2023 Subaru Crosstrek Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Issues with cracked windows and windshields are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

The 2023 Subaru is the last of the second-generation models launched in the U.S. in 2017. While the automaker has been announcing the all-new 2024 model in multiple media releases since January 2023, there’s not been much fanfare about the 2023 model. The only media release on record announces pricing, some new finishes, color and trim details, and the introduction of Standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. There have not been many complaints, but, like complaints about the 2022 model, windshield and window cracks feature at the top of the list.  

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022

Most Common 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Problems

The most common problem reported by consumers to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek relates to cracks forming in windows and the front windshield. All complainants state that the cracks were not caused by rocks hitting the glass.

Since this is essentially the same vehicle as the 2022 Crosstrek, it’s not surprising that it’s exactly the same issue that owners of the 2022 model have been raising. And, as a 2022 owner from Michigan reported in January 2023, “It’s widely known that Subaru has a problem with their windshields dating back to 2015.” The question on many consumers’ lips is, will the automaker make changes to glass quality for their all-new 2024 model.

Other complaints relate to the electrical system and seats that heat up excessively even when the heat button is not switched on, and a passenger door that won’t lock.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System

Problems with Windshield and Window Glass Cracking

The first windshield-related complaint about a 2023 Crosscheck was from someone in California who had taken delivery of the vehicle only two days before. There were only six miles on the clock of the SUV.

“When I first drove it on the freeway today, a rock chip larger than a quarter appeared on my front windshield. I was on an overpass entering the main freeway, so I was only going at 55 mph. I did not even hear a loud bang when it happened. But given the size and depth of the crack, I have to replace the whole piece of glass. It is bizarre and astonishing how fragile the quality of the brand new windshield is.”

Another complaint expresses serious “disappointment” in the quality of manufactured vehicle parts and accessories in general. “It leads me to believe low grade materials were used in manufacturing this vehicle.”

With 2,500 miles on the clock, this 2023 Crosstrek is also “brand new,” though a little older than the previous one. The complaint states that “the front windshield has a crack that is obvious to the naked eye that it was not caused by a rock hitting it while driving. If low grade quality (thin glass) was used to produce this vehicle and it easily breaks/cracks, this is a safety hazard for drivers and passengers.”

Yet another complaint states that a 12-inch crack “formed spontaneously in the window while I was sitting at a stoplight.”

If complaints about the 2022 model are anything to go by, none of these disgruntled owners will be reimbursed via the warranty. They will either have to claim on insurance or pay their own bills.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

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Hot Seats: Heat Seater Problems

In a complaint listed as a problem with the seats and electrical system of the Crosstrek, an owner states that the driver’s side seat heats up when she is sitting in the vehicle.

“This issue happens most but not all of the time and the seat will get so hot it feels like my bottom and lower back is burning on fire to the point where I am EXTREMELY distracted while driving. This is a safety hazard. I fear it is only a matter of time before I cause an accident due to this distraction because it is so unbearable that I cannot focus on driving.”

The dealer was unable to replicate the issue, and told her to call Subaru customer advocacy, “who also blew me off and said they cannot replicate (the) issue.” They also claimed that nobody else had reported the issue so they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take any action.

This consumer wasn’t placated. She did some of her own research and came up with references on Subaru forums of the same problem with other Subaru models. It seems this isn’t a new issue for Subaru, even if it hasn’t been widely reported for Crosstrek vehicles.

What Forum Member Say About Seat Heater Problems

A member of the Subaru XV Forum tells how the seat of his 2016 Crosstrek became “unusually warm, especially on the small of my back. I didn’t think much about it, and ignored it. I was wearing a thin jacket and decided I must be trapping heat, even though I turned down the cabin heat. Well, today I had a 90-minute drive and it got way too hot. I checked to make sure the seat heater was off, flicked the switch on and off, but it looked normal. I felt areas of the seat where my body was not touching and it was warm. It feels like it is stuck on high – it is really uncomfortable.”

Nobody in the group had an explanation.

In December 2019, the owner of a 2020 Forester Sport said in the Subaru Forester forum that “I’m feeling the driver seat heater is staying on even while in off position. It’s very low heat, I would say even lower than the normal ‘low’ heat setting. It’s not noticeable at first but after 15 min, it starts to get uncomfortable. After about 30 minutes it starts to burn.”

While no-one else reported having the same problem, there was agreement that it wasn’t normal.

The owner of a 2015 Forester reported the same issue in August 2021. “The heated seats on the driver side seem to turn on themselves. It’s been happening over the last year or so. The dealership can’t replicate it ‘and probably don’t believe us,’ but both myself and my wife have experienced it. Turning the car on or off doesn’t seem to change it and turning the heated switch into low/high or off doesn’t work either. We are on the border of just trading the car in and getting a new model.”

Door Lock Issues

An owner from Pennsylvania has complained to the NHTSA that he is unable to lock the Crosstrek’s passenger door manually or with the fob. He noticed the problem when he heard a clicking sound in the passenger door when the automatic locks engaged.

“Subaru dealer’s service dept. verified (the) problem and ordered (the) part that they said may take months to receive. In the meantime, (the) vehicle will need to be left parked and operated with (the) passenger door unlocked.”

What if your 2023 Crosstrek is a lemon?

Every year, vehicle manufacturers buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of lemon owners. So, if you think you might have a lemon, you are welcome to contact Lemberg Law for a free assessment of your issue.

We have dealt with thousands of lemon law vehicle cases and have negotiated settlements with manufacturers for many clients. All you have to do is call us or complete the contact form so that we can see what we can do to help you. At the end of the day, the law says that Subaru has to pay the bill for lemon law cases.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg

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