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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,479 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Subaru Impreza brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #47

Feb 072006

Impreza

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Raw fuel smell in cold weather. Had to replace cd player. Seals on windows fell off. Brakes pump when hitting the brake when debris on road. (rocks, etc.).

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #46

Jan 152004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,350 miles
ABS intermittently kicks in on dry, smooth road at low speeds, with light pedal pressure. Dealer checked and said all is normal. Problem is not readily reproducible, but very disconcerting when it happens, causing prolonged stopping distances. None of my other vehicles with ABS ever acts this way.

- Forsyth, MO, USA

problem #45

Nov 152003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
My car's ABS engages when going over bumpy/uneven surfaces resulting in nearly complete braking loss. The pedal goes almost all the way to the floor and doesn't want to stop at all. This can be very scary, especially if you aren't aware that the road is uneven. I've had to get used to this happening and adjust my driving techniques as a result!!! I am very disappointed is this! this has happened many times since I have owned the car.

- Burlington, CT, USA

problem #44

Nov 182003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 28,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

ABS premature engagement. Happened 11/18/03 and about 10 times since 6/02. Under light to moderate braking, around 35 mph, the ABS will engage and drastically reduce braking deceleration over minor pavement irregularities. Today it happened when going over botts dots, but it also happens on bumps, washboard pavement, etc. The pedal becomes light and the car basically stops braking for 0.5 to 1.0 seconds. Very scary and dangerous. I am a mechanical engineer, master's degree, with experience in vehicle dynamics, hydraulics, and electronic feedback control. There is something drastically wrong with the ABS tuning on this car. I am going to disable the ABS system until Subaru fixes this. Ps I have never used the spare tire.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #43

Jun 012003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Problems with ABS activation - right conditions (brake activation followed by bump on smooth surface) results in significantly reduced braking effort - ABS acts like it is confused and brake pedal drops to floor. Reproducible at a particular intersection with both our WRX's. multiple events with different tires on vehicle.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #42

Jun 012003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Problems with ABS activation - right conditions ( brake activation followed by bump on smooth surface) results in significantly reduced braking effort - ABS acts like it is confused and brake pedal drops to floor. Reproducible at a particular intersection with both our WRX's. multiple events with different tires on vehicle.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #41

Oct 202003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have an 02 Subaru Impreza WRX. The ABS system activates prematurely and overly-agressively in a variety of conditions. Most often it happens when attempting to stop and driving over bumpy roads. Something as minor as a 1/2 inch dip in the pavement can set off the ABS. Once the system activates the pedal goes to the floor and there is momentarily a complete loss of braking ability. It can extend the braking distance by 1 or 2 full car lengths as compared to without ABS and has caused me to nearly crash into other cars several times.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #40

May 202003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Travelling at a low speed (under25) and braking while driving over small bumps in the road: Pedal drops nearly to the floor, no typical ABS pulsing, car feels as if it's just rolling straight ahead with no brake control, and no matter how much pressure is applied, it doesn't feel as if it is stopping any faster.

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #39

Apr 302002

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,200 miles
When applying the brakes on bumpy roads, the ABS gets triggered and the brake system loses all hydraulic pressure and brake power is completely lost.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #38

Jun 152002

Impreza

  • miles
NHTSA action number : PE03029, component : service brakes, hydraulic:antilock I have had this happen to me several times. The date included is not accurate, but I had to give one. I noticed on these 8 (or more) occassions that if I brake hard (ABS not on) that the car is fine. But, if I hit a surface were the front tire(s) lose traction or hit a bump the brake release and then the ABS will kick in for a very short distance. The surfaces include, potholes, uneven surface manhole covers, painted traffic lines, road cracks. I did notice that on one ocassion when the brakes release the brake pedal went to the floor. This was while braking going down hill my front right tire went over a recessed manhole cover. I came within 3 feet of hitting a car in front of me. I can name the city and street where this happened. And, I can repeat the occurrence with almost 90% accurancy at this spot if need be.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #37

Jul 152003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Going over a big expansion joint exiting from the outer loop of I-495 near Washington, DC to I-95 South, I saw that I needed to brake because of suddenly stopping traffic. I did not get any braking help in my 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX wagon as my brakes suddenly seemed gone, only to grip a moment later. Very scary for a short time.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #36

Feb 102002

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 9,800 miles
Approaching a toll-booth I began braking moderately from roughly 45mph. At about 15mph I went over some broken pavement with small pock marks. The pedal immediately went to the floor, or thereabouts, and a significant loss of braking power occurred. Upon releasing the brake and reengaging the vehicle's brakes, the brakes operately properly and stopped the car. By the time I stopped, however, I was already 20 feet beyond the tollbooth. Thank god there was not a car in front of me. I have also been able to repeat this scenario numerous times over rough, dry pavement with light to moderate braking. The bumps seem to confuse the ABS.(?) I brought the car into marin Subaru, who confirmed a brake hydraulic failure and replace the offending parts.

- Kentfield, CA, USA

problem #35

Dec 292002

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
ABS activating for no reason on rough surface (gravel covered roadway) causing braking distance to increase significantly...not the first time either. Not hard braking, just one on an uneven surface.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #34

May 012002

Impreza 4WD

  • 10,000 miles
When braking hard, if a small bump is encountered ABS will often activate and fail causing loss of stopping power. Releasing the brake and re-applying will restore stopping power but not before giving the driver a good scare. I have not hit anything yet but I have had several close calls, even taking to the grass to avoid a collision. Dealer could not replicate. ****dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12-12-02 cut over to artemis****761464

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #33

Mar 282003

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 12,385 miles
While coming to a stop at about 30-35 mph, the brakes stopped working for about 1-2 seconds. At the same time, the feel of the brake pedal seemed to indicate that the ABS system had been activated. Can't recall if this was over a bumpy road as mentioned in earlier complaints. Has occurred at least twice - very scary and dangerous.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #32

Dec 232002

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,800 miles
ABS failed resulting in car crash.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

problem #31

Nov 102002

(reported on)

Impreza 4WD

  • miles
With previous reports by consumers on NHTSA concerning this issue. Until Subaru addresses this design flaw, it is an awareness issue that owners must recognize and adjust their driving habits accordingly to compensate for. I have taken my vehicle into an empty parking lot on the weekend and tested the brake performance fully, and therefore the ABS, both in a straight line and while turning very slightly. ABS performance is as expected in both wet and dry provided that the road surface was perfectly smooth. However, even minor bumps, ripples or irregularities in the pavement reduced the braking power by at least 50%, in my estimation, and the brake pedal itself depresses an additional 1-2 inches further than experienced under normal driving conditions. Again, this is consistent in both wet and dry conditions. My vehicle is entirely stock and has not been raced off road, rallied or autocrossed, all of which incur greater wear and tear on the vehicle. Also, I have not taken the vehicle in to a dealer because I believed it to be a design flaw, which has only been confirmed by similar reports I have read on the NHTSA website. In the northeast, where the roads are frequently in poor condition due to frost heaves and other effects of harsh weather, I have altered my driving habits on the local roads to avoid the streets that have pavement irregularities near or in the braking areas. Given Subaru's impressive Focus on safety, hopefully they can and will resolve this issue before any fatalities result.

- Newport, RI, USA

problem #30

Sep 202002

Impreza 4WD

  • miles
No description given. Nlm

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #29

Sep 202002

Impreza 4WD

  • miles
No description given. Nlm

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #28

Jul 202002

Impreza 4WD

  • miles
Randomly while moderately braking on dry normal textured pavement ABS system will engage, this causes a major and dangerous loss of braking power and pedal pressure. In order to restore some braking power the brake pedal must be disengaged completely and then have pressure reapplied. This will result in about 3/4 of the normal braking power. If the ABS engages again the process must be repeated. This entire process causes braking distance to substantially increase from the expected amount.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

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