Electrical, windshield cracking and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The Subaru Outback has been around since the 90’s and has earned a substantial following. Enthusiasts have trusted this model to provide reliable transportation. Even the 2019 Subaru Outback came with the tagline, “Built to take you to the place you’ve never been.” Consumers agree with this, in terms of visiting the dealership more often. This particular model features faulty steering, electrical glitches and poor visibility.
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Problems with the Steering
The Outback is designed for on and off-road travel. It must contain a strong and reliable steering system in order to make the consumer feel comfortable and confident. Sadly, most people feel this vehicle is out of control, even with the smallest bump or maneuver.
One driver wrote this on the NHTSA website, “Beginning in March of 2019, I began noticing that the steering felt “wobbly” above 40 mph, as if the car hit a patch of ice or was struck by a sudden gust of wind. Driving feels very unsafe. This is our third Subaru Outback, going back to 1998, so we are familiar with driving this car (or at least older model years). Further, by turning off the new ‘lane departure switch’ this problem is minimized. We just moved from Florida to Connecticut and I am not looking forward to driving this car in the winter. These cars need to be recalled and fixed before someone has a serious accident.”
Despite there being numerous complaints that all sound the same, there are no service bulletins from the company related to this issue. Some owners claim the problems begin while hitting a bump while others express that it happens during a turn. Either way, it’s unsafe and dangerous. No one expects to drive an AWD Outback and not have the control or steering needed. If that’s what they wanted, they could enter the Soapbox Car Derby instead and possibly win a prize.
2019 Subaru Outback Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Vehicle Speed Control|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
Problems with the Electrical System
With quality as a foundation for the Subaru brand, it’s disappointing to see the lack of care when it came to putting together an electrical system. Numerous complaints exist regarding the glitches and downright dangerous situations owners are in.
Just check out this one review from the NHTSA website. “Recently purchased 2019 Subaru from a similar 2017. Cruise control speed settings have changed, which now require you to take your eyes off the road to watch for speed settings to change. On the 2017 and all other vehicles I have owned, to increase your speed setting by one mph, you push once and release. To increase by 5 mph, push and hold until it sense the increase. Now…a quick push of the button results in a 5 mph increase while you have to hold the button and watch the dashboard indicator as it slowly increases your setting 1 mph at a time. This is dangerous since your eyes are no longer on the road but on the dash area. Everything else I own, thermostats, keyboards, TV remotes…all move up or down one degree or channel at a time unless you hold the key press longer, then you get a faster repeat. I feel that taking my eyes off the road to watch my speed selection change is akin to texting. Downright dangerous. The dealer from whom I purchased the new vehicle responds by saying, ‘Things change, get used to it.’ I find this situation unacceptable.”
Out of 18 manufacturer communications related to the electrical system, nothing is mentioned regarding the cruise control settings. Sure, they discuss trouble with the radio, backup camera and navigation system, but nothing crucial or vital to the extent of the vehicle’s speed control. It seems the automaker feels that all a driver needs is access to these other technologies. As long as someone doesn’t need to change their speed for any reason, all should go well.
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Problems with the Windshield
What else is required for safety? The windshield and proper visibility. Whether it is a fault with the wiper or the glass itself, owners of the Outback seem to face lots of problems in this department as well.
Here is one review (out of many) on Edmunds describing a common problem. “Windshield cracked after only 4 months! It happened on its own in our driveway and it was a major crack. Read up on older Outbacks and there have been thousands of problems with windshields on the Outback. We are beyond disappointed and will be getting rid of this car. It will be very expensive to fix. Subaru let us down! “
While there is a service bulletin related to visibility problems, it doesn’t actually deal with this particular concern. Service Bulletin #07-152-19R talks about new power window assemblies that addressed several issues, including inoperative switches. As far as the structure goes, the automaker issued a recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V493000. This problem relates to an improper weld below the cowl panel that reduces the vehicle’s strength. To handle this, Subaru even offered to purchase back affected cars if they couldn’t be repaired. By the time many consumers got to this point, they were probably happy to have to turn their vehicle back in to the automaker.
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