Subaru will recall certain Forester crossover SUVs equipped with heated front seats, the company announced this month. A loose electrical connection can cause a malfunction in the occupant detection system (ODS), which detects the relative size of a front-seat passenger. If the ODS doesn't detect a passenger, then the passenger airbag is deactivated even if a passenger is sitting in the passenger seat. The loose connection can increase the risk of injury to a front passenger in a crash.
The recall includes 366,282 Forester crossovers for the 2015-2018 model years. Owners can detect the issue when or if the airbag warning light comes on when the front passenger seat is occupied. There are no known crashes or injuries related to the fault.
Subaru will notify owners of the recall beginning on November 29, 2019, and dealers will inspect and replace the faulty ODS sensor for free. Since the parts are not yet available, the recall fix may take longer, and a second notice will be sent to owners once the part is available. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614 or visit the NHTSA site for recall ID 19V701.