— Mitsubishi is recalling nearly 159,000 model year 2011-2016 Outlander Sports because the windshield wipers can take a holiday when you need them the most.
The automaker says water can enter between the hoods and windshields and cause the front wiper link ball joints to corrode. The corrosion can cause the wiper links to separate from the wipers, making them useless for removing rain and other materials from the windshield.
The trouble goes back to March 2010 when Mitsubishi received a complaint from Japan regarding Outlander wipers that failed. The Outlanders share the same windshield wiper link ball joints with the Outlander Sports.
The automaker opened an internal investigation and confirmed the wiper link ball joint had corroded, but Mitsubishi could not find the cause of the problem.
From March 2010 to September 2015, the automaker monitored the field worldwide continuously and could only identify 10 additional cases on the Outlanders.
Then in February 2015, Mitsubishi received its first complaint from Japan on an Outlander Sport regarding non-operation of the wipers that was caused by the corroded ball joint. But even after this, Mitsubishi believed the few incidents were caused by water entering when the vehicles were being high-pressure washed.
From October 2015 to September 2016, engineers determined that aging and deterioration of the front deck garnish could result in water entering the rubber boot causing the wiper link ball joint to corrode over time.
Mitsubishi decided to previously order a recall for Outlanders but not for Outlander Sports, and although the wiper failure rates are much lower for the Sport models, the automaker decided to conduct the recall after discussions with federal safety regulators.
The recall is expected to begin April 10, 2018, when owners will be contacted to have dealers replace the rods of the wiper links with countermeasure units with waterproof pads. The wiper motor crank arms will also be replaced with new ones.
Outlander Sport owners with questions should call Mitsubishi at 888-648-7820 and use recall number SR-18-004.