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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,416 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.

2002 Subaru Outback cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 012007

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


In may of 2007, my 2002 Subaru Outback with 71,000 miles first began having overheating issues. I took it straight to a Subaru dealer where they unplugged a radiator cap and added special coolant conditioner. 3 months later, the random overheating started again. I took the car back immediately to the dealer. The radiator cap was replaced, but this did not solve the overheating. They replaced the thermostat and this did not solve the problem. Finally, they discovered it was head gasket failure with a warped head. The car was at the dealer for over a week for the head gasket repair. I contacted Subaru of America who said head gasket failure was covered by an extended warranty for 98-2002 models, however, my 2002 model fell outside of the covered VIN #S since it was manufactured after the problem was corrected (not all of the 2002 models were covered in the extended warranty). Therefore, my head gasket repair was not covered by Subaru's extended warranty for this frequent problem. I got my car back from the dealer and on the way home it overheated. I took it back immediately to the dealer where they reassembled it to make sure it was assembled properly and replaced the radiator as well just to be sure that wasn't the cause of the continued overheating issues. This seems to be a very common repair among Subaru owners. Subaru decided to grant us a "good will warranty" to cover the head gaskets with us paying a $300 deductible and they covered the rest of the head gasket repair (they did not cover the radiator, etc - we still payed around $1,000 out of pocket for the deductible, radiator, etc). I am happy they did this for us, but if our VIN fell within the extended warranty, we would not have had to incur these out of pocket expenses. It is clear Subaru has a defect in their head gaskets during certain years, but it seems they need to stand behind all the cars affected, not just some of them.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #1

Apr 152007

Outback 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,833 miles
2002 Subaru Outback stopped blowing cold air from the A/C. pep boys charged over $1,000 to repair. There were no Subaru dealers in our city. We are elderly and retired. I was never notified by Subaru that they had a problem with leakage on the 2.5L engine models.

- Hemet, CA, USA

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