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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,122 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.

2013 Subaru Impreza seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #17

Sep 102016


  • 52,000 miles


When passenger ( adult over 130 lbs) sits in front passenger seat the airbag sensor enables. While driving with the passenger the airbag sensor will disengage thus rendering the airbag useless. Also happens if seat is slightly wet. This was a recall to the 2012 Subaru Impreza's and the 2013 models use the same airbag sensor.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #16

Sep 012016


  • 56,000 miles
Passenger airbag light activates/ illuminates/ stays on when passenger with wet/ moist clothing sits in passenger seat. This also occurs after cleaning the passenger seat with upholstery cleaner and the seat has not fully dried. Upon reading about this problem, I found that a recall was issued for 2012 models. Please include 2013 model as this is a serious safety issue.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #15

Jul 042016


  • 43,000 miles
My car is having the same exact behavior described in a recall for the 2012 model year (NHTSA campaign number 15V419000, Subaru recall number wqt-55). My car is not covered by the recall, but it seems like it should be since my problem appears to be identical to that which is described.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 102016


  • miles


Passenger driver airbag is off even though somebody seating. This is safety issue and I discover it recently. Subaru dealer charged me for inspection and repair because item is out of warranty.

- Woodhaven, NY, USA

problem #13

Jun 252015


  • 30,200 miles
Passenger airbag not engaged when the passenger is in the seat with the belt on/off. Continues even after the vehicle is turned off and started on again. Occurs most often if the humidity is high, seat is moist, or raining. Brought to the attention of Subaru dealership while having service performed. Was told this is normal. Recall only issued for 2012 Impreza even though the same sensor and airbag is installed in this model year.

- Belleville, NJ, USA

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problem #12

Jan 272016


  • miles
When the passenger seat is unoccupied and no electronic devices or personal belongings are in the seat, the seatbelt alarm comes on and the airbag goes from the off position to on, this is same thing that was happening in with the 2012 passenger-airbag occupancy sensor, recall.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #11

Nov 032015


  • 100 miles


Our Subaru Impreza air bag & seat belt censor malfunctions regularly when the car is in motion. When no passenger is in the front passenger seat, the sensor buzzes to indicate the presence of a passenger. The sensor malfunctions when my purse is on the seat. It malfunctions and buzzes when I simply touch the seat with slight pressure. Once it seemed to go off because of condensation from a cold beverage bottle resting on the seat (that is it buzzed after the bottle was no longer on the seat, but it was damp to the touch). Conversely -- and less frequently -- the sensor malfunctions when a passenger is in the front passenger seat. While the car is in motion, the sensor will change its status, suggesting that there is no occupant in the seat. This seems to imply that the air bag will not go off in the event of an emergency. This seems like a malfunction with potential to be life-threatening.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #10

May 012014


  • 12,000 miles
The front passenger airbag turns off when there is a passenger in the seat and the car is in motion.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 222015


  • 29,284 miles
While driving on the highway the dashboard air bag light activated while both front seats were occupied. The lights went off when the vehicle was shut off and restarted but activated again within approximately two to three miles of driving again.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 202015


  • 25,000 miles
In regard to the recent recall for the 2012 Subaru Impreza passenger-airbag occupancy sensor you should know that exactly the same problem is happening in my 2013 Subaru Impreza.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 232015


  • 65,000 miles


While driving with a passenger in the front seat, the SRS warning light came on and indicated that the passenger side airbag was off. I pulled over, turned the engine off and restarted the car. The SRS light was off, passenger side airbag was on. Several miles later, the condition repeated itself. Repeated this process two more times with the SRS warning light coming on again both times. I asked my passenger to transfer to the rear seat. The SRS warning light did not go on anymore. It has been two days since the incident and the SRS light has not come on even with a front seat passenger. This had happened the first time approximately two weeks ago but I thought nothing of it when the condition corrected itself after turning the engine off and turning it back on.

- New City, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 182015

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I had to replace the passenger seat airbag because of a sensor malfunction. This is the very issue that the NHTSA is investigating for the Subaru Impreza 2012, yet I own a Subaru Impreza 2013. It is less than two years old and I should not need to replace something that is a known defect.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #5

Sep 132014

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 19,494 miles
The passenger air-bag on light illuminated and the fasten seatbelt warning sound was sounded even though there was nothing in the passenger seat. This has happened multiple times, the most recent at 21,793 miles.

- Oak Ridge, TN, USA

problem #4

Sep 052014


  • 2,000 miles
December 19, 2013, I purchased a Subaru Impreza from koeppel Subaru in long island city, N.Y. the dealership told me the car was "brand new" and used only for test drives. After 5 months of driving the car, the car began to have problems to start. Putting the key in the ignition, there was no response. The car door had to be opened manually. The airbag warning light on the passenger side would not go off regardless of the seat being empty or occupied. Someone gave me a "boost" which started the car. I was able to drive and then parked the car. I went on vacation for two weeks. After the car being unused for two weeks, again the car would not start. I informed the dealership of this problem and was advised by them to have the car towed to any Subaru dealership for repair. The car was towed to bayridge Subaru which evaluated the car and said that the car had a dead cell in the battery. Subaru dealers were informed in April of 2013 that Impreza had a defect which cause electrical problems in the car leading to the battery dying and engine problems. Koeppel Subaru did not inform me of this recall before I purchased the car in December of 2013. They also did not inform me that the car was previously corporate owned. I believe that koeppel should have informed me about the recall as well as the fact that it was used as a "loaner" before I purchased the car. I believe koeppel Subaru committed consumer fraud by not informing me of the recall and the car's history before purchase. I do not feel safe driving the car and simply want a refund of my down payment ($5,000) and car payments made up to current date. Koepell Subaru should be investigated for their practices in selling used cars. I refuse to pay bayridge Subaru $35/day for storage of this unsafe car. Koeppel Subaru is in violation of consumer protection law.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 062014


  • 11,500 miles
There is an intermittent issue where the "passenger air bag off" light erratically comes on when an occupant is seated in the passenger seat, and then the red dash light looking like a balloon will come on. Neither the weight/positioning of the occupant nor restarting the vehicle change whether the passenger air big off light will turn on or off.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012014


  • 5,700 miles
The passenger air bag illuminated with an off. It should always be on. The bought the car new with less than a year driving it and the passenger air bag illumination light turns to off. Its really scary to think of what might have happen if there was an accident during the malfunction.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #1

May 082013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 1,800 miles
I was involved in an accident while driving my recently acquired 2013 Subaru Impreza, where another driver hit my vehicle in a side impact on the driver side front wheel and driver door (I can send the pictures via email). The good news is that I was able to get out on the other side of the vehicle. The bad news is that the side air bags did not deploy, and this was also noted by the emergency crew who arrived on the scene. I believe that this may be a design flaw or defect that Subaru engineers need to have a closer look at.

- North Salt Lake, UT, USA

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