The Mitsubishi Outlander crossover SUV is being recalled for congestion between the rear seat belt buckles that can cause the right side, or passenger's side, rear seat belt buckle to break, the automaker disclosed in paperwork filed last week with the NHTSA.
The problem can be triggered by folding down the 60/40-split rear seats of the five-seat crossover. If users don't follow the owner's manual in folding down the larger part of the 60/40 split, then the buckle on the smaller side seat can break. The middle rear seat buckle can interfere with the right side, or passenger's side, and cause the buckle cover to break off. If it comes off, the latch is inoperable and won't restrain the passenger in that seat, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.
The recall encompasses 177,000 Outlanders from model years 2014-2019, and Outlander plug-in hybrids from 2018-2019. Certain Outlanders and Eclipse Cross Sports were recalled in 2018 to install a software update for vehicles equipped with active safety features.
Mitsubishi will notify owners by September 11, and dealers will modify the seat belt buckle cover and install new warning labels on the base of the buckle and in the owner's manual free of charge. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820 or visit Mitsubishi's recall site.