275K+ Subaru Foresters Recalled for Child Car Seat Injury Risk
Children in car seats in the rear center of 2009-2012 Subaru Foresters could be at risk of injury in a crash because of seat belts that may not latch. Because of this, Subaru is recalling more than 275,000 of the cars.
The National Highway Safety Administration said yesterday that the rear center belt does not meet federal safety standards, the Associated Press reports on KansasCity.com. Forester owners might not be able to install child seats properly because of the problem, and if the belt does not restrain the seat, a child could be at risk of injury in an accident. Subaru dealers will begin notifying owners on April 13, and dealers will install a new rear center seat belt assembly at no charge, according to Donny Nordlicht writing for Motor Trend.
Subaru has broken down the potentially affected models by year: 88,759 2009 Foresters built from November 26, 2007 to March 26, 2009; 111,830 2010 Foresters built from January 28, 2009 to August 6, 2010; 74,802 2011 Foresters built from June 10, 2010 to August 31, 2011; and a to-be-determined number of 2012 Foresters built from May 25, 2011 to March 13, 2012.
As Dave Lee notes on Cars.com, “You can find the vehicle’s build date on a label affixed to the driver-side doorjamb.” For more information on the recall, owners can contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783 and reference recall number WQA-37, or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following facts about children’s car seats:
Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.
Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years. […]
According to researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone. […]
Place children in the middle of the back seat when possible, because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.
Image by Subaru, used under Fair Use: Reporting.