WQT-55 – Occupant Detection System (ODS) Occupant Control Unit (OCU) – 2012 Subaru Impreza

NHTSA

15V419

SUMMARY:

Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2012 model year Subaru Impreza 4-Door and Station Wagon vehicles (except WRX/STI models) manufactured April 21, 2011, to February 16, 2012.

In the affected vehicles, the Occupant Detection System (ODS) may deactivate if a front seat passenger operates a device that is plugged into the power outlet such as a music player or cell phone, or touches a metal part of the vehicle such as the forward/rearward seat adjuster lever.

 

CONSEQUENCE:

If the ODS deactivates, the front passenger air bag will be turned off and the front passenger air bag will not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury to the seat occupant.

 

REMEDY:

Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will replace the Occupant Control Unit with a modified one, free of charge.

The recall began August 21, 2015.

Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Subaru’s number for this recall is WQT-55.

 

NOTES:

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.

 

Check if your Subaru has a Recall

 

NUMBER: WQT-55
DATE: August 2015
NHTSA ID: 15V-419

APPLICABILITY: 2012 MY Impreza (except WRX/STI)
SUBJECT: Occupant Detection System (ODS)
Occupant Control Unit (OCU)

INTRODUCTION

Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2012 model year Subaru Impreza vehicles (except WRX/ STI) equipped with a capacitance-type occupant detection system (ODS) in the front passenger seat.

 

CONDITION

In certain circumstances, such as the use of an iPod or cell phone plugged into the Accessory power outlet by a front seat passenger when the ODS is on, or a front seat passenger touching a metal part of the vehicle that is electrically grounded when the ODS is on, the Occupant Control Unit (OCU) of the ODS may falsely identify an abnormally high rise in the occupant’s capacitance.  As a result, the ODS may be deactivated.

Should this condition occur, the Air Bag Warning Light will illuminate and the Passenger Air Bag Indicator will illuminate “OFF,” providing a visual warning that the air bag system is not operating properly.

Furthermore, the following Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) will be stored in the vehicle’s memory: B1650, B1760, and/or B1761.

A Service Bulletin was issued on May 29, 2012 (TSB 17-16-12) to address this issue.  However, some vehicles were not repaired under that protocol.  Therefore, Subaru has decided to conduct a recall to replace the OCU on all potentially affected vehicles. For more information regarding the occupant detection system, please refer to pages 1-41 through 1-45 of the Owner’s Manual.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SAFETY DEFECT

The Occupant Control Unit (OCU) of the ODS may falsely identify an abnormally high rise in the occupant’s capacitance, and as a result the ODS may be deactivated.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SAFETY HAZARD

Should this condition occur the passenger air bag will not deploy, increasing the risk of injury to a front seat passenger in the event of a crash.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE REMEDY

A modified OCU will be installed in all potentially affected vehicles at no charge to the customer.

 

OWNER NOTIFICATION

Notification letters will be sent by first class mail to owners of all potentially affected vehicles. Owner notification will occur by August 21, 2015. A copy of the letter is included at the end of this bulletin.

 

AFFECTED VEHICLES

Not all vehicles listed below are covered by this recall, and vehicles with claim history of the repair described in TSB 17-16-12 will not be affected by this recall.  Coverage for all affected vehicles must be confirmed by using the Vehicle Coverage Inquiry function on subarunet.com.  This data is now available.

MODEL YEAR MODEL STARTING PRODUCTION DATE ENDING PRODUCTION DATE
2012 Impreza (except WRX/STI) April 21, 2011 February 15, 2012

 

RETAILER AFFECTED VIN LISTS

Each Subaru retailer will receive an affected VIN list from their Zone Office when owner notification begins. Vehicles will be assigned to retailers in the affected VIN list as follows:

  • Original vehicle owners are assigned to the original selling retailer when their current address is within a 100 mile radius of that retailer.
  • If the original selling retailer is inactive, the VIN has been assigned to the nearest active retailer.
  • For any new owners or when original owners live more than 100 miles from the original selling retailer, the VIN has been assigned to the nearest active retailer.

IMPORTANT: Retailer affected VIN lists include owner name and address information for vehicles affected by this recall. This information will enable retailers to followup with owners of potentially affected vehicles. The lists contain owners’ names and addresses obtained from State Motor Vehicle Registration Records. The use of such motor vehicle registration data for any other purpose is unlawful. Accordingly, retailers are required to limit the use of these lists for the purpose of completion of this safety recall.

 

SUBARU RETAILER PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITY

Retailers are to promptly perform the applicable service procedures to correct all affected vehicles in their inventory. Additionally, whenever a vehicle subject to this recall is taken into inventory or in for service, necessary steps should be taken to ensure the recall correction has been made before selling or releasing the vehicle.

Any vehicles listed in a recall/campaign that are in the retailer’s stock must be:

  • Immediately identified.
  • Tagged or otherwise marked to prevent their delivery or use prior to inspection and/or repair.
  • Repaired in accordance with the repair procedures outlined in this Product Campaign Bulletin.

Please be advised that it is a violation of Federal law for a retailer to deliver a new motor vehicle covered by a recall under a sale or lease until the defect is remedied. In addition, any Authorized Subaru Retailer failing to perform the applicable service procedures to correct all affected vehicles in their inventory prior to the vehicle being placed in service will be in breach of the Subaru Dealer Agreement.

 

PARTS INFORMATION

The parts required for this recall are listed below:

PART NUMBER APPLICABILITY
98321FJ010 2012 Impreza (except WRX/STI) with seat heater
98321FJ020 2012 Impreza (except WRX/STI) without seat heater

Parts are available through normal parts ordering channels. In order to maintain an adequate part supply, SOA requests that retailers only order quantities necessary to satisfy anticipated demand.

 

REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE

Record preset radio stations.

CAUTION:

The airbag system is fitted with a backup power supply. After disconnecting the battery ground cable, the airbag may operate if you do not wait for 60 seconds before starting the service of airbag system.

Disconnect the ground cable from battery.

Remove the Passenger Seat assembly (refer to the applicable Subaru Service Manual).

Remove the clip that secures the under-seat fabric covering the OCU and flip the fabric over.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Disconnect the intermediate body wiring harness connector from the OCU.

Occupant Control Unit

 

CAUTION: Safety glasses should be worn during the removal process.

Carefully remove the Mat Sensor wiring harness connector from the OCU.

Occupant Control Unit

 

NOTE:  The Mat Sensor wiring harness is a ribbon type and can be damaged easily if mishandled.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Remove the OCU from the mounting bracket.

NOTE: The OCU was originally designed to be inseparable from the Seat Bottom; care must be taken to remove it.

Use diagonal pliers and break off the holding portions on the OCU body.

NOTE: Be careful not to cut or distort the bracket.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Use a slight twisting motion to disengage the OCU from the bracket.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Make sure to install the correct OCU according to the seat specifications (with or without seat heater).

Occupant Control UnitWith Seat Heater                   Without Seat Heater
Part #: 98321FJ010                 Part #: 98321FJ020

 

NOTE: When installing the new OCU, be extremely careful that the Mat Sensor wiring harness doesn’t get damaged.

Install the new OCU onto the bracket; make sure it is properly seated (you should hear a snapping sound).

Occupant Control Unit

 

Connect the intermediate body wiring harness connector to the OCU.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Connect the Mat Sensor wiring harness connector to the OCU.

Occupant Control Unit

 

Flip the under-seat fabric back to the original position and install the clip.

clip

 

Install passenger seat in reverse order of removal.

Connect ground cable to battery.

Check the Airbag Control System to make sure it is operating correctly.

Clear trouble code(s) stored in the ECU (ODS) Clear trouble code(s) stored in the Air Bag Control ECU

Reset radio stations and set clock.

 

WARRANTY/CLAIM INFORMATION

LABOR DESCRIPTION LABOR
OPERATION #
FAIL
CODE
LABOR
TIME
Impreza Occupant Control Unit, Replace A182-041 WQT-55 0.4

REMINDER:  SOA strongly discourages the printing and/or local storage of service information as previously released information and electronic publications may be updated at any time.

Always refer to STIS for the latest service information before performing any repairs.

 

 

OWNER NOTIFICATION LETTER

IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL

This notice applies to the VIN identified in the address section printed below.

Subaru Recall Campaign WQT-55 NHTSA Recall No. 15V-419

August 2015

 

Dear Subaru Owner:

This notice is sent to you in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 2012 model year Impreza vehicles equipped with a capacitance-type occupant detection system (ODS) in the front passenger seat.

You received this notice because our records indicate that you currently own one of these vehicles.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SAFETY DEFECT AND SAFETY HAZARD

When a right front seat passenger plugs a cell phone or other device into the accessory power outlet or touches a metal part of the vehicle that is grounded (such as the seat adjustment lever), the ODS may erroneously determine that the front passenger seat is unoccupied and deactivate the front passenger air bag.

Should this happen, the Air Bag Warning Light will illuminate and the Passenger Air Bag Indicator will illuminate “OFF”, providing a visual warning that the air bag system is not operating properly.

The passenger air bag will not deploy under these circumstances, increasing the risk of injury to a front seat passenger in the event of a crash.

 

REPAIR

Subaru will replace the ODS Occupant Control Unit in your vehicle with a modified one at no cost to you.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

You should immediately contact your Subaru retailer (dealer) for an appointment to have the ODS Occupant Control Unit replaced.  Until this repair is performed, the front seat passenger should avoid the using the accessory power outlet or contacting any grounded metal parts of the vehicle.

If the Air Bag Warning Light turns on and the Passenger Air Bag Indicator illuminates “OFF”, the right front seat passenger should move to the rear seat after the vehicle has come to a complete stop in an area where it is safe to do so.

 

 

HOW LONG WILL THE REPAIR TAKE?

The time to replace the ODS Occupant Control Unit is approximately 25 minutes.  However, it may be necessary to leave your vehicle for a longer period of time on the day of your scheduled appointment to allow your Subaru retailer flexibility in scheduling.  Please present this letter to your Subaru retailer at the time this repair procedure is performed.

 

CHANGED YOUR ADDRESS OR SOLD YOUR SUBARU?

If you have moved or sold your vehicle, please complete the enclosed prepaid postcard and mail it to us.  Or if you prefer to update this information online, please go to www.subaru.com, select ‘Customer Support,’ then select ‘Address Update’ or ‘Ownership Update’ from the drop down menu.

 

IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR A REPAIR:

If you have already paid for repairs associated with this condition, you may be eligible for reimbursement. Reimbursement consideration will be based on the amount an authorized Subaru retailer in your area would charge for the same repair.

Please send the original service repair order, which has the name of the repair facility, date of repair, mileage at the time of repair, complete 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN), and your name, with correct mailing address and telephone number to the address listed below.

Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer-Retailer Services Department, Attention: WQT-55 Recall
P.O. Box 6000, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-6000

Please send original receipts only and retain a photocopy for your records.  Please be assured that we will attempt to process your reimbursement request as quickly as possible, but it may take up to 60 days for this process to be completed.

 

IF YOU NEED FURTHER ASSISTANCE:

To locate the nearest Subaru retailer you can access our website at www.subaru.com and select ‘Find a Retailer.’

For additional information and the most Frequently Asked Questions, please go to:

If you need additional assistance, please contact us directly:

  • By e-mail: Go to www.subaru.com and select “Contact Us”
  • By telephone: 1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)

Monday through Thursday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET

Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET

Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET

  • By U.S. Postal mail: Write us at Subaru of America, Inc., Attn: Customer-Retailer Services Department, P.O. Box 6000, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-6000

Please contact us immediately if the Subaru retailer fails or is unable to make the necessary repairs free of charge.

You may also contact the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building, Washington, DC 20590 or call the toll free Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153) or go to http://www.safercar.gov if you believe the Subaru retailer has failed or is unable to remedy your vehicle without charge within a reasonable amount of time.

Your continued satisfaction with your Subaru is important to us. Please understand that we have taken this action in the interest of your safety and your vehicle’s proper operation. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter may cause and urge you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to have this repair performed.

Sincerely,

Subaru of America, Inc.

Notice to Lessors: Under Federal law the lessor of a vehicle who receives this letter must provide a copy of it to the vehicle lessee(s) within 10 business days from receipt. The lessor must also keep a record of the lessee(s) to whom this letter is sent, the date sent, and the applicable vehicle identification number (VIN). (For the purposes of this section, a lessor means a person or entity that in the last twelve months prior to the date of this notification has been the owner, as referenced on the vehicle’s title, of any five or more leased vehicles. A leased vehicle is a vehicle leased to another person for a term of at least four months.)

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