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Discussion Starter #1
If you examine the IIHS report on the 2020 Outback, you will notice it is a top safety pick+ BUT WITH AN EXCEPTION

Award applies only to vehicles built after October 2019

this is because the early Outbacks had the headlights set wrong.

you can read about it here:


I have not followed up on this yet due to shelter in place for the past couple weeks and I am not going to pursue this until I am able to take the outback to the dealer.

my questions are

1) why hasn't a recall been put out for my Outback which is in this category
2) why should my $35,000 Subaru be inferior to one made a month later
3) how do I get mine fixed.

does anyone with a Limited or Touring have any further info ?
I will take this up to the corporate office if necessary.
I do not think it is reasonable to have an inferior 2020 Outback.
 

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some prior discussion on this already...

 

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and here:



There may be others.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I am trying to get updated information based on my providing updated information, the onyx thread is bloated, filled with useless comments and not up to date

I am hoping with my thread we can get some solid comments and information from people affected by this issue and not from bystanders
 

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It’s really not that big of an issue. There is not a recall because it’s not a life or death safety issue and the fix is to get your headlights lowered 2 inches.
 

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ah ok. IIHS specific threads then:



 

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Discussion Starter #7
ah ok. IIHS specific threads then:




I checked out those threads and too many stupid comments from people not affected by this issue
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It’s really not that big of an issue. There is not a recall because it’s not a life or death safety issue and the fix is to get your headlights lowered 2 inches.
in whose opinion is it not a big deal and how do I get the dealer to fix it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
and here:



There may be others.

the last thread is full of stupid arguements that waste time and don't help the people with affected units.
 

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in whose opinion is it not a big deal and how do I get the dealer to fix it ?
I checked out those threads and too many stupid comments from people not affected by this issue
Are they stupid comments because they don’t agree with your sentiment?

It’s not a big deal because they didn’t change or modify the headlight assembly. They adjusted the angle. There are multiple comments on here about how to adjust the headlights. There is a small screw you can adjust down where the headlights are.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are they stupid comments because they don’t agree with your sentiment?

It’s not a big deal because they didn’t change or modify the headlight assembly. They adjusted the angle. There are multiple comments on here about how to adjust the headlights. There is a small screw you can adjust down where the headlights are.
they are stupid comment cause they are arguing with others about irrelevant items
kind of like how you are trying to do now
 

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Discussion Starter #12
PLEASE
if you do NOT have an affected Outback, PLEASE move on and don't reply
this thread is for people with an affected Outback that want to get what they paid for.
 

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they are stupid comment cause they are arguing with others about irrelevant items
kind of like how you are trying to do now
it’s not arguing. It’s trying to explain that this issue isn’t a large enough issue to warrant a recall or for you to get in a tizzy about either. Two people have told you about how to get this fixed. Either get it fixed or hush.
 

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If you examine the IIHS report on the 2020 Outback, you will notice it is a top safety pick+ BUT WITH AN EXCEPTION

Award applies only to vehicles built after October 2019

this is because the early Outbacks had the headlights set wrong.

you can read about it here:

Ok - so we have established that the headlights are potentially set incorrectly on early production 2020 vehicles.


my questions are

1) why hasn't a recall been put out for my Outback which is in this category
It's not a defect or safety concern that would warrant a mandatory recall. Subaru could have gone and done a voluntary goodwill gesture and offered to adjust them free of charge or something, like a campaign bulletin, but so far they have not done so.

2) why should my $35,000 Subaru be inferior to one made a month later
It's not inferior. It's the same parts and everything! IIHS only tests cars as provided to them, they don't adjust anything. The main concern with the lower rating (I think, too lazy to look at the link again) was excessive glare (for the outback, not the legacy). Some conversation in one or more of those threads suggested that maybe because the height difference (my guess is that it's a different template/measure to set the outback headlights and it was calibrated wrong, but who knows).

most have found that the headlights might be adjusted a bit high and bother other drivers (correlates to the glare thing on the IIHS test). If you notice you are getting flashed a lot at night, yours might be too high. If not, I wouldn't do anything to it at all. Let it ride.


3) how do I get mine fixed.

does anyone with a Limited or Touring have any further info ?
In that first thread I quoted, there are examples people have given as to what they went through when going to the dealer. Some didn't have much luck and got frustrated and adjusted them down themselves. Others took instructions in (post #84 in that thread has them BTW), and the service department adjusted them down a bit. If you're handy with a screwdriver, a few posts later than post 84 even has an amazon link with a long screwdriver that works (if you don't already have one).

I will take this up to the corporate office if necessary.
I do not think it is reasonable to have an inferior 2020 Outback.
That too has been done in one of the IIHS threads (I can't remember which thread though, but the links are posted already). The question was if there were newer assemblies and what remediation was planned based on the IIHS rating and subsequent different ratings... how to fix an earlier car. The response was that there was a change in the manufacturing process (not in the assemblies or parts). The implied answer there was that something changed with the process of installing and verification (QA checks). Possibly they adjusted whatever template or measure when setting them. Who knows. But the answer from SOA was that nothing was going to be done by them at this time with earlier cars. That isn't to say you can't take yours in and say the lights are aimed too high and you need them lowered, it's just subaru isn't going to call you and have you come in.

Sure, lots of threads around here have extra information in them, responses that get off track (some threads derail quite quickly - like herding cats, only not as funny). There is a wide range of experience, age groups, aptitude, and so forth here - and responses will reflect that.

For the thread going forward, maybe a good narrower focus from your original questions could be something taken from question number 3? For example:


If you have an early production outback that was produced before the manufacturing process change to improve the IIHS rating, how did you get subaru to adjust the headlights in your outback to meet the same spec as the later production units which met the improved IIHS rating?


Does that sound right? Just spitballing here - trying to figure out what the desired outcome is, and as an alternate, best alternative to negotiated agreement.

Others might be able to chime in here (or the other threads) about their experiences with getting lights fixed by the dealer, responses from SOA... that could be beneficial to others that don't want to fiddle with headlight adjustments on their own. That could be good information.

Try taking the information from post 84 in the "dealer won't touch my car because of reasons" thread with you to the dealer when you go, and explain the lights are a bit too high (if you do want them adjusted... if cars aren't flashing you, or you've followed someone you know at night and asked them if the lights are too high and annoying).
 

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The issue on the early outbacks is not aiming, is how it throws the light. Can’t be fixed easily so Subaru ain’t fixing it. This fails squarely in the buyer beware category and I agree I would be super pissed if I had one of these. Keep complying to Subaru maybe get a lawyer.
 

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Lickitysplit - where did you get your information? Everything I have read about this issue says that it IS an aiming issue. The aiming does of course affect how the light "throws" down the road, if aimed too high or too low. But I have never seen anything that implies a change was made to the headlight modules themselves.

Later add: From subsequent reading, I now see that Subaru has stated that there was a change made to the "manufacturing process" to improve the auto-leveler function of the headlights. Possibly a separate or additional issue, on top of poorly-aimed headlights coming out of the factory. Sorry about any confusion caused by by post.
 

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Lickitysplit - where did you get your information? Everything I have read about this issue says that it IS an aiming issue. The aiming does of course affect how the light "throws" down the road, if aimed too high or too low. But I have never seen anything that implies a change was made to the headlight modules themselves.
The IIHS website says as much:


Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was fair on both right curves and inadequate on both left curves.
The low beams never exceeded glare limits.


This is not a glare issue for other drivers. Others have commented, I assume it was in one of the linked threads, that there was a problem with the leveling system in the early production models, but it’s not possible for them to be fixed, so they are simple stuck with a marginal headlight rating. Don’t have time to look for the thread now, but do a little reading and you’ll find it.
 

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The IIHS website says as much:


Low beams
On the straightaway, visibility was inadequate on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was fair on both right curves and inadequate on both left curves.
The low beams never exceeded glare limits.


This is not a glare issue for other drivers. Others have commented, I assume it was in one of the linked threads, that there was a problem with the leveling system in the early production models, but it’s not possible for them to be fixed, so they are simple stuck with a marginal headlight rating. Don’t have time to look for the thread now, but do a little reading and you’ll find it.
My Onyx had the issue and it doesn't have the leveling feature. It was aiming problem in my case.
 

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This is not a glare issue for other drivers. Others have commented, I assume it was in one of the linked threads, that there was a problem with the leveling system in the early production models, but it’s not possible for them to be fixed, so they are simple stuck with a marginal headlight rating. Don’t have time to look for the thread now, but do a little reading and you’ll find it.
oh yeah - I do remember that response posted from someone at SOA. That there was a process change with the leveler unit. The wording was a bit odd. It was one post by one person, not confirmed by anyone else (that might be something to do, see if a similar response from SOA can be obtained).

the text in one of the linked threads I posted earlier:

"There were no changes to the actual headlight bulbs for the 2020 Outback models built after October 1st. There were changes/improvements made in the manufacturing process for the auto-levelizer.

I am sorry, as those manufacturing changes cannot be completed on your 2020 Outback."​

responses in that thread started out as this was a change to the physical unit, although no part number change was ever noted on the parts websites (that anyone found). Some of the thinking was that it might have been a software difference in the units, or maybe the units themselves, but that wasn't verified in any way (not sure how to verify that easily).

The wording "changes/improvements made in the manufacturing process for the auto-levelizer" has the key phrase "manufacturing process". Nowhere does that response mention any improved or updated assembly or parts. It's unclear what "manufacturing process" encompasses in that statement. Also, nobody else bothered to verify that this was an official response to that question when put to SOA... meaning, is the response from SOA consistent on this issue? The thread went on from there.

Dunno. More questions, not enough independent verification there. Is it a part?(wording implies it is not)... is it programming? (wording is unclear to make this judgement one way or the other, a case could be made that software loading is part of a manufacturing process)... is it a change to specifications/limits and measurements during assembly? (that fits within manufacturing process).... is it some QA validation step? (that's certainly part of a manufacturing process). Something else I didn't think of?


Say you take the statement at face value: if no changes to the headlight bulbs, and some change to the manufacturing process to the auto-levelizer has now fixed the IIHS test results.... what can be done to an early production outback to meet the test results without knowing the steps in the manufacturing process, and then knowing what was changed?

If that cannot be determined, what steps can you take, from a practical standpoint with your car right now, to achieve the results of the later test?

Here are the headlight measurements from the IIHS as a reference.

481255
 
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