Car Recalls

Subaru B9 Tribeca recall 12V602000

Puddle Lights May Melt or Catch Fire
Electrical & Lights, December 26, 2012

RepairPal Expert Overview

The accessory lights that illuminate the area under the doors are commonly called "puddle" lights. An electrical issue in one or more of these lights can cause the light assembly to overheat and possibly catch fire.


Subaru will notify owners of affected vehicles beginning in February of 2013. If you are experiencing "puddle" light problems, or you don't receive notification and you feel you should have, please contact your dealer. It's helpful to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) when you call. The Subaru recall number is WQE-41.


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.

Original Recall from the NHTSA

Model Year(s): 2006, 2007

Mfr's Report Date:
December 26, 2012

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V602000

NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: EXTERIOR LIGHTING

Potential Number of Units Affected: 633842

Summary: Subaru is recalling certain model year 2010 and 2011 Legacy and Outback vehicles, certain model year 2006 through 2012 Tribeca vehicles sold before January 2012, and certain model year 2009 through 2012 Forester vehicles sold before January 2012. These vehicles may have been equipped with accessory puddle lights that, when illuminated, brighten the area under the doors of the vehicle. 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 connector(s).

Consequence: 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.

Remedy: Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional fused-harness, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during February 2013. Owners may contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783 for more information.

Notes: Subaru's recall campaign number is WQE-41. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Recall data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Ask a Question