Japanese automaker Subaru said it is recalling nearly 634,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. because lights beneath the doors can overheat and catch fire.
The recall is for all Outback and Legacy cars from model years 2010 and 2011 as well as Tribeca SUVs from 2006 through 2012 and Forester SUVs from 2009 through 2012. Subaru said the Tribecas and Foresters were sold before January 2012.
According to the company, moisture can get into "puddle lights" that shine down from underneath the doors to illuminate the ground around the car. The lights are usually most effective at night when occupants are entering or exiting the vehicle.
When the “puddle lights” are exposed to an "electrolytic moisture source" -- for instance, water spray containing road salts -- the lights can short circuit. The ladder can reportedly create enough heat to melt the plastic in the mirror housings, causing smoke or fire.
There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue, but there was one report of smoke, it said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website that Subaru will install an additional fuse at no cost to the owners. The recall is expected to begin in February. A spokesperson for the Tokyo-based company estimates that about 54,000 vehicles in total will actually require repairs.