Subaru of America Inc. is recalling nearly 30,000 of its 1996-97 Legacy vehicles because of potentially faulty welding that could lead to loss of control.

Company officials said Friday they are voluntarily recalling the vehicles because of improper welding by the parts supplier on the front transverse link assembly, which is part of the suspension system.The affected models are the Outback and Sport Utility Sedan. The vehicles have one assembly on each side.

Improper welding could cause a support bracket and the transverse link assembly to separate, partially or completely.

"If the weld fails, they'll get all kinds of noises," said Don Bear-den, a Subaru spokesman. "If the owner ignores those noises, they could get complete separation" of the parts. That could result in failure of the lower sus-pension mounting and, if a tire then folds under, loss of control.

Subaru said it is unsure how many of the 29,442 vehicles potentially affected actually have the defect.

All registered owners of 1996-97 Legacy models have been sent notices to take their vehicles to a Subaru dealer for inspection. If im-proper welds are found, the link assembly will be replaced at the company's cost.