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In 2012, one of the recurring themes of major automobile recalls was fire hazards caused by manufacturing defects, as they left the drivers and passengers susceptible to accidents and serious injury or property damage. Some of the causes of those recalls included defective power window switches that could catch fire from contact with rain water, as well as various issues that caused fluid leaks in the engine. Now, though, Fuji Heavy Industries and Subaru of America are announcing their own recall to start off the New Year, this time involving fire hazards caused by door lights.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that Subaru will recall approximately 633,842 vehicles over concerns that the accessory puddle lights under the doors could short circuit, resulting in a fire. The main concern is that if the puddle lights or connectors are exposed to an “electrolytic moisture source” – like a road salt spray – the lingering moisture could migrate into the circuit board or connector cavity, resulting in a short circuit that could potentially generate enough heat to melt the plastic and cause a fire.

Specifically, four Subaru models are involved in this recall, including the Forester (model years 2009-2012), Legacy (2010-11), Outback (2010-11), and Tribeca (2006-12). Specific vehicle identification numbers are available in Fuji Heavy Industries’ official Defect Information Report, which also breaks down the specific numbers of models that are involved in this recall. Most notably, the 2010-11 Outback and 2010-11 Forester models feature the most number of recalled vehicles.

The recall will begin in February, as Subaru officials will contact affected vehicles owners about scheduling their free repair. Dealers will correct this dangerous issue by installing an additional fused-harness, which will keep the puddle lights from short circuiting. In the meantime, consumers can contact Subaru directly for additional information at (800) 782-2783.