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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,859 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 242015


  • 81,700 miles


Rear tailgate wire harness found to be broken. Rear wiper did not work. This wire was completely broken. Two other wires found to be cracked and about to fail. This could potentially cause rear hi mount stop light, license plate lights, and back up lights to be non-functional.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 152014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My rear brake lights and tail lights stopped working, my wiper would work intermittently, and license plate lights would not work at all. Took to a mechanic who diagnosed that the wires traveling through the rubber grommet to the rear gate had been broken due to a design in the path they travel where they are bent severely every time the gate is opened and closed, and eventually they snapped. He informed me that this was a common issue on my model and put new wires in place of the broken ones.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #7

Feb 222011

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
The wiring harness on the rear lift gate (station wagon) keeps breaking and shorting out. This is a dangerous defect, as rear lights can go out without notice, leading to a possible rear-end collision. Dangerous for pedestrians when the backup lights have shorted out and are not visible. Rear visibility also hampered under snowy or rainy conditions when the wiper shorts out. Repairs have been made at least three (3) times (2/22/11, 3/24/13, 9/25/13), yet these electrical issues still persist. A recall from Subaru should be ordered to address this electrical defect and safety issue.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #6

Oct 132013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 89,874 miles


Rear wiper stopped working. The problem was due to a broken wire inside the passenger's side accordion boot for the rear hatch of the wagon. Other wires within the harness (which supplies power to the rear hatch lights, hatch lock, and wiper motor/sprayer) were also cracked. In researching this problem, I have found this this is starting to become a more frequent issue and should be replaced/recalled by Subaru.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013


  • 97,850 miles
Rear windshield wiper stopped working causing very limited visibility out of rear window during inclement weather. I discovered the connecting harness on the passenger side rear that controls the rear wiper and brake lights damaged where it passes from the car body to rear tailgate. The grommett does not seem to be serving its purpose and the wiring harness does not seem durable enough. This can create a very dangerous combination.

- Springfield Gardens, NY, USA

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problem #4

Sep 012010


  • 90,105 miles
This 2005 Subaru Legacy is a station wagon with power door locks, the back lift gate wiring harness on the passenger side has torn the electrical wires within the flexible boot mounted on the top of the car between the body and the rear hatch. As a result it is no longer possible to lock and secure the rear hatch back door of the station wagon. The wires within the wiring harness are just to short and have ripped themselves apart in addition the rear high mount brake light is also no longer functioning.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #3

May 152009


  • 27,000 miles


The low beam light bulbs burn out frequently. I use the high quality bulbs (around $28 ea) but they still burn out every 3 to 4 months, same as the lower quality bulbs. Even with being very careful installing the bulbs, wearing clean gloves and cleaning with alcohol prior to setting and locking, they still burn out. I bought the car at 27,000 miles, now it has 50,500 and the problem is consistent. I doubt that bulb quality is the issue here, since I've experimented with the $17 bulbs and the $28 bulbs and the results are the same.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 162005

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
With approximately 2,000 miles on my brand new Subaru Legacy GT I was driving 80 miles to my home. The lights on my dash were flickering and the cruise control worked, then stopped working when I would try to decrease or increase my speed. Once I got into the canyon about 20 miles from home (a curvy road next to the Colorado river) all my interior and exterior lights went off suddenly. I maneuvered my way to the side of the road, shut the car off then turned it back on. Thankfully, the lights came back on. I took the car into the Subaru dealership and they didn't find anything. They said they couldn't fix it until the problem was duplicated. My main concern with this statement is that if I crash my car and injure myself or kill myself because the lights went out, it will be fairly difficult for anyone to "duplicate" the problem. Second issue happened about a month later when the cruise control light began flashing and the check engine light came on. I took it to the Subaru dealership and they discovered a valve body problem. Meanwhile a day later I was driving and the car would barely move. It felt as if it were stuck in 3rd gear. I took it back in and drove a rental car until the part came in. I have the car back now with the 2nd and 3rd problem fixed, but with still no resolution to the fact that my lights could again shut off while I am driving at night.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #1

Feb 132005

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,200 miles
No failure of safety equipment but vehicle design promotes operation at night with no tail lights. When the light switch is turned off, the headlights (drl) and instrument lights remain on. This makes the operator think all exterior illumination is functioning, when only the headlights and instrument lights are illuminated.

- Woodridge, IL, USA

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