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

Vehicle Speed Control, electrical system and cracked windshield cracking issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Subaru continues to top the charts for safety and reliability, even becoming one of the “Most Awarded Brands of 2019,” according to KBB. However, the actual customers of the 2019 Subaru Legacy can’t understand where these rankings come from, especially after looking at the faulty vehicle speed control, poorly-built structure, defective electrical system and dangerous visibility.

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Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

In modern vehicles, the vehicle speed control assures that customers drive at an appropriate speed based on what’s going on around them. Yet, this system seems majorly flawed.

One NHTSA review states, “About two weeks after purchasing a 2019 Subaru Legacy, I was driving on a highway in heavy traffic when suddenly, for no apparent reason, the speed of my vehicle was no longer under my control. I was in a panic for my safety and life! After a few seconds of this loss in speed control, I either applied my brake or accelerator (I am not sure which) and I regained control of my car’s speed. A few minutes later, I noticed a number of icons on my screen that were strange to me at the time.”

Aside from this system malfunction, it turns out there is a large recall that can affect the drivability of the Legacy. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V218000 affects nearly 200,000 vehicles. It turns out that these cars might have a low pressure fuel pump that could become inoperative. If this happens, the Legacy will stall and won’t be able to be restarted. After looking at failures of this magnitude, one has to wonder what awards this brand has actually won.

2019 Subaru Legacy Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Vehicle Speed Control
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

Here is an Edmunds review worth reading. “Bought mine brand new back in May of 2019. Haven’t had it a year yet and had to take it back to the dealership for rattle noise that came from the cover of the EyeSight cameras and paint that’s peeling from a weird place on the car. Subaru will not repair the paint saying that the peel is caused by ‘outside influence.’ I haven’t had this car six months and it already issues from what looks like the build quality. I’m trading mine ASAP.”

There’s even a structure-related recall on the Legacy models. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V493000 states that some of the spot welds located on the cowl panel duct might not have been done correctly, thereby affecting the strength of the car. Basically, the customer above is supposed to believe that a company that can’t weld their cars the right way did a fabulous paint job. It seems that the Legacy is falling apart at the seams.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Looking at the electrical system, the same level of defects are found.

Here is one more Edmunds review to consider from a customer that numbered the issues. “2. No control over radio when starting car (when driving you tend to turn the volume up to accommodate other sounds) when you restart the car, it comes on LOUD and no way to adjust  it until the cars electronics are fully up) really embarrassing in a crowded place. Also when starting car and putting in reverse, radio becomes disabled. 3. Sometimes my ‘Eyesight’ feature will disable while driving on a clear day. 4. No maintenance settings on car for oil change reminders, etc.  for the past 20 years all my cars have had that feature. (I buy a new car most every year).”

While a lot of these issues are convenience related, there’s one more that can adjust the way the vehicle works. Service Bulletin #11-200-20R states that the Engine Control Module might not be programmed to handle sub-freezing temperatures. Without an update, it might be difficult to start the vehicle when the temperatures dip too low. This might be fine for customers that live in Arizona, but isn’t a plus for those that deal with harsh winters. Maybe it’s a sign that it’s time to head south.

Problems with the Windshield Cracking

While visibility is important for seeing out of the vehicle, there’s also an aspect of the integrity that’s needed to ensure safety. Yet, the Legacy seems to put further people at risk by not providing a solid design.

One NHTSA review states, “Was driving to work when a tiny rock hit my windshield about 3 inches from passenger side of glass. It was about halfway up the windshield. The rock hit was barely audible, almost didn’t notice it. When I got to work I inspected it and found the slightest scratch, no chip, not any signs of a crack. So I didn’t worry about it. When I got in my car at lunch I noticed a crack from side to side of the windshield. I can take my fingernail and feel the crack on both sides. I feel this is a safety issue. What are you supposed to do on road trips, stop and get your glass replaced every time you get a chip? I do not feel this car is safe to drive when the windshield is cracked from side to side. Not to mention you can get a ticket or told to park the car when it is in the driver’s view!”

Despite countless complaints from customers regarding the shattering glass concerns, Subaru has yet to do anything about it. Instead, the company issues communications about other visibility concerns. Service Bulletin #07-152-19R talks about new power window switch assemblies that were developed to address some concerns. It turns out that the power windows could become inoperative without the updated equipment. It doesn’t seem that there’s a part on this vehicle that can be considered reliable, which causes an educated person to wonder why it continues to win awards? It’s possible there’s been some bribery occurring.

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

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