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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,504 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.

2009 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #5

Mar 162016


  • 90,000 miles


Car was kept up with timely, oil changes always taken care of. Warranty still on the car but dealership refusing to pay since car wasn't serviced there. At 90,000 miles on the four lane, out of nowhere, rod broke and I had catastrophic engine failure. The car was in motion and shut off, had to pull over on side of four lane going 55 mph when car shut off, and car refused to start again. At no time was I given any forewarning about the engine having failure. Since the dealership is no help, I still owe 9,000 on the car so I am going to have to pay for a new engine at about 4,000 dollars.. although the warranty is still good. I've read how multiple other people are having this same exact problem around 90,000 miles. Is there no recall" no investigation? is there a defect in the engine" I think it's too "coincidental" that mine happened to go around the same time theirs did, with the same exact problem. There was also two other people in the car at the time. Thanks for your help.

- Cedar Bluff, VA, USA

problem #4

Dec 232014


  • 68,390 miles
Car has been owned for 2.5 years and has been driving well. There have not been any cel or other warning light problem indications. Car has had routine maintenance, recalls and last synthetic oil change was done at van bortel Subaru, victor, NY on 11/28/14 (67,433 miles). On 12/23/14 in the evening, following a 7 hour highway trip, car abruptly developed a loud engine knock with vibrations and was choking for gas. On 12/24/14, car was brought into my local mechanic who determined there was a major internal engine failure and the car was inoperable. Vanbortel Subaru service dept. Was contacted and gave me a quote for a rebuilt Subaru short engine block for $6,600. With only a two year warranty. They also said the repair was not covered under warranty since it had 68,000 miles on it. No " goodwill assistance" from the dealership or soa was offered even though they have serviced 7 of my family's Subaru over the past 10 years. And, the '09 Legacy has a history of engine problems as documented in various online owner forums (eg. Nasioc) and by consumer reports who rated the '09 Legacy as being "worse than average for major and minor engine problems" I had the short block engine swap performed by my independent mechanic and asked him to tear down the old engine. He reported that: "the # 1 connecting rod bearing completely failed and was grinding into the crankshaft. Resulting in engine failure." He further noted that the engine oil was full. I have expressed my concerns to vanbortel Subaru and soa for the decline in their quality, integrity, customer services and increased potential for a serious accident, injury or being stranded on a highway without any prior symptoms or warnings.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 052014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 124,132 miles
Two weeks before this incident, the vehicle's oil was changed. Then, on Saturday, July 5, 2014, I was traveling on the I-465N onramp from I-70E in indianapolis and upon accelerating experienced engine power loss and a loud knocking sound when the engine rpms exceed 2,500. The vehicle was taken to dreyer & reinbold in greenwood where I learned the vehicle only had 0.7 quarts of oil in it and now needs the short block, gasket set, and oil pump replaced. Upon speaking with the technician, I learned that in my vehicle, including other Subaru vehicles, the oil light does not illuminate until it's too late and virtually out of oil, thus causing catastrophic engine component failure. The technician stated that sometimes engine oil nuts or filters are not placed on vehicles and the dashboard's "engine oil" light fails to illuminate even after all the oil has been displaced. Updated 02/25/2015

- Centerville, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 072014


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle began to shaking before decelerating. The contact then noticed flames and smoke coming from under the hood. The contact stopped the vehicle, shut the engine off and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealer and a independent mechanic who both indicated that the defect was caused by an engine piston that malfunctioned and created a hole in the engine block. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #1

Sep 152012


  • 115,000 miles
Was driving on my road to go home and the dash board warning lights came on and heard a loud knocking sound. Pulled over immediately. Found out the engine blew a rod, cause is unknown.

- Big Sky, MT, USA

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