2022 Subaru Outback Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, powertrain and steering issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

We are investigating reported defective windshield issues with this vehicle. Did your windshield crack unexpectedly? Find out if you are eligible for compensation.

All-wheel drive fun can be found in the 2022 Subaru Outback. The manufacturer states it provides
“adventure, elevated.” However, current owners are finding more adventure than they bargained for with the defective electrical system, malfunctioning powertrain, failing steering and dangerous visibility.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2017   2018    2019   2020   2021

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Problems with the Electrical System

A well-functioning electrical system is the key to creating a great family ride. However, this sophisticated system is causing more trouble than it is worth.

One Edmunds review states, “Subaru has wrecked an otherwise great car with its stupid touch screen panel that controls damn near everything. Besides being slow and not intuitive, the screen icons need to be pressed exactly right or they don’t work. Thus, you need to really take your eyes off the road to use the damn thing, which makes it downright dangerous, in addition to being a huge annoyance. Most troublesome is the fan speed icons. They should have made the touch screen area bigger for those. I use them all of the time and invariably I miss. A simple toggle switch would be so much better.”

It seems that Subaru hasn’t learned much over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that several model year Outback models were involved in proposed class action lawsuits because electrical system defects were leading to battery failure. There’s nothing quite as adventurous as heading out to the car in the morning only to be met with a dead battery. Wonder how long the boss will take that as an excuse for being late?

Problems with the Powertrain

Over the years, Subaru has shifted from making reliable transmissions to pieces of junk. Most customers are tired of the problems.

Just look at this Edmunds review. “I have had my car in the shop for over 25 days diagnosing an engine jerk just shortly after start-up. The conclusion is this is normal for Subaru transmissions to act in this manner. I have never owned or seen a car act in this manner. It’s actually quite annoying and makes me wonder how long before the transmission will start giving out. This makes me think long and hard if I will patronize Subaru again.”

Subaru knows that there are issues with the current transmission design. Service Bulletin #16-132-20R outlines the problems with a slipping chain with the TR580 and TR690 transmissions, causing a slew of unhappy customers. The stack of mad customers is piling up very quickly, becoming quite “elevated.”

Problems with Steering

Controlling the vehicle should be priority number one, which requires good steering. However, these Subaru models fall short of the mark.

Here’s one NHTSA complaint to read. “After 20 years of driving experience that’s probably the first car where I feel unsafe. Once in my life I had such experience which I have every day right now. It was hydroplaning on the very wet road. In another words it feels like driving under strong side wind or really wet/slippy road and car not under my full control. I already had five visits in two different Subaru dealerships. They twice did wheels allignment. But it didn’t help. The last my visit they told they can’t find and reproduce the issue. I guess I can be close my eyes for another issue but that’s can be dangerous not only but another guys on the road.”

For now, Subaru hasn’t released any information about steering trouble. But, it won’t take long until many drivers lose control and the attention is focused where it needs to be. Until then, people driving behind the Subaru Outback might think the operator is just drunk.

Problems with Windshield Cracking

Seeing clearly is something everyone takes for granted when getting in the car, but it’s become a luxury for those in the Outback.

Just check out this NHTSA review. “I feel like I should be creating 2 complaints but I have 4,400 miles have had it since September of 2021 it is currently November on a 22′ Outback wilderness and are now looking at replacing a second windshield. Driving on normal city highways and avoiding 18 wheelers. Both times the impact from what should have been just a rock chip was minimal and it didn’t even chip just immediately cracks negating any chance of a remedy with chip repair. We had a 2018 Forester and never had issues like this. Not even certain the second one was a rock chip, to be honest just suddenly was there and didn’t hear or see a rock. $2,000 in windshields in 3 months. Lovely…”

Subaru has been involved in lots of criticism for windshield integrity over the years. It looks like this continues to be a defect that hasn’t been changed. When will Subaru learn that customers are leaving the brand by droves because the level of adventure has become too expensive and stressful? No one wants to be scared every time a rock grazes the windshield.

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.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

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Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

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
2 COMMENTS
  • Igor K

    I have a Subaru Outback 2022. This is the second time where I couldn’t start the vehicle, battery dead and I had to use jumper cables. At the Subaru dealership, my battery was inspected and no problems were found. Recommendations from the dealer were to drive at least 30 miles on the highway weekly. I use my car every day on shirt trips. Does this sound right? I have not had similar battery problems with Ford and Toyota vehicles.

  • Melissa T

    I have a Subaru Outback 2022 Limited. The windshield has been replaced 3 times. More importantly, I have had an ongoing issue with the computer. The screen has turned off while I’m driving, and all dials spiked, then turned on again as normal operations. The mpg will read 99 mi/gal now and then and generally be all over the map in unrealistic ways. Recently I backed into a mailbox that completely cracked the back windshield, the car didn’t make a “peep” before the impact, although it seems to beep at every other thing even if it’s not a threat.
    Approximately 4 days later I was rear ended on the highway. Barely a fender bender, but the computer got much much worse, the hatch will beep endlessly, and the battery completely dead. I replaced the battery in Austin 2 months ago, again at the dealership in Vancouver Washington and again a month later when I finally got it out of the shop. Now I’m stuck in seaside Oregon because the car won’t start again, and the hatch is beeping as well. I’ve living in fear that my car won’t start again. That will leave me stranded in some vacant or dangerous area, and I’m traveling as a solo female.
    I’ve lost a lot of time and money missing work due to this situation. This is my 3rd and last Subaru

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