CHICAGO --  Subaru will recall around 200,000 US vehicles to fix a defect which could lead to corrosion of the brake lines, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.

The defect was discovered when Subaru was testing the impact of rust in vehicles being driven in states where salt is used to keep roads clear of ice and snow.

It discovered that salt water "could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the brake lines," parent company Fuji Heavy Industries said in a regulatory filing.

The defect could lead to brake fluid leakage, which "may result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash."

Subaru has not discovered any problems with brake corrosion in vehicles outside its testing facility, spokesman Michael McHale said.

The recall affects Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles from the 2005 through 2009 model years.

All repairs will be conducted free of charge.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013