trunk. Luggage in the trunk could contact subwoofer wire and move the wire out of its fixed position. If the wire touches the metal frame of the subwoofer, this may result in an intermittent short, causing the integrated circuit (IC) in the subwoofer amplifier to be damaged. In some case, the damaged IC may create a continuous electrical current into the subwoofer. If this occurs, the subwoofer could overheat, increasing the risk of a fire.

Crackling noise occurs when intermittent short occurs. Turning off the audio system prevent this defect from occurring.


It’s unclear if there were any injuries related to this recall, but the fix seems simple: owners just bring their cars into the dealer, who will then install a wire retainer clip or replace the subwoofer for free.

And then everyone can go back on their merry burbling and vaping ways.

(h/t to Will for the recall and the damn fine headline)

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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Shivering Volvo Fox

Since stereos are rarely manufactured in-house, and outsourced, would it be fair to say that this is the fault of the sub-contractor?