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I haven't found anything specific for the 2005-9, but the attached clip from Subaru TechTips of March 2003 shows how it was then.

With our multi-position heater control, the different temperature settings are probably implemented by switching the connections to the heater elements, so that they are in various series-parallel configurations. At the lower settings, the current would be limited, and so the temperature might not reach the thermostat Off temperature. When on high heat, however, the thermostat(s) might well kick in. (I rarely use mine, so can't confidently describe how it works.)

If it takes the same time for the seat to get very hot in all the control "on" positions, then there could be a short (in the heater pad, or perhaps the switch itself) that's simply connecting all the elements in parallel (would be the highest overall current/wattage dissipation) regardless of the actual setting.

I've attached the wiring diagram, and a section dealing with testing the seat heater system, both from the 2007 FSM.
 

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