Mitsubishi says 76,508 Outlander Sports from the 2019 to 2022 model years need to return to dealers for updated software, according to a recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some code released for the electronic control unit managing the continuously variable transmission can suffer a fault if the unit loses power temporarily. In such instances, when power is restored, the software can command the CVT to reset to the lowest ‘gear’ possible. If this occurs at high speeds, the engine over-revs, and a piston can come into contact with an exhaust valve which then causes the engine to stall. It also kiboshes the engine. This is a bad possibility anywhere, but especially on the highway. It took Mitsubishi engineers about two years to figure out the problem, during which the company has dealt with 50 reports and warranty claims, but says it knows of no injuries or accidents due to the problem.
The only Outlander Sports involved in the recall are those with a CVT that need a mechanical key to be started, built from July 31, 2018 to and May 11, 2022. Models with the manual gearbox or push-button start aren’t affected. For now, the 2011 to 2018 Outlander Sport isn’t included, the software change said to coincide with the 2019 model year. Dealers will install new software that decides on the proper CVT target ratio after a transmission control unit reset.
The automaker said it will begin notifying owners by mail on August 24. Those with questions can call Mitsubishi Motors North America customer service at 888-648-7820 and cite recall number SR-22-004. They can also get in touch with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 and refer to campaign number 22V563.