2020 Subaru Crosstrek Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Windshield cracking, engine and powertrain 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

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Transmission

Many automakers have transitioned to using a CVT instead of a standard automatic transmission. However, this newer technology is causing problems in the Crosstrek.

Here’s one Edmunds review. “The CVT transmission has a very loud high pitch whistle. It drives me up the wall a little.”

It turns out that Subaru has had to make several adjustments to this transmission already. In fact, Service Bulletin #03-83-20R states that customers were complaining about rattling and vibration when driving in fourth gear between 1900 and 2500 RPMs. To fix the problem, Subaru needed to replace the shift forks, as well as the sleeve and hub assembly. If the company had “love” for its car buyers, it would go back to using a reliable transmission.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Complaint Summary

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

Problems with the Windshield

Seeing out of the windshield is an essential part of driving, but it becomes impossible when cheap auto glass is used that cracks with every turn and bump.

That’s what this NHTSA complaint talks about. “Immediately after activating my front windshield wipers, I heard a cracking ‘pop’ sound from my windshield and a 12-inch crack appears, stemming from the center of the rear view mirror and extending diagonally to the top edge of the windshield. My car is only seven months old with less than 8000 miles on it and has never been struck by a piece of gravel or debris. This happened on a sunny day while driving 25 mph down a city street in Ames, IA. Since this happened suddenly without any cause, I believe the issue is from a manufacturer defect in the windshield.”

This wouldn’t be the first complaint pointing to such a problem. In fact, it’s the top complaint about this model. Yet, Subaru doesn’t want to show any love by addressing it publically. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been other structure-related concerns that have been talked about. Service Bulletin #12-283-20 states that a new hood stay support needed to be installed to prevent vibration between the hood and components underneath. This is something that most car companies should have figured out a long time ago, but apparently, Subaru was too busy giving out love instead of doing its job.

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Problems with the Engine

Propelling the vehicle is the engine. If this system is powerful and durable, the drive is fun. Otherwise, customers just experience never-ending nightmares, leading to a drop in satisfaction.

That’s what is seen with this NHTSA complaint. “We had a remote start installed by the dealership prior to accepting delivery of the car. Two days later, the car would not start. The car was completely unable to start. The Subaru dealership sent a technician to repair the car, rather than towing it to a dealership and repairing it there. The technician confirmed the remote start was defective and rerouted the starting procedure. Since then, the car makes a horrible noise on cold starts. The car was taken in to have the rest of the remote start components removed, but they claimed to know nothing about the sound. We feel these remote starters are unsafe and likely damaging the vehicle’s starter, and possibly other electrical components.”

While Subaru hasn’t talked about the engine and remote starter combination, there have been other engine-related problems addressed. For example, Service Bulletin #11-200-20R points out that the Engine Control Module needs to be reoptimized to handle starting in sub-freezing temperatures or while in high altitudes. So, basically, only customers in warm climates and altitudes are allowed to feel the love.

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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