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Fire risk: Huge Subaru recall

2013-01-04 11:16

FIRE RISK FOR DOOR LIGHTS: Subaru has been dealing with short-circuiting door lights since 2007 but despite a number of changes made to resolve the issue the automaker has issued a huge recall of several affected vehicles.

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Video: 2013 Subaru Forester

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Subaru is readying its new Forester wagon for the Japanese market. Check out the new model in action destined for South Africa later in 2013.

WASHINGTON, USA - Subaru USA said it is recalling more than 633 000 vehicles due to a fire risk posed by short-circuiting door lights.

The Japanese automaker reports that its is recalling its Legacy and Outback models built from 2010 to 2011.

Other models affected include Tribeca (2006-12) and Forester (2009-12) vehicles.

FIRST CASE BACK IN 2007

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 53 000 accessory door lights were sold on the affected vehicles.

Each door has two lights to brighten the ground underneath.

Subaru claims a short circuit can develop when the lights are exposed to moisture which may cause smoke or a fire.

The first report of smoke or fire came from a Tribeca owner in April 2007. Another smoke/fire incident was reported on a Outback and Legacy in March 2010 and in 2011, Subaru opened an investigation into the issue.

In September 2007, the automaker added dielectric grease to the connectors.
 
NEW FUSE TO PREVENT FIRES

A second change was made in June 2008 to the wiring of the lights, to reduce the chance of corrosion. A further change was made in November 2008 to improve the wiring.

Subaru dealers will install an additional harness with a new fuse to prevent fires. The automaker will notifying owners by February 2013 as it prepares parts to complete the recall.

Fortunately the South African models do not have puddle lights, so are exempt from the recall.

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