Electrical systems, forward collision avoidance, and major issues with windshields cracking are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
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.
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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Subaru Outback
By far the most common problem owners of the 2022 Subaru Outback are experiencing are windshields warping and cracking, often without any impact at all. Of a total of 190 complaints, 155 relate to this issue. And many of these Outback owners report that it is a recurring problem. After replacing the windshield, it happens again, sometimes multiple times.
While most windshield problems are filed under Visibility/Wiper, some are listed in the Visibility category as well as under Unknown or Other, Structure, and 1 under Forward Collision Avoidance.
Other categories with quite high complaint numbers are the Electrical System (14), Forward Collision Avoidance (7), and Lane Departure (6). Other components and systems that have attracted complaints are structure, airbags, exterior lighting, the fuel/propulsion system, powertrain, seat belts, brakes, steering, and the engine.
Although not a common complaint, one describes how a woman from Texas was injured after the airbags were deployed in an accident. “She suffered substantial injuries to her upper body including fractures of the clavicle, breastbone, numerous ribs, and her T12. Doctors said it was almost miraculous she survived. There is significant data available on the impact of airbags. The forces expended and the bodily damages that can occur. It must be known that a body so close to the activation of the airbag could have fatal consequences, but so little has been made public about this danger.”
2022 Subaru Outback Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings|
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking|
|Lane Departure: Warning|
Major Problems with Windshield Cracking
The first complaint about defective windscreens was from an owner in Texas. “A little penny-sized chip on the front windshield has turned into a severe crack from the middle of the windshield to (the) passenger side as well as the driver side.”
Another owner from Texas states: “Windshield cracked without any cars near me, only dragonflies and butterflies.”
An owner from Florida states: “The windshield cracked without an object striking it while driving. It cracked from the center lower edge of the windshield. This issue was part of a class action suit in 2019.”
“My windshield cracked without a direct impact to the windshield,” says an owner from Utah. “I replaced the windshield with an OEM windshield. Approximately one week after installation, the windshield cracked again.”
Similarly, an owner from Utah states: “Brand new 2022 Outback XT driven 500 miles. Got hit by the tiniest rock that left a barely visible chip on the lower right passenger side. By the next morning, it had cracked and spread across half of the windshield. One week later, the same thing happens, but on the driver’s side, and now the cracks have connected, forming one massive crack.”
A Washington owner states: “My windshield has cracked for the second time. I didn’t hear anything and there is no mark of impact, just about a 5-inch crack. It’s coming up from the bottom middle of the windshield. I’m not sure what’s causing this. But this will be the second time I have to replace the windshield on my brand new car.”
Third time unlucky in Arizona: “Vehicle has 10,800 miles and this is the third broken windshield. The smallest road debris results in failure of the Carlex factory-equipped windshield. I have never replaced a windshield in 35 years of driving.”
Windshields Cracking While Parked
“Windshield cracked at 4,900 miles, parked at work.” As a result, the owner, from California, contacted Subaru of America and a local Subaru dealer. “They both sent me to one another, but neither has helped fix this reoccurring issue with 2022 Subaru Outbacks.”
“The windshield had a 12-inch crack starting at the driver’s side midway up in an L shape. There was no visible rock damage and the vehicle was sitting in my garage when it cracked,” says an owner from South Carolina.
This incident took place in Illinois, early in the morning, before sunrise, with an outside temperature of 20 degrees F showing on the car’s thermometer. “Front windshield had a spontaneous crack form from some point out of sight under the bottom seal, just right of the center of the windshield. The windshield had no chips, and the car is four months old.”
An owner from Ohio describes the dangers of a warped windshield. “The windshield is warped on the passenger side, approximately 6 – 8 inches from the right seal, bottom corner. This creates a blurred distortion from traffic merging to the right and causes a hazard in (the) spatial relationship to the vehicle. Pictures show distortions through the windshield that do not exist. This has nearly caused me to be in accidents.”
The complaints go on and on, and these relate only to the 2022 Subaru Outback. Consumers have reported issues with faulty windshields since the 2017 Outback model.
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Electrical System Problems
A well-functioning electrical system is a key to creating a great family ride. However, this sophisticated system is causing more trouble than it is worth. The most common electrical system complaints are about batteries dying. There are also complaints about the factory GPS going blank, and the ‘infotainment system being dangerously underpowered.
The first complaint about the electrical system comes from a New Jersey owner, and it’s a horrifying one. Driving through heavy traffic, the Outback lost power, and several error/warning messages displayed. The driver pulled to the right shoulder of the road and smelled burning. He got out of the SUV, walked about 100 feet, and called 911. “By (the) time a dispatcher answered, the engine compartment of the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames. No modifications of any kind were done to the vehicle since its purchase.”
There is no indication of how the fire started, only that it was electrical.
Battery Drain Problems
Other electrical system problems include parasitic battery drain. With only a little more than 200 miles on the clock, an Outback in New York had to be towed twice and the battery replaced. Additionally, the vehicle was “DOA 3 times in (the) driveway” in just a week.
An owner from Colorado also experienced a dead battery. This was when the car was practically brand new and had been parked at temperatures of about 5 degrees F for less than 48 hours. The dealer claimed the owner had left the LED dome light on, which drained the battery.“ Maintaining that a single dome light should take 450 hours to drain a fully-charged battery, he says: “It seems like even brand new Subaru Outback 2022s are affected by major parasitic drain battery issues.”
Battery Disables EyeSight Safety Features
Another story about a defective battery is interesting because they blame the battery for disabling EyeSight. We discuss EyeSight issues in the next section because most problems are filed under Forward Collision Avoidance. This complaint is under the Electrical System category.
The first time the battery drained the Outback had only 831 miles on the clock. It was diagnosed as defective and replaced by (the) manufacturer.” It happened a second time at 4,620 miles after sitting unused for 8 days in airport parking. The battery drained and most ‘check engine’ lights came on after jump-starting. EyeSight and most safety features were disabled until they were checked and reset by the manufacturer.
Subaru claimed this was because the vehicle sat for more than a week. They charged and tested the battery and found no problems. “However a periodic dead battery to seniors who do not drive daily but desperately need a reliable car in case of sudden emergencies is cause for a safety concern.”
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
Forward Collision Avoidance & Lane Departure Problems
Forward collision avoidance problems include the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system triggering spontaneously. There are also complaints that obstacle detection goes off randomly when there is nothing in front of vehicles. Another complaint is that lane assist pulls cars out of the lane they are traveling in. There are also complaints relating to EyeSight safety features.
Subaru explains that EyeSight monitors the position of the SUV on the road “and will alert you if you stray out of your lane. Pre-Collision Braking helps you avoid or reduce frontal impacts by alerting you and applying full braking force in emergency situations. EyeSight detects objects in front of the vehicle that you are likely to hit.”
That’s great when it works. An owner from Colorado complains that “No matter what Subaru does, the infotainment system which controls the safety systems crashes randomly and weekly, disabling all the EyeSight safety features.”
An owner from Washington blames the windshield! “SafeLite is Unable to calibrate vehicle EyeSight after non-OEM windshield replacement.”
“There have been two attempts to calibrate the vehicle EyeSight by SafeLite. The dealer says the EyeSight with a non-OEM windshield can not be properly calibrated. According to Subaru, the 2022 model requires that OEM glass be used for windshield replacements on models that are equipped with the EyeSight Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).”
A 2022 Outback owner from Ohio doesn’t mention EyeSight, but states: “Randomly throughout a cruise control drive, the car will pull towards an inner lane. I fight with the car to keep it in the correct lane. If I relax my grip even slightly, the car pulls me into the other lanes of traffic. I am finding that it is most determined to pull me out of my lane when there are cars in the lane next to the one I’m driving. In other words, it never tries to pull me off the road. It always tries to pull me into other lanes of traffic.”
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
Think you have a lemon? If your problems keep recurring and impact the value and/or your use of the SUV, you should consider taking action. Every year, auto manufacturers like Subaru buy back, replace, or pay substantial cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.
Lemberg Law is available to undertake a free assessment of your problems. Simply call our Helpline or fill in our contact form. We won’t charge you because the law makes Subaru pay for lemon law cases.