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. Notes: A relatively dependable vehicle that handles well in bad weather, but increasing concerns about turbo failure in the GT probably means you should look elsewhere if you want a car with a little pep in its step.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,817 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.

2005 Subaru Legacy fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #12

Feb 062014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles


The vehicles turbo failed and destroyed the engine. The turbo and engine were all factory original. I replaced the part that I thought was causing problems with the engine and turned the car on and black smoke came out off the exhaust. According to the mechanic shop I took it to the oil union bolts are the cause of the problem to starving oil to the turbo and then the turbo fails. I think it is unclear that these engines have a major flaw in them. Most people have these problems way before the 100,000 miles on the odometer mark. I would need a completely new engine for the vehicle. I did oil changes every 3000 miles and did the recommended services at each time or mileage intervals.

- Forest Park, IL, USA

problem #11

Feb 052014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Once the temperature has dipped below about 25 degrees, there is a strong smell of gas that comes from the engine area. The last several days have been especially cold, and though I am driving with the windows down out of necessity (it's -5 degrees today) the gasoline smell is overwhelming, and I have suffered from a headache the past 3 days in the morning due to this issue. It is obvious this issue exists beyond just me, as it takes a simple search to turn up dozens, if not hundreds, of similar issues. It is a serious health and safety concern and needs to be addressed.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #10

Jan 202014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Extremely strong raw fuel smell coming from vents with heater on. Weather has been below 30 degrees for over 2 weeks in Ohio. The smell is not as bad while driving, but when stopped at a red light or stop sign the odor is causing severe headache and burning sensation in eyes. Also starts to gag you. Faint smell outside the car under the hood on the driver side. No leak visible. Inside cab smells like a gas station, but stronger.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #9

Dec 162013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles


2005 Legacy turbo. A strong smell of gas in cold weather. Seems to have been a problem with WRX models and Saab 9-2X build by Subaru in 2005 and 2006. Should there be a recall for gas leak. There was a recall for Subaru models up to 2004. What was the fix for the problem. This appears to be a major safety issue.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #8

Feb 022010


  • 86,000 miles
In cold (<32F) weather vehicle emits very strong smell of gasoline from inside engine compartment. Once temp rises smell goes away.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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problem #7

Jan 232011

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 71,800 miles
Second time car has been in for this issue. Issue is common, and many forums topics have been started documenting the commonality of this issue. I can provide links. Issue: Leaking/raw gas smell outside of car, inside of car, and inside of engine bay in cold weather upon start up (engine warm or cold). Leaking/dripping gas can been seen in engine bay. First repair: Tightened fuel line clamps. Issue fixed. Next winter came along, issue returned. This time dealership (North shore Subaru, highland park, il) wants $700 to fix the issue. First repair cost $51.33 at Liberty auto city/Subaru in libertyville, il. Called Subaru of America and reported repeat of issue. They have not offered to repair it and deny that the issue is common. I believe this is an environmental, health, and safety concern. No vehicle I've ever owned has leaked fuel and I'm baffled as to why Subaru doesn't consider this a serious liability risk.

- Lake Zurich, IL, USA

problem #6

Jan 102011

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


The dealership diagnosed a fuel leak in my 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT limited wagon (which I purchased new and has been impeccably maintained), and it started occurring during cold weather. I looked online and this seems to be a very popular complaint amongst owners of the same vehicle/same year, especially in cold weather, and I can't understand why there hasn't been a recall issued. Fuel issues are dangerous!!! there were recalls issued for the 2002-2003 Subaru WRX (cold weather fuel line seep which by description is exactly what is happening with my vehicle), 2004 Subaru Legacy sedan, and the 2005-2006 Subaru baja, for fuel leaks and this may or may not be the same thing, but it seems this is a trend for the Subaru vehicles in 2002 - 2006.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 122010

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The last few mornings I've smelled a strong odor of fuel as my car warms up. A very, very strong odor of raw fuel is inside the car, and it seems to be coming out of the dashboard vents, and strangely enough, only on very cold morning/starts. The smell eventually goes away after 15 to 20 minutes of highway driving. I searched 3 times now for a fuel leak, and as far as I can see, there are no visible fuel leaks anywhere. I looked as good as I can, injectors & hard lines, the rubber fuel lines in the engine compartment, the quick connections near the brake master cylinder. There is no fuel on the floor near the clutch pedal, and I didn't see any leaks back at the fuel filler pipe, but I honestly didn't look too closely back there as the smell is certainly up front. I've now removed most of my personal belongings from the car and will no longer park it in my driveway, as my house adjoins the driveway. I am certain the car will soon catch fire. A call to the Subaru hotline tells me there are no defects, and all fuel lines eventually leak. In other words, tough luck on me. So, like it or not, I am making an appointment with the Subaru dealer for this safety repair. I can only hope it burns in their parking lot!

- Highland Falls, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 042009


  • 93,000 miles
Strong gas odor in cabin coming from the engine when the weather is under 38* feels like if there is any kind of spark the car will blow up with me in it, notified Subaru who told me I was the first one with this complaint, which is not true, as I saw one more complaint like this in here.

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 312009


  • 22,000 miles
Heavy raw gas odor inside vehicle when outdoor temperatures at under ~40 degrees.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 042008


  • 30,000 miles
Raw fuel smell coming into cabin in under freezing temperatures. Makes me sick to my stomach and my eyes water. I have to open all the windows in a snowstorm!!

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #1

Oct 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
: the contact stated the odor of gasoline was noticed intermittently upon starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a local dealership where the problem could not be duplicated. The vehicle continued to smell of gasoline and the vehicle was taken back to the service dealer where it was discovered fluid was leaking from the steering area. The leak was repaired, but the odor of gasoline continued. The odor is strongest after the vehicle has been sitting for a period of two hours or more. The odor disappears after driving a hundred yards or more. The amount of fuel in the tank does not have any impact on the odor. The vehicle was returned to the dealer again, it was determined the vehicle was operating normally and the dealer only suggested making an adjustment to the brand of gasoline being used. Updated 03/03/06.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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