Water Intrusion / Door(s) Area – 2020-2022 Subaru Legacy / Outback, Forester, & Ascent

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NHTSA ID Number: 10201021

Manufacturer Communication Number: 12-323-21

Summary

This bulletin announces the service procedure for addressing possible water entry into the interior from the door(s) area.

 


NUMBER: 12-323-21
DATE: 08/02/21

INTRODUCTION:

This bulletin announces the service procedure for addressing possible water entry into the interior from the door(s) area. There are TWO scenarios described in the Service Procedure section below which may cause this condition.

 

PRODUCTION INFORMATION:

The following procedures apply ONLY to the effected vehicles produced prior to the following VIN information listed below.

Vapor Barrier Leak / Scenario #1
Model Prior to VIN
Ascent M3448319
Legacy M3019655
Outback M3212848
 Forester M*475395
Seam Sealer Void / Scenario #2
Model Prior to VIN
Outback N3108382

 

PART INFORMATION:

These products are available from most Auto Body supply outlets and / or online resources.

 

SERVICE PROCEDURE / INFORMATION:

 

REMINDER:  Customer satisfaction and retention starts with performing quality repairs.

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Review the following TWO scenarios closely to ensure understanding of the applicable Service Procedure before proceeding.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the applicable sealer.

 

Scenario #1  – Vapor barrier not sealing properly, allowing water into the cabin area.

Model Applicability:

 

STEP 1) Perform water leak testing to confirm which door(s) are allowing water intrusion.

 

NOTE:  Water flow into the door cavity from outside the vehicle is expected but, when water enters the passenger cabin it is not as expected.

 

STEP 2) Refer to the applicable Service Manual and review: General Description > Repair Contents > Actions Required before & after Battery Disconnect. Additionally, record any seat position and power rear gate memory prior to beginning the service procedure.

ALWAYS be sure to relearn any customer settings after work has been performed.

 

STEP 3) Disconnect the ground cable from the battery sensor while supporting the sensor with the other hand.

 

STEP 4)CAREFULLY remove the affected door trim: Body & Electrical/WIRING SYSTEM > EXTERIOR/INTERIOR TRIM > Door Trim.

 

STEP 5)CAREFULLY separate the affected section vapor barrier sealing cover.  Inspect the butyl tape-to-cover areas for any voids or poor contact areas.

 

EXAMPLES:

 

NOTE: There is no need to fully remove the vapor barrier.  DO NOT replace the vapor barrier sealing cover unless it is torn.

 

STEP 5) Protect any electrical connectors in the area with tape to ensure they do not come within     contact with the butyl tape.  Blue (easy to remove) Painter’s tape was used in the photo below.

 

STEP 6) Locate the affected areas and CAREFULLY peel back the vapor barrier from the door body.  A razor knife or similar cutting tool may be used to CAREFULLY cut the center of the butyl tape to prevent stretching the vapor barrier material and avoid scratching the painted metal surface.  BE CAREFUL not to damage any painted metal surfaces or the vapor barrier during this process.

 

STEP 7) Temporarily secure the vapor barrier using masking tape to allow plenty of room to work while repairing the butyl tape sealer.

 

STEP 8) Check the door water drains for clogging.  Remove any debris if found.  Confirm water flows through the drains easily.

 

STEP 9) When voids in butyl tape coverage are found, clean affected areas of the body with Subaru Brake Cleaner (SOA868V9117 or equivalent) on a dampened paper towel. DO NOT use any cloth containing fibers as it will contaminate the butyl tape.  Allow the area to thoroughly dry.  Apply the butyl tape to the affected areas.  Press firmly on the ribbon backing when applying. Peel away the ribbon backing and reinstall the vapor barrier section.

 

STEP 10) Firmly press the outside of the vapor barrier against the new and existing butyl tape ensuring there is good contact.  Be sure there is sufficient contact in ALL areas.

 

STEP 11) CAREFULLY reinstall the door trim in reverse order of removal: Body & Electrical/ WIRING SYSTEM > EXTERIOR/INTERIOR TRIM > Door Trim.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: When reconnecting the ground cable terminal to the battery sensor, torque to 7.5Nm (5.5ft.-lbs. or 66inch-lbs.) while supporting the sensor with the other hand as outlined in the applicable Service Manual under: STARTING/CHARGING SYSTEMS > Battery Sensor.

 

STEP 12) ALWAYS reset all previously recorded customer settings. Refer to the applicable Service Manual and review: General Description > Repair Contents > Actions Required before & after Battery Disconnect.

 

Scenario #2  – Seam sealer void identified near the front door speaker area as shown below.

Model Applicability:

 

STEP 1)Perform water leak testing to confirm which door(s) are allowing water intrusion.

 

NOTE: Water flow into the door cavity from outside the vehicle is expected but, when water enters the passenger cabin it is not as expected.

 

STEP 2) Refer to the applicable Service Manual and review: General Description > Repair Contents > Actions Required before & after Battery Disconnect. Additionally, record any seat position and power rear gate memory prior to beginning the service procedure.  ALWAYS relearn any customer settings after work has been performed.

 

STEP 3) Disconnect the ground cable from the battery sensor while supporting the sensor with the other hand.

 

STEP 4) CAREFULLY remove the affected door trim: Body & Electrical/WIRING SYSTEM > EXTERIOR/INTERIOR TRIM > Door Trim.

 

STEP 5) Remove all moisture, clean affected area with Subaru Brake Cleaner (SOA868V9117 or  equivalent) applied to a clean shop cloth and allow to thoroughly dry.

 

STEP 6) Following the manufacturer’s instructions, CAREFULLY apply the recommended seam sealer to affected area and allow to dry.

 

STEP 7) CAREFULLY reinstall all components in reverse order of removal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Whenever reconnecting the ground cable terminal to the battery sensor, torque to 7.5Nm (5.5ft.-lbs. or 66inch-lbs.) while supporting the sensor with the other hand as outlined in the applicable Service Manual under: STARTING/CHARGING SYSTEMS > Battery Sensor.

 

STEP 8) ALWAYS reset all previously recorded customer settings. Refer to the applicable Service     Manual and review: General Description > Repair Contents > Actions Required before & after Battery Disconnect.

 


10 Affected Products

Vehicles

MAKE MODEL YEAR
SUBARU ASCENT 2020-2021
SUBARU FORESTER 2020-2021
SUBARU LEGACY 2020-2022
SUBARU OUTBACK 2020-2022

 


1 Associated Document

Manufacturer Communications

NUMBER: 12-323-21
DATE: 08/02/21

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls?nhtsaId=10201021

MC-10201021-0001.pdf 2162.464KB

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