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. Notes: The 2013 Outback has a problem with excessive oil consumption.

A class action lawsuit is pending that alleges Subaru's "FB" engine has defective piston rings which causes oil to leak past the rings & burn up at an excessive rate. More information about the class action is available here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,684 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.

2013 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 112016


  • 25,000 miles


Cruise control bug. If I decrease my speed by 3 or more mph in rapid succession, the cruise control resets to the original speed, I.e. the cruise control speed changes from 60 to 59 to 58 to 57 to 56 to 60. This seems like a dangerous bug since it causes unintended acceleration. I have a video that I can share for documentation.

- Shelburne, VT, USA

problem #13

Oct 062015


  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while the vehicle in the driveway, it accelerated without warning and crashed into the garage door. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained head injuries, but did not require medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 8,000.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #12

Dec 022014


  • 35,700 miles
Prior to this incident, I had noticed several occasions where the engine would suddenly rev for no reason while I was driving at a slow speed or braking. This incident happened on Dec 2, 2014 at approx. 7:40am eastern time. As I was approaching the security check-in gate at my job, traveling about 10 mph, I depressed the brake to slow down and wait for the gate to open. As I was slowing down, the engine suddenly rev'd to maximum and the car accelerated and lurched forward. I was not able to stop or control the car and it crashed through the security barrier gate. No one was injured and there was no damage done to the car, but the metal arm of the gate was severely bent. I took the vehicle to my Subaru dealer several days later to be inspected and report the incident. The dealer said there was a problem with the engine control module (ECM) and updated the software. Since then, the car has run smoothly with no further acceleration problems. The ECM update also seemed to solve a problem I had experienced where the car had difficulty starting up.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 112014


  • 28,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while depressing the brakes, the engine rpms increased as the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000. The VIN was not available.

- Beaverton , OH, USA

problem #10

Dec 272013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
While towing a camper well within the towing capacity of the vehicle, the vehicle would not accelerate beyond 60 miles an hour. We (myself, my wife, and 6 dogs) were South of pueblo, Colorado going up that very long include towards trinidad. The vehicle's engine would not rev as if it's transmission was failing, but it would absolutely not accelerate beyond 60. We pulled over and contacted the nearest Subaru dealership (back in pueblo) and went back to pueblo and had them look it over. They couldn't find anything wrong and their test did not show any problems. They were only able to speculate that it may be a failsafe feature that prevents the engine from becoming damaged when it begins to overheat. We had driven from North of dallas to West of fort collins, with stops, without problems, but this day the temperature was 50 degrees and probably the warmest it had been our entire trip. We had previously stopped for a few hours in garden of the gods, so it had only been back on the road for an hour when this occurred. After the dealership looked at it, we hitched it back up and continued on our trip. They instructed us to just drive slower when going up hills and mountains. We experienced problems again when we got to trinidad, but drove through it since the exits are rather sharp and black ice was a concern. Once we stopped driving up inclines the vehicle drove like normal. After we stopped towing the camper the vehicle stopped having issues.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #9

Dec 132013


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while braking to a stop, the engine rpms increased excessively as the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 12,000. The VIN was not available.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #8

Sep 032013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 3,035 miles


I stopped at a stoplight. When the light changed, I pressed the accelerator and moved forward. I released the accelerator to slow up because of traffic conditions. When I pressed the accelerator again to move forward, the engine did not rev up. It was as if the car stalled. After several pushes on the accelerator ( 8 seconds worth) the engine revved up and the car once again moved forward just as if nothing was wrong. All this time I was blocking the intersection. This has happened multiple times now. Dealer indicates no problem found.

- East Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #7

Nov 082013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 4,600 miles
After stopping at a stop sign, I attempted to drive off, but the car did not accelerate on application of the throttle pedal. The engine remained at idle, and the car rolled slowly into the intersection. Nothing I did corrected the problem until I placed the transmission in park, turned off the engine, then re-started the car. The car then performed normally until I reached the next stop sign, where the problem repeated. In all, the problem occurred seven (7) times on this day, apparently at random. That is, at some stops the car performed normally, and at other stops, the car failed to accelerate when the throttle pedal was depressed. The service department at my Subaru dealer was unable to replicate the problem and therefore performed no repairs. Two weeks later, the problem occurred again, three (3) times in two days. This is an extremely dangerous problem, because it can leave the car in a busy intersection without the ability to move until the driver turns off the car and then re-starts it. This problem has been noted by other Subaru Outback owners in online forums, and at least one other vehicle safety complaint has been filed regarding this problem.

- Napoleon, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 282013


  • 8,204 miles
I brought the car in for a routine repair. When I got it back it began to malfunction. It would not shift correctly. The automatic transmission was slipping. The car did not accelerate correctly and chugged. The acceleration abruptly stopped at a high speed on the freeway nearly causing a severe accident and replicated this at a low speed, and from a stop. I returned the car 3 times and the issues remain consistent. To date Subaru of America has not addressed my concerns. The car is unsafe for me and my family. Downtown oakland Subaru has yet to identify what is the cause of the malfunction. Each service department person has test driven the car and experienced the same issues.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 272013


  • 2,088 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle failed to respond upon engagement of the accelerator pedal. The engine was turned off and after being restarted, the vehicle resumed normally however, the failure recurred six times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis but the technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The dealer offered to replace the throttle body at no expense to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 2,088.

- Walkersville, MD, USA

problem #4

Sep 292013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 5,442 miles


I have had 2 incidents since buying new Outback in April 2013. I was at a complete stop while vehicle was in drive. When I lifted my foot from brake to accelerate, the car revved up and lunged forward on its own. Both times I was able to slam on the brake and avoid an accident. Now I feel that I cannot trust the car whenever I come to a stop. I am waiting to hear from dealer about this 2nd incident, since after 1st time they tested and said "cannot find a problem"...... however, after reading another complaint it could be a malfunction between electronic accelerator pedal and new cvt transmission!!! also, sometimes I feel the car is maintaining a speed without any acceleration (like on cruise control).

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #3

Sep 022013

Outback 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Subaru Outback. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmissions problems. The consumer stated under certain conditions, there was a considerable delay in engine response when the accelerator was pressed. When driving normal speeds there was no problem. However, after letting the accelerator up and slowing down to idle speed, the pedal was then depressed and the vehicle would often stall. It was an intermittent problem, but gradually getting worse. The dealer tried to explain the problem away, by saying the electronic accelerator pedal and new transmission had to work together in tandem and that some delay was normal. Updated 10/17/13 updated 10/30/13 the consumer stated the stalling occurred when the accelerator was applied while coasting at idle. It happened for one to two seconds almost every time he drove the vehicle. Updated 09/25/14

- Knightstown, IN, USA

problem #2

Mar 062013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
With the eyesight system, Outback may start braking when you are coming up on another car or trying to pass it, even though you are moving away from the vehicle to pass it and are not endanger of an accident. Very annoying at times and forces you to disable it but might be worthwhile if it didn't go off just from coming near vehicles. I suppose they don't want it to go off too late. The seat/headrest is the bigger problem.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 122012


  • 4,000 miles
Eye sight system. When using cruise control the adaptive system senses the auto in front of your car and maintains a set distance. The auto that was in front of me moved into a left turn lane and slowed to turn. My cars eye sight system detected the car was still in front of mine and even though it was not, initialed a hard stop automatically. Lucky for me the car behind me was alert and was also able to stop before rear ending my car. This has happened several times after with cars moving either into left or right turn lanes or merging off interstates on the exit ramp. Subaru has no idea how to fix this issue. The dealership has been able to duplicate the situation. This is a very dangerous occurrence of the eye sight system that could cause an accident. There is no mention of this possibility in the eye sight manual. I disable the system now to prevent it from happening to me, but often my wife forgets. Subaru needs to find a solution. I am hoping you can help.

- Spirit Lake , ID, USA

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