Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,158 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #6

Aug 302004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles


2002 Subaru WRX - I took the car in for 30,000 mile service, car was running fine, no complaints. When I got the car back, I noticed that it was difficult to downshift into first gear, and I was sometimes missing the shift - grinding gears. I have never had a problem like this in any car before. The problem is more severe at higher speeds, and is getting progressively worse over the last 5000 miles. I have taken the car back to the dealer twice, the first time they "couldn't see anything wrong", the second time they noted that the "sencros" were going bad. I have just returned from the dealership and talking to the service tech, who claims this is a problem he sees a lot on wrxs, and that "there isn't anything I can do about it"!! the dealership has promised to "look into what we can do", but meanwhile the car is getting less and less functional. I am deeply concerned that the intention of the dealership is to stall till the warranty runs out (I'm getting close) then tell me it's my problem to deal with. I believe this is a safety issue because not being able to shift into first gear has the potential to cause a chain reaction pile-up, as there are stoplights highways on hills near where I live. An incident of stalling due to shifting problems could cause following traffic to badly misjudge the speed of the stalling car in situations where the light has changed and there is slow moving traffic followed by faster traffic (previous light turns sooner, lights not coordinated).

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #5

May 152001

Impreza 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,948 miles
Vehicle has problems shifting gears when driving. While driving the vehicle would not go into gear. As a result the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. The vehicle was new with only a few thousand miles. The vehicles transmission has been replaced once under warranty but now that the transmission failed again the dealer refused to repair it. The vehicle has bee at the dealer for almost a year.

- Flushing , NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 242003


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Consumer called complaining about having problem with manual transmission. Dealer fixed it twice. Last week transmission broke, and vehicle was no longer under warranty. So he had to pay for this. Vehicle only had 37616 miles.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #3

Mar 082002

Impreza 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 23,000 miles


Consumer state of having problems with the transmission. Dealer was contacted, this problem was initially reported when the vehicle was only 4 months old, the problems included grinding sounds between first and second gears, clutch noise, and transmission popping out of gear when going downhill, when the vehicle was 10 months old the gear teeth on first gear failed, the dealer refused to repair the vehicle under warranty.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #2

Dec 082001

Impreza 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission/drivetrain rattles and/or grinds at 2nd and 3rd gear shifts.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #1

Dec 012001

(reported on)

Impreza 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
First gear is a major issue in my vehicle. I can only engage first gear, if im at a complete stop. So if ive slowed down to 5-10mph im forced to go into 2nd gear, which not only wears out my clutch prematurely, but could also cause an accident if I needed to build speed quickly. The transmission overall seems to be a big issue with WRX owners. Please go to and under forums do a search for tranny and also 1st gear, you will see a slew of issues.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

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