The accessory lights that illuminate the area under the doors are referred to as "puddle" lights. An electrical short circuit can develop when either the puddle light or its 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). The short circuit can generate heat which may melt the plastic resulting in smoke or fire. Subaru dealers will install an additional fused-harness, to protect the puddle light system.
2008 Subaru Tribeca Recalls
The vehicle dynamic control (VDC) G-sensor was improperly installed on some vehicles. It is intended to face forward, and was installed backward in production. The vehicle may handle in an unexpected way during hard braking, sudden turns, or other quick maneuvers. In extreme conditions, the driver could lose control of the vehicle and a crash could occur. Dealers will inspect the positioning of the VDC G-sensor and correct as needed. The recall began on December 19, 2008. The Subaru recall number is WVG-17.