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Technical Service Bulletin 2008 - 2010 Subaru Forester

DATE: October 2009 (Revised 03/23/11)


2006-2009MY CA PZEV Spec. Subaru
Legacy / Outback and 2008-2010MY
CA PZEV Spec. Forester SUBJECT:
Engine Control Module (ECM)


Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) has determined that vehicles affected by this Service Program require ECM reprogramming.

Under certain severe driving patterns, such as high speed highway/uphill driving and/or accelerating with high engine revolutions, the efficiency of an affected vehicle's catalytic converter may begin to degrade beyond design parameters. (The "Check Engine" light will illuminate to alert the driver if the catalytic converter efficiency has degraded beyond an acceptable level and if the vehicle may be releasing air pollutants that exceed Federal or California emission standards.)

To prevent this condition, a modification to the Engine Control Module software logic has been developed that will improve management of the catalytic converter.

This condition is a software issue and has no impact on vehicle drivability.


2006-2009 MY Subaru Legacy and Outback with CAPZEV Spec Emission System

2008-2010 MY Forester with CAPZEV Spec Emission System

Affected vehicles are identified in the VIN range chart. NOTE : Prior to performing repairs, confirm coverage for potentially affected vehicles by using the Vehicle Coverage Inquiry function at the website.


SOA will prepare and mail an Owner Notification Letter to owners of affected vehicles. Because of the number of vehicles affected~ owner notification will occur in three (3) phases. Phase one (1) will begin in mid-October. When available, a final schedule for all phases will be posted on the website.

A copy of the Owner Notification Letter is included at the end of this bulletin.


Dealers are to promptly service all vehicles subject to this service program at no charge to the vehicle owner regardless of mileage~ age of the vehicle, or ownership.

For affected vehicles sold after the date on the dealer's computer list, dealers are to contact those owners and provide them with a copy of the owner notification letter. They should also arrange to make the required correction according to the instructions in the service procedure section of this bulletin.

Dealers are also to promptly perform the applicable service procedures defined in this bulletin to correct all affected vehicles in their inventory (new, used, demo). Additionally, whenever a vehicle subject to this service program is taken into dealer new or used inventory, or is in the dealership for service, necessary steps should be taken to ensure the service program correction has been made before selling or releasing the vehicle.


No repair parts are needed to perform this procedure. However, for those vehicles requiring catalytic converter replacement in association with this Service Program, Subaru has prepared the following gasket/hardware kit.

*The WVM23 Gasket Kit contains the following components:


Vehicle ECM reprogramming Will require the following:

Subaru Diagnostic System (SDS)

SDS Toughbook

Subaru Select Monitor III (SSMIII Application Software)

Subaru Diagnostic Interface Box (SDI)

USB Data Link Cable and Reprogramming Cable.

Note : If you require assistance with using the Subaru Diagnostic System (SDS), use the "Help" function icon, which will allow you to access the tutorial information.


This service procedure will involve completing the following two (2) steps:

1) Check ECM memory for diagnostic trouble codes.
2) Reprogram ECM with updated Pack file.
1) Check ECM memory for diagnostic trouble codes.

Using the appropriate Subaru Diagnostics System (SDS) components, connect to the vehicle's Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) located in the vehicle's lower left dash panel.

Select the Select Monitor Icon from the SDS Graphical User Interface (GUI). The Main Menu will appear:

1) Select Each System Check.
2) Select Engine Control System.
3) Select Diagnostic Code(s) Display.
4) Select Memorized Diagnostic Code(s).
5) Search results will appear. Proceed as follows:

If no codes are found, proceed to the "ECM Reprogramming Instructions" section of this bulletin.

If trouble codes are found, refer to the following table for the correct repair procedure. Make any necessary repairs and clear all codes prior to reprogramming the ECM.

2) ECM Reprogramming Instructions

Confirm your SSMIII contains the October 2009 or newer software update.

Note :Vehicles equipped with automatic transmission must be placed in "Park" (P) during the reprogramming process.

Upgrade Version Numbers


Use the Pack file to reprogram the ECM:


After ECM reprogramming, the OBD system's readiness code monitors will set to "incomplete". Normally, the vehicle needs to be driven under a variety of conditions before the readiness code monitors will indicate complete". (See State I/M Program Advisory Bulletin number 11-72-04, dated 8/4/04 for details.)



Type or print the necessary information on a Service Program identification label. The completed label should be attached to the vehicle's upper radiator support.

Additional labels are available through the Customer Dealer Services Department.



The California Air Resources Board and the Department of Motor Vehicles Registration / Recall Program requires that all emission related Recall/Campaign or Service Program repairs be completed before a vehicle registration is renewed. Please provide owners of vehicles registered in the state of California, a completed "Vehicle Emission Recall - Proof of Correction" certificate. Vehicle owners should be advised to retain this certificate because the California Department of Motor Vehicles may require they provide proof this service program repair has been completed.


Credit to perform this Service Program will be based on the submission of properly completed repair order information. Dealers may submit claims through Vehicle Claim Entry on


Note :certain vehicles affected by the WVM-23 Service Program may also be affected by the WVU-31 ECM Reprogramming Service Program. Since the WVU-31 PAK file includes the updates contained in the WVM-23 PAK file, only reprogram the ECM using the WVU-31 PAK file. When WVM-23 is performed in conjunction with WVU-31, labor time will be reduced by 0.4 hours on the WVM-23 claim, to adjust for overlapping reprogramming labor.



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