2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, brake and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Having a seven-passenger SUV, such as the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander allows families to travel in style. In fact, the new models are praised as being a “feature-filled family SUV,” but no amount of features make up for poor manufacturing. This vehicle struggles with defective air bags, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes and an engine, causing more problems than most owners want to deal with.

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Problems with the Air Bags

Manufacturers, in general, have dealt with countless air bag issues, and Mitsubishi is no exception.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “Takata recall. I was involved in a front end collision and the air bags did not deploy.”

While there aren’t any active recalls or manufacturer communications regarding the air bag troubles, consumers agree that there are problems. Yet, the automaker does nothing but turn its head away and act like nothing is happening. In the meantime, occupants are put in danger of injury or even death. But hey, this model has some of the best features for your family.

Problems with the Electronic Stability Control

To maintain proper traction and enjoy a smooth ride, the Outlander relies on electronic stability control, but this system also remains defective according to current owners.

Another NHTSA report states, “The contact owned a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced the same failure as listed in NHTSA Campaign Number 18V621000 (Forward Collision Avoidance, Electronic Stability Control, Service Brakes, Hydraulic, Electrical System). While driving 28 mph, the vehicle crashed into a tree. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was totaled and towed from the scene. A police report was filed. The contact sustained injuries, but did not receive medical attention. The dealer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 13,000.”

The recall that this owner referenced talks about how some of the safety systems become disabled even if they should be in use. This malfunction leads to an increased chance of accidents and affects almost 60,000 vehicles. Because of this defect, the system cannot intervene in time to prevent an accident, as was the case for the above driver. Now, Mitsubishi is admitting trouble with some of their praise-worthy features, so what does this vehicle have left?

Problems with the Brakes

In addition, the brakes are another safety feature that must work correctly to protect busy families on the road. It should come as no surprise that this system fails as well.

One NHTSA user states, “First of all, when the vehicle was about 6 months of use, the rear brake started to sound. When I took my vehicle to the Mitsubishi service department and the rear brake pads were worn out with only 12,000 miles. They claim that is my driving habits was what caused the premature wear of the brake pad. I told them that my last car, I changed rear brake pads at 60,000 miles with the same driving habits they alleged. At the end, I pay for the pads and the warranty pay for the disk repair and installation. Second, I had an experience in a sudden stop that the ABS system did not respond properly and my car slid through the pavement until stop. Fortunately, I had enough space to stop without causing an accident. I haven’t had any other incidents and I can’t tell if the problem persists. Third, recently I take my vehicle to another Mitsubishi service department because of a noise on the rear brakes. The technician indicated that the brake pads are worn out and the caliper rubber protector is broken. My vehicle only have one year of use and 25,000 miles. My big concern is with the ABS system that did not respond properly and I don’t have the technical knowledge to determine if the ABS problem have something to do with premature worn out of the rear brake pads.”

It seems that this owner spends more time worrying about the braking system than actually enjoying the drive. Of course, there is another recall worth noting at this point. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V620000 states that there could be prolonged braking by the Collision Avoidance System, which means the opposite of what the above driver experienced. The trouble stems from a defect in the FCM-ECU software. The rapid deceleration of the vehicle can also lead to a rear-end accident. By now, it’s clear that this Mitsubishi SUV is only concerned with looking good, but not all with families’ safety. Between the noisy brakes, excessive braking and inability to rely on safety systems, the ride is more like an amusement park roller coaster that’s out of control.

Problems with the Headlights

Looking at the exterior lighting setup, we see further concerns that should cause alarm.

Another NHTSA review states, “Head lights burned out 3 times in less than one year. Headlights have a life expectancy of more than 1 year. Not sure if static build up and shock is related, but that is ongoing too.”

The Outlander doesn’t seem interested in lighting up the path ahead, which is just one more reason this vehicle is a death trap. At this point, it’s evident that Mitsubishi should stop claiming that this is a family SUV, as there has been no focus on protecting any family member. While this SUV might not carry an expensive price tag, owners have to shell out plenty of cash for replacement parts, such as lights and brakes. By the time all is said and done, they could have bought a premium SUV instead.

Problems with the Engine

Finally, it’s time to look at the engine, which must be powerful enough to carry around seven occupants but can’t be trusted.

This NHTSA complaint says, “When reversing the vehicle, if you switch it into Drive to fast, the vehicle completely stalls out, requiring you to put the vehicle in Park, shut it off, restart the vehicle, then go. This is completely dangerous. It is an accident waiting to happen and should not be happening on a brand new vehicle. This has been happening ever since I bought it brand new with less than 50 miles on it. This has happened to me pulling out of a parking space at the local grocery store, to backing out of my driveway to take the kids to school.”

Mitsubishi isn’t ashamed of engine troubles, and has discussed several conditions through Service Bulletin #TSB-19-13-003. This communication was sent to dealers and informed them how some motors will throw the Check Engine light in failsafe mode, or struggle to restart after driving a short distance in cold weather. So, this SUV isn’t good for keeping people safe and now it can’t even operate correctly if the temperatures get too low.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Mitsubishi pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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