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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,904 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2012 Subaru Impreza:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2012 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Apr 012014


  • 22,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that the frontal air bag indicator illuminated in the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 22,000.

- Clay, NY, USA

problem #21

Aug 102014


  • 41,000 miles
The dashboard "airbag malfunction" light turns on and the passenger airbag light switches to "off" while there is a passenger in the car. This probably means that if there was a collision, the passenger airbag would not deploy, with passenger in front seat. It was happening about 40% of the time that I had a passenger in the front seat. Took this to alexandria's beyer Subaru and they were able to pull the code/reproduce problem. Apparently there is some sensor in the seat that causes this malfunction. They are replacing the sensor free of charge (covered under warranty)...updated 01/20/15

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #20

Jul 022014

Impreza 4-cyl

  • miles
When someone sitting in the front passenger seat leans slightly, the airbag sensor frequently malfunctions and the car turns off the airbags for that seat, as indicated by the lighted dashboard indicator sign.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 072012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles


My Subaru is equipped with a passenger airbag monitor. When someone is sitting in the passenger seat, the light should indicate the airbag is on. When a passenger is sitting in the front seat of my Impreza, the airbag consistently turns off. I called Subaru the first time it happened. They told me there was a recall. When I took it into the dealership to be fixed, they said there was no recall and they could not duplicate the problem. I took it in a second time with the same response. I am now out of warranty and the passenger airbag turns off about 75% of the time someone is sitting in the seat.

- Slippery Rock, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 012014

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 19,000 miles
I sideswiped a parked car and the momentum caused my car to flip over and land on its roof. Have not heard from the adjuster but it is obvious the car is "totaled". writing to you to let you know that I also wrote to Subaru to advise them that I think that the airbags should have deployed but none of them did. The accident occurred in union, N.J.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #17

Aug 022012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
When driving with a passenger and going on a highway, the air bag indicator for the passenger and driver shows "off", meaning if there was a collision, there would be no air bags. After several trips to the dealer, they finally test drove with a passenger and got it to fail. The sensors in the passenger seat were replaced. There are other reports on this problem and Subaru should recall the vehicles. This is a serious safety issue. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 01/16/15.

- Springfield, PA, USA

problem #16

May 012012


  • 6,000 miles


Passenger airbag fault light went on while driving. I pulled over to side of road shut engine off restarted the engine and the light went off. This problem has occurred with increasing frequency since then in a random manner with the light occasionally staying on even after shutting off the engine. I brought it to the dealer for repair during the warranty period. The dealership claimed that they could do nothing since the warning light at that time was off. Imo this is a serious safety issue since one never knows if the passenger airbag will be functional.

- Brookhaven , NY, USA

problem #15

Feb 012014


  • 29,116 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning light erroneously illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 29,116.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #14

Jan 102013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds, with a passenger in the passenger seat, the 'passenger air bag off' light become illuminated and remained illuminated, indicating the passenger air bag was off. After pulling over and restarting the vehicle several times, the sensor behaves normally. Incident has occurred 3-4 times since, with no apparent pattern related to vehicle speed/driving conditions. Subaru dealership service has claimed it may be related to passenger weight or shifting in the seat, or cellular phone chargers nearby. Incident has occurred with or without said chargers present in the car, with passengers weighing 130 lbs and 190 lbs. Also, the relevant sensor (occupant detection system, or ods) in the 2012 Subaru Impreza is not based on weight at all, but on electrostatic capacitance. Seemingly random malfunction of the ods resulting in deactivation of the passenger air bag with an adult seated in the passenger seat constitutes dangerous failure of the airbag system.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #13

Jul 182012


  • 8,000 miles
2012 Impreza... bought new, nothing but headaches. All problems listed below occurred before I had even owned the car 2 years. 1. at 8-10K miles - while driving car would randomly turn off passenger airbags and illuminate no passenger seatbelt on the dash. Took car to dealer 3 times. Dealer refused to fix as the "error was not stored in the computer." Suggested cell phone was the problem even though cell phones were not near the seat during each of the multiple incidents. I had to complain to corporate who told the dealer to replace the sensor in the seat. No problems since. 2. at 15K miles - multiple times car would turn on check engine light and traction control light simultaneously. First incident dealer said "dirty camshaft sensor." Second incident I had to refuse to take the car back until they actually fixed a part. Dealer kept car a whole week and made calls to corporate engineers. Tests revealed it was a "failed oil pressure valve." Replaced the part and no more problems. 3. at 25K miles - bad battery. Had to replace when car was only 1 year and 10 months old.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #12

Jul 092013


  • 3,000 miles


Passenger air bag light turns from on to off with a passenger sitting there. Manual says this happens when there is moisture in the seat. First of all, the airbag should not turn off for that reason, that is a safety problem. Second, it turns off even when there is no moisture. It scares me. I need to know that the airbag is still working even if that off light is on if my son is sitting there.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 192013


  • 27,000 miles
Usually it should be on, with a passenger sitting in the front passenger seat while driving. But since about 3 months ago, the passenger air bag off indicator light turned on when there was passenger sitting in the car. This.happened about 5-6 times during the last 3 months. We made an appointment and sent the car to garavel Subaru dealer in norwalk, ct on 9/5/13 at the milage around 29,000miles. They looked at the car for just 10 minutes and could not find any issue related to this. Same issue occurred again once after above visit. I hope dmv could help me to solve this safety related issue before the car warranty expires at 36K. Thank you very much.

- Westport, CT, USA

problem #10

Sep 022013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 52,344 miles
While driving with a passenger the air bag indicator on the dash board went from on to off and the air bag light illuminated on the drivers dash. This has occurred a few other times but only occurs when there is a passenger in the front seat.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #9

Apr 262012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
The passanger airbag is in off position with person sitting in seat. Happens occasionally. Dealership claims that "it shows no eros when the test it".

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #8

May 282013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 16,850 miles
Followed too closely through a double intersection with a non-functioning light. Police officer directed traffic through the intersection but apparently we had to stop before the second intersection. Apparently I slowed down enough that the airbag did not deploy. I indicated 20 but surely my airbag would have deployed at that speed. Was able to drive the car under its own power off the road into a subway parking lot. As I was maneuvering into a parking spot the engine caught on fire. It seems strange to me that if I was going slow enough for the airbag not to deploy but for some components to catch on fire that the car is road worthy. Worth looking into?

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #7

Apr 052012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The airbags in this vehicle turn off while driving (driver and passenger side dashboard icons indicate airbags are turned off). Vehicle must be stopped and restarted for the airbags to turn back on. There seems to be a relationship to electronic interference - passenger use of iphone or ipad may be involved - but it has happened with no passenger as well. This happened 5 times in one day recently while driving at high altitude (pikes peak, co). Probably related: The seat belt alarm has gone off when iphone is placed on empty passenger seat while driving.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #6

Apr 052012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
I started noticing that the front passenger airbag light wasn't always "on" when there was a passenger seated there. It seemed to malfunction more frequently when a heavier person was on the seat. Attempts to get it to activate (unbuckling and rebuckling seatbelt, bouncing on the seat, stopping the car and restarting) all had no effect. This problem has continued intermittently.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #5

Jul 112012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Passenger airbag sensor stated that it was disabled randomly (whether car was in motion or not), even though seat was occupied. Airbag light would illuminate on dashboard. To correct issue, vehicle had to be restarted multiple times, so that airbag would reactivate. This would need to be repeated, as issue recurred multiple times per day. In the case of an accident, airbag most likely would not have deployed due to faulty passenger sensor. Subaru stated airbag module required replacing, after inspection was made.

- North Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 272012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 5,688 miles
Passenger side airbag turned off with adult sitting in the seat. Sensor replaced by dealer in July 2012, brought back August 2012 with same problem. Was informed by the dealer that the malfunction was caused by either an electronic device (cell phone) on the seat or the sensor may have been wet. I contacted Subaru North America with this explanation and they confirmed that the new sensoring technology used in the Impreza, was sensitive to electronic pulses and also moisture and possibly sweat. They confirmed that the airbag may turn-off and would not be activated during a collision. Subaru now considers this matter closed.

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #3

Aug 082012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 12,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the front passenger air bag warning lamp illuminated even though there was an occupant in the front seat. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that the occupancy seat sensor detected wetness from the passenger's clothing which resulted to the sensor not operating properly. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 12,800. Updated 08/29/12

- Prior Lake, MN, USA

Read the next 2 complaints »

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?