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:
80,506 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 142006

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


Our mechanic found our problem is a cracked head gasket. Model-2002 Outback Subaru wagon. Was told these models were made with a thin head gasket that cracks. Told to contact our Subaru dealership to see about a recall. The dealership said, yes a recall on head gaskets but VIN # has to end with proper 7 last digits. Ours, of course, did not have the number they would cover. Was told the service dept. Has been replacing the head gaskets in these models-and Subaru has been paying 1/2. this is acknowledging there is a problem with the head gaskets with that statement. Quoted cost of $1350 and subtract half. Bring car in and Subaru would be called but none has been refused for 1/2 the cost covered. Called our mechanic. He laughed and said- taking us for a ride as the price is jacked up so it appears Subaru is paying 1/2 but the consumer is really paying the full cost. Our two year old son, with medical problems, has been sick in the car from the fumes. As antifreeze is leaking from the head gasket and seeping into the car thru the heating vents. It is not fair that we have a 2002 Subaru Outback with a cracked head gasket and other cars of this same year/make/model are having the head gasket replaced as their VIN # meets the last 7 digits. We have the same engine/make/model and problem as these other consumers but we are having to absorb the cost. We have to get the car fixed as our young son does not need to inhale this strong odor with his present health. Our mechanic said the head gaskets in these Subaru Outbacks are too thin and crack. This is a defective part and is not our fault. It is not fair that other owners of the Outback have a certain VIN # are having theirs replaced when they have the same engine and problem as we do. This is an addition to confirmation # 10170783-my husband sent.

- Franklin, WV, USA

problem #1

Feb 112006

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,013 miles
At 69,013 miles, the driver side head gasket is leaking coolant. We first noticed the problem due to the odor.

- East Hampton, CT, USA

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