Subaru Forester Recall Issued Due to Child Restraint Problems

Subaru is recalling hundreds of thousands of Forester vehicles because the rear seat belts may fail to conform to safety standards for child restraints. 

The Subaru Forester recall (pdf) was announced last week and will affect certain model year 2009-2012 Forester vehicles.

The safety problem centers around the seat belt for the center position in the back seat and was discovered during an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The center seat belt’s automatic locking retractor design does not allow the use of all child restraints, some of which may not lock when used with the center back seat belt.

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Subaru indicates that the problem could increase the risk of injury to a child during an accident. However, there have been no child injuries reported in connection with the design defect.

Federal standards require that the seat belt work with child safety restraints. Subaru has said it will begin notifying affected owners in mid April, but has warned that there is a parts shortage, which means that some owners will not be able to have repairs on their vehicles until next February.

The recall affects about 275,000 Subaru Forester vehicles, model years 2009-2012. The affected Foresters were manufactured from November 26, 2007 through March 13, 2012.

The recall is expected to begin on or before April 13, 2012. Registered owners will be able to take their vehicle in to a Subaru dealership for free repairs and replacement parts. Consumers with questions can contact Subaru by calling (800) 782-2783, or by calling the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236, or by visiting the agency’s website at

Photo Courtesy of kappadueinnovazione via Flickr CC2.0


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