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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,580 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.

2010 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jan 012014


  • miles


Car shudders and sounds like engine will die when coming to complete stop. If this were a manual transmission, feels as if clutch should be pushed in. Problem occurs intermittently. Cold or hot engine. Problem became noticeable around 58,000-60,000 mile.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #20

Sep 012016


  • 88,000 miles
Car started stalling after coming to a full stop, at 88,000 miles. Was fine at first start up, and fine when backing out of a parking place or garage, but after driving and coming to a stop at a light or stop sign, or when trying to make a left turn when there was oncoming traffic (this was the really dangerous part), it would stall, requiring me to put it in park to restart the car. First check at service station found nothing wrong in the computer. Took to Subaru dealer on 11/1/2016 and was told I needed a $1,600 repair to the torque converter.

- Exeter, RI, USA

problem #19

Aug 012016


  • 106,000 miles
Car has been stalling when I come to a stop. Ususally a quick stop. We thought it might be bad gas, clogged fuel injectors which we have addressed. Still stalling. Afraid someone is going to hit me. This has been going on for a couple months now. Also stalls on inclines when I come to stop not going down hill.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #18

Sep 192016


  • 108,650 miles


My car has only 108,650 miles on it and I was told on 9/19/16 that I need a new transmission torque converter. I got a second a opinion which was the same as the first. My car shudders, hesitates and stalls when coming to a stop which creates a safety hazard. It creates great potential for a rear end collision. It started out just doing this rarely and is happening more frequently. This has been happening for about two months. The cost to repair is $1521.24. With this low of mileage, I'm told I should not be having this type of problem. Subaru is aware of the problem as they have issued a service bulletin (16-90-13R). I received no notification from Subaru and only found out about this when it started happening. I googled the term "transmission torque converter" for 2010 Subaru Outback and found this to be a common complaint. I feel this Subaru should be recalling vehicles with this problem and fixing it. I bought my car when it was two years old and it only had 57,000 miles on it. I have since driven it just over 50,000 miles and don't feel I should be dealing with a problem of this severity.

- Bayside, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 202016


  • 93,000 miles
My 2010 Subaru Outback with about 93,000 miles has stalled several times when making a hard stop. It only happens sporadically, but has happened 4 times in the last week. I called the dealership and made an appointment and they said that they have another car in the shop right now with the same issue.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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problem #16

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles
We bought our car in 2010 its a Subaru Outback. There has always been an issue with a loss of power. The dealership at the time said it was caused by excessive carbon build up on the pistons. Its now 2016 and the car will stutter and shut off when you are braking at red lights. To try to beat the stutter and stall, I find myself having to ease off the brakes and try to reapply my brakes to see if it won't shut off. I've avoid many accidents but one of these days I won't be so lucky. I feel a rear end accident is coming. This stutter and stall happens any time during the day and in any weather. This morning there was no issue, this afternoon there might be. Usually once the car stutters and stalls the problem goes away for the day. I read some other complaints on nhsta and they are reporting their similar issue as it being a possible torque converter problem. I'm not sure either way since my mileage puts me over the warranty and I don't want an accident to deal with I would like to see what are options to getting this problem taken care since its been doing this since 2010.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #15

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles


When driving and approaching a traffic light the car will begin to stutter as if there is a clog in the system. Then it will shut off. I contacted Subaru regarding the issue when we first had the car because there was always a loss of power. Our model is the Outback 2010. They inspected and said it was a carbon build up in the pistons that would cause this issue. There hasn't been any recalls or Subaru notices about this. Now while driving and coming to a stop the car just turns off. On your site nhsta some other customers have been saying that it could also be a bad torque converter. Either way this issue could cause serious accident if not dealt with. The stutter and shutting off happens any time of the day and cold or hot weather it doesn't matter. Some days it happens more often the others and usually after a few times of shutting off the problem does stop for remainder of the day.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #14

May 022016


  • miles
Vehicle stalls when coming to a hard stop. The condition is similar to coming to a stop in a manual transmission equipped vehicle without depressing the clutch pedal. This seems like a safety issue to me.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #13

May 152016


  • 127,000 miles
Vehicle stalls when coming to a hard stop. Apparently this is a known issue to Subaru since they issued a service bulletin in 2012 - service bulletin # 16-90-13 design change to lock-up type torque converter bulletin description: This bulletin announces the availability of a countermeasure torque converter assembly to address a customer concern of very low engine RPM when coming to a stop. The condition is similar to coming to a stop in a manual transmission equipped vehicle without depressing the clutch pedal. Thrust washer wear inside the torque converter can cause restriction of the oil passage used to bleed off lock-up clutch application pressure. The result is either a delayed (momentary low engine RPM) or no lock-up pressure release. The thrust washer has been changed from a solid bushing-type to a needle bearing type. I'm not sure why this was not a recall since stalling should be considered a safety issue.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 082015


  • 100,000 miles
Cvt transmission. The vehicle predictably stalls while in motion approaching a stop on city streets or on the highway. Electric system remains operational during and after stalling indicating that the issue is unrelated to electrical system. Mechanic believes issue to be now-known and widespread faulty torque converter. Vehicle stalling in traffic has become very dangerous and has nearly caused several accidents.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #11

Sep 192015


  • 93,000 miles


Both right and left cylinder head gaskets defective (blown). Right hand cylinder head cracked.

- Auburn , CA, USA

problem #10

Sep 012015


  • 90,000 miles
Car stalls from rapid braking. Dealer reports the torque converter is defective.

- Weston, CT, USA

problem #9

Nov 012010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Subaru Outback steering wheel shimmy and vibration. I purchased my 2010 Subaru Outback new in October of 2010. After driving the vehicle home and spending a few miles getting used to the feel and sensation of a new car, I noticed that the ride of the car was somewhat unsettled, vibrating and shaking at highway speed. I initially attributed this to the new tires and slightly overly inflated tire pressure. I precisely adjusted the tire pressure and spent the next few months waiting for the tires to "settle in" and smooth out. My wife started driving the car regularly and did not mention any issue about the ride. I drove the car several times afterwards and on each trip found the car very very uncomfortable to drive. The ride is noticeable leaving the driveway but is most apparent at highway speed, most especially in low power situations like coasting down descents at greater than 60mph. The steering wheel shakes dramatically in this situation. Thinking that the cause of the shaking was the oem tires, I removed the conti contisport tires and replaced them with Michelin defender xt's from costco. Almost immediately, I noticed that the tires were no smoother than the oem's. I had costco remove and rebalance the tires. The steering wheel shake and vibration remained even after the rebalance. I was about to return the car to costco when I found the link on the Subaru forum about "shaky Subaru" and that the problem was so widespread that a technical service bulletin (tsb) had been issued about the problem, mandating that major modifications be made to the car. I have not been notified by soa about the tsb.

- Louisville, TN, USA

problem #8

May 012010

Outback 6-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R limited, automatic transmission. Upon leaving freeway from 50-60 mph and decelerating on the off ramp to approximately 5-15 mph, there is a definitive slam as the transmission downshifts to 2nd or 1st gear. Also, when decelerating from 30-60 mph and then applying the accelerator there is a 1-2 second delay before the vehicle begins to accelerate. The vehicle then tends to buck, or accelerate faster than intended from the accelerator being depressed further due to no initial acceleration. I took the vehicle to the dealer who said the vehicle "operates as designed", but reset the transmission "memory" anyway so it would "learn" how I drive. This did not improve performance. This issue occurs every time the vehicle is driven at the above stated speeds.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #7

Nov 022009


  • 3,000 miles
After decelerating to approximated 5-15 mph and then applying the accelerator there is a 1-2 second delay before the vehicle begins to accelerate. When it does it tends to buck or accelerate faster than intended as the accelerator was depressed further as there was no acceleration. Driving in city traffic that has almost resulted in a accident dozens of times. There have been two tsb's issued for this known problem one for the engine and one for the transmission, neither one of which has addressed the issue. I have taken the vehicle to two different dealers who state that this is a known issue and that there is no known fix. This issue occurs every time the vehicle is driven at the above stated speeds.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 252012


  • 49,970 miles
Vehicle placed in park and ignition turned off. Engine would not restart. Towed to mechanic. Mechanic restarted after sensing loose ignition connection and noted no other problems. Returned vehicle to owner, parked in garage in park and ignition turned off. Engine would not restart. Mechanic came to home and restarted as before. Driving to repair shop, stopped and placed in park, but left running and exited vehicle. Apparently transmission not actually in park but in reverse and traveled a distance before hitting a tree causing an estimated $9,000 damage to vehicle. Apparently shifter in park but transmission in reverse and loose connection in transmission/ignition communication. Shortly after purchase and delivery of vehicle in 2010, experienced significant recurrent problem believed to be transmission related thought to be fixed.

- Pentwater, MI, USA

problem #5

Nov 182009


  • 300 miles
Engine almost stalls when coming to a stop or (not as often) accelerating from a stop. I have spoken with Subaru technicians at two dealers and both acknowledge that this is a none issue with no known fix. The frequency of the problem is increasing on my car and may become dangerous if a sudden acceleration is required.

- Juno Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 082012


  • 22,262 miles
I bought my Outback in March 2010. I noticed my dash lights flickering early in my ownership, but I thought they flickered because maybe I went into a shadow and a sensor caused them to go off and on. The feeling the car is going to stall has happened before, but it was and would only happen every now and again. On a recent trip, January 8, 2012, it did it every time I slowed down for 4 or 5 traffic lights. That really got my attention. I thought maybe my brakes were catching so I took it into my dealer on January 12, 2010. They told me the brakes were fine. After I thought about it, I decided the "catching feeling" actually felt more like L had not depressed a clutch when slowing down and the car was going to stall. The only problem with that theory is that I have an automatic I spoke to my-son in-law about the feeling that the engine is going to stall when I slow down at a light. He mentioned that he had noticed the flickering lights last winter when he drove my car. He explained to me that it was not normal for the lights to do that. He told me to have the alternator checked out. I took it back to the dealer on January 27, 2012. They ran three different diagnostic test and everything checked out fine. I am so afraid the car will cut out on me and I will lose control on the road. I thought I was the only one having this problem, but after my son did an internet search he found a lot of people having the same problem. From the complaints I read most people have a manual transmission.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #3

May 182010


  • 3,800 miles
5 months after the car was purchased new I started using the air conditioner. Within the first week as I was slowing make a right turn into a parking lot from the street I engaged the clutch to shift from 3rd gear to second and the car died and I had no power steering or power brakes. I didn't use the air conditioner all the time. Two times the following week the same thing occurred again, both times slowing down and engaging the clutch and down shifting. I took the vehicle in to have it looked at on 6/2/10 and they tested all the sensors and checked it on their computer and they found no problems and asked that I keep a log of each time it happens and if I notice any patterns. I noticed that the majority of times as I would engage the clutch to down shift the tack would drop and the car would shutter and the tack came back up. The times when the tack dropped and then died it did not shutter. The problem only happens when the air conditioner is on. I then had a near collision shifting from 4th to 3rd in a busy T-intersection and called service the next morning, 6/10/10 and scheduled to take the car in on 6/14/10 and did not use the air conditioner at all. The service department duplicated the problem and had a Subaru engineer look at it. They erased the car's memory and will have a program written to hopefully fix the problem. Since the program will not be available for a long time they are giving me the car back to drive and believe that since they erased the car's memory that may fix the problem. They believe it may be an electrical or computer problem.

- Nixa, MO, USA

problem #2

May 182010


  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Outback. The contact stated when downshifting from second to third gear, the vehicle would stall and lose all power. The power steering and brakes would become inoperable when the failure occurred.the vechile was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic test was perfomred, during which the vehicle continued to fall to rpms of 300 until it would stall. The vehicle was left in the dealer's possession for further diagnostic testing. The failure and current mileages were 900.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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