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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,510 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.

2011 Subaru Legacy electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #11

Nov 202015


  • 82,600 miles


Frequent replacement of low beam bulbs. Not easy to replace and Subaru service best equipped to do procedure. Labor costs at various dealers for this service widely vary and can increase without reason. Subaru of America recently sent out letter saying warranty on bulbs has been extended (not that there is issue with electrical system). Soa will replace or refund, however, this does not solve the issue of continued (perceived) deficiency in the lighting system overall and refund requirements are very stringent per the letter they sent. I consider this issue as a safety defect. We have both an outback and Legacy that are both affected by this. Have owned Legacy since new and replaced both bulbs four times since taking ownership. Have tried other brand bulbs to no better result (hence my belief it is electrical system). Per one of the service advisors I've spoken to in the past, the system is designed such that when one bulb burns out, more current flows to the one bulb still working and will burn it out prematurely (furthering my belief that it is a safety issue). They said this in recommending replacement of both bulbs at once. Would like to see recall or greater effort on soa's part.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #10

Feb 152016


  • 83,000 miles
The front headlights have gone out 4 times in the 4 years since we bought the car new. Unusual. The fuse to the seat warmers has gone out, replaced and went out again. Dealer says replace heater module for $440.+. sound like electrical issue to us. Also lost audio on steering wheel. Dealer confirmed need to replace audio switch $300.+ again, sounds like a problem with the electrical system. So far the only safety issue has been the front headlights, but I worry about something more serious as other posters have mentioned.

- Woodland, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 072016


  • 140,000 miles
01/07/2016 shortly after taking the freeway exit wife noticed the battery light turned on and power steering got heavy. All other warning light on the dash started to flicker as the passenger compartment quickly filled with smoke. She then pulled over and had just enough time to get both kids out before the entire car was engulfed in flames. Fire originated from under the hood of her 2011 Subaru Legacy 3.6R limited. The vehicle was a total loss.

- Patterson, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 152015


  • 60,000 miles


I have had to replace both low beam bulbs six times in a year. The vehicle only has 93,000 miles on it. There does not appear to be a triggering event and the bulbs go out, seemingly, at random - which can be very dangerous if it's dark outside.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #7

Aug 102015


  • 110,000 miles
Whenever the brake is pressed hard to a complete stop, the car stalls and all electrical shut off. It doesnt seem to happen when you brake very slow before coming to a full stop. But if you brake slowly and then pressed the pedal full, the problem will occur. This can cause panic and also delay on cars running behind the car. It appears this is similar problem reported under 10395739. I also found a number of similarly reported problems online with Subaru cars.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #6

May 272015


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Legacy. While driving approximately 35 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that the radio became inoperable. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V283000 (steering). The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Marlboro , NJ, USA

problem #5

Nov 192014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


Vehicle was stopped at a red light. Upon light acceleration, check engine light came on (and stayed on), parking brake light began to blink, cruise control indicator began to blink, and traction control light came on and stayed on. Driver did not detect any slippage. Authorized Subaru dealer found no problem with oil control valve (ocv) despite computer code indicating potential problem with that part. Dealer, however, indicated oil flush, rather than simply an oil change, was necessary despite less than 5,000 miles since previous oil change. Dealer asserted that oil level was not low, however. Cause of what triggered the indicators to be set off remains unclear.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #4

Oct 232014

Legacy 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I have a 2011 Subaru Legacy le 3.6R, and the headlights keep burning out. I work an hour away from my home and had to drive most of the way without headlamps because the 2nd one blew on the way home. With only high beams and daytime runner lamps, it was very dangerous and scary. I've only had the car for 2 years and have had to replace the headlamps twice already. In researching the problem, it appears that the headlamps draw too much power from the wiring/electronic board that eventually overheats the headlamps causing them to burn out. It also appears to be a common problem with this model car. This is a serious problem and I would really appreciate Subaru investigating it and handing their customers a solution!

- Kerhonkson, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 132012


  • 13,000 miles
6 speed manual transmission. Vehicle stalls, and rough idles intermittently while at stop light or other traffic control. Vehicle also stalled while on highway twice disabling power steering, and power braking. Brought back to dealer and they were unable to replicate issue. Issue occurred again, brought back to dealer 2nd time same results. 3rd time issue was replicated while I was in vehicle with tech. Technician stated that they will address it. Left over weekend. Tuesday dealer notified me that the vehicle was experiencing a power draw after the window or electronic brake were used, and the factory advised that the computer would need to be "re-flashed" but currently, there is no re-flash program developed, and there is no time line as to when it would be. Contacted Subaru America cust. Serv. District manager test drove and was unable to replicate. So as far as the dealer and Subaru are concerned, there is no issue. Vehicle still stalls intermittently. Filed complaint with ct dvm lemon law, and now with NHTSA.

- Watertown, CT, USA

problem #2

Jul 122011

Legacy 6-cyl

  • 2,911 miles
Radio controls on left side of steering wheel stop functioning intermittently. Has happened on 2 occasions in the 2 1/2 months I have owned the vehicle. The symptoms are similar to those reported with the steering column electrical roll connection recall (Subaru recall wvr-28), however, that recall was for 2010 my vehicles and I have a 2011 my vehicle.

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #1

Sep 282010


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph in snowy conditions, she noticed the check engine and ABS lights illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed the contact that she needed to replace battery, the starter, the cable and the ECM. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 100. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

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