Subaru has recalled about 320,000 of its 2009-12 Foresters because the rear seat belt may not securely hold a child safety seat or restraint. In a notice posted on the NHTSA’s Web site, Subaru said the seat belt for the center position in the back seat may not lock “depending on the shape and size” of the child restraint being used. Subaru told the safety agency that a parts shortage would prevent the last of the affected vehicles from being repaired until February 2013.
Michael McHale, a spokesman for Subaru, wrote in an e-mail that NHTSA discovered the problem during its testing. The locking mechanism is a federal safety standard. Because there are so many standards pertaining to vehicle safety and so many automobiles, automakers are entrusted with certifying to the agency that their vehicles comply with those standards. The agency then conducts what amounts to spot checks to ensure the vehicles’ compliance. Mr. McHale said Subaru was not aware of any incidents, accidents or injuries related to the problem.
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