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

Windshield cracking & electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The name of this SUV says it all. The Subaru Legacy is the manufacturer’s flagship vehicle.

Introduced way back in 1989, the Japanese manufacturer has sold millions of cars. It is no longer sold in Japan or Australia, but the seventh-generation Legacy, launched in 2020, is holding its own in North America and other countries.

But this doesn’t mean there are problems or that all Legacy owners are 100% happy.

Lemberg Law reported on problems and top complaints about the 2020 Subaru Legacy a while back. One of the biggest issues we highlighted was problems with windshield cracking. It’s disheartening to find that this is the biggest problem with the 2021 model.

What makes it worse is that this issue is the primary one that shows up in complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2020, 60 of the 77 complaints to NHTSA reflect problems with windshield cracking. They show up under 3 categories, Unknown or Other, Visibility, and Visibility/Wiper.

In 2019, 46 of the 60 complaints to NHTSA relate to windshield cracking. In 2018, 28 of 62 complaints focus on windshield cracking. Several others complain about the glass sunroof  shattering.

The other factor is that complaints to NHTSA emerge over time. For example, only 28 of the 77 complaints about the 2020 model were made in 2020. A total of 15 complaints about the 2019 model date from 2018 and 2019.

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

Most Common Problems

The most common problem reported to NHTSA about the 2021 Subaru Legacy relates to windshield cracking. It is also a problem and top complaint about the 2021 Subaru Ascent as we reported in this article.

Electrical system issues are also highlighted along with forward-collision avoidance and back-over prevention.

2021 Subaru Legacy Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Seat Belts

Windshield Cracking Problems

So far, there are 6 complaints about windshield cracking. There is little doubt that these will increase over time.

Complaints all tell a very similar story of spontaneous cracking in a variety of circumstances. One complaint states that this has happened twice.

“My safety and that of my family is at risk because this glass breaks easily and I feel unsafe driving it while working to get it fixed AGAIN. There are known windshield problems with recent Forester, Outback, and Legacy models and pending litigation, but not on 2021 model years yet.”

Another serious complaint is that windshield cracks interfere with the Subaru Eyesight Driver Assistance. The issue is that it may malfunction while driving and the integrity of the windshield may be compromised.

“I brought the car to the Subaru dealership and they said it was not covered under warranty even though the car only has 6,000 miles on it. The Subaru dealership said they took pictures of the windshield and submitted them to Subaru of America. Subaru of America will not replace the windshield. According to Subaru when the windshield is replaced the Eyesight Driver Assistance must be recalibrated adding an additional expense.”

And the cracking continues.

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Problems with the Electrical System

The 2 electrical system problems reported to NHTSA relate to a battery and an issue with the infotainment system of the car.

The infotainment system reportedly switches off randomly. When this happens it also turns off the car’s safety features. “Subaru has already replaced the head unit under warranty, but the problem continues.”

The car with a battery problem was a 2021 Subaru Legacy that only had 690 miles on the clock. But, according to the complaint, the reason was, “I don’t drive enough, and I should keep my key at least 30 feet away when the keys are in the house because that can silently drain the battery.”

The owner’s response: “I had not left any lights on or had done anything to drain the battery prior to this occurring. I drove to the gas station with no problem, upon restarting after getting gas, no power, the car was dead. I couldn’t even move the shifter knob into neutral.”

No solution is noted in the NHTSA file.

Back Over Prevention & Forward Collision Problems

The back-over prevention issue involves the rearview camera freezing. No warning light illuminated. After resetting the camera via the Internet, the owner took the car to the dealer who found no issues. But the failure happened several more times.

Even after a software update, the failure recurs. When the dealer couldn’t duplicate the failure the manufacturer said they would “either ship a head unit to the dealer for the repair of the vehicle or they would buy back the vehicle.” But they changed their minds when the dealer wasn’t able to duplicate the problem.

This is why it’s a good idea to work through a good lemon lawyer like Lemberg Law. We negotiate on your behalf at no cost.

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

We have no way of knowing how many Subaru vehicles have been found to be lemons, but if you think you’ve bought one of them call the Lemberg Law Helpline as soon as possible.

We specialize in lemon law cases and have helped many clients by negotiating with the manufacturer on their behalf. Possibilities include trade-ins, a buyback, or a cash settlement.

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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