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Subaru Tribeca Recall

Dec 17, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP Subaru of America is recalling 5,130 of its model years 2008-2009 Tribecas because of an improper sensor installation.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not assigned an action number to the recall, which is listed under campaign ID 08V645000 and recall number WVG-17.  The Subaru Tribeca’s Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) G-Sensor was improperly installed on some of the involved vehicles.

According to Edmund’s Inside Line, ithe NHTSA stated that, "If the sensor was improperly installed, vehicle handling characteristics during hard braking, sudden turns or other quick maneuvers could cause the vehicle to react in an unexpected manner or result in unstable handling.  Under extreme conditions, the driver could lose control of the vehicle, and a crash could occur."  According to the NHTSA, the VDC G-Sensor, although designed for forward facing mounting, may have been installed backwards during production.

The NHSTA reports that the remedy for this problem is a dealer inspection of the position of the VDC G-Sensor.  If the inspection reveals that the sensor is installed correctly, no action is needed; however, if the sensor is found to have been incorrectly installed, it will be removed, reinstalled in the correct position, and the VDC system will be reprogrammed to ensure proper operation, said the NHTSA.  This Subaru Tribeca recall is expected to begin by today, December 19, 2008, notes the NHTSA.  The agency advises Subaru owners to contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783 or the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or at the NHTSA Website at

Edmund’s also noted that in other documentation filed with the NHTSA, Subaru said this defect has not resulted in any known crashes or injuries in the U.S.   "However, a report was received in the U.S. in September 2008 that upon moderate acceleration, the vehicle involved experienced a loss of power," Subaru reported. "Upon further investigation of this claim, it was found that the VDC G-Sensor was improperly installed."

According to a Subaru document sent to the NHTSA, the installation problem is unique to the Subaru Tribecas, which were produced February 18, 2008 through December 1, 2008, with 2008 vehicle Identification numbers (VINS)—in the last eight positions—from 84418312 to 84420236 and model year 2009 with VIN numbers, also in the last eight positions, from 94400001 to 94406703.  Subaru noted that while the recalled vehicles are within these VIN ranges, not all vehicles in these VIN ranges were sold in the United States.

Some 1,766 Tribecas in model year 2008 were recalled and 3,364 Tribecas in model year 2009 were recalled for a total of 5,130 vehicles.

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