('19+) Seat Belt Pain - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Exclamation Seat Belt Pain

OK this is weird, I will admit.

I bought a 19 Forester and since my ride home from the dealer I have been dealing with an issue that I just figured was my own issue.

The part of the seat belt that is to my right (the female end) is angled in toward the driver. The case is the same on the passenger side (angled toward the passenger). The issue is that the piece that is angled in is super rigid and pushed and digs into the occupant. You can imagine what a pain this is (literally) for the driver.

My car is in for some other issues that are non-related and I asked the service adviser to take a look. He called me back later that day and told me that all 19 Foresters that he sat in, base, premium, and touring (I have a limited) have the same, overly rigid seat belt receiver.

I figured that the car was new, I could be categorized as "husky", and the belt would loosen up over time. At this point my only fix is to stick a piece of plastic (left over Lexan from my workplace) in between the belt receiver and the seat to pry it off my leg.

I spoke to the service adviser and he said there is nothing he can do. I called Subaru North America and made them aware of the issue but at this point there is nothing they can do either.

Anyone else having a similar experience or am I the only fatty?


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:25 PM
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Would something like this help?

2019 Forester Touring, Pacific Northwest
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think so. It cuts in toward the driver. I work at a manufacturing site so I think I am going to talk to one of our engineers and have a alloy wedge made for prying the buckle receiver away from the seat.

More to come on this.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:26 PM
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I noticed the same thing but didnít notice on the test drive. Luckily my commute is really short so Iíve not drove for more than a half hour max. Iíve wondered if I could bend it out so it doesnít dig into my hip but havenít had time to look (and kinda afraid to try for fear of breaking something).

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:56 AM
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I notice what you're talking about. Typically I always carry something in this same area so the pressure is distributed a little more evenly instead of just digging right into my hip. Maybe a piece of Kydex could be cut, formed and attached to make things more comfortable for you. I have an after purchase meeting setup with a "delivery specialist" at my dealership on Friday. Supposedly it's in partnership with Subaru of America. If they're taking feedback to the company, I'll add this concern to my discussion list.
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- Chris
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 07:37 AM
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The earlier models don't have the '19's discomfort enhancement, as the inside buckle is quite flexible, and is nearly vertical.

The service advisor saying there is "nothing he can do" means that there is nothing he wants to do, or rather he doesn't care to do anything.
It's a bad design so you have to learn to live with it...
Anything sticking up at an angle can be bent with enough force... sometimes easier to bend when heated.
Any part that is attached can be detached, so perhaps removing the part first would enable you to straighten it out.
If the morons at Subaru can't help, find someone who can, if you can't do it yourself.
It sounds like a pretty simple problem.
If that turns out not to be a viable option, perhaps a replacement with an earlier model's latch which isn't designed to give you a hip pain would work.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 09:17 AM
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We have the same issue with painful seatbelt

I'm not sure if this would have made a difference in the car we purchased if we had noticed it on the test drive but yes, the seat belt hurts me everyday. The arm that you click the belt into is stiff as a rock. It will move about an inch forward or back but basically angles mercilessly into the seat area by 1.5-2 inches...enough to stick into the driver's hip. Further, it's the same way on the passenger side, making for an uncomfortable ride for both.

I've realized that I hitch my hip and weight over to the left as I drive to try to ease the pressure and it's giving me some low back problems. It's very disappointing and surprising....seat belts in our 2011 Forester do not have this problem.

I don't suppose there's any chance that Subaru would provide a fix.
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