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:
14,897 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.

2012 Subaru Impreza drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 122016


  • 67,000 miles


My son's 2012 Subaru Impreza, was bought used, with 59,000. Miles, with hope of owning a reliable, safe vehicle on 2/11/16. On 6/26/16 he went for a routine oil change and within one week the car was completely seized. He was driving home, no warning lights, or anything just made a loud sound then he was just barely able to make it to the side of a busy 3 lane road to call for a tow truck. At the time, we worried that the oil change may have been done improperly and caused the issue. We contacted the business, who then had a ase certified mechanic/inspector verify that it was not the oil change but an internal engine problem. We then had towed it again to Subaru dealer that was 7/12/16. Then we began calling- daily or every other day; to the service manager and emailing to corporate Subaru- asking what is wrong with his car" why did it happen? what can be done? what will it cost" finally, on 8/22/16, we heard from Subaru saying that the vehicle was outside the warranty -but will authorize a $2,000. Toward repair or new car. We called the dealer again because we still had not heard or received a reason/quote of repair. We were told that it was damage to a piston and it would cost at least $10,000. And they did not recommend it; better to talk to sales. The warranty is for 60,000 miles or 5 years on the powertrain, we are at 67,000 miles and 4 years. So now we still owe $8,000. And have $10,000. Repair, and they are offering $2,000. Money vs safety and now vs trust we want a safe reliable car, from a company that we could trust. We thought that was Subaru.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 152014

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Gas pedal is ultrasensitive leading to surging at low speed. Hard to control vehicle at low speed maneuvering in parking lot. Dealer says this is normal. You will find many discussions on the web if you search for "Subaru sensitive gas pedal, a generally known issue. Find many discussions about "remapping" and jack-rabbit starts.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #3

Nov 062012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 45 miles
I backed up in my driveway and shifted into drive and I noticed a lag time of about 2 seconds shifting from reverse to drive. I contacted the Subaru dealership and the staff assured me that was normal for the cvt transmission. When I took the Subaru Impreza for the 2500 mile check up and spoke to the service manager at the dealership, he also felt that this was a safety issue especially when backing up into traffic and waiting for the transmission and it's "slow engagement" into drive. He has expressed his views to Subaru and like me has been assured it's ok. I still feel it's a safety issue.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #2

Apr 162012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 1,940 miles
I was driving my vehicle in rush hour traffic at 65 mph and all of a sudden my vehicle acted as if I had shifted into neutral. It started to decelerate and when I pressed down on the accelerator, it only revved the RPM's higher. It did not speed up to allow me to safely get out of traffic. I tried manually shifting the automatic cvt transmission, but this made no difference. The cruise control was not on at the time. I turned on my flashers and was able to go from the left lane to the shoulder. I put the car in park, shut off the ignition and let it set for a minute. I then restarted the car and was able to drive away. I immediately drove it to the Subaru dealership. They tested it for a couple days and were unable to recreate the incident. They said that there were no codes stored and I did not see any check engine light when this happened. They also said they filed a claim with Subaru North America. The service tech said he has never heard of anything like this happening with Subaru. I no longer feel safe driving this vehicle.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 272012


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that while approaching a traffic stop, the vehicle stalled and all of the warning lamps illuminated. The contact stated that he restarted the vehicle but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the cvt transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who stated that they would contact him at a later date. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 500.

- Galion, OH, USA

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