Recalls can have a devastating effect on manufacturers. Wide coverage of an existing issue can create real problems with brand perception, be it Toyota’s unintended acceleration, or pretty much anything Fiat/Chrysler.
Unlike in the tech world, however, where products can hit the market with glaring issues later addressed by patches, the car world doesn’t have the same luxury. You’re not going to download a new back bumper for the Tesla Model 3 that was just delivered.
How the different brands react to a recall says a lot about their corporate approach. That’s what saw General Motors pay out a billion on a simple ignition switch that they tried their damnedest not to acknowledge.
On the other side of things, you have Volkswagen offer up close to the purchase price to those hoodwinked by their snake-oil TDIs.
What Subaru is doing, then, puts them at the forefront of good corporate ownership. When it was revealed that certain units of the Ascent have poorly-welded B-pillars, the company opted to outright replace them.
According to Consumer Reports, 293 Ascents were missing welds along the B-pillar, making them a huge safety risk. The missed welds were due to improper programming on the welding robot, who has since been assigned to Roomba duty in shame.
Now, to be fair, only 9 of the affected Ascents had been sold, so the overall outlay to replace said vehicles were manageable to the Shibuya-based company. But still, when certain manufacturers would rather gloss over issues than acknowledge them, kudos to Subaru for getting the problem rectified in the most convenient way possible.