Subaru Forester recalled for faulty rear seat belt retractor

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Subaru Forester

Subaru is recalling the 2009 to 2012 Forester for a faulty rear seat belt retractor. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Subaru has announced a recall for more than 275,000 units of the Forester crossover wagon for an issue with the center rear seat belts. The seat belt retractor in 2009 to 2012 model year Foresters may not work properly with child seats, which can result in occupants not being fully secured.

Belt retractor clashing with child seats

Subaru, according to the Wall Street Journal, has announced a recall of the Forester crossover wagon because of the seat belt retractor on the center belt in the rear bench seat. The issue is not with the belt retractor in normal conditions but rather when the center seat in the back is used for a child seat.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to Inside Line, isn’t stating exactly what causes the issue, but the belt locking mechanism may not fully lock when a child seat is placed in the center seat of the Forester. The NHTSA states that “the assemblies may not permit proper installation and secure installation of a child restraint.”

The devices are therefore not in compliance with safety regulations and have to be replaced, as the seat belt may not fully latch and thus may pose danger to child occupants in the event of a crash.

Late model years affected

The recall extends to 275,931 units of the Forester from the 2009 to 2012 model years, according to USA Today. The affected units were manufactured between Nov. 26,. 2007, and March 13, 2012.

According to MotorTrend, there are 88,759 Forester units from the 2009 model year, 111,830 units from the 2010 model year and 74,802 units from the 2011 model year. The number of 2012 Forester units affected remains to be determined.

The 2009 Foresters involved in the recall were manufactured between Nov. 26, 2007, and March 26, 2009. Units from the 2010 model year were made between Jan. 28, 2009, and Aug. 6, 2010 and the 2011 models were made between June 10, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2011. The 2012 Forester units in the recall were made between May 25, 2011, and March 13, 2012.

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Recall to begin in April

Drivers, according to USA Today, can look at the VIN panel on the driver-side door jamb to find the manufacture date.

Subaru is going to commence the recall on or before Friday, April 13. Subaru will be notifying owners to take their Subaru Forester to the nearest Subaru dealership, where seat belt retractor units that will work with child seats will be installed in the rear bench seat for the center belt.

Concerned motorists can contact Subaru directly at 1-800-782-2783 if they wish to know more.


Wall Street Journal

Inside Line

USA Today


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