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Seat belt retractor cover rattle

2428 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  JMaltby
Has anyone else had issues with a seat belt retractor cover rattling (mine is driver-side)? I brought my car into the dealer in September and that is what they’re saying is the issue. They tried installing some felt dampener to the piece, but that did absolutely nothing. Now it’s been 3 months of me trying to get either of them (dealership or Subaru USA) to come up with a permanent fix for the issue. Both keep blaming each other on the holdup. My service tech said this is a known issue from other 2021 Ascents and that most have not been resolved. I’m 100% not ok with them not fixing this and I won’t stop bugging both of them until it’s fixed.
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I thought my retractor was rattling but it turns out it was the retractable window shade in the door. Raise yours so it is in the shade position and see if it quits.
Hadn’t thought about that and they never suggested that as a possibility either. Definitely going to test that out today! Fingers crossed!
I thought my retractor was rattling but it turns out it was the retractable window shade in the door. Raise yours so it is in the shade position and see if it quits.
Just went for a drive with the shade up. Unfortunately this isn’t the cause of the sound.
My next trick is to have someone ride with you and have them sit the area that you think the rattle is coming from. Probably in the back seat on the driver side in your case. Have them listen and put their hands where they think they hear the sound. Another set of ears in a different place can make all the difference.
Thank you for the suggestion. The service guys at the dealership did exactly this. They even disassembled everything they safely could near the seatbelt to pinpoint the noise. They’re VERY sure it’s the seatbelt retractor as the noise stopped when the guy in the back placed his hand over some part of it. My problem is Subaru corporate is dragging their feet on finding a repair. There are other known cases of the same issue on other ascents and my service manager said it doesn’t look like a fix has been found. At what point is my vehicle considered a Lemon? There’s only been one fix attempt on it, and we’re now at almost 4 months of back-and-forth with corporate and the dealership with no resolution. Can they just give up and say it’s not fixable and I’m stuck with the noise forever?
Update: Subaru Corporate has officially said they cannot do anything additional to help me, and since this is a “cosmetic” issue, it doesn’t fall under warranty. Guess I’ll be taking the Lemon Law route and will be bringing the vehicle in for “service” a few more times.
Why not ask them to just replace the entire seat belt mechanism?

I do have doubts you'll be very successful with a Lemon Law claim for this kind of thing, however.
I’ve asked them to do that exact thing repeatedly, but they refuse to even try. They keep saying it won’t fix the issue and I’ve asked “well, how do you know if you don’t try?” Their explaination is that the engineer on my case said “it won’t fix the problem”, and they get really testy when I question how they can confirm that without trying.

My concern now is if that faulty cover breaks off, can it potentially get jammed in the seatbelt mechanism? This is all just so incredibly frustrating and disheartening. I really love the car and cannot imagine living with this noise for the next 5-10 years I was planning on keeping it.
Updated explanation from corporate to why they won’t try replacing my seatbelt receptacle:

“However, it seems that the current design of the seat belt has the rattle noise occur. It was replaced in the past <not on my vehicle, though> and the same issue is occurring so its the design that is the concern. When compared to like models on the lot it was confirmed to be a noise present throughout all the car so the design causes the annoyance in sound.”
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