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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pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,250 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.

1998 Subaru Legacy transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 282005


  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles


I have a 1998 Subaru Legacy outback with manual transmission. When it gets hot (I live in houston!!!) the clutch pedal will get spongy and eventually stick to the floor. I have to lift it up with my foot. If I have to drive the car for any length of time like this, I eventually lose the ability to get the car in and out of gear. I have to turn the car off and let it cool off (for about an hour) and it will fix itself. I have had to sit on the side of the road, with my kids in the car, waiting for it to cool down! it first happened in 1999. Subaru tried to fix it by replacing most of the clutch (the pressure plate, fly wheel, slave and master cylinder). They pressure and gravity bled the system. I was there almost every week for months. They would try one thing and when it didn't work, they would replace another part or try something else. Eventually, winter showed up and it didn't happen for a while. They thought they had fixed the problem. Then summer came again and so did the problem. I took the car back in, but since it was out of warranty, Subaru refused to fix it unless I paid for it. Subaru has since issued a service bulletin (#03-52-03) regarding this issue, but Subaru refuses to fix the problem, stating there are too many miles on my car (77,000) and it is out of warranty. I contend, they never fixed the problem in the first place and it is not my fault that it took them five years to figure out how to do it. I do not have any of the original parts. Subaru said they had to keep them as part of their warranty plan.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 172002

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer states after parking vehicle, it jump out of gear and started moving. Nlm

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #2

May 011998

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Car out of alignment, car pulls to the right even when in alignment. Ride is very rough like something is out of kilter; the transmission doesn't operate smoothly between 2nd and 3rd gear... like hesitation, and acts like there could be something wrong with the gas lines or parts controlling the fuel to car; cup holder is designed so that everything wants to tip out!! it is not deep enough which could be a definite safety hazzard if something hot tips out onto passenger. I previously owned a 1993 Subaru Legacy wagon that also pulled to the right!! and the transmission (standard) was sooooo poorly geared in 1st and snd that it ate tires continually, would not move on snowy or inclined surfaces, and posed a major safety hazzard in wet or snowy conditions, ,, this was a standard, non-AWD model... and the transmission went out on this vehicle at 93,000 miles and Subaru woudl not take responsibility for any of these problems!!! that vehicle was clearly defective as this one is, ,, and none of the corrections they (the dealership) has made have corrected or held so far! as for the gearing.. they say it is the nature of the beast!! as is the pulling, ,, I think I have another Subaru lemon, ,, and I do not want to have the same problems or worse that I had before!!!

- Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #1

Aug 011998

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Bought my Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT last month, I brought the car in for the first servicing complaining of clutch, and transmission difficulty. When car goes over bumps, transmission twists and lurches. 5 speed manual transmission, third gear is difficult to enter, reverse grinds.

- Morris Township, NJ, USA

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