2021 Subaru Impreza Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Tire & Steering issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Subaru Impreza, first introduced in 1992, is a family car that was developed from the brand’s motorsport cars. It’s popular and has sold well. But it has its problems, and there are Impreza owners who are convinced they have bought a lemon.

Lemberg Law has already discussed issues that have been experienced by owners of 2018, 2019, and 2020 models. Now we are reporting on problems with the 2021 model.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018   2019   2020   2022

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Subaru Impreza

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Vehicle Speed Control
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Unknown Or Other

One of the most alarming is a recall (one of 2) that has resulted in an urgent notification to 2021 owners of 802 vehicles to “stop driving this vehicle immediately.”

That has to be a soul-stopping message for any 2021 Subaru Impreza to receive. The reason for the recall is that a “separated control arm may cause the tire to contact the wheel well, resulting in a loss of control and increasing the risk of a crash.” Categorized as a suspension problem (not tires), it is one of 2 recalls on this model and is dated August 30, 2021.

So far, there are 6 complaints about the 2021 Subaru Impreza that have been made to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While 2 relate to tires, none appear to relate to the problem that prompted the recall.

This means that you need to be ultra-aware of anything that seems to be wrong with your vehicle. And if it is a recurring problem, file a complaint with NHTSA and contact a reputable lemon law firm like Lemberg Law.

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Subaru Impreza

Of the 6 complaints reported to NHTSA so far, steering and tires top the list, with 2 complaints each. The rest relate to the engine, vehicle speed control, and windshield of the car.

What is interesting, is that when we examine the manufacturer communications that Subaru has sent to dealers, the biggest issues relate to the electrical system and equipment. There are a total of 82 of these documents, which, by law, must be shared with NHTSA.

Clearly, these have crossover issues, but 45 are listed as relating to the electrical system and 43 to equipment. Only 1 tire issue has been shared and it doesn’t appear to relate to the recall. There is nothing on record that warns 2021 Impreza owners about possible steering issues.

2021 Subaru Impreza Tire Problems

The two complaints about tire problems involve different brands of tires, Yokohama, and Continental.

The first reports a bulge developing on the sidewall of the tire on the driver’s side. “The integrity of the tire was compromised so I contacted the dealership and arranged to have the tire replaced.” Not long after, the same thing happened on the rear driver’s side tire. And, again the tire was replaced at the owner’s cost.

Additionally, the complaint contains an important warning:

“It is also possible that the bulge might appear on the backside of the sidewall where it would not be noticed. It is possible that another motorist might not recognize the integrity of the tire was compromised and that their life and the lives of others were potentially at risk.”

The second tire complaint describes “a loud abnormal noise” which was the front tire blowing out and damaging the rim. This vehicle only had about 1,700 miles on the clock.

2021 Subaru Impreza Steering Problems

The 2 complaints about steering problems are quite different from one another. One states the car won’t drive straight, which is “outright dangerous in weather or wind.” At the time of the complaint, it was a new car with only 700 miles on the clock.

“A Subaru dealer is checking the alignment, but they say they are aware of this issue and have no answers.”

The second reports an “erratically loose” steering column that “does not feel safe to drive at highway speed.”

2021 Subaru Impreza Other Problems

One of the other issues related to engine and vehicle speed control problems. The car accelerates on its own and this reportedly happened several times, including in a parking lot.

Another reports a windshield cracking within 3 weeks of purchasing a new 2021 Subaru Impreza Hatchback AWD.

What to do if your 2021 Subaru Impreza is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Not every 2021 Subaru Impreza with faults and malfunctions is a lemon, but if yours has recurrent or persistent problems, it might be. If you suspect yours is a lemon, please feel free to call the Lemberg Law Helpline so that we can assess your case.

We have substantial experience in the lemon law niche and have helped many clients negotiate settlements. These include buybacks, trade-ins, and cash settlements.

The good news is that if you have purchased a lemon, you aren’t going to have to foot the legal bills. The law says that this is the responsibility of Subaru.

Complaint Data

DateNov 25, 2022
Plastic parts of side mirror melt easily by heat and sunlight. (not only side mirror, but also other components with the same plastic parts) it bothers driver visibility and safety when driving highway. The problem was reviewed by subaru service center, and they said it is not their problems. Subaru service center said they saw few cases but they said it is customers fault. Service center said customer needs to park in the shade or safe place.
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 30, 2022
Vehicle is at 23520 miles, front brake pads are worn to 1mm on passenger side and 2mm on front driver side. Vehicle had been taken on october 04, 2022 for repairs and local subaru dealer refuses to repair it, even though warranty still applicable for defects until 3 years or 36,000 miles as stated in pages 4 and 5 the warranty and maintenance 2021 book. Also vehicle has oil leak under rear side of motor.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Visibility/wiper
DateOct 18, 2022
Front windshield spontaneous cracking from defroster area in a "j" shape. This is the second windshield since new to do this (2021 model). Available for inspection. The first windshield was inspected and replaced by subaru at their cost minus eyesight recalibration (adas). First windshield was inspected by insurance and no impact point was found and was notified to contact dealer before filing a claim with insurance. The second cracked windshield is in the same area as the first with exactly the same shape and abruptness. Cracked while car was sitting over night. Temps at 6 am were 37 degress. Temps at time of crack were 60 degrees. Car is equipped with eyesight that is affected by the crack once it grows into the eyesight camera view.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJun 20, 2022
I was using the adaptive cruise control on the highway set to 55 mph. The car suddenly decelerated to ~44 mph so quickly I had whiplash. There was no other vehicle in front of me and the highway was clear of debris. The dealership said this could be caused by a glare.
CategoryPower Train, Visibility/wiper
DateMay 28, 2022
July 09 2021 reported to subaru el paso at time of first maintenance (6000 miles) vehicle losses power and stalls when making turns, it is more noticeable making a left turn. Technician said coudn't duplicate the problem and no furter action was needed. However a year ;later from time to time vehicle does stall while making turns making, odometer reads 18081. The oher issue is its windshield, it cracked while driving it on january 29, 2022, there is no stress marks from pebbles, rocks, or any other flying from the road or vehicles. Wrote an inquiry to manufacturer, sent a picture, but we never got a response to this inquiry, took vehicle for its 18000 scheduled maintenance, let subaru of el paso to look at it, and their response was to call our auto insurance to handle its repair, technician did not bother to inspect this issue and didn't recorder on maintenance
DateJan 24, 2022
The contact owns a 2021 subaru impreza equipped with continental tires, tire line: procontact tx, tire size: p205/55/r16, dot number: a3t2wc892420. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, she heard a loud abnormal noise and the vehicle started pulling to the right. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The contact was able to park on the side of the road. While inspecting the vehicle, she noticed that the passenger's side front tire had blown out and that the rim was damaged. The contact called aaa roadside assistance who was able to replace faulty tire with spare tire. The contact took the vehicle to the local dealer, where it was diagnosed with needing the front passenger's side tire and rim replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The tire manufacturer had been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 1,700.
DateJul 11, 2021
New lease beginning in march 2021. The steering column is erratically loose, noticeable at highway speed in april 2021, accompanied by slight swerve. Subaru dealer (cityside) begrudgingly assessed and found it needed alignment aligned. Steering column now again erratically loose, less so than before, but still disconcerting, and accompanied by slight swerve. Does not feel safe to drive at highway speed.
DateMay 20, 2021
Tiers are yokohama p225/40r18 88v this vehicle now has slightly more than 8,000 miles and has only been driven over local roads under normal operating conditions and speeds. A couple of weeks ago, while getting gas, I noticed a knot/bulge developing on front driver's side sidewall. The integrity of the tire was compromised so I contacted the dealership and arranged to have the tire replaced. I can produce the dealership repair bill upon request. Yesterday while taking my wife to an appointment, I noticed a knot/bulge developing on rear driver's side sidewall requiring another trip to the dealership and another tire replacement. I can take a photo of bulge in rear tire or have dealership preserve the tire if you would like it for your investigation of my complaint. Fortunately I have the resources to have the tires repaired. In my case the bulges appeared in the sidewall visible to me. I knew that integrity of the tire was compromised and immediate action was necessary. I am more than 60 years old. I have owned several new cars and this is the first time I have experienced this. It is possible that other motorists encountering the same problem may not have the resources to purchase multiple replacement tires. It is also possible that the bulge might appear on the backside of the sidewall where it would not be noticed. It is possible that another motorist might not recognize the integrity of the tire was compromised and that their life and the lives of others were potentially at risk.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateApr 23, 2021
Cracked windshield within 3 weeks of purchasing new 2021 subaru impreza hatchback awd
CategoryEngine, Vehicle Speed Control
DateApr 04, 2021
The car accelerated without any input from driver. Driver did not apply pressure to gas pedal however the car still moves both forward an backwards. Car accelerated enough to drive over a speed bump without stopping, roughly 5 mph. Three videos were taken to document the issue. The event happen in a parking lot, the car was stopped at first however as soon as the driver removed pressure from brakes pafel, the car accelerated without input. The car didnt slow down even when turning, in fact the car appears to have speed up. Unable to up load video
DateMar 31, 2021
This car will not track straight. Nice firm steering, but simply will not track straight. There is no sense of center. If left alone, the steering will go slightly left, or slightly right, but never center. This is annoying fair weather, but outright dangerous in weather or wind. A major impact on vehicle stability and safety. This car is new, with 700 miles and has done this since day one. A subaru dealer is checking the alignment, but they say the are aware of this issue, and have no answers. Even an alignment may not fix the issue. For the record, my level of car and mechanical knowledge is very high, so this is not a casual complaint. I have had the car for three weeks, not getting better.

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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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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