- Subaru is recalling 633,842 vehicles, including the 2009-'12 Subaru Forester, because a short circuit of the puddle light system may result in smoke or fire, according to NHTSA.
- The recall also includes the 2010-'11 Subaru Legacy and Outback and 2006-'12 Subaru Tribeca.
- The recall is expected to begin in February.
WASHINGTON — Subaru is recalling 633,842 vehicles, including the 2009-'12 Subaru Forester, because a short circuit of the puddle light system may result in smoke or fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"These vehicles may have been equipped with accessory puddle lights that, when illuminated, brighten the area under the doors of the vehicle," said NHTSA in its summary of the problem. "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 connectors.
"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 told federal safety regulators that the first customer complaint or warranty claim related to smoke and/or fire was related to the Subaru Tribeca's puddle lamp in April 2007.
The recall affects vehicles sold before January 2012.
Subaru dealers will install an additional fused harness to correct the problem. The recall is expected to begin in February. Owners can contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.
Edmunds says: If you own one of the aforementioned Subarus and experience this problem, you'll want to get your vehicle into the dealership immediately.