The problem is with puddle lights beneath the doors. The company says moisture can get into those lights and cause a short circuit. This can melt plastic and lead to fires.
The recall affects all Outback and Legacy cars from model years 2010 and 2011. Also included are Tribeca SUVs from 2006 through 2012 and Forester SUVs from 2009 through 2012. Subaru says the Tribecas and Foresters were sold before January of 2012.Subaru says only 54,000 of the vehicles are equipped with the lights and will need to be repaired, but the company will send letters to all owners asking them to take their cars to dealers if they have the lights.
According to Subaru, there have been no crashes or fires because of the problem. However, there have been a few reports of smoke coming from the lights on a small number of vehicles.
The recall is expected to begin in February. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website dealers will install an additional fuse-harness free of charge. Owners can contact Subaru at (800) 782-2783 for more information or the NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.