At one point or another, almost all of us have dropped our car keys. Usually, nothing happens other than scratching up the key fob. But for some Subaru owners with vehicles equipped with an accessory remote start system, dropping the key fob could cause the vehicle to start and run for up to 15 minutes. If you're parked outside, it's nothing more than a minor inconvenience. But for vehicles parked in an enclosed space such as a garage, the vehicle starting could result in a toxic buildup of carbon monoxide gas, causing dizziness, fainting or unconsciousness.
The Problem: Legacy, Outback, Impreza and XV Crosstrek models equipped with the CVT automatic transmission and dealer-installed RES (remote engine starter) system have an especially sensitive remote that could trigger the remote start function when the accessory key fob is dropped. If the vehicle starts in an enclosed area, it could result in a buildup of toxic carbon monoxide emissions, which could result in dizziness, fainting, unconsciousness or asphyxiation.
The Fix: Subaru will notify affected owners, and replace the affected RES key fobs at no charge. The official recall campaign will begin near the end of April 2013. Concerned owners can contact Subaru at 800-782-2783, or NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.
Potential Number of Vehicles Affected: 47,419 2010-2012 Subaru Legacy and Outback models, 2012-2013 Subaru Impreza models, and 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek models equipped with the accessory RES remote start system.