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Subaru recalls over 600,000 vehicles for exterior lighting problem that can cause smoke or fire


National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Subaru is recalling certain model year 2010 and 2011 Legacy and Outback vehicles, certain model year 2006 through 2012 Tribeca vehicles sold before January 2012, and certain model year 2009 through 2012 Forester vehicles sold before January 2012.

Up to 53,999 of these vehicles may have been equipped with accessory puddle lights that, when illuminated, brighten the area under the doors of the vehicle. A short circuit can develop when either the puddle light or connector are exposed to an electrolytic moisture source (such as road spray that has road salt in it) and it penetrates the circuit board of the puddle light or the pins of the puddle light connector(s).

2012 Subaru Tribeca is just one of the models in this recall

2012 Subaru Tribeca is just one of the models in this recall

Vehicle Information

Vehicle Make / Model Model Year(s)
Subaru / Forester 2009-2012
Subaru / Legacy 2010-2011
Subaru / Outback 2010-2011
Subaru / Tribeca 2006-2012


Manufacturer: Subaru of America, Inc.
Report Receipt Date: December 26th, 2012
NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 12V602000 N/A
NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: Exterior Lighting

Potential Number of Units Affected: 633,842


Over time, migration of the moisture into the circuit board and/or into the connector cavity, may result in a short circuit of the puddle light system. This may generate heat which may melt the plastic resulting in smoke or fire.


Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional fused-harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during February 2013. Owners may contact Subaru at 1.800.782.2783 for more information.


Subaru’s recall campaign number is WQE-41. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1.888.327.4236 (TTY 1.800.424.9153), or go to




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