By Ben Klayman
(Reuters) - Subaru is recalling as many as 634,000 vehicles in the United States for potential lighting problems that could lead to smoke or fire, according to U.S. safety regulators.
The recall by Subaru, owned by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, potentially affects some Forester vehicles from model years 2009 through 2012, all Legacy and Outback vehicles from model years 2010 and 2011, and some Tribeca vehicles from model years 2006 through 2012, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 633,842 vehicles potentially affected by the recall may be equipped with accessory puddle lights that when lit brighten the areas under the doors, according to NHTSA documents.
A Subaru spokesman said the recall involves only 53,999 cars equipped with the lights, but the wider number of owners must be alerted because the company does not know which cars have them.
There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue, but there was one report of smoke, the spokesman said.
A short circuit can develop when the light or connector are exposed to an electrolytic moisture source such as road spray that has road salt in it, the NHTSA said. That can cause heat that could melt the plastic, resulting in smoke or fire.
Subaru will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional harness, the NHTSA said. The recall is expected to begin next month.
(This story has been refiled to correct model years of affected Legacy and Outback vehicles, 2012 model year is not affected in second paragraph, )
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)