Our STARLINK® telecommunication and information system enhances the consumer experience through an array of connected features. STARLINK® Safety and Security services, such as SOS Emergency Services, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery, are available for all Subaru vehicles. Complimentary subscriptions to these services are available for up to three years. In 2021 90% of Subaru vehicles sold were equipped with STARLINK®, Safety and Security, resulting in a combined 186,317 Automatic Crash Notification and SOS calls answered to help customers in need.
Proper maintenance is an important part of vehicle safety. STARLINK® enables Subaru to support customers with convenient maintenance information. If a vehicle is due for maintenance, a reminder will appear on the information display when the automobile is safely at a stop. The driver can view available appointment times at their preferred retailer and can schedule service from their in-vehicle touchscreen.
In addition to safety and maintenance, STARLINK® also provides connectivity services for downloading and streaming content, access to audio and visual data, and high-speed wireless internet access, through in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspots or other connections. Multimedia allows for safe access to entertainment, navigation, web content, smartphone mirroring (Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™), and hands-free smartphone operation through voice recognition or large touchscreen interfaces.
Subaru is one of the early adopters to install automatic emergency braking on more than 95% of its vehicles produced between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021.* In doing so, Subaru is ahead of schedule in meeting the terms of a 2015 voluntary agreement among 20 automakers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which established a 95% or higher installation rate by the production year beginning September 1, 2022.*
*According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Does not include manual transmission models. Under the terms of the voluntary commitment, automakers may defer equipping vehicles with manual transmissions with automatic emergency braking until the 2024–2025 production year.
In 2020, our Rear Seat Reminder feature was made standard on most of our vehicles – designed to assist drivers in preventing children or pets from being left behind in their vehicles through a series of notifications.* This is well ahead of the industry’s projected timeline of 2025.
All Genuine Subaru Accessories are designed and manufactured to the same strict quality and safety standards as our vehicles. They are also made to specifically meet our customers’ needs, integrating information from the voices of our customers into the design and manufacturing of each accessory we offer on our vehicles.
To ensure the highest quality of our products, we work with our suppliers to evolve toward the TS16949 quality management system and International Standards Organization (ISO) 14000 environmental standards by performing quality audits, process reviews, risk analyses, and detailed monthly warranty reviews. We also require new suppliers to be ISO 9000-certified as a minimum requirement to do business with Subaru.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra is our first zero-emissions, all-electric vehicle with an expected range of up to 228 miles on a single charge. Aside from its environmental benefits, the Solterra sport utility vehicle (SUV) is built on our e-Subaru Global Platform, our company’s most rigid vehicle platform, specifically designed for all-electric vehicles – leading to a more comfortable ride, better handling, and improved crash performance. The platform features strategic crumple zones and a reinforced structure for crash protection, as well as best-in-class 8.3 inches of ground clearance for adventurous drivers.
The Solterra is equipped with multiple features dedicated to driver safety, including:
In 2021, we launched our Wilderness edition with the Outback and Forester models to align with in customers’ passions and interests. The Wilderness edition is designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, including features for an improved off-road experience:
The 2022 Forester® is updated with the latest version of EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, which monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, manages pre-collision braking and throttle management, and warns drivers during lane departures in traffic. Subaru EyeSight® reduces the rate of rear-end crashes with injuries by up to 85%, according to the IIHS.* The updated system enhances overall performance with a wider field of view and improved control software. Additionally, Automatic Emergency Steering is now optional on Premium and standard on higher trim levels.
* Based on IIHS reporting data as of January 2017 from model year 2013–2015 Subaru models equipped with EyeSight®, through 2014. Claim is for demonstration purposes only.
The new fifth-generation WRX was launched in the fall of 2021 and includes a stiffened platform, strengthened suspension mounting points, and a lowered center of gravity. Improved body rigidity provides more responsive steering and handling, as well as heightened hazard avoidance in emergency situations. The vehicle’s crash protection is stronger compared to the previous model, equipped with seven standard airbags and a new body that absorbs more energy for crash protection.
StarTex is our high-performance, non-leather interior upholstery material. This animal-free leather alternative has been expanded for the 2022 model year to Outback Wilderness, Forester Wilderness, and Ascent Onyx Edition. The backing is made from 25% recycled PET plastic, removing plastic bottles from landfills in the process.
Our partner, ATC Drivetrain, is a world leader in remanufacturing and has been a Subaru partner for more than 28 years. Through this partnership, ATC extends the life cycle of the materials in our supply chain by remanufacturing products to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications. ATC uses a combination of new and recycled parts, including replacing every seal and gasket, and tests remanufactured end units to ensure they meet or exceed specifications. This not only lowers costs for our customers, but also reduces our environmental impact.
We developed our Mobility Assist program to better support customers who require vehicle modifications due to medically recognized physical disabilities. The program provides reimbursement assistance up to $1,000 on necessary vehicle modifications for eligible Subaru vehicles. A wide range of modifications can be implemented, from foot control steering to wheelchair lifts/ramps. In 2021, we helped 139 customers and allocated more than $131,000 under the Mobility Assist program.
In 2021, we launched TechShare™, a digitalized system that aims to enhance the standard of Quality Monitoring Reports (QMRs) at Subaru. These QMRs are an important way for Subaru to monitor our product quality. With TechShare™, technicians can develop and submit QMRs via a mobile app, enhancing efficiency. The app includes features such as automatic vehicle identification number (VIN) identification, photo and video editing, speech-to-text notetaking, and more to help technicians communicate customer concerns quickly while continuously improving Subaru vehicles.
Our dedication to quality continues throughout the entire vehicle preparation process, including during the Advanced Quality Assurance program. Before a vehicle is sent to a retailer to be lovingly delivered to a customer, we conduct rigorous audits and complete a pre-delivery inspection with over 75 items delicately checked. This attention to detail helps ensure our customers receive vehicles that meet our standards for high quality.