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Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins recalled
Wiring harness blamed for recall of 18,000 Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sportscars
4 Aug 2016
By TUNG NGUYEN
TOYOTA Australia and Subaru Australia are recalling about 18,000 86 and BRZ sportscars for the potential loss of power steering, due to a faulty wiring harness layout in its electric power steering (EPS) system.
In Australia, 14,906 Toyota 86 and 3016 Subaru BRZ coupes – which both share the same underpinnings and are assembled at Subaru’s Gunma plant in Japan – built between April 9, 2012 and March 18, 2015 are effected, with 62 accident and injury-free incidents of power steering loss already reported.
According to Toyota Australia, the fault can arise due to “a possibility that the electric power steering harness may interfere with the instrumental panel lower cover which contains the driver’s knee airbag”, which could lead to “an electrical contact failure which may result in the loss of power steering assist”.
Under certain circumstances, a design fault could cause the steering angle sensor to wear, allowing the internal contacts to oxidise and fault the power steering circuit.
This harness design, coupled with its close proximity to the driver’s knee airbag cover – which if struck could dislodge contact with the PAS wire harness – may result in the loss of power steering.
If this were to occur, Toyota and Subaru are quick to point out that the steering of the vehicle is fail safe and remains operational albeit with increased steering effort at low speeds.
Subaru Australia notes that’s “even if the power assistance for the steering is lost, the vehicle retains manual steering capability”.
Effected 86 and BRZ models will also display an illuminated error message on the dashboard accompanied by an audible warning.
To remedy the fault, Toyota and Subaru will replace the power steering electronic control unit (ECU) and electric power steering (EPS) wiring harness, which will take approximately an hour at no cost to the owner.
However, owners will not be contacted until next month as replacement parts are being readied from Japan.
Both 86 and BRZ models are set to receive mid-life facelifts with a small boost in power later this year.
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