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Subaru has been listening, and they have redesigned the liftgate controller for those of you who need to leave your liftgates open for extended periods of time. This is covered under your 3/36 warranty, and under both the Basic and Gold Subaru Added Protection Plans (minus deductible in applicable cases).

TSB NUMBER: 07-155-19R DATE: 06/12/2019 REVISED: 03/16/2020

APPLICABILITY:
2019-20MY Forester 2019MY Ascent SUBJECT: Power Rear Gate (PRG) Control Module- Design Change

INTRODUCTION: This bulletin announces a design change made to the PRG control module. This change is in response to a limited number of customer concerns regarding the rear gate not opening when operating the gate switch or dashboard switch on the vehicle or the button on the key fob. In addition to ensuring proper PRG system operation, the new logic also optimizes the PRG communication function. The change will prevent excessive dark draw which may over time, cause a low battery condition.

PRODUCTION CHANGE INFORMATION: The new PRG control modules were incorporated into production as follows:
  • Forester: Starting with VIN LH477261
  • Ascent: Start of 2020MY production
PART INFORMATION:
ECU-POWER REAR GATE:
  • 63350SJ006 for 2019-2020MY Forester
  • 63350XC10B 2019MY Ascent
 

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About time. Pretty big oversight by Subaru to not realize the outdoor enthusiast market is going to do a lot of keeping the tailgate open while camping.
 

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So how long will it take to kill battery with lift gate open? I am on my 2nd alternator and battery and after doing an emergency diaper change the other day, it looks like I need another one. I trickle charged it and my wife went for a drive and was stranded on restart.
If you're still in your 3/36 have Subaru replace the battery under warranty.
 

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Just so I'm sure I understand this correctly.. all 2020's came with this redesigned Liftgate controller? and all Ascents moving fwd will have this redesigned Liftgate controller as well? If it was revised in 03/16/2020 , I'm unclear how all 2020's could have it.
 

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Just so I'm sure I understand this correctly.. all 2020's came with this redesigned Liftgate controller? and all Ascents moving fwd will have this redesigned Liftgate controller as well? If it was revised in 03/16/2020 , I'm unclear how all 2020's could have it.
I've got a 2020 and have drained the battery twice from leaving the tailgate open. Service department told me it has to be shut for all the electrical draws to 'go to sleep'
 

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Just so I'm sure I understand this correctly.. all 2020's came with this redesigned Liftgate controller? and all Ascents moving fwd will have this redesigned Liftgate controller as well? If it was revised in 03/16/2020 , I'm unclear how all 2020's could have it.
No, the document's last revision date is 03/16/2020.
I've got a 2020 and have drained the battery twice from leaving the tailgate open. Service department told me it has to be shut for all the electrical draws to 'go to sleep'
That's saddening to hear. Did all the lights go to sleep?
 

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It looks like the original date is June 2019. It states pretty clearly to me that this was implemented at the start of MY2020 production. Perhaps the March 2020 revision is the item in bold at the bottom, a replacement module for MY2019 vehicles?
 

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It looks like the original date is June 2019. It states pretty clearly to me that this was implemented at the start of MY2020 production. Perhaps the March 2020 revision is the item in bold at the bottom, a replacement module for MY2019 vehicles?
No, the bolding is entirely mine.
 

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So how long will it take to kill battery with lift gate open? I am on my 2nd alternator and battery and after doing an emergency diaper change the other day, it looks like I need another one. I trickle charged it and my wife went for a drive and was stranded on restart.
Sounds like you need another one now. I would demand an upgraded battery like Yellow Top or Odyssey. Are you a member of the FB Subaru Ascent Dead Battery Club? There are some workarounds and a possible fix from Subaru (see the recent TSB I posted). To answer your question, it depends on the car. For me, it was somewhere after 4-5 hours. Others much less. Until you get a new battery, I would use a voltmeter to be sure your battery is fully charged before driving it. And, of course, carry a jump start pack.
 

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Has anybody measured the open tg draw on a '20, or '19 with new controller? I still have the old controller and 4A draw. I'll try to get the new one for my '19 during the next service visit...whenever that happens.
 

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Just so I'm sure I understand this correctly.. all 2020's came with this redesigned Liftgate controller? and all Ascents moving fwd will have this redesigned Liftgate controller as well? If it was revised in 03/16/2020 , I'm unclear how all 2020's could have it.
No, not all 2020’s had this. There are people in the FB Dead Battery Club that have reported dead battery issues with their 2020’2. Don’t forget, the 2020’s started being sold fall of 2019.
 

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Should I bring the TSB to the attention of my dealer? Car is in the shop right now. Seems like I should tell them I want it.
 

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Absolutely!!!! My dealer was able to get one ordered within a day even though I don’t have time to get it installed for a week.
 

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They said they won't replace the controller because they didn't see that it is drawing excessively shrug Car is ready with a new battery.
 

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They said they won't replace the controller because they didn't see that it is drawing excessively shrug Car is ready with a new battery.
Ask them to read the TSB, and remind them that the service is to resolve the very customer complaint mentioned in the TSB, and is covered under the 3/36 warranty. If that fails, involve Subaru of America.
 

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Hey Robert,

Is there a repair procedure for this TSB? If it doesn't involve reprogramming of the module(s)/computer, I may have to buy this module and install it myself. Last time at the dealer getting the recalls done, I gave the tech the printout of the auto-doorlock TSB and he came back later and said since it has "SOA" printed on it, he wouldn't be able to find the TSB here in Canada so couldn't do anything for me (unless I can find something with "SOC" printed). I'm not sure if he actually checked on their computer or was just being lazy and assumed so as soon as he saw SOA on it.

Also, are you aware of Canadian TSB database and how TSBs are performed for the Canadian market?
 

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After looking in the service manual, I can answer my first question: No programming needed, just a matter of disconnecting ground, removing 3rd row seat/trim, R & R of the PRG control module, reconnect ground.

Still need the 2nd question answered if you or anybody else know. Thanks.
 
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