2008 WRX Underhood Fire Alert-Secondary Air Pump?

This is more of a public service announcement than anything but I just wanted to share a story about a customer of ours with a 2008 WRX that nearly had his car burn to the ground.

He parked his 2008 stock WRX and went into his gym to work out. A person in the gym alerted him that smoke was coming out from under his hood. He immediately went to check it and  there were flames starting to come out the hood scoop. Upon opening the hood there were flames around the secondary air pump and other items nearby. Luckily someone had an extinguisher handy and was able to stop the spread of the fire. Since we’re not trained in fire forensics, I can’t say for sure what caused the fire but from our inspection it appears that the secondary air pump (made of plastic composite) somehow caught fire and then caused subsequent items to catch fire. That’s all we know at this point. The incident has been reported to the NHTSA (safecar.gov) and we just wanted to alert other Subaru owners that  have this same secondary air pump system about what happened. It may be an isolated incident but then again we don’t know. If you have experienced the same issue, I encourage you to report it to the NHTSA.  If we hear anything further from the NHTSA we’ll update this post.


Mike Corbin
Smart Service – Your Independent Subaru Expert

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Smart Service is an independent parts and service retailer and is not associated with Subaru, Fuji Heavy Industries or Subaru of America