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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,355 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.

2011 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Nov 252016


  • 128,000 miles


Vehicle stalls after sudden stop requiring it to be restarted. I was told by Subaru sales there is a tsb # 16-90-13 R (1/6/14 issued). This relates to the transmission ( cvt) looking up after a sudden stop due to a thrust washer inside the torque converter. This is a dangerous issue that needs to be addressed immediately with a full recall.

- Copley, OH, USA

problem #45

Dec 032016


  • 93,000 miles
I own a 2011 Subaru Outback with 93,000 miles. The car stalled out at red lights in the city. Also, it stalled when I was on a hill and came to a stop. I was fortunate to restart engine and get out of the way of traffic. I took it to the dealer and they said I needed a torque converter costing $1,200. After reading the many complaints from other owners it is a dangerous situation. Why hasn't Subaru recalled the torque converters?

- Paupack, PA, USA

problem #44

Dec 032016


  • 79,000 miles
Torque converter assembly. Car is stalling when coming to a stop at a stop sign, or at stop light or even when going to a stop through a work zone. It shutters then stalls. Feels like a manual transmission when a clutch is not fully pressed. It has happened 5 times since the end of November 2016

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #43

Dec 132016


  • 124,000 miles


Vehicle stalled when approaching a stop. This happened twice. This is an automatic and should not be happening. I had to put the car in to neutral/park and restart it at an intersection where there's a firehouse. I've been told the torque converter needs to be replaced and there is already a tsb on the bad design of this part and that it needs to be replaced. At this point, I believe it should be recalled as it's happening more often than not to this particular transmission. This is very dangerous.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #42

Dec 142016


  • 122,000 miles
The vehicle will stall out when the brakes are pressed abruptly and the speed suddenly decreases. This is extremely unsafe. Especially for my pregnant wife to be driving. We bought a Subaru because we thought they were built right and safe. We were wrong.

- Victoria, TX, USA

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problem #41

Dec 082016


  • 100,000 miles
Engine randomly stalls when coming to a complete stop. We are always concerned about the safety of our children when this happens in high traffic areas/times. Our Subaru service advisor has acknowledged that it is due to a poor design issue "tsb 16-90-13R" which requires the replacement of the torque converter.

- Mariposa, CA, USA

problem #40

Jul 112016


  • 110,000 miles


Began noticing vehicle shuddering and quitting or almost quitting when coming to a stop. Has continued to do this for months now and seems to be getting worse. Took it to dealer and it was diagnosed at torque converter sticking after several tests. Referenced to Subaru tsb no. 16-101-16. Dangerous design flaw as it can leave you without power after coming to an abrupt stop such as braking to avoid hitting a stopped vehicle leaving you unable to move away from other cars without restarting vehicle. My vehicle is in excellent condition aside from this issue but is out of powertrain warranty and the cost to repair are prohibitive. Request to issue recall for safety issues primarily and to not ultimately cause damage to transmission in the long term.

- Bighill, KY, USA

problem #39

Jul 152016


  • 70,000 miles
Stalls when stopping or idling. Stops in intersections and coming to stops.

- Charlottes, NC, USA

problem #38

Nov 072016


  • 100,000 miles
Subaru has a known technical service bulletin 16-90-13R that identifies an issue the the torque converter that is causing Subaru vehicles to stall when breaking. This is a safety issue that must be fixed in order to avoid accidents while driving. Despite being a known safety issue, Subaru has not issued a recall. Rather Subaru owners are left to pay the $1500 cost of correcting the torque converter issue. My 2011 Subaru Outback is stalling out when braking at intersections and par.

- Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #37

Jul 142014


  • 89,236 miles
Engine stalled at low rpms. Similar to manual transmission without engaging clutch. Occurred when approaching stop at intersections or slowing for heavy traffic.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #36

Oct 102016


  • 107,000 miles


My 2011 Outback has recently started stalling out at stop signs. It will stall 5 times in 2 miles. It starts right back up but will stall again at the next light or stop sign (local streets). Apparently Subaru has a service bulletin 16-90-13R that indicates this problem is a poor design of the torque converter. I've read many similar accounts on line. Subaru should issue a recall. It's an expense repair and a safety hazard.

- Havertown, PA, USA

problem #35

Mar 152016


  • 65,000 miles
Vehicle unexpectedly stalls when coming to rapid stop such as at a traffic light resulting in a hazardous situation.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #34

Jul 062016


  • 81,000 miles
While driving, if you have to stop quickly and step on the brakes hard the car engine stalls. This puts the car in jeopardy of being hit from behind and injury to the passengers. This has happened multiple times over the past couple of months at various speeds - both low speed and highway speed.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #33

May 282016


  • 94,000 miles
Car stalls to complete stop motor stops and car is dead leaving my wife and 3 year old in the middle of an intersection for cars to nearly hit till she puts it in park to restart car I have read, it is the tork converter it needs to be recalled as a safety concern !!!!!

- Belmont, MI, USA

problem #32

Apr 252016


  • 89,300 miles
Vehicle intermittently shudders and stalls when coming to full stop, requiring shift to park or neutral to restart. Frequency of occurrence is rapidly increasing. Dealer cited service bulletin 16-90-13R and replacement of the torque converter is necessary to correct the problem.

- Hamburg, PA, USA

problem #31

Mar 292016


  • 107,102 miles
Vehicle stalled on inclines when brakes were applied creating a very dangers situation. Dealer sighted service bulletin 16-90-13R for design change to the cvt torque converter but would not absorb total cost of repair since car has 107102 miles and out of warrantee. This situation should create a product recall before someone is seriously injured.

- Far Hills, NJ, USA

problem #30

Mar 102016


  • 113,455 miles
While driving to approach a stop the car studders, begins to loose engine power and stalls. It then requires that the car must be placed in 'park', the key turned to the 'off' position and then restarted.

- Boiling Springs, PA, USA

problem #29

Mar 172012


  • 27,448 miles
While coming to at stop vehicle will shutter and stall! at the beginning of our ownership of this vehicle it would shudder and the idle would go very low, almost stalling. Now when we come to a stop it will stall! this has become very dangerious. There is a tsb from Subaru tsb 16-90-13, tsb 16-90-13R change design of torque converter from solid bushing type to needle bearing type. Thrust washer wear inside the torque converter causes restriction of oil passage used to bleed off lock-up clutch application pressure.

- Brea, CA, USA

problem #28

Nov 202015


  • 70,000 miles
Ascended steep hill and stopped at stop sign. Processed to drive through intersection uphill. All lights on dash began to flicker on and off and car stalled out going down the road. After this occurred, I lost all electrical functions of car. I was not able to restart car, place car into park, apply emergency brake, turn on hazard lights, and the power brakes and steering were not present. I spent 5-7 minutes trying to restart the car and trying to figure out a way to stabilize the car since I was currently going down a steep hill without anyway of stabilizing it. After this time, smoke began coming out from under the hood. I had to coast car down hill into busy intersection and turn it onto next road in order to find a flat area to stabilize car so I could get out of it. When I got out, I began seeing flames drop down from front driver side of engine area. The car quickly caught on fire and most of the engine burnt out before flames were extinguished. The fire appeared to start in computer area. This car was bought new and have had no previous problems with the car, except we have had to change the low beam headlight bulbs several times while owning it. After I witnessed my car catch on fire and afterwards discovered Subaru has a service bulletin for the torque converter, I believe the headlight issue and the torque converter issues are all connected. I believe what happened to my car is the torque converter failed that day causing an over voltage/over draw of power that was so bad it took out my computer unit, I then believe the battery continued to feed the computer unit, in its unresponsive state, until it caught on fire. The fire inspector told me sometimes bulbs will burnt out due to an over voltage situation. Something is definitely overdrawing power and it needs to be looked into because it endangers every driver, passenger, and anyone around these cars.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #27

Feb 062016


  • 51,245 miles
Service bulletin # 16-90-13 car stalls when coming to a stop. This happens in traffic at stop lights anywhere I need to make a hard stop. This is very dangerous and it would appear this is a major issue for many owners. This should be a recall not just a service bullitin

- Orrangevale, CA, USA

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