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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,600 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 #5

Jan 012009


  • 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


  • 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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