2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbags and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Busy families are always looking for a comfortable, amenity-packed SUV, which is why many of them choose the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander. The automaker claims it is the “featured-filled family SUV,” but all customers are finding are defects. This model seems to struggle with the air bags and electrical system, just to name a couple.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018   2019   2022

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
6
Seat Belts
3
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
3
Air Bags
3
Electrical System
2
Seats
1
Structure:body
1
Engine
1
Power Train
1

Problems with the Air Bags

Air bags are an essential safety feature that must work to keep occupants safe. This basic feature doesn’t seem to work correctly in the Outlander models.

Here is one NHTSA complaint worth reading. “2020 Mitsubishi Outlander was struck in the rear end and slammed against a solid foundation in the front that caused the dashboard to break and all the seats to break from the floor of the car. The airbags did not deploy and severe injuries resulted. The vehicle was stationary on the highway in route to turn when struck.”

Along with the air bags, there is a safety-related recall that puts people at risk. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V280000 illustrates how the second-row seat belts might not have been assembled correctly. It is possible that the seat belt may not restrain occupants during a crash due to the manner in which it was assembled. Considering that the second-row passengers tend to be children, this is even more dangerous. As a “featured-filled family SUV,” it pays to be able to hold onto the passengers in the first place. By not being able to secure passengers or protect anyone with air bags, this Outlander needs to take a hike. 

Problems with the Electrical System

Even the top auto publications know that there are major defects with the Outlander SUV. The editors mentioned the electrical system fairly often among the top negatives.

Here it is talked about within a Car and Driver review. “The Outlander is a lukewarm option in a boiling-hot compact-SUV market, with bland styling, a cheap-feeling interior, and an outdated infotainment system.

The automaker has chosen not to address electrical concerns among the manufacturer communications. The released bulletins have talked about nonsense. Considering the term “Outlander” means “a foreigner or a stranger,” it might be time for the Mitsubishi SUV to make its way home – to the junkyard.

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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.

Complaint Data

CategorySeats
DateNov 10, 2022
StateTX
Description
The left back seat on the 2nd row rocks. I'm expecting twins and it's not safe for the babies.
CategorySeat Belts
DateApr 21, 2022
StateTX
Description
The buckles for the side seats in the rear are so short they're almost hidden inside the seat making it difficult for anyone who is not child sized to find and/or buckle. I do ride share and this is an issue for 90% of my rides.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateApr 06, 2022
StateDE
Description
The catalytic converter was stolen. This is a risk the air pollution and the malfunction of other sensors that make cause the car to be unsafe to drive. The part can be easily removed and mitsubishi refuses to add any safety or security to prevent further theft.
CategorySeat Belts
DateMar 28, 2022
StateWV
Description
The rear passenger seat belt is way down in the seat and I have tried everything to get it to pull out more. I don't know what it could be, but it's almost as if the seat belt buckle is too short.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateOct 20, 2021
StateCA
Description
Forward collision warning light comes on with no car in front of me and car starts braking. I did see that mitsubishi was recalling these cars with this particular problem but I have not received a recall notice.
CategoryElectrical System
DateOct 10, 2021
StateCA
Description
I'm driving at 40 miles per hour and I turn off the radio and the lights on my board but it's still walking, then I parked to inspect it I turned it off and I wanted to turn it on and I didn't want to. Then I put the key in the glove box where the radio frequency of the ship is programmed or sent and it turned on in a while it gives me a warnin to check the electrical system on my board and this happened to me 3 times a day
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 30, 2021
StateGA
Description
5/14/2021 vehicle parked on a hill 45 minutes before it began to roll and flipped over. Car was in park and emergency break was engaged during the time of the incident. This is a hazard and could cause great bodily harm or death. I have children and they could have been in the car at the time of the malfunction . The vehicle was inspected by a police officer who confirmed the vehicle emergency break malfunctioned releasing the car down the hill. The car would jump when you breaking, but no warning lights were on before the incident
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 24, 2021
StateTN
Description
I was at a 24 hr storage unit. It was dim & I needed to unload from the rear hatch door so I backed to the open storage unit door in its upright position as high as I could get it & stopped at a safe distance from the doorway so the car door would not catch the storage unit door. I put the vehicle in park to have some lighting & double checked before I got out- gear shift securely in park. I opened the car's rear door & started unloading without overly disturbing the vehicle or causing any unnecessary movement. I had just turned my back to the car door to put down some boxes in the unit. As I turned back to the car to retrieve another item, I noticed movement. There was a rapid simultaneous series of events: I felt the rear hatch hit my nose, I heard a crash with shattering glass & I tried to jump clear. It was over in minutes . I was inside the storage unit and had to squeeze out to try to free the storage unit door. The door had fallen and gotten wedged between the rear frame of the car & behind the back wiper. I gently freed the door after much diigent effort. Once freed, the car proceeded to move forward on its own before I could access it to shut off the engine, & it eventually crashed into the opposite storage unit. I accessed the vehicle at that time & reversed away from the buildings so the car was equidistant from both buildings & facing an area where it would do minimal harm if it moved again, though I did cut off the engine. Verified vehicle was in park. The car had damage to the whole rear area, & damage to the driver's side bumper. Front wheels had been turned right so the car's trajectory was a wide right arc. I tried calling the rental facility manager but there was no after hours number & no answer, so I called city police who promptly arrived within minutes; one vehicle immediately drove up & I quickly punched in my gate access code for easier entry. This vehicle was followed by another white pickup who punched a code on the keypad & let himself
CategoryAir Bags
DateApr 27, 2021
StateCA
Description
The front passenger airbag cover opened/loose. The car is not in any accident at all.
CategoryStructure:body
DateApr 18, 2021
StateCA
Description
Sunroof glass shattered
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateApr 04, 2021
StateNY
Description
Driving down the road on cruise control set at 80 miles an hr, the car shut off then tried to restart itself. The dealer in jacksonville florida could not determine what caused this to happen. Upon inspection it was determined that all of the exhaust valves were damaged. They are repairing this but cannot determine the cause. This is a big concern for me.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateMar 31, 2021
StateCA
Description
While traveling on the freeway at 70mph, the car suddenly started flashing warnings of "ev system required stop safely", "rbs service required!", and the service engine soon light came on. Also, I wasn't able to accelerate over 20mph. I quickly exited the freeway and turned off the car. When I restarted it, the car seemed to operate normally as far as the acceleration, but the service engine light soon light remained and the "brake!" forward collision mitigation system started to randomly kick in. Interestingly, in the week leading up to the system shutting down the forward collision mitigation system had randomly kicked in a few times, but I assumed there was something low in the road I wasn't seeing. I've also experienced issues with the audio system and rear camera in the week leading up to this incident; the rear camera twice never appeared when in reverse and the audio source would erratically switch from xm radio to apple car play on its own. The vehicle had just under 1,700 miles on it when this happened.
CategoryAir Bags
DateFeb 01, 2021
StateVA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 mitsubishi outlander. The contact stated while another driver was driving at approximately 25-30 mph, the driver experienced a medical emergency and crashed into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. The occupant in the passenger's seat sustained a head injuries and medical attention was provided. The fire and police department were at the scene. There was no report of a fire. The vehicle was towed to an independent lot. The local dealer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 6. The vin was not available.
CategoryPower Train
DateJan 26, 2021
StatePA
Description
My car is 4 months old with 5500 miles on it. Driving at 70mph with cruise control on, car started to knock and buck. I reduced speed. The service transmission light came on and the d for gear selection started to blink. I pulled over and shut the car off. I restarted and the light went off. I drove home at a reduced speed. I took it back to the dealer and they said I need a new transmission. 5500 miles!
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateNov 23, 2020
StateCA
Description
When driving the vehicle and a approaching another vehicle, person bicycle or object, the fcm, forward collision mitigation system is suppose to slow the vehicle down and eventually stop the vehicle and give and audible alert. It does nothing. I took the vehicle to cerritos mitsubishi in california and asked them to fix the problem. They connected the vehicle to their computer for diagnosis and a code came back under system name: fcm/ldw/ahb, and under diagnostic trouble code c1809 (system temporary not available). I was told by the service manager that they needed me to leave the vehicle and they needed to call mitsubishi to find out what that code was for. They call me back that evening and said the vehicle was ready to be picked up and said it was working fine. I went out on a test drive with the head mechanic the fcm was still doing the same thing and he said he could not find a problem with the system. I suspect that they just cleared the code and gave the vehicle back to me. I took the vehicle to puenta hills mitsubishi (where I had purchased the vehicle from) and left it over the weekend. I was told by the service manager that they needed me to leave the vehicle and they needed to call mitsubishi to find out what that code was for, again. They call me back that evening and said the vehicle was ready to be picked up and said they drove it and could not find a problem. The fcm (forward collision mitigation) still does not slow the vehicle down and eventually stop the vehicle or give and audible alert. It does nothing. Recall number 18v621000 recall date 09/14/2018 electrical system: software mitsubishi motors north america, inc. (mmna) is recalling certain 2018 mitsubishi outlander sport vehicles equipped with a forward collision mitigation (fcm) consequence if the safety systems do not function as intended, it can increase the risk of a crash
CategorySeat Belts
DateNov 15, 2020
StateTN
Description
The seat belt on the back passage seat doesn't come out. It like that buckle is too short, which make it hard to buckle up.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 23, 2020
StateAZ
Description
In early morning after returning from dr. Appointment while traveling west on i8 I was in between 2 tractor trailers was 3 tractor trailers being passed in slow lane all were going 75mph or so when I got to middle semi.. All sudden the 2020 mitsubishi outlander 3300miles 1. 5 months old ... Shut down... Nuthing then it jumped to right and I thought I was going under semis trailer I grasped steering wheel with right hand and tried to keep vehicle going straight in my lane but by then I was 2ft from trailer and all sudden the car started shuddering violently and wheels ( front seemed to lock up and the a super loud banging and metal and I could hear parts and pieces sounded like they were flying allover and by this time semis that watched it all happen slowed and I was able to regain control although the interior filled with smoke and was hard to see out windows I had no power it came on for split second then off igot to side of highway and stopped .. Took a few moments to compile myself before getting out didnt wait long maby 5 second all this happened in moments . I'm 60 and have never ever felt a blow like this . There is a problem with these vehicles . Mitsubishi came and grabbed it with in 1. 5 hours took it to casa grande iv asked them tonight to dont touch the car yet. Weather they will or not I dont know I think it needs to be severely looked at by ntsb.. Contact me asap before they try to cover it .. I was going straight and holding wheel with just a couple fingers with left hand . When all hell went wrong. Theres 1000 ft of marks from fluids at mile marker 95. 1 in fast lane of az i8 west bound and probably pieces of vehicle def oil of some type for 1000 ft or hundreds anyway.. Happened yesterday.
CategoryAir Bags, Unknown Or Other
DateJun 13, 2020
StateMS
Description
2020 mitsubishi outlander was struck in the rear end and slammed against a solid foundation in the front that cause the dashboard to break and all the seats to break from the floor of the car. The airbags did not deploy and severe injuries resulted. The vehicle was stationary on the highway in route to turn when struck. *tr

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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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1 COMMENT
  • Alice W

    My radio in my 2020 Mitsubishi Sport bounces up and down in volume and sometimes won’t even change stations or you can’t answer the bluetooth phone or you can’t change it to another function such as telephone or stations such as AM/FM. I have taken it back multiple times when it was still under warranty and gotten the upgrades and was now advised by the dealership that Mitsubishi got the radio from a third party who is refusing to replace the radio.

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