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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,558 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.

2001 Subaru Outback brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 052010


  • 112,000 miles


Vehicle does not brake properly when cold in sub-freezing weather conditions. Vehicle consistently has greatly increased stopping distances when it is very cold out and the condition resolves once the vehicle has warmed up.

- Girard, PA, USA

problem #5

Jan 172009


  • 80,000 miles
When the weather is very cold out (it was -15 to -20 celsius when this happened) there is no vacuum assist for the brakes. This is a common problem (check at the vehicle is a 2001 Subaru Outback and the problem seems to be a check valve in the vacuum line running to the brake booster. In cold weather, the check valve freezes and there is no vacuum to the brake booster. This makes the brake pedal extremely hard to push as the is no power assist when there is no vacuum to the booster.

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #4

Mar 312006


  • miles
We had excessive brake problems and after repeated attempts to the dealer, my husband found there is a pin that the calipers slide on and it was locked up. He took it apart, lubed with "never seize" and problem solved. Unfortunately, after much $$$$ paid to dealers without any help.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 022007

Outback 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 61,000 miles


2001 Subaru Outback. When the temp falls below 20, and the car has sat for several hours, brakes will momentarily not work. Specifically, I apply the brakes to slow down, they will feel hard to push and will slow the car, I let up and push again, they feel even harder, and will not slow the car. Usually the fourth time I pump them they return to normal operation. This has happened in the past, I took the car to the shop, who said there was nothing wrong. Pads were fine, no water in the fluid. Fluid was changed and problem has recurred since then.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #2

Mar 202003

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,350 miles
I had to replace the brakes in my 2001 Subaru Outback after 20,000 miles. I lived the last two years in Alaska and was told by the dealer service department in seattle the salt from the roads created early corrosion on the brake pads and disc. The Outback is designed for more rugged driving and for geographic locations with harsher winters. Something about the design of the brakes causes the salt and dirt from winter roads to channel up through the brake system and cause excessive wear and tear. I just paid for a complete brake replacement as the front pads were no longer engaging correctly and the brakes are very worn due to the salt.

- Seattle,, WA, USA

problem #1

Dec 122002


  • miles
While driving the vehicle at any speed and applied the brakes, the vehicle can experience extended stopping distance, vehicle suffered sudden acceleration. Dealer has inspected the vehicle and could not duplicate or correct the problem.

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

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