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I have the notice of recall. I can only remember one time where the vehicle made kind of a shuddering sound as it started off, after I went from Reverse to Drive. I don't recall it happening again. Is there any cause for concern?
 

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I have the notice of recall. I can only remember one time where the vehicle made kind of a shuddering sound as it started off, after I went from Reverse to Drive. I don't recall it happening again. Is there any cause for concern?
Not really. Actual problems are only in a relatively few vehicles affected by the recall which is primarily an inspection and reprogramming exercise unless damage is observed in the inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #424 · (Edited)
Dropped by the dealer for an oil change earlier this week - service manager told me they don't expect to have the tools to perform this recall work until June or July.

Getting nervous as 1) my factory warranty is up at the end of this month and 2) have a long distance trip planned at the end of May. To the best of my knowledge, have not experienced any slippage symptoms, but this is not my daily driver. The vehicle has very few miles given its age (12k in 3yrs). Should I be concerned about taking this trip?
Your factory warranty is absolutely not up at the end of the month, unless you're talking by mileage, so, don't worry over that. Powertrain warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles. And, as said by others, earlier, you're covered, regardless of warranty - all recalls are free, regardless of warranty.

If you haven't had any problems, I personally wouldn't be worried - and I off road every month still.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if Subaru does a 10yr/100k warranty update on all years of Ascent at some point. I know the "chirp" isn't a sign of anything wrong. But damn it's annoying and a bit embarrassing when it chirps. I have been reserving more judgement until warmed up. But even the last few days where it's been in the mid 70's and the initial idle is above 1200rpm it still chirps. Something else that annoys me is that it still has that power steering pump type whine, even when warmed up.

I know there is always going to be quirks with any vehicle. But we have less 17k on our 2021 and these noises just doesn't inspire long term confidence and I'm surprised Subaru lets this go. Those noises from the transmission are just not the level of refinement I expect out of Subaru or a $48k vehicle. @Robert.Mauro, I know you have gone over this subject endlessly and have even addressed my own concerns in other replies which I greatly appreciate. Also I know your vehicle and others that use them a lot harder than most of us is a testament to how much abuse these transmissions can handle. But every other company tries to mitigate these noises and generally does pretty well, I just don't know how Subaru thought their customers would be ok with chirps and whines. We do still love the car overall and plan on keeping it for a long time. After all we have the 10yr/100k Subaru extended warranty which eases my mind, but I don't want to be bringing a car to the dealer often if it turns out to progress in the future.

I do agree with @Chuckd53. It does seem like a huge oversight in the overall vehicle dynamics. Especially for long term customer satisfaction as these noises were not present when we purchased it in late 2020 or all through the first winter and summer. I think all the transmission quirks (noises and behavior) bothers me more than most since I have been a dealership technician and I am very in-tune to vehicle driveablitly concerns as that was one of my specialties, especially noises. So that makes me more sensitive to these kinds of things than the average person. I'm always listening and feeling for things out of the norm. It's something I simply can't turn off, it's just built into me.

Has anyone else seen if this is also experienced in the Outback XT/Wilderness crowds or is it mainly the Ascents.
 
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Discussion Starter · #426 ·
Something else that annoys me is that it still has that power steering pump type whine, even when warmed up.
I seriously doubt that will change either. The CVT chain was literally mathematically designed to make that sound, because it was the most pleasing of the possible sounds it could make. 13+ years later, they're not revisiting it.

We literally have the highest torque CVT available, anywhere, so, that chain and the other relevant mechanisms (and their unique sounds) comes part and parcel with it.

I actually like its noises, but that's just me.
 

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Something else that annoys me is that it still has that power steering pump type whine, even when warmed up.
We've got electric power steering, so no pump. I'm not saying it wouldn't whine though... I had an old hydraulic steering car before that would make groaning noises. :p
 

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We've got electric power steering, so no pump. I'm not saying it wouldn't whine though... I had an old hydraulic steering car before that would make groaning noises. :p
I believe he was comparing the cvt whine to an old-school power steering pump whine. Maybe those of us who’ve experienced an actual power steering pump whine are scarred for life 😂
It’s the nature of a hydraulic pump 🤷‍♂️
 

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I believe he was comparing the cvt whine to an old-school power steering pump whine. Maybe those of us who’ve experienced an actual power steering pump whine are scarred for life 😂
It’s the nature of a hydraulic pump 🤷‍♂️
Studebakers with the Borg Warner auto trans quack like a duck when the fluid is low. I'll put up with the whine rather than have bystanders search for mallards when I put the car in Drive...lol
 

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I believe he was comparing the cvt whine to an old-school power steering pump whine. Maybe those of us who’ve experienced an actual power steering pump whine are scarred for life 😂
It’s the nature of a hydraulic pump 🤷‍♂️
Ah yes. I missed that they said power steering pump type whine. My mistake.
 

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I seem to have the symptoms in spades, and have the initial "waiting" letter from Subaru. I'm not too worried about it breaking, because then I won't be waiting anymore, but wonder if anyone has floated the idea about compensation for the horrible gas mileage that appears to accompany this issue?
 

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Robert. Any idea when parts and repairs will be available for this recall. My car is getting so bad we do t drive it anymore. Thanks, NTD
Your factory warranty is absolutely not up at the end of the month, unless you're talking by mileage, so, don't worry over that. Powertrain warranty is 5 years/60,000 miles. And, as said by others, earlier, you're covered, regardless of warranty - all recalls are free, regardless of warranty.

If you haven't had any problems, I personally wouldn't be worried - and I off road every month still.
[
 

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Discussion Starter · #435 ·

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Going up hills it shutters badly and bangs.
PS Call the dealer first, they may want to flatbed tow it if it is as bad as you describe. If you try to drive it, it could fail completely at an inopportune time/place. Please keep us posted and good luck, I'm confident they will make it right.
.
 

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Robert. Any idea when parts and repairs will be available for this recall. My car is getting so bad we do t drive it anymore. Thanks, NTD

[
My dealership has yet to get any of the special tools and training. If you are having severe symptoms, I would bring it in and they will probably replace the CVT. It depends on the severity and safety. If you are under the original warranty, there is no requirement for you to wait.
 

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RECALL: WRK21 / NHTSA Campaign 21V955000 - Ascent CVT Chain Slip/Chain Guide Breakage
  • Type: Safety
  • Safety Recall: WRK21
  • NHTSA Campaign: 21V955000
  • Date: December 9, 2021
  • Title: Ascent CVT Chain Slip/Chain Guide Breakage
  • Remedy: Open - remedy not yet available

RECALL DOCUMENT FILES:
To retailers:


To NHTSA:

Vehicle Specifics (aka: "Part 573 Safety Recall Report"):
Canadian Owners:

NOTE 01:
The NHTSA Summary was poorly written by NHTSA and confusingly describes the situation. By "improperly secured chain" they mean that the programming doesn't properly set/maintain chain clamping pressure.

NOTE 02:
All
Subaru Ascents that had the previous CVT programming/chain slip recall completed are a part of this recall.

Description
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is initiating a new safety and emissions Recall for certain 2019 - 2020 model year Ascent vehicles, 2020 model year turbo Legacy vehicles, and 2020 model year turbo Outback vehicles in which the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) chain may slip and/or break.

Safety Risk
Due to an improper program, the CVT chain may slip, resulting in breakage of the chain guide. If the chain guide breaks, fragments of the guide could inhibit the shift select mechanism. If the vehicle continues operation with the drive chain slipping, over time the CVT drive chain could break.

Remedy
For all potentially affected vehicles, Subaru dealers will reprogram the TCU. The historical TCU data will be analyzed for chain slip characteristics and the chain guide will be visually inspected. If vehicles are confirmed to be experiencing drive chain slip or if the chain guide is damaged, the transmission assembly will be replaced. For each potentially affected vehicle, all remedy repairs necessary will be completed at no cost to the customer.

Notifications
As required by Federal Regulations, everyone will get physical old-school mail notifications from Subaru of America, within the NHTSA required notification period - and then receive app and head unit notifications.

If you don't feel like waiting to find out, you can check online on Subaru's website.

WAIT:
The remedy is supposed to be available April 2022. As I'd said earlier, my expectation was that Subaru needs the time to release the final programming and get enough of the test tools to all dealerships. That's confirmed in their letter to NHTSA.

Cause Information:
Due to an improper program, if the shift select was moved to drive or reverse (D or R) immediately after the engine was started, the independent secondary pressure control program may allow the forward/reverse clutch (“F/R clutch”) to begin engagement before enough secondary clamping pressure has been applied to the drive chain.
Short version: instead of surge filling the pulleys and then engaging the forward/reverse clutch, it engaged the clutch that sends power through the variators to wheels early.

CHECK YOURS HERE:

CarFax, KBB and the other sites are NOT fully accurate. The only accurate places are Subaru Recall page (link above), Subaru app (once physical notifications are sent), and NHTSA.

More details to follow soon...

Incidentally...
Mine is one of the affected cars, and I will likely be getting a new CVT.

THERE ARE ONLY THREE CATEGORIES...
@E-EC-ECU perfectly describes the three categories those of us with 2019 and 2020 Ascents fall into

(2021+ Ascent owners have the new programming, and this doesn't apply)

Here's what he wrote, below:

There are three categories of people when it regards to your Ascent and this recall. Just three!
1.) Your car is exhibiting the same behavior advertised in the recall for a slipping CVT chain and/or the guide has been impacted and/or broken off. Or, your transmission is a complete mess and your car is "undriveable".

  • For these folks ... take your car in to the dealership to get inspected and fixed. If it is actively slipping the CVT chain and the transmission is not performing correctly, Subaru will replace the CVT.
    • Yes, you will get a new CVT WITH the new programming as it has already been made available (thanks @Robert.Mauro). If it is a completely separate issue and is still undriveable ... they will fix that too (just like they have been doing for 3 years now).
2.) (My situation) Your car exhibits some "weird" behavior from time to time (rpm instability, shuddering, "searching for gears"), and you think, "heck this might fix all of that".

  • For this set of people ... keep driving your car and take it in when the recall is made available to you.
    • BUT ... If this group ever finds themselves in a situation where their CVT fails and they are now a member of Group 1 (above) ... TAKE IT IN. They aren't going to wait for this recall to fix your car if your CVT is shot. The recall is about inspection subsequent repair if diagnosed. It does not delay any repairs for a known issue.
3.) (These folks I truly feel sorry for) Your car exhibits ZERO indications from this recall, and you are trying to sell it.

  • Not much I can say about this group because the used car market is so high right now, and to NOT be able to sell a car based on a recall that can't be fixed yet is unfortunate .. to say the least. I feel for this group.
The main thing to remember is that this recall is to inspect and diagnose all the potential vehicles impacted by this particular set of circumstances. Hence the tools and equipment being manufactured and delivered to simply make this inspection. If you won't drive your car because of the faulty transmission with a thrown guide arm and other major problems, this recall is completely secondary to your current situation. The recall is simply to inspect the transmissions of applicable cars and proactively replace any CVT that shows indicators.
Basically, if your transmission is a major problem right now, go get it fixed. They aren't going to reference this recall when trying to delay any fix. This recall isn't about the actual transmission repair (CVT replacement), rather it's the inspection and analysis to make sure they catch all transmissions that are exhibiting the behavior. Then, applying the actual repair.
I haven’t seen any issues with mine; although my 2019 VIN is included in the recall and I just purchased it. Remedy still not available, and I’ve driven it a lot.. question is: if I have a long trip coming up with my 2 year old daughter, should I abstain from driving?
 

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should I abstain from driving?
Asked and answered many times...no, you do not need to refrain from driving unless you have clear indication that your vehicle has slipping and if so, it needs to be addressed immediately. This recall is for inspection and software primarily for the majority of VINs that it applies to. Only a small percentage of VINs have actual damaged caused by the software issue.
 

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I haven’t seen any issues with mine; although my 2019 VIN is included in the recall and I just purchased it. Remedy still not available, and I’ve driven it a lot.. question is: if I have a long trip coming up with my 2 year old daughter, should I abstain from driving?
remedy has been fully developed, just not distributed to dealers yet.
 
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