2019 Subaru Crosstrek Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, electrical, windshield cracking and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Now that America demands compact sport utility vehicles, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has become a popular option. Even the automaker states that it is “engineered for a long, interesting life.” What is seen is that this model does provide plenty of adventure, but not for good reasons. The electrical system is faulty, it has a defective engine and spontaneously breaking windshields

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Problems with the Electrical and Steering

Electrical systems run every aspect of today’s vehicles. These components must be functioning correctly in order to start the vehicle and enjoy all of the accessories. With the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, there have been numerous complaints.

One review on Edmunds says, “I have the 2019 Crosstrek Premium Limited – leather, premium sound, moonroof, heated seats, EyeSight, etc. It was to be my 3rd Subaru after owning a 2002 Subaru Outback Wagon and 92 Legacy Wagon – and my 1st NEW one. Immediately, it had problems with the radio not being able to remember presets and forgetting the radio stations, as if you disconnected the battery. Annoying considering I paid for premium sound. Issue after two Subaru visits: Faulty Radio Unit with open circuit. Solution: RADIO REPLACED under warranty. Next Issue: Started having rubbing noise at highway speed – like 8,000 miles if that. At 13,000 I brought it in for the 3rd time (friction while turning left, cyclical noise) and was told I need a NEW TRANSMISSION. Yes, this is a CVT paddle shifters. TRANSMISSION REPLACED under warranty. Now at 18,000, the noise is back and on my weekend road trip, the NEW TRANSMISSION OVERHEATED, twice while climbing two different mountain passes on the highway! Had to pull over to let it cool as if I’m driving a VW Bus.  It is now back at Subaru again and was told it needs a NEW TRANSMISSION COOLER (kinda like a radiator). 3rd Major Repair, none of which ever hit MySubaru.com’s page, but I confirmed they do report to CarFax, so if discovered, this repair history will decrease my resale value! And just FYI, no they don’t extend your warranty when they replace a major part so the new transmission would have 36k less the 13k I already put on the car if I hadn’t upped the warranty from the very beginning. Buyer beware.”

It doesn’t take long to see that the electrical problems cause major issues with this model. There was even a recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V065000 that discusses how the power steering assist can fail. When this happens, it requires a higher steering effort and might lead to a crash. It appears that a connector inside the EPS unit short circuits resulting in the loss of power steering. One thing is for sure – the lack of power steering is sure to lead to an interesting life, especially for people without the muscle power to get the vehicle off of the road.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Engine

Looking at the other vital components, it’s only right to examine the engine. After all, this is the heart of any vehicle and must be ready to handle many years of abuse. With the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, owners find that this engine isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

One NHTSA reviewer says, “While driving down interstate highway, lots of warning lights suddenly appeared on dashboard. Car would only brake, not accelerate. After safely pulling off to side of road, car engine would not start. I was initially told the ECM (computer) failed, but now it’s an engine problem. Nearly 2 weeks later, car is still in the shop.”

It’s evident that Subaru knows there are troubles with this engine. Even in Service Bulletin #16-121-19, they discuss a tapping -type sound coming from the engine and CVT. It’s most often heard right after the engine is warmed up. To repair the problem, technicians are told to loosen the six converter bolts to drive plate bolts, rotate the drive plate and re-secure the bolts. While the automaker was busy designing a vehicle engineered for a long, interesting life, they must have forgotten to put the parts on right and tighten all the bolts properly.

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Problems with the Windshield

One of the last things anyone expects to fail on a new car is the windshield, yet that is exactly what is happening to Crosstrek drivers around the country.

Just look at this review left on the NHTSA website. “Front windshield near drivers side bottom portion defroster area (all the way down starting from behind black plastic cover) has developed a 7-inch crack ending for time being in a fish hook at top of crack. Dealer claims extremely small pin size strike point was cause. Also acknowledged that Subaru windshields with eyesight camera system behind glass are extremely thin for eyesight to work properly. I will have to replace glass at my expense. I’ve been driving for 50 years and have never seen a pin size impact cause this much damage to a windshield. Faulty manufacturing process? Also contacted Subaru N. America and they stated that if a strike point was cause that they would not cover replacement.”

While the current recall doesn’t address the windshield specifically, it shows that they have had other trouble with glass. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V404000 discusses Crosstrek vehicles with a driver’s side rear door that has improperly tempered glass that shatters. To fix the problem, dealers must replace the window. It’s safe to assume that the windshields are created from the same defective glass. It only takes a minute to find countless reviews of customers with broken windshields, yet the dealers continue to blame the consumers. Owners of the Crosstrek might face an interesting life, but they will most likely look to find another brand of car to continue that journey.

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 Subaru 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • herman k

    have a 2019 crosstrek love the car except if I would have known must have a I phone to get gps I never would have purchased the car

  • Donald G

    My 2019 Subaru Crosstrek does the same thing when accelerating.
    Also, the eyesight light on the dash turns on all by itself, advising that the system is off!
    I turn it back on & it goes off again, this happens in conjunction with the hesitation at low speeds!
    Also the radio starts changing stations all by itself!
    Then I turn the radio off and it’s off and still changing stations!!!!!
    Finally, I hear a knocking/ static noise in the front speakers while the radio is on!
    Finally, I live in S.Florida and the temp light goes on as soon as I start the car and it stays on for several minutes as if it needs time to warm up!!!!

  • LizR

    Purchased my 2019 Crosstrek new in Oct. 19 with 33 miles. The car has always periodically hesitated when accelerating between roughly 18-27mph and increasingly at 60ish mph. The hesitation means zero movement, which scares me, especially when pulling into traffic. I’ve no idea when the car is going to do it

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