Subaru of America is recalling several recent models for a possible short circuiting issue with a puddle light fuse. The Subaru recall effort cites the possibility of the defect leading to a fire.
Subaru recall affects 633,842 vehicles
The announcement was made Thursday January 3. A total of 633,842 vehicles is affected in the effort. They include some Subaru Forester SUVs from the model years 2009 through 2012 and the Legacy sedan and the Outback Wagon from the model years 2010 through 2011. The Tribeca SUV from the model years 2006 through 2012 is also included.
Puddle lights are the lights installed near the bottom of a vehicle’s door. When the door is opened, the light illuminates to warn drivers and passengers of puddles that may be on the ground.
Michael McHale, a spokesman for Subaru America, told the Los Angeles Times that the company believes that about 54,000 of the targeted vehicles have been equipped with the possibly problematic puddle lights. It will need to inspect all the vehicles to weed them out.
Moisture in housing could lead to fire
The problem could arise when moisture and road salts get into the puddle light housing. That could generate enough heat to melt the plastic housing and potentially lead to flames.
According to McHale, there have been “less than 10″ known incidents of smoking puddle lamps in the vehicles, and no fire is known to have occurred as a result of the defect. No accidents or injuries have been reported associated with the potential defect.
Owners urged to contact dealers
There was no indication when Subaru will notify the affected owners. However, those with vehicles targeted in the campaign are encouraged to contact their dealer if their vehicle is quipped with puddle lights. Subaru America says it will fix the problem free of charge by replacing the fuse with a smaller version.
Record sales in 2012
The effort is a fairly minor one as recalls go and will likely not hurt the company’s reputation. The automaker is riding high on its successes about now, in spite of the recall hiccup.
In other news, Subaru announced it best sales ever, moving 36,653 vehicles in the last month of the year. It was also the automaker’s best year ever in the U.S. It sold 336,000 in the states in 2012.
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