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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for anyone who may have had issues with their Subaru seatbelts Fraying? We have been leasing our 2016 outback for 20 months and three times now the rear center seatbelt has frayed severely. Subaru keeps telling me that it is from outside Interference, implying that my kids are responsible. I find it hard to fathom my children being able to do anything to cause it to fray in the exact same place and manner all three times( one service advisor even suggesting that one of my children may have a nervous twitch that could be causing this).

We have three kids who use these seats daily, at this point I do not feel safe placing my children in these seats, if this has occurred 3 times in 20 months, there is a huge chance it’s going happen again in the next 18. The General manager at the faculty I leased from has told me repeatedly that a little fraying isn’t going to place my children in harm because these belts are very strong, (funny, because they keep tearing) I’m not willing to take that chance with my boys.
We have had other repeated issues with this vehicle, such as the maps and clocks on the dash freezing on trips longer than an hour long, and the phones contacts not working properly, the breaks squeal and have done so since we leased it. I guess I’m suppose to accept that this is normal, and all this is in my head, cause no one can give me any answers as to why this keeps happening. If this has happened to you please offer your feedback.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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I can't help you with your question directly because our center-rear seat belt is seldom used. You don't say where you're from, but if you have unresolved safety concerns about a US-market vehicle, report them to NHTSA.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/

Your post is unclear whether it's about only the center rear seatbelt, or others as well ("these seats", plural), and if one seatbelt was replaced and was damaged twice again ("this has occurred 3 times"). At any rate, these concerns should be reported to the feds (or appropriate authority if outside the USA).

Please let us know what happens, especially if a defect is discovered or if a particular way of using the seatbelts should be avoided.
 

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I has wagons.
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Without knowing details like WHERE the fraying is, HOW OFTEN it occurs, HOW BAD it is , WHAT the center belt is used for and other such things...

Nothing can be offered.
 

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I haven't come across multiple posts about frayed belts and if your search of this forum and the internet in general doesn't come up with much, then I would think the recurring fraying problem is specific to something that is happening in your car rather than generically with the Outback models.

Look closely as what is going on in the back seat. Look at things the passengers are wearing, bringing with them, using, etc that may be causing this.
You did not mention the age of your children or if any of them are still in boosters or infant seats. Those apparatus should not cause damage to seatbelts (that would be counterproductive), but do not rule anything out.

I'm not saying there isn't an intrinsic design issue with the belt, but try not to solely indict the Outback and to look at any and all possibilities. Think outside the box. Anything the kids use or play with in the car that they may tuck between them for 'storage'. Anything on their clothing, belt buckles, etc that could come into contact? Do they play with keys or use a nail file or emery board?
Anyone else using the car and placing things in the back seat?

This is something you are clearly concerned enough about to want to change cars so it is worth the effort to look at everything and anything to find the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By these seats, I mean all seats in the car where my children sit, but I am only having problems with the one in the center rear. The belt has been replaced three times, there is periodically a booster used there, but that has been ruled out as a factor. Personally, I believe that the buckle is causing the issue, or at least that is what it looks like to me. The buckle gets caught up in the fraying and gets stuck. Each time the belt frays towards the center, I take it in as soon as it is noticed each time but I am confidant that if it went unnoticed that it would penetrate deeper. As a mother, the first thing that came to my mind was " what are these kids doing", I have looked through the car and have observed my kids while in the seat, I can not for the life of me figure out what they could possibly be doing to cause this.

I am not slamming Subaru, I love my outback, but at this point feel this one is unsafe for my family.
 

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Looking for anyone who may have had issues with their Subaru seatbelts Fraying? We have been leasing our 2016 outback for 20 months and three times now the rear center seatbelt has frayed severely. Subaru keeps telling me that it is from outside Interference, implying that my kids are responsible. I find it hard to fathom my children being able to do anything to cause it to fray in the exact same place and manner all three times( one service advisor even suggesting that one of my children may have a nervous twitch that could be causing this).

We have three kids who use these seats daily, at this point I do not feel safe placing my children in these seats, if this has occurred 3 times in 20 months, there is a huge chance it’s going happen again in the next 18. The General manager at the faculty I leased from has told me repeatedly that a little fraying isn’t going to place my children in harm because these belts are very strong, (funny, because they keep tearing) I’m not willing to take that chance with my boys.
We have had other repeated issues with this vehicle, such as the maps and clocks on the dash freezing on trips longer than an hour long, and the phones contacts not working properly, the breaks squeal and have done so since we leased it. I guess I’m suppose to accept that this is normal, and all this is in my head, cause no one can give me any answers as to why this keeps happening. If this has happened to you please offer your feedback.
Looking for anyone who may have had issues with their Subaru seatbelts Fraying? We have been leasing our 2016 outback for 20 months and three times now the rear center seatbelt has frayed severely. Subaru keeps telling me that it is from outside Interference, implying that my kids are responsible. I find it hard to fathom my children being able to do anything to cause it to fray in the exact same place and manner all three times( one service advisor even suggesting that one of my children may have a nervous twitch that could be causing this).

We have three kids who use these seats daily, at this point I do not feel safe placing my children in these seats, if this has occurred 3 times in 20 months, there is a huge chance it’s going happen again in the next 18. The General manager at the faculty I leased from has told me repeatedly that a little fraying isn’t going to place my children in harm because these belts are very strong, (funny, because they keep tearing) I’m not willing to take that chance with my boys.
We have had other repeated issues with this vehicle, such as the maps and clocks on the dash freezing on trips longer than an hour long, and the phones contacts not working properly, the breaks squeal and have done so since we leased it. I guess I’m suppose to accept that this is normal, and all this is in my head, cause no one can give me any answers as to why this keeps happening. If this has happened to you please offer your feedback.
Came across this while researching my own issue.

I have a 2017 Impreza and the two outboard seatbelts are severed (frayed) both in the same place - about 3” into the housing when stowed. The dealer is going to replace them under the “seatbelt warranty”, but while I am waiting I needed to take one of my kids out and decided to use the center belt - which has never been used. It was frayed about a quarter way through on both sides. Never been out of the housing in four years.

it really is bizarre - there’s no way my kids could have done the main seatbelts simultaneously in the exact same way. We did wonder if they had been sabotaged while parked but now the fifth center seat belt makes that nigh on impossible too. I’m wondering if the inertia reel mechanism is doing it, especially with the emergency auto braking.

Will definitely file with feds.
 

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Came across this while researching my own issue.

I have a 2017 Impreza and the two outboard seatbelts are severed (frayed) both in the same place - about 3” into the housing when stowed. The dealer is going to replace them under the “seatbelt warranty”, but while I am waiting I needed to take one of my kids out and decided to use the center belt - which has never been used. It was frayed about a quarter way through on both sides. Never been out of the housing in four years.

it really is bizarre - there’s no way my kids could have done the main seatbelts simultaneously in the exact same way. We did wonder if they had been sabotaged while parked but now the fifth center seat belt makes that nigh on impossible too. I’m wondering if the inertia reel mechanism is doing it, especially with the emergency auto braking.

Will definitely file with feds.
What do you think the "feds" are going to do when Subaru has a LIFETIME WARRANTY on the belts? At least you're not driving a domestic car that has no warranty on the belts after the limited warranty expires.

Just keep it simple. Call and schedule an appointment to drop the car off for the FREE repair to the belt and ask for a loaner car if you need it.
 

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I have a 2017 Impreza and the two outboard seatbelts are severed (frayed) both in the same place - about 3” into the housing when stowed. The dealer is going to replace them under the “seatbelt warranty”, but while I am waiting I needed to take one of my kids out and decided to use the center belt - which has never been used. It was frayed about a quarter way through on both sides. Never been out of the housing in four years.
Please share photos here so others know what to inspect - this will help determine if this is a widespread issue or an isolated one. There have been instances in the past where a certain batch of seat belts (not Subaru) from a supplier had issues.
 
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Please share photos here so others know what to inspect - this will help determine if this is a widespread issue or an isolated one. There have been instances in the past where a certain batch of seat belts (not Subaru) from a supplier had issues.
What do you think the "feds" are going to do when Subaru has a LIFETIME WARRANTY on the belts? At least you're not driving a domestic car that has no warranty on the belts after the limited warranty expires.

Just keep it simple. Call and schedule an appointment to drop the car off for the FREE repair to the belt and ask for a loaner car if you need it.
Thanks for the unsolicited advice. "Reporting" it to the feds helps so that similar complaints can be grouped and evaluated to determine if something systemic is happening. How do you think recalls happen?

I already have the car scheduled for the two outboard belts and will add the center belt. The dealer has been very accommodating, but the complaint still needs to be filed.
 

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Maybe part of the retractor is faulty and every belt is being chafed in the same place because presumably, the same child always sits in that seat. I imagine they're only replacing the belt but no one is looking at the retractor.
 

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That one belt looks cut. Must have been a sharp knife.
No sharp knives anywhere near them, and the damage on every one is 2-3" inside the housing.

Zero opportunity for vandalism (we live 3/4 mile from a public road), and if someone was going to vandalize a car, why like this without anything else?

It's a mystery, but the center rear belt is a clear indication that something wacky is going on with the seatbelt mechanism.
 

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the damage on every one is 2-3" inside the housing.
So unless you took the housing apart you wouldn't detect that the seat belt was frayed, and you pulled on the belt and it just fell out?
 

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Maybe part of the retractor is faulty and every belt is being chafed in the same place because presumably, the same child always sits in that seat. I imagine they're only replacing the belt but no one is looking at the retractor.
I have twins, and they sit in the same seats all the time. It would be weird that they both do the same thing that causes failure in exactly the same way, plus mysteriously making the never-used center seat belt fray in it's housing by some psychic power, don't you think?
 

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So unless you took the housing apart you wouldn't detect that the seat belt was frayed, and you pulled on the belt and it just fell out?
The kids have barely been in the car the last few months, and only then one at a time. But no issues until this.

My wife was going to take one of them to some event and discovered the severed belt. Figured she would just switch sides to find the same deal on the other side. Took the minivan instead (which the kids ride in way more than the Subaru).

The only thing that I can think of that might even vaguely be relevant is that earlier that day I had backed up to my trash cans rather aggressively and the auto-brake came on pretty hard. Is there some connection from the auto brake to seat belt clamping?
 

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The only thing that I can think of that might even vaguely be relevant is that earlier that day I had backed up to my trash cans rather aggressively and the auto-brake came on pretty hard. Is there some connection from the auto brake to seat belt clamping?
It sure would seem counterproductive to make something that cut the seat belt at the moment you might need it and many others have experienced rear automatic braking without having their seat belts severed.

I'm trying to reserve judgement because sometimes truth is stranger than fiction but this sure seems way out of the ordinary. I've looked at pre-tensioner videos and none of them seem to have a clamp that would chomp on the belt itself - they use pyrotechnics to either retract the latch side, or to spin the belt side. Did you hear anything that sounded like a gunshot in the car when the auto-brake came on?
 

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I have twins, and they sit in the same seats all the time. It would be weird that they both do the same thing that causes failure in exactly the same way, plus mysteriously making the never-used center seat belt fray in it's housing by some psychic power, don't you think?
I'm saying a faulty retractor is damaging the belt but I didn't take from your posts that the damage is occurring to a belt that no one uses. If that is the case then - no clue.
 
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