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Subaru Shuts Factories Over a Steering Part Defect

A single power-steering part has put the brakes on Subaru’s production in two of its factories, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plants are responsible for two-thirds of the company’s global production, much of which was destined for the U.S., Subaru’s biggest market.

The shutdown was only publicly reported on Wednesday, January 23, although it had been going on since Jan. 13. Subaru said that it hadn’t previously announced the action because it didn’t know the source of the problem. The factory is expected to reopen on Monday, Jan. 28.

The problem first surfaced in late December 2018 on the Forester, Impreza, and Crosstrek models. There is no word on what the company will do for cars that were already manufactured with the defect.

Nomura Securities estimated that a complete shutdown for one week would cost $123 million in lost operating profits. The shutdown has already begun to affect deliveries to customers. Subaru already faced a sales slump in the U.S. and recalls in Japan because of inspection cheating.

Subaru isn’t the only auto manufacture facing production problems. Volvo, which is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, recalled 219,000 vehicles over a problem that could cause fuel leakage in the engine compartment. Affected are 11 different models made in 2015 and 2016. The countries most affected will be Sweden, the U.K., and Germany.

Earlier in January, Hyundai and Kia recalled 168,000 vehicles because a fuel pipe problem could cause engine fires. The issue arose from bad repair work during a previous recall.