Subaru of America has issued a recall for the Subaru Forester from the 2009 - 2012 model years. The recall stems from a problem with one of the Forester's rear seat belts, which could cause problems for parents with young children.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall is due to a flawed locking mechanism on the center safety belt in the Forester's rear seat. According to a NHTSA bulletin, the locking assembly on that belt "may not permit proper installation and secure attachment of a child restraint." And of course, if a child restraint isn't properly installed, children suffer a greater risk of injury during an accident.
The problem affects Foresters built between November 26, 2007 and March 13, 2012. All told, 275,000 vehicles are subject to recall.
Subaru says that it will notify Forester owners about the recall on or before April 13, 2012. At that time, owners will be able to take their vehicles to a Subaru dealer, who will install a new automatic locking retractor on the rear center seat belt, free of charge.
If you have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Subaru at 800-782-2783 and ask about recall #WQA-37. Or, if you prefer, you can ring the NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about campaign #12V099000.