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

Top problems are windshields spontaneously cracking, brakes, and electrical system and engine issues based on our analysis.

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is designed to be a car with the adventurer in mind. The automaker claims that the car is “engineered to last,” but 2020 Impreza owners whose vehicles malfunction or whose windshields shatter for no apparent reason, aren’t convinced..

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

Issues Summary

The single most common problem highlighted by complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the 2020 Subaru Impreza relates to windshields cracking for no reason. Most say that the glass cracks spontaneously, while a few describe how pebbles, tiny rock chips, or gravel hit the windshield before it started to crack.

By April 2024, 82% of the complaints sent to the NHTSA were about windshield cracking issues. Other components and systems listed in complaints include airbags, the electrical system, the engine, exterior lighting, forward collision avoidance, service brakes, steering, structure, suspension, tires, and unknown or other issues, many of which concern windshields. The only ones that feature more than one single complaint are the brakes, engine, and the electrical system, so, we’ll focus on these.

Additionally, there is a gasoline fuel system recall that affects the 2020 Impreza and other Subaru vehicles. This affects 175,968 vehicles and warns that the low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail. If this happens, the engine might stall while driving, which increases the risk of the Subaru crashing.

2020 Subaru Impreza Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Visibility/wiper
49
49
Unknown Or Other
14
14
Service Brakes
3
3
Visibility:windshield
3
3
Air Bags
2
2
Electrical System
2
2
Engine
2
2
Exterior Lighting
1
1
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
1
1
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
1
1

Windshields Cracking

The fact that a huge volume of NHTSA complaints are about windshields cracking doesn’t seem to have made any impact on Subaru of America, Inc. There is not one single manufacturer communication that addresses the issue. And there are a total of 240 communications on file with the NHTSA since every single one issued must legally be submitted to the Administration for their records.

But complaints listed as either visibility, visibility/wiper, or unknown or other problems tell the story vividly. Often, complaints state that this doesn’t only happen once! Most owners are advised that this defect isn’t covered by the Subaru warranty. One of the additional issues some complaints raise is that the EyeSight safety system has to be recalibrated when the glass is replaced, adding to costs.

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Examples

An owner from California tells how, while driving 30 mph, there was an abnormal sound. The cracked windshield was replaced by a dealer, But the failure reoccurred “and a crack appeared on the windshield in the same area.” This time the owner was told, “the VIN was not included in a recall for the failure.” We note that there isn’t a recall on record for 2020 Subaru Impreza windshield failures.

An owner in New York also experienced a failure twice. “The first crack occurred spontaneously,” and “started on the passenger side while driving on an exit ramp at 40 mph.” He replaced the windshield. But, a month later, it spontaneously cracked again… “I heard a ‘pop’ as I was driving to work on a highway at 55 mph.”

Another owner from California states that after the car had been parked outside on the street overnight, “the windshield had a foot-long crack in it. There is no obvious point of collision – it looks like it just split. I will need to replace the windshield for around $1,300 since the crack is so large.”

An owner from Utah noticed a 12-inch crack on the lower passenger side of the windshield that appeared overnight. The car was only four months old, yet he was informed that this fault wasn’t covered by the warranty. “With hundreds of others with the same complaint and safety issue, it seems as though a recall should be done on this, especially since the EyeSight safety system has to be recalibrated if the windshield has to be replaced and that service alone is $1,000. Others in forums/online have stated they’ve been through multiple windshields. Same issue, where they’ll wake up the next day to a crack across it.”

Brakes

Brakes in a car are intended to keep us safe. When they malfunction or fail, cars can crash and people can get hurt.

A 16-year-old from Ohio was driving with her father in the front seat of the car and her sister in the rear seat when the Subaru’s anti-collision engaged unnecessarily. The father states that “there were no vehicles or obstructions in front of the vehicle. The Subaru anti-collision began to alert and abruptly stopped the vehicle. The vehicle behind us had to brake abruptly but did not hit us.” This, he says, was the fourth time the anti-collision brake had engaged for no reason.

An owner from California describes a different problem. “A loud rumbling noise and vibration occurs while braking at high speed. (The) braking force seems unaffected but the noise is concerning. Upon inspection and a test drive, Subaru confirmed the issue and noticed uneven brake pad wear on the front brakes and leakage in the front caliper.” The dealer replaced the pads and rotors, but the noise continued. So, the dealer recommended that the owner have the front brake calipers replaced — but there was a shortage of parts so they were unable to do this! “I am concerned the brakes or other components may fail due to unusual wear.”

Engine and Electrical

Arguably, the most important component of any vehicle is the engine. When everything is working right, it feels like anything can be accomplished. However, when the engine starts to fail, each drive becomes a nightmare.

An owner from California describes how his 2020 Subaru Impreza lost motive power and stalled without warning. After stopping the vehicle and inspecting under the hood, he restarted the engine successfully. The failure recurred on multiple occasions but the of the failure was not determined. Another engine complaint, this time from an owner in Hawaii, is listed as being both an engine and electrical system problem. Three times the car “powered off completely without warning while driving. This is very dangerous (and) could cause a severe accident or death.” The fact that the car powers up again after 20 to 30 minutes doesn’t placate the owner. “The maker of these cars are not responding to keep their customers safe and continue to lie about the problems these cars are having. They are poorly made and extremely unsafe.”

An owner from Connecticut states that after a year of ownership, the car began to “exhibit hard starting. That is when the key is turned on the engine did not immediately turn over but there began an increased hesitation over time before (the) engine would turn over.” He believed it was an electrical problem and eventually had the car towed to a dealer. At the time of the complaint, he hadn’t been given an explanation about the cause of the issue.

Got a lemon? Take Action

If you think that your 2020 Subaru Impreza might be a lemon, consider approaching a lemon lawyer to help you get lemon justice. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of lemon owners — and the law makes Subaru pay the legal fees.

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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