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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,523 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2001 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 132011

Outback

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I purchased a 2001 Subaru Outback when the temperature outside is below freezing around 28 degrees or lower, there is a strong odor of gasoline inside the passenger area. I made an appointment with a Subaru dealer for January 5th, however I researched online and found this problem is common with no clear fix. I don't want to take it to the dealer if this problem isn't going to be fixed. What remedy has Subaru offered for this problem?

- Northhaven, CT, USA

problem #16

Feb 022011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 82,800 miles
2001 Subaru legacy Outback. Fuel vapor smell in cabin when temperatures fall below freezing. This has been a persistent problem for the three winters we have owned the car. This fall I found several comments online which prompted me to tighten the hose clamps on fuel lines running to/from the engine compartment fuel filter. This seemed to help until the last 2-3 days when we experienced prolonged temperatures of 0 to -15F. Now the smell is back and the local Subaru dealer suggests the problem often involves fuel hoses beneath the intake manifold, which they estimate $370 to repair. Based on numerous complaints and comments I have found online, some dating back to 2003, I am shocked that Subaru has been aware of this problem for so long and failed to issue a recall. Gasoline vapor is a significant health hazard. Not only is it a carcinogen and known to cause brain damage, but short term exposure at the very least may contribute to dizziness and impaired driving ability, leading to possible injury or death... not to mention the risk of fire, also with potentially dire consequences. This is our family's primary vehicle and I cannot in good conscience allow my wife and child to travel under such hazardous conditions. I wish Subaru shared my opinion. We will not use the vehicle until repairs can be performed, albeit at my own cost rather than the manufacturer.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #15

Dec 012010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 83,200 miles
I have a 2001 Subaru Outback station wagon. On very cold days, there is a strong smell of fuel that pervades the passenger cabin. We had to drive with windows open even when 20-degrees outside or expose my 3yr son to the gagging fumes. This problem is a known issue (there are literally 1000's of posts on Subaru owners web boards) but my local mechanic was initially not able to find the problem. Subaru of America has not issued a technical service bulletin to make owners aware of this common failure in Subaru fuel lines. Once we found explanatory material on the web, we had the local mechanic replace the fuel lines for about $300. Given how common the problem is and how potentially dangerous a fuel line leak in the engine compartment could be, the NHTSA should force Subaru to address this problem. In addition to the immediate danger, their lack of action also is leading to owners exposing themselves to fuel fumes in the passenger cabin as the problem is intermittent and thus hard for mechanics to diagnose and repair.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #14

Jan 012009

Outback 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Underhood fuel hoses are allowing leakage at low temperatures.

- Millburn, NJ, USA

problem #13

Dec 152010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
2001 Subaru Outback, 4 cyl. Strong gas smell when outside air/heater is on and temperature is around freezing or below. It has happened last 3 yrs and fumes can be avoided by changing to recirculating air. Dealer and other mechanic could not find problem.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

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problem #12

Dec 102010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I own a 2001 Subaru Outback, that when the weather gets cold, somewhere at and below 30 degrees, I get a gas odor in and outside the car. I have researched this on the internet and found that this is an *extremely* common problem with the car's gas lines and that Subaru is only acknowledging the issue on 2002 and newer models. Have you researched this issue before and can you tell me why no recall on 2001S was ever done? thank you.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #11

Dec 282009

Outback

  • 113,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. Whiled driving approximately 50 mph, the contact smelled an odor inside the vehicle. All the passengers complained of a headache. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who repaired a leaking fuse hose. The failure occurred again and was no longer drivable. The vehicle had not been repaired again. The failure mileage was approximately 113,000 and the current mileage was approximately 120,000.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #10

May 232010

Outback

  • 84,900 miles
2001 Subaru Outback has strong gasoline smell inside cabin upon starting engine. Outside temperature is above 80- degrees...not cold. Smell dissipates as car runs after about 3 minutes.

- Metairieq, LA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012006

Outback

  • 55,000 miles
Car is a Subaru Outback 2001. Complaint is strong fuel smell and vapors in the car cabin when outside air temperature falls below 30 degrees or so. Smell permeates our clothing to the extent that when we leave the car and encounter people, they comment that we smell like gasoline. Fuel lines have been checked as have clamps and hoses. No resolution. We must drive breathing strong fumes. Opening windows dissipates fumes somewhat, but not completely. Problem is worse with heater running, so we turn it off. Additional concern is that when driving without heat, the front windshield defroster is not operational, resulting in the windshield being iced over and/or covered with condensation. This causes visual impairment and is a driving hazard.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #8

Dec 282009

Outback

  • 130,000 miles
I own a 2001 Subaru Outback that when the weather gets cold, somewhere at and below 30 degrees, I get a gas smell in and outside the car. I have researched this on the internet and find this is a common problem with the car's gas lines and that Subaru is only acknowledging the issue on 2002 and newer models. Have you researched this issue before and can you tell me why no recall on 2001S was ever done? thank you.

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #7

Dec 012004

Outback

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We strongly agree with the complaint filed 12/9/09 listed below. We also have a 2001 Subaru Outback and have had the Subaru dealership check out this problem several times. We have had fuel hoses replaced and clamps tightened and replaced many times and the problem remains. Obviously the problem is elsewhere in the fuel system. While every winter for at least the last 5-6 winter seasons our family smells and breathes in gasoline fumes and have to open windows to air out the cabin from the strong gasoline smell. We also refrain from using the heating system at times because the smell is much more noticeable when we run the heater. We have also found countless complaints online regarding this Subaru issue. Does a fire, damage, crash, injury or death have to occur before Subaru or the NHTSA will address this problem? component: Fuel system, gasoline details: In cold weather, my 2001 Subaru Outback has an extremely strong smell of gasoline. A quick search will reveal hundreds of complaints on the same issue. There has been a technical service bulletin issued by Subaru on this issue--NHTSA item # 616334, service bulletin # 010101. The tsb recommends an "inspection procedure for possible replacement of 3 fuel hoses". however, the Subaru dealer indicates the issue calls for a replacement of the entire fuel rail--costing more than $400. I cannot believe that neither the NHTSA nor Subaru have not categorized a systemic problem with leaking gasoline as a safety issue. Occurrences: 1 injuries: 0 fail date: 12/07/2005 deaths: 0 date added to datbase: 12/9/2009

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #6

Dec 072005

Outback

  • 70,000 miles
In cold weather, my 2001 Subaru Outback has an extremely strong smell of gasoline. A quick search will reveal hundreds of complaints on the same issue. There has been a technical service bulletin issued by Subaru on this issue--NHTSA item # 616334, service bulletin # 010101. The tsb recommends an "inspection procedure for possible replacement of 3 fuel hoses". however, the Subaru dealer indicates the issue calls for a replacement of the entire fuel rail--costing more than $400. I cannot believe that neither the NHTSA nor Subaru have not categorized a systemic problem with leaking gasoline as a safety issue.

- South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #5

Jan 012009

Outback

  • 12,000 miles
In cold weather very strong fuel odor in passenger compartment. Smell is strong enough to make passengers feel ill. This happens all the time when outside temp goes below freezing.

- Highland Mills, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 082008

Outback

  • 76,000 miles
There is frequently a strong smell of fuel within the vehicle compartment when the car is running, either standing still or otherwise being driven. There was a third party service bulletin issued (wxz-83-fuel hose explaining the problem which is that certain affected vehicles may have been produced with up to 3 improperly manufactured fuel hoses in the engine compartment. Over time and in cold weather the hoses could leak creating the potential for a fire in the engine compartment. I found out what the problem was on the internet. Subaru says there was a recall for this but that my vehicle was not one of the vehicles under the recall and that I would have to pay for any repairs - they said it could be the fuel rail assembly that is the problem. This does not seem fair or right. If its a defect (with serious safety implications) and my car was affected by the problem described (and who knows how many others), then the manufacturer should fix all cars with the problem at their expense.

- Mundelein, IL, USA

problem #3

Jan 172008

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In cold weather our car began emitting a very strong fuel smell in the passenger compartment. Our Subaru dealer denies there is anything wrong that would warrant a safety recall or bulletin. They will not accept it is a design defect when clearly the fuel lines begin to leak in cold (sub-freezing) temperatures. As gasoline is a serious carcinogen and exposure to its fumes causes brain damage, this should be regarded as an extremely serious health issue.

- Thunder Bay, 00, USA

problem #2

Jan 112007

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,999 miles
1) upon colder weather starting and during the first 30-40 minutes of operation our 2001 Subaru Outback gets fuel vapors in the passenger compartment. 2) fuel smells cause use to roll windows down to keep breathable air available. Fuel vapor is a carcinogen, of course. Occupants complained of nausea and headaches. 3) took car to paul bros. Subaru and they told us this was a common complaint but nothing to worry about. 4) subsequently, learned of hundreds of like complaints and a Subaru service bulletin regarding leaky hoses due to loose fuel clamps and pooling fuel on crevices on the engine block. Considered not a "engine/drivetrain issue in warranty and cost to replace hoses has been charged to owners at more than $600. Persons "injured" is hard to determine due to chronic exposure of fumes is an unclear connection to a singular injury. This situation should be addressed by a recall and replacement of hoses at Subaru's expense. The hoses performance in cold weather was known to Subaru before I purchased the car (in Canada this is a far larger issue btw). I should expect hoses to perform over the published operating temperature of the vehicle or in what ever region Subaru are sold.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 242005

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Strong smell of fuel in passenger compartment during extremely cold weather.

- York, PA, USA

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