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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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724 Posts
jmah88,

Always state the year, model, and mileage of your car. It really helps to narrow down the solutions that any of us can give you, otherwise we're just shooting in the dark.

From the picture you have an LTD, and if the car is outside the warranty period, then you are on your own.

Having restored cars for years I can tell you that a repair by an automotive upholstery shop will be fairly simple, and depending on how old your car is (6 years or less) they will be able to get the same vinyl/leather from a supplier. You pull the seat from the car (4 bolts and one or two wiring connections under the seat) and they'll remove the seat back cover, use the old section as a pattern, and stitch in a new one, at just around $100 or so depending on where you go.

Some car detailers can also repair the cracked section with actual vinyl and colour match it to the seat. But this kind of repair may be good for only a year or two before you'll have to do it again, because of the wear it'll get from the driver. See a car dealership to see who they recommend for such a repair. Good Luck!
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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602 Posts
Interesting, there is a characteristic called "cold cracking" that happens on vinyl seats. Assuming you live in a cold climate (what part of Canada does not get cold?) there probably has been times when you went out to the car when it was -20 C and got in to hear the sounds of vinyl making creaking and cracking noises.

I remember that in an old Scum-stang (1970's Mustang II), it did not get better until the car interior reached around 0 C.

https://www.greenhousefabrics.com/blog/vinyl-cold-crackwhat-it

http://innovationsautointeriors.com/choosing-upholstery-material/

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For any manufacturer you are at the mercy of your suppliers and only have a fallback if you explicitly specified something like cold crack temperature and then tested each batch.
 

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Bolster cracking on my car

Exactly the same problem observed this spring on my 2016 Outback Limited/50000 km. Yes, it is a too thin, low quality PVC bolster cover material. The Limited has the seating area with real leather, the bolster is not. The reason for cracking more probable than not was due to the light colour (e.g. no carbon black used in the PVC as in darker colours?! or not appropriate plasticiser in the same). In any case Subaru should had it tested and should be hold responsible for it even if it occurred after the time warranty is lapsed. On my car, I just purchased for 15.99 $ a repair kit from Canadian Tire; simple enough to be do it yourself kind of job, with both aesthetics and durability, remaining a big ??.
 

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Registered
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Bolster cracking on my car

Exactly the same problem observed this spring on my 2016 Outback Limited/50000 km. Yes, it is a too thin, low quality PVC bolster cover material. The Limited has the seating area with real leather, the bolster is not. The reason for cracking more probable than not was due to the light colour (e.g. no carbon black used in the PVC as in darker colours?! or not appropriate plasticiser in the same). In any case Subaru should had it tested and should be hold responsible for it even if it occurred after the time warranty is lapsed. On my car, I just purchased for 15.99 $ a repair kit from Canadian Tire; simple enough to be do it yourself kind of job, with both aesthetics and durability, remaining a big ??.
What is the name of the product you purchased at Cdn Tire?
 
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