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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did anyone else get this notice?

ATTENTION REQUIRED

Your vehicle is eligible for a complimentary STARLINK system update.

Hello <name>,

We’re contacting you because your 2017 Forester will require an update to continue utilizing your STARLINK Safety and Security services. Effective February 2022, the current wireless provider has elected to retire the 3G network that connects your services such as Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, and remote vehicle features*. If your vehicle is not updated before the 3G network retirement date, your STARLINK Safety and Security subscription will be cancelled.

Beginning March 10, 2021, your Subaru Retailer1 will offer a complimentary system update for vehicles like yours with an active STARLINK subscription2. This will ensure you can continue to access important STARLINK Safety and Security services. This service visit will take a minimum of two hours3 and it may be necessary to leave your vehicle for a longer period of time to complete the necessary update. Please contact your Subaru Retailer for additional details and to schedule your complimentary system update.
Anyone had this done yet and know what it entails?

I am asking because I have an aftermarket HU and amp that I have successfully integrated with Starlink using a custom harness from AutoHarnessHouse|Plug and Play Car Wiring and Audio Gear. I do subscribe to the STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus service and have been very happy with this setup.

My questions are:
Would the dealership even perform the upgrade to the Starlink system since I have an aftermarket system and custom harness?
If the dealership will work on it would it be just remove and replacement of the Starlink module (plug & play)?
If the dealership won't work on it (or I prefer to do it myself), would the dealership give me the unit for me to integrate myself?

What are your opinion and/or advice?

Thanks!
 

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2018 Forester CVT
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Did anyone else get this
Yes just got the email. I have Kenwood but left the STARLINK telemetric unit in which functions.
In fact I just used the STARLINK with the MySubaru app to blink the lights. Interesting wonder how they’ll do it if they can use the OBII port instead of the USB. I still have the original radio but was never happy with it hence the upgrade. We kept the telemetrics hooked in so the from tweeters work and STARLINK works.
Hate to loose that functionality and that unit is stuffed in the console. I might email and/or call the service department see if they can shed any light.
Lou Cioccio
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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I got the same email today for my 2018 Forester Limited.
 

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It’s because of the sunset of the 3G communications.. some data control modules can be updated via SSM (firmware), others need to have the DCM itself replaced. The March 10th date was changed to March 18th... they started late.

Beginning in February of 2022, the wirless network provider for STARLINK Safety & Security, is retiring their 3G network. Any devices that require the 3G network to function, including Starlink System1 devices, will need to be upgraded.

If you don’t have an active subscription you will not be notified.

It’s not through customer care, so no letters in the mail either. Email only to active subscribers.

If you have an active subscription and ignore all the emails/notifications, your subscription will be canceled (February 2022) and any remaining time would be given back to you as a pro-rated refund.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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Thank you for the excellent information @LouCioccio

I made an appointment to have the 3G network retirement upgrade performed on my 2017 Forester XT. The Service Adviser told me it would take 90 minutes. When I brought my vehicle into the dealership, another Service Adviser told me he was surprised I was going to wait in the lobby for the update. He laughed when I told him the appointment was for 90 minutes. He said the update takes a minimum of 3 hours and many of them take upwards of 5 hours. Of course they were all out of rental cars, but they gave me a ride home in a courtesy vehicle. I got call at the end of the day stating that the update failed, and they ordered a DCM, but SURPRISE it is on back order. My wife dropped me off at the dealership, and I picked my car up. They said they would call me when the part came. A day later, I pressed the audio button on my steering wheel to make a call, but after multiple attempts, it became obvious that Siri couldn't hear me. I later noticed that the green light in the overhead console was dark. I called the dealership to ask what was going on. They told me that a DCM was on backorder, and they would call me when it came in. I asked them why they would even attempt the upgrade without the required repair parts, and they told me they don't always fail the update. I asked them why they didn't tell me that my mic and Starlink would be completely non-functional if the update failed or at least before I left the dealership with the car, and they said "they are a very busy dealership and they always have people in front of them." Unfortunately, this behavior is par for the course with this dealership.

If you decide to perform this upgrade (and I believe you should), do not allow them to do it unless they guarantee that they have a DCM on the shelf should the update go bad. As I mentioned above, it could affect more than just your Starlink.

-Aaron
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Aaron, bummer! Sounds like a dealership to avoid in the future if you have other dealer options.
I think I'll wait until the parts shortage improves and dealers get a little more experienced with this "update".
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the excellent information @LouCioccio

I made an appointment to have the 3G network retirement upgrade performed on my 2017 Forester XT. The Service Adviser told me it would take 90 minutes. When I brought my vehicle into the dealership, another Service Adviser told me he was surprised I was going to wait in the lobby for the update. He laughed when I told him the appointment was for 90 minutes. He said the update takes a minimum of 3 hours and many of them take upwards of 5 hours. Of course they were all out of rental cars, but they gave me a ride home in a courtesy vehicle. I got call at the end of the day stating that the update failed, and they ordered a DCM, but SURPRISE it is on back order. My wife dropped me off at the dealership, and I picked my car up. They said they would call me when the part came. A day later, I pressed the audio button on my steering wheel to make a call, but after multiple attempts, it became obvious that Siri couldn't hear me. I later noticed that the green light in the overhead console was dark. I called the dealership to ask what was going on. They told me that a DCM was on backorder, and they would call me when it came in. I asked them why they would even attempt the upgrade without the required repair parts, and they told me they don't always fail the update. I asked them why they didn't tell me that my mic and Starlink would be completely non-functional if the update failed or at least before I left the dealership with the car, and they said "they are a very busy dealership and they always have people in front of them." Unfortunately, this behavior is par for the course with this dealership.

If you decide to perform this upgrade (and I believe you should), do not allow them to do it unless they guarantee that they have a DCM on the shelf should the update go bad. As I mentioned above, it could affect more than just your Starlink.

-Aaron
Do you have OEM sound system? I have aftermarket Pioneer HU and custom harness and do not trust dealership to be able to get it upgraded without screwing something up. I would really like to know the details of the upgrade process. I was hoping it would be just a R & R of the Starlink module box. If so I would rather they just give me the box and I do it myself.
 

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Do you have OEM sound system? I have aftermarket Pioneer HU and custom harness and do not trust dealership to be able to get it upgraded without screwing something up. I would really like to know the details of the upgrade process. I was hoping it would be just a R & R of the Starlink module box. If so I would rather they just give me the box and I do it myself.
@ForesterBill I have no other options closer than 45 minutes away which I guess is an option, but it would require a day off from work. This is the 4th time I have had my vehicle into this dealer for warranty work that required me to bring my vehicle back because they didn't have the required replacement parts available prior to scheduling service. 3 of the 4 times, the parts were on back order, sometimes for months.

@ninjazx I DO have only the OEM sound system. The work was supposed to be a software update and became a DCM replacement when the software update failed twice. Looking over the information that @LouCioccio provided, it appears to simply be a swap of the DCM.
 

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@ForesterTurbo - that TSB linked above only shows what a dealer should use as a claims submission. It's older than this 3G network retirement complimentary upgrade program subaru is providing.

The two TSBs for this particular program are very new, and won't be found on the free sites to view them quite yet. They are:
  • TSB 15-279-21 : Gen1 Telematics DCM Replacement for 3G Sunset (released 3/25/2021)
  • TSB 15-280-21R : Gen1 Telematics Reprogramming for 3G Sunset (last updated 4/01/2021)
One discusses replacing, the other reprogramming.
 

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I got this email for my 18 FXT as well. Just brought it in this morning and the service writer say it will take like at least 2.5 hrs. Got a loaner so I don't have to wait for it as the place is somewhat packed. Hearing that many people talking about the possible issue with the DCM swap, I'm keeping my finger crossed. We will see how it goes.🤞

UPDATE: The dealer did finished everything in around 3 hrs. My FXT only required the firmware update and luckily has no hiccups. The old version of the DCM was 05.00.30 updated to the new version 06.00.17.:)
 

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The software update is in two parts, each part can fail... you have to flash the module with one firmware (choose the wrong one you ruin the DCM)... if that is successful, cycle the ignition, and then perform another flash update. Each cycle can take up to 60 minutes - and then there is prep time .... setting the vehicle up on the charger/power supply, verifying the connection to Starlink, performing the updates, then verifying the connection to Starlink again.

Even if the firmware update is successful, but the second verification with a Starlink call center operator fails, they won’t release the car back to you... that’s a call with the iButton, and the person on the other end can verify the VIN and the location of the vehicle.

Hopefully yours will work fine!
 

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Thank you for the excellent information @LouCioccio

I made an appointment to have the 3G network retirement upgrade performed on my 2017 Forester XT. The Service Adviser told me it would take 90 minutes. When I brought my vehicle into the dealership, another Service Adviser told me he was surprised I was going to wait in the lobby for the update. He laughed when I told him the appointment was for 90 minutes. He said the update takes a minimum of 3 hours and many of them take upwards of 5 hours. Of course they were all out of rental cars, but they gave me a ride home in a courtesy vehicle. I got call at the end of the day stating that the update failed, and they ordered a DCM, but SURPRISE it is on back order. My wife dropped me off at the dealership, and I picked my car up. They said they would call me when the part came. A day later, I pressed the audio button on my steering wheel to make a call, but after multiple attempts, it became obvious that Siri couldn't hear me. I later noticed that the green light in the overhead console was dark. I called the dealership to ask what was going on. They told me that a DCM was on backorder, and they would call me when it came in. I asked them why they would even attempt the upgrade without the required repair parts, and they told me they don't always fail the update. I asked them why they didn't tell me that my mic and Starlink would be completely non-functional if the update failed or at least before I left the dealership with the car, and they said "they are a very busy dealership and they always have people in front of them." Unfortunately, this behavior is par for the course with this dealership.

If you decide to perform this upgrade (and I believe you should), do not allow them to do it unless they guarantee that they have a DCM on the shelf should the update go bad. As I mentioned above, it could affect more than just your Starlink.

-Aaron
 

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Had the exact same sequence of events happen to me, except that I’ve been in a loaner car for 1.5 weeks now. DCM’s are still back ordered with no indication by Subaru on ETA’s. Could be days or weeks. I agree with you..... anyone considering this 3G sunset upgrade needs to make sure the DCM’s are in stock before getting started. Otherwise , you could end up with a bricked car.
 

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Looks like they go through the OBDii connector and Windows laptop. Looks very easy to follow the prompts but that depends how technically savvy the mechanic is.
Lou Cioccio
That’s the one I attached a few posts back...

There are numerous failure modes in that process, several of which necessitate the replacement of the DCM.... choosing the wrong version of the firmware in phase 1 will do it. Not having the car in neutral during the flash write process will cause the CAN communication to shut down and that’ll do it... even though the on screen prompts say to have the vehicle in park... then you have to put the vehicle in park to cycle the ignition, but put it back in neutral for the second flashwrite procedure - there are two different firmware writes that are performed.

Once a tech goes through it a couple of times, reading and understanding the written procedure, it’s probably smooth.

Some of that procedure has already been modified. That’s the 3rd revision, there’s already a 4th out there, just not available at the NHTSA site. Based on some of the wordings, I suspect that it was changed because of things like the on screen prompts in their software being incorrect, as well as other issues encountered.
 

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Thank you for the excellent information @LouCioccio

I made an appointment to have the 3G network retirement upgrade performed on my 2017 Forester XT. The Service Adviser told me it would take 90 minutes. When I brought my vehicle into the dealership, another Service Adviser told me he was surprised I was going to wait in the lobby for the update. He laughed when I told him the appointment was for 90 minutes. He said the update takes a minimum of 3 hours and many of them take upwards of 5 hours. Of course they were all out of rental cars, but they gave me a ride home in a courtesy vehicle. I got call at the end of the day stating that the update failed, and they ordered a DCM, but SURPRISE it is on back order. My wife dropped me off at the dealership, and I picked my car up. They said they would call me when the part came. A day later, I pressed the audio button on my steering wheel to make a call, but after multiple attempts, it became obvious that Siri couldn't hear me. I later noticed that the green light in the overhead console was dark. I called the dealership to ask what was going on. They told me that a DCM was on backorder, and they would call me when it came in. I asked them why they would even attempt the upgrade without the required repair parts, and they told me they don't always fail the update. I asked them why they didn't tell me that my mic and Starlink would be completely non-functional if the update failed or at least before I left the dealership with the car, and they said "they are a very busy dealership and they always have people in front of them." Unfortunately, this behavior is par for the course with this dealership.

If you decide to perform this upgrade (and I believe you should), do not allow them to do it unless they guarantee that they have a DCM on the shelf should the update go bad. As I mentioned above, it could affect more than just your Starlink.

-Aaron
 

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I have the same problem. Dealer tried to perform the Update on my 2016 Outback on Mar. 29, but the update failed and they said they had to order parts that would arrive April 16. But on April 17, they said parts are back ordered and will possibly arrive June 16.Meanwhile like you, my Starlink does not work and my microphone does not work.
 
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