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NHTSA — Steering Problems

2010 Subaru Outback (Page 1 of 2) Seal Of


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,648 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Feb 052010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


Since delivery, car has had slight shimmy of steering wheel at most speeds especially when turning the wheel. Now steering wheel has developed noticeable shake above 60 miles per hour. Dealer says car steering is working normally, possibly a tire issue but I disagree. I now see many others complain of same problem so I am reporting mine as well.

- Dayton, NJ, USA

problem #35

Feb 062014


  • 93,000 miles
Was driving on what appeared to be a clear, clean road at about 8 am the day after a snowstorm. My car started skidding off to the right side of the highway, when trying to turn wheel towards the left to straighten the car out, the car then started spinning around 360 degrees a few times until the car then rolled over to the left down the 100 foot ditch about 3 or 4 rolls before stopping. The drivers side airbag never deployed despite severe frontal and side damage. The car was totaled by the insurance company. I still have no explanation as to why this all happened. In searching the internet for answers, I found 2 recalls one dated 6/24/2010 which could involve the airbag, and one dated 5/11/2010 which involved the cvt cooler hose leading to a crash. If something failed in the car leading to my crash, I have the right to know. I have some injuries and am still not back to work. Are there any other cases similar to mine?

- Poughquag, NY, USA

problem #34

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 #33

Jul 182013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles


Followup to NHTSA id number: 10525592 the effected lot number is 0423sd (year 2010, April 23, location sd) this is different from the original effected location of 9X13A or earlier (Oct 13, 2009, location a and earlier). Exhibits the same symptoms. Original complaint: Vehicle paddle shifter function, cruise control, horn control are intermittent and vol up and mute radio functions do not work on the steering column. This is very similar to NHTSA campaign number 10V283000. I will have the dealer provide the steering roll connector lot number to determine if my VIN has an older steering column on tues. My VIN is outside of the effected range of a*310001 to a*377827.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #32

Jul 182013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
Vehicle paddle shifter function, cruise control, horn control are intermittent and vol up and mute radio functions do not work on the steering column. This is very similar to NHTSA campaign number 10V283000. I will have the dealer provide the steering roll connector lot number to determine if my VIN has an older steering column on tues. My VIN is outside of the effected range of a*310001 to a*377827.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #31

Aug 152009


  • 800 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Outback. The contact stated while driving 50 mph, the steering wheel began to shake. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated the tires needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the problem persisted. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not provided. The approximate failure mileage was 800.

- Sand Springs, OK, USA

problem #30

Apr 012011

Outback 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


The front end of the car shakes on smooth roads (recently repaved road) and it tends to persist whether you are accelerating or decelerating. Previously took car in for the dealership to look at this issue and they stated it was a wheel balance issue. They rotated my wheels, stated they balanced the wheels and also stated that I needed new tires even though there is plenty of wear left on the tires. The issue never went away on the shaking front end of my car and continues to be an issue today.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #29

Sep 022011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
While driving downhill in the summer on a dry road at around 60 mph the steering wheel excessively begin to vibrate/shake around 55mph and higher speeds left to right and right to left excessively. The vibration/shaking was almost uncontrollable as if it were on black ice. The vibration only became controllable if I slowed down. This shaking/vibration only seems to occur at higher speeds and occurs quite often.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #28

May 142011

Outback 6-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
2010 Subaru Outback exhibits steering wheel vibration at speeds between 60-70 mph. And poor lane tracking (wandering).

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #27

Nov 242010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles
2010 Subaru Outback 2.5. 9.5K at speeds above approximately 65mph sever vibration of steering wheel (steering wheel deflection about 1/8 inch back and forth). Speedometer hand seemed to vibrate - but could have been hands, arms, head, eyes absorbing the rapid wheel vibration). Never happened on infrequent high speed road trips. Could not have been not felt. Dealer did road force test on the original Continental brand powers. Two failed and replaced. Failed tires where in diagonal positions. Asked manager about the other two tires - he said tires were either good or bad. Not consistent with my experience. Did not have vibration well into the mileage for the year. So tires could not have been bad at the beginning or it was not just the tires.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

problem #26

May 012010


  • 1,800 miles


2010 Subaru Outback steering wheel shaking while at freeway speeds, not tires. Subaru has installed a tsb and it did not solve the problem. has many thousands of posts on this issue.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #25

Mar 042010


  • 50 miles
1. no events leading up to the failure as it is a brand new car and has been evident from the very beginning. 2. steering wheel vibrates at highway speeds between 70 and 75 mph. It occurs all the time at those speeds. Consequences are that it is very distracting and also causes numbness in hand and arm on long trips. 3. tires were balanced and rotated by dealer, but problem was not resolved.

- Beechville, Nova Scotia, 00, USA

problem #24

Feb 012010


  • 10,000 miles
Vehicle has problem with the steering system. There is a vibration/steering wheel oscillation at speeds above 65mph. The vehicle has had repair attempts made by Subaru dealer, none with lasting results. The tires were also replaced at approx 12,000 miles due to cupping. So far the tsb's issued by Subaru to deal with this problem have not been effective.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #23

Apr 212010


  • 7,000 miles
My 2010 Outback has a steering wheel shake that occurs at highway (65+) speeds. The wheel oscillates from left to right at high frequency, moving about 1/8" each way. There have been 4 attempts at fixing the problem, but Subaru has not resolved the issue.

- Fitchburg, WI, USA

problem #22

Apr 122010


  • 1,500 miles
My husband has tried contacting both Subaru North american corporate office and the eastern regional office regarding the several recalls he has received on his 2010 Subaru Outback. He went to the top because the people at the dealership are - well - stupid; and he his concerned about their ability to "fix" the car properly. He asked the dealer about tsb's and was told there were none; when in deed there are four (4). The people he has contacted are at the vice president level of management. He has also tried to speak to someone in the president's (thomas doll) office. Everyone refers him to an 800 customer service number. The people at this number know nothing about cars; all they do is read off what is ever written on their computer screen. Of course, Subaru has no plant manufacturing problems; their problems are all caused by the companies they get their components from. My husband does not want to be "put-off"; he wants someone from Subaru's upper management to give him a call right away.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #21

Jul 102010


  • 100 miles
My 2010 Subaru Outback has front end shaking, and steering wheel shimmy at speeds over 65 mph, 1 trip to the dealer for this problem resulted in steering wheel shimmy at lower speeds.

- Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA

problem #20

Jun 012010


  • 905 miles
2010 Outback 3.6 R limited steering vibration.

- Thomaston, CT, USA

problem #19

Feb 082010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that when driving on the highway at 65 mph, the steering wheel began to shake violently. The vehicle also pulled from left to the right no matter what speed. The contact also stated that the front passenger side air bag off light was always illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where it was at the time of the complaint, awaiting a response from the manufacturer. This visit would be the fourth time the vehicle was taken to the dealership and had been kept for a long period of time. The current and failure mileages were approximately 10,000.

- Rockford , IL, USA

problem #18

Apr 212010


  • 31 miles
Steering is very stiff then loosens as if you've hit a patch of ice even though the road is dry.

- Dedham, MA, USA

problem #17

Apr 142010


  • 100 miles
Our 2010 3.6R Outback arrived in Apr. The first time that the vehicle was taken on the highway, I noticed a prominent high frequency vibration in the steering wheel. There is also unusual feedback in the steering wheel at slower speeds that feels unlike anything related to road noise. I researched the "problem" on the internet and seen that there were many forums identifying the same problem for 2010 Outbacks. I informed our local Subaru service dept. About the vibration and made an appointment. A Subaru service technician confirmed the vibration during a test drive and recommended a spin balance. After reading all the complaints and proposed "fixes" on the internet, I told them that I was not confident that a spin balance was going to be successful. I asked the service dept. Manager if they had been informed/aware of the ongoing problems and she denied having any previous knowledge of steering vibration issues with any Outbacks. The spin balance added a multitude of stick-on weights to all four wheels (some exceed 9 in. In length). The invoice said that a follow-up test drive by a technician produced normal steering as designed. A test drive home from the dealership on the highway again produced the same high frequency vibration. I informed the service dept. Immediately and the vehicle was again left there this morning. I produced several pages of complaints found on the internet identifying this issue. They made copies of them and told me that they were going to contact soa factory engineers. The bottom line is this. The vibration is prominent enough to cause fatigue and numbness in the hands on extended drives. There is also a concern of what may fail and cause a loss of steering or vehicle control. The faulty component needs to be identified and the issue fixed by soa immediately. Soa has tried a number of fixes without success (spin-balance, forced balance, alignment, backlash spring, wheel bearing, steering pump, replace out-of-round tires).

- The Dalles, OR, USA

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