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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,667 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 252008

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

For the past 2 winters, I have experienced a strong fuel smell in the passenger cabin for the first 20 minutes or so of running the car in temperatures below 25 degrees, including idling at a traffic light. It seems to be getting progressively worse. I brought it to my private mechanic last week, and he was unable to pinpoint the source of the problem. If you do a google search on "Subaru gas smell" you will find 25,800 hits of people reporting the same problem with their Subaru's, for a variety of models/years. Based on those volume of complaints, I'm very surprised that their hasn't been a recall?

- West Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jan 022008

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2002 Subaru legacy Outback wagon. Last winter (2006-07) I started to detect an intense smell of gasoline in the cabin of the car when the temperature dropped below 30 degrees F. took it to my local repair shop (not a dealer) but they could not find a problem. The same thing is happening this winter (2007-08). I scheduled to bring it in to a local Subaru dealer but then the temp rose above 30 degrees, so there was no point in bringing it in since they would not experience the problem. I am now waiting for the weather to get cold again so I can bring it in for them to check. In the meantime, I got online and found a number of other Subaru owners who are complaining about the same problem. Some of them have had the problem corrected, and it appears to be a fuel line leakage (O rings or clamps or something). They seem to have determined that gas is leaking into the area under the hood. One owner described seeing sparks. I am concerned about the safety of driving the vehicle and wondering 1) under what circumstances a recall is issued, and 2) under what circumstances Subaru would be held accountable for covering the cost for repairs. Also wondering what I should do about transportation until the problem is corrected, as I use the car to Transport my children as well as myself and don't want to put us at risk of injury.

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #1

Dec 212007

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
I have a Subaru 2002 Outback. The following is what I provided to the dealer in the last visit. Earlier this year, before my warranty period had expired, I had issues with leaking fuel from the fuel lines at the top of the engine under the intake manifold. I tightened the clamps on the fuel line and the leak seemed to stop. There were additional smells of fuel in cold weather so I brought my care in to the dealership. The tightened the clamps and could not find any other leaks and spayed a white leak detector on the fuel lines. I brought the car in a few weeks later and no additional leaks were present. At that time, since the issue only seemed to happen cold weather, if the issue returned I was told to return to the dealer. The gas smell returned and I was not able to id the source. However, during he cold weather last week, I discovered in cold weather shortly after starting the car that the same fuel line connections under the intake manifold were leaking fuel again. After I tightened the clamps, the fuel leak stopped. Several clamps were loose on other parts of the fuel lines. This is the same scenario that took place in February '07. To eliminate any future leaks can I have the tsb 09-36-03 work completed on the fuel lines. The issue in my Outback is the same as the issue noted in the tsb. How can I get the safety issue addressed and repaired by the dealer?

- Livermore, CA, USA

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