Preliminary Inspection and Repair Procedure for Puddle Light Campaign WQE-41 – 2006-2012 Subaru

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NHTSA ID Number: 10235881

Manufacturer Communication Number: WQE41

Summary

Preliminary Inspection and Repair Procedure for Puddle Light Campaign WQE-41

 


DATE: January 2013

APPLICABILITY: 2009-2012MY Forester
2010-2011MY Legacy and Outback
2006-2012MY Tribeca
SUBJECT: Preliminary Inspection and Repair Procedure for Puddle Light Campaign WQE-41

 

INTRODUCTION

Subaru has determined that affected vehicles equipped with optional Genuine Subaru Puddle Lights may develop a short circuit and cause the related components to overheat and potentially melt.  A short circuit can develop when either the puddle lights or their connectors are exposed to an electrolytic moisture source (i.e. salt water) and it penetrates the circuit board of the puddle light or the pins of the puddle light connector(s). If the puddle lights or connectors were to overheat, they could melt and pose a risk of a fire.

To correct this condition, dealers will inspect and, if necessary, repair the puddle lights. As a precautionary measure, it will be necessary to add in-line fuses for both the left and right side puddle lights to those vehicles that do not already have fuses contained in the wire harnesses.

 

AFFECTED VEHICLES

The following vehicles equipped with puddle lights are affected:

 

OWNER NOTIFICATION

Subaru expects to notify affected vehicle owners by first class mail beginning on or around February 18, 2013.

 

PARTS INFORMATION

Subaru is in the process of acquiring an adequate supply of in-line fuse kits needed to remedy the condition. When available, Subaru will notify potentially affected vehicle owners by First Class mail. In the meantime, there are a very limited number of parts available to assist customers who express an immediate need for a remedy. In cases where the vehicle does not already have inline fuses, dealers should enter a VOR order for the parts. It will then be necessary to contact the Parts Information Coordinators (PICs) Help Desk to arrange release of the parts. The current owner’s name, their ZIP Code, VOR order number, and VIN for the vehicle the parts are being ordered for.

  • H001SSC300 Fused Mini-Harness   Packaged Individually  (2 needed per vehicle)

The goal of this procedure is to ensure the vehicle has an in-line mini fuse installed in series with the puddle light harness on both sides of the vehicle and that the puddle light system operates as designed.  This inspection / repair procedure will be accomplished by accessing the puddle light harness to body harness connection.  This is achieved with removal of the front accessory splash guard/ mud flap (if equipped) and a partial removal of the fender’s inner splash shield/ fender liner for each front wheel.  Regardless of the findings of the inspection of one side, both sides must be inspected/ repaired to complete this campaign.

 

NOTES:

  • See Appendix C for a summary flow chart of the following procedure. Be sure to follow
    the detailed written procedure below in its entirety. The flow chart only provides a summary.
    In addition, a Post-Repair Diagnosis flow chart is provided for reference if needed.
  • Read through and understand this complete procedure before beginning any repairs.
  1. Confirm the vehicle is equipped with optional Genuine Subaru puddle lights. If the
    vehicle is not equipped, no correction is required. Return the vehicle to the Customer.

 

If the vehicle IS equipped with Genuine Subaru puddle lights:

  1. Verify the operation of all 4 puddle lights (2 lights per side, 2 LED bulbs per light). The lights may be activated by opening the driver’s Inspect both sides at this time.
  2. Complete the next steps starting with the driver’s side of the vehicle and then repeat on the passenger Both sides must be completed for this campaign. All current replacement puddle light harnesses include an in-line mini fuse.

NOTE: If any puddle lights are found inoperative, whether there is an in-line fuse installed or not, replace the puddle light harness and both light assemblies on that side of the vehicle. Refer to the Accessory Installation Guide available on STIS for specific accessory component installation procedures. Search STIS using the keyword “puddle”. Not all model years and models are shown, so refer to the instructions for the model year and model you are working on. If your model year is not shown, use the next latest model year.

  1. If both puddle lights were operational on each side, determine if the puddle light harnesses on both sides are fitted with in-line fuses (detailed instructions are provided in Appendix A).

NOTE: The in-line fuse may be either part of the existing harness itself, or a separately fused mini-harness.

  1. If an in-line fuse is verified in the puddle light harnesses on both sides of the vehicle, and the lights function normally, no further action is necessary. Re-assemble the splash shields and return the vehicle to the customer completing the campaign procedure.
  2. If there is no in-line fuse present on either side puddle light harness, a fused mini-harness must be installed. Record the customer’s radio station presets (and navigation Favorites) then disconnect vehicle battery before installing the Fused Mini- Harness.

NOTE:  If there is any corrosion or damage to the puddle light harness side connection, replace the harness and both lights.  If there is any corrosion or damage to the body harness side where the puddle light harness connects, repair or replace the body harness as necessary.

  1. Once both sides have had in-line fuses either installed or verified, reconnect the battery and confirm that the puddle lights are operational. Leave the driver’s door open with the puddle lights on for at least 5 minutes before reinstalling the splash shields.  If the lights do not operate, and the in-line fuse becomes open, replace the harness and both light assemblies on the affected side of the vehicle.

 

Appendix A – Harness Access and Inspection Process

  1. Raise the vehicle as necessary to access the inner fender splash shields. Wheel removal is generally not required.
  2. Remove the accessory splash guard (if equipped) and the retaining clips at the rear portion of the front wheel opening. Move just enough of the splash shield to expose the puddle light wiring and body harness connectors

 

NOTES:

  • A Forester is shown in the photo on pg. 4 for illustration only.
  • Splash guard removal may also be required for access to the splash shield retaining clips.
  • Retaining clip locations will vary by model.
  • See Appendix B for samples of retaining clip locations by model.
  • The photos below show a puddle light harness without the in-line mini-fuse on the left and the current replacement harness with the with the in-line mini-fuse on the right.

 

CAUTION:

On Legacy, Outback and Forester models, locate the two metal tabs along the inside edge of the front fender.  Use caution and support these small painted fender tabs inside the wheel arch when removing the splash shield.  These tabs are painted body color and cracking of the paint is likely if the tabs are bent.  Place one hand on the tab to secure it while pushing the splash shield up and over the tab with your other hand.  Use the same method when you reinstall the splash shield.   Touch-up any damaged tabs to minimize any future possibility of rust.

  • On Legacy and Outback models, use caution when moving the splash shield as the body harness for the puddle lights is secured to it at two points as shown below. It is not required to drop the entire splash shield.  Simply move enough of the shield to gain access to the connection which is located at the rear of the wheel opening.  This information and photo are provided as a reference only.
  1. Once the splash shield has been moved enough for access, inspect the puddle light harnesses.
    1. If the vehicle already has an in-line fuse in the red power wire within a few inches of the vehicle connector as shown in the photo below and both lights (all 4 LED bulbs) operate, no further action is required on that side.
    2. Proceed to check the other side of the vehicle starting again at Step 2. Once inspection of both sides of the vehicle is complete, proceed to Step 5.
    3. If no in-line fuse or Fused Mini-Harness is present, unplug the puddle light harness connector from the vehicle body harness connector and install the Fused Mini-Harness as shown in the reference photos below.

 

Fused Mini-Harness

Route the completed harness behind the splash shield.  Use electrical tape to secure any excess harness out of the way avoiding any areas where it may be exposed to sharp edges or become pinched.  Do not reassemble yet.  Once both sides of the vehicle have been completed, proceed to the next step.

  1. After completing installation of the Fused Mini-Harness on both sides of the vehicle, reconnect the battery and confirm that all the puddle lights operate normally by leaving the driver’s door open with the puddle lights on for at least 5 minutes.
    1. If any of the lights fail to operate as designed, review all connections to ensure they are secure.
    2. If the mini-fuse in the Fused Mini-Harness or puddle light harness has become open, replace the puddle light harness and both lights on that side of the vehicle. Refer to applicable accessory installation guide for detailed instructions for harness and light installation.  NOTE:  All current replacement puddle light harnesses include an in-line fuse.  In this case, installation of the Fused MiniHarness would not be required.
    3. If not resolved, by a and / or b, see the Post-Repair Diagnostic Flow Chart in Appendix C.

IMPORTANT:  At no time should two mini fuses be placed in series on the same side/ same circuit.

  1. Once proper operation is confirmed, reinstall the splash shields, retaining clips and splash guards (if equipped).
  2. Perform one final check to confirm all 4 puddle lights operate properly to complete the procedure before releasing the vehicle.

NOTE: If additional parts are necessary to repair the vehicle, a listing by model is supplied below

 

2010-2012 Legacy and Outback Models

H471SAJ010 LED Lamp Assy. (2 per side)
H471SAJ020 Puddle Light Harness (1 per side)
H471SAJ030 Hardware Kit (1 per vehicle)

 

2006-2012 Tribeca Models

H471SXA010 LED Lamp Assy. (2 per side)
H471SXA020 Hardware Cap (2 per lamp)
H471SXA030 Puddle Light Harness (1 per side)
H471SXA040 Hardware Kit (1 per vehicle)

 

2009-2012 Forester Models

H471SSC010 LED Lamp Assy. (2 per side)
H471SSC020 Puddle Light Harness (1 per side)
H471SSC030 Hardware Kit (1 per vehicle)

 

Appendix B – Retaining Clip Locations

Reminder:  Splash guard /mud flap removal may also be required in some cases to access the retaining clipsSplash guards vary by model, but most involve removal of one horizontal clip, two horizontal screws, and one vertical screw.  Tip:  When reinstalling splash guards install the screws loosely and lift up lightly on the splash guard while giving the screws a final tightening.  This will help reduce the possibility of a gap forming between the splash guard and the fender.

 

2006-2007 B9 Tribeca (5 clips)

 

2008-2012 Tribeca (5 clips)

 

2010-2011 Legacy and Outback (8 screw clips and 1 push clip)

 

2009-2012 Forester (3 clips)

 

Appendix C – Summary and Post-Repair Flow Charts

In PDF Bellow…

 


WQE41 – Optional Genuine Subaru Puddle Lights – 2010-2011 Subaru Legacy & Outback, 2006-2012 Tribeca & 2009-2012 Forester

 

WQE41 – Optional Genuine Subaru Puddle Lights – 2010-2011 Subaru Legacy & Outback, 2006-2012 Tribeca & 2009-2012 Forester

 


15 Affected Products

Vehicles

MAKE MODEL YEAR
SUBARU FORESTER 2009-2012
SUBARU LEGACY 2010-2011
SUBARU OUTBACK 2010-2011
SUBARU TRIBECA 2006-2012

 


1 Associated Document

Manufacturer Communications

DATE: January 2013

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls?nhtsaId=10235881

MC-10235881-9999.pdf 2501.218KB

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Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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