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

Brakes, electrical system and windshield cracking issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

While midsize cars continue to disappear from America’s roads, the 2020 Subaru Legacy seems to hold its own. After all, the automaker claims it is “engineered to last.” Yet, customers are becoming increasingly agitated by the faulty electrical system, recalled service brakes and poor visibility.

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

Problems with the Electrical System

A new car is nothing if the electrical system isn’t executed properly. Sadly, customers have many complaints about the Legacy’s parts.

Here is an Edmunds review to consider. “Bought it 2 months ago and it has been in the shop for 8 days and counting due to problems with the Starlink system failing to connect that they can’t figure out how to fix. They replaced a head unit already and that didn’t fix it. You would think after having to settle the problems with Starlink for millions of dollars in the past year, they would have fixed it.”

This particular issue deals with the Starlink system, but defects can affect larger parts. For example, Service Bulletin #11-200-20R talks about how the software in the Engine Control Module can create trouble starting the motor in sub-freezing temperatures or while in high altitudes. Basically, the Legacy is only “engineered” to work in warm climates or at lower altitudes. Considering Subaru is designed for the adventure-minded person, it seems the company has neglected a large portion of its customer base.

2020 Subaru Legacy Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking

Service Brake Problems

Subaru issued a major recall around its braking system. Thankfully, this was done before there were major customer complaints. Because of this, we don’t have one particular comment worth reading, but still felt it was vital to share the details of the recall itself.

NHTSA Campaign Number 19V6640000 states that some Legacy vehicles might have a missing bolt on the brake pedal mounting bracket. This can cause the mounting area to deform over time and reduce braking performance. Obviously, without properly working brakes, drivers are at risk for an accident. As the manufacturing practices from Subaru continue to decline, more people are left unprotected. It’s not the “Legacy” of the past, but one that the automaker should be ashamed of.

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Problems with the Windshield Cracking

Driving down the road safely can only be done if the occupants can see clearly out of the windshield. Yet, this is another engineering problem with the Legacy.

Read this NHTSA complaint. “I was driving home from the dealership. After paying to have the side windows tinted (the windshield was not altered) there was a loud pop. The windshield spontaneously split in two while I was on the highway. There were less than 300 miles on my car and when I returned to the dealership they told me it would not be covered because it didn’t fit a business card completely through it. Also, this windshield is over 1000 dollars to replace and ‘calibrate’ because the Drive Focus feature only works with the Subaru windshield, so I must return to the dealership to keep my warranty intact.”

If the Subaru warranty isn’t going to cover it, why does the customer have to pay more to keep it intact? What’s more deceptive is how Subaru has failed to acknowledge the troubles despite the countless reviews that state the same thing. However, one can tell that manufacturing has gone downhill at Subaru simply by looking at Service Bulletin #07-173-20. This communication talks about how the Power Rear Gate can open on its own, with drivers nowhere near the vehicle. For now, the Legacy is a thief’s dream come true. What could be better to a criminal than walking by a midsize sedan when the trunk magically opens to take whatever they desire?

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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