Subaru Recalls Models to Fix Blank Backup Camera Displays Caused by Software Glitch in Audio Unit

Subaru Recalls Models to Fix Blank Backup Camera Displays Caused by Software Glitch in Audio Unit

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February 25, 2019

Subaru is recalling certain 2018 Legacy, Outback, and BRZ vehicles. A software glitch may cause the audio display to not initialize, resulting in the camera display remaining blank. If this occurs, the rearview image will not display while backing up the vehicle. In addition to these vehicles, other models have a one-time courtesy software update available to address various issues with similar audio units.

What's the problem?

Subaru began receiving reports in mid-2018 of the backup camera display remaining blank when the vehicle entered reverse and collected field parts for analysis. Subaru discovered that a software issue for vehicles with navigation systems, that have two core processors as opposed to one in units without navigation, could cause the head unit memory retrieval and assembly time to sometimes exceed the designed time to begin the boot-up cycle. If this occurs, the head unit display will not boot, causing the screen to remain blank. If this were to occur while backing the vehicle, the rearview image may not be displayed.

Affected audio unit part numbers are 86471AL67A, 86471AL68A, 86271CA680. The software was corrected for Legacy, Outback and BRZ vehicles from the beginning of 2019 model year production.

History of software problems

Subaru has been responding to software problems with Harman Kardon head units since 2017. A number of software updates have been issued to correct problems with no audio, loss of radio presets, Apple CarPlay issues, freezing, system reboots, and at least one other case of backup cameras being inoperative. Vehicles still under warranty can receive a free software update to correct various operational issues. Additionally, owners who download and install map updates from Subaru for Harman Kardon audio units with navigation will have receive the latest operating system software.

Additionally, some vehicles have a complimentary one-time program available to update the audio unit software at no charge regardless of warranty status.

What happens next?

Dealers will reprogram the audio system display software free of charge.

Owners may contact Subaru customer service at (844) 373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WTZ-85.