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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,306 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #7

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 #6

May 132015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. While driving at a low speed, the contact attempted to depress the brake pedal but his foot became wedged in between the accelerator and brake pedals. As a result, the contact crashed into the front of another vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact did not sustain any injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed, but was taken to an auto body repair center for repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Upper Settle River , NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 022015


  • 40,000 miles
The passenger occupant detection system (ods) malfunctioned or shorted out for no apparent reason. As a result, the passenger airbag will not enable even when occupied by an adult passenger. The passenger airbag is constantly in "off" mode. In addition the ods apparently controls the seatbelt warning feature. Regardless of whether or not an adult passenger is occupying the seat the ods is constantly detecting a passenger and the passenger seatbelt warning light and chime continuously are on. When the passenger seatbelt is buckled the warning light and chime remain continuously on. The vehicle has 40,000 miles and this system is not covered under the manufacture's extended warranty or the extended service contract sold by Subaru through cna. The dealership is recommending a new ods be installed and calibrated at a cost of $1,200 plus applicable tax and fees.

- Robbinsdale, MN, USA

problem #4

Aug 042014


  • 5,000 miles


Passenger side airbag indicator light and alarm go off whether passenger is in the seat or not. Intermittently, when I start the car, the indicator light flashes and then remains lit. If the car is driven in this state, the alarm sounds at speeds over 25/30 mph. Subaru doesn't know how to trouble shoot.

- Sunnyvale , CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 172013


  • 15,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated the air bag light illuminated. The contact was concerned that the air bag was defective and may not deploy during a crash. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test and they stated the front passenger seat needed to be replaced. The manufacturer stated in order to replace the passenger seat the contact had to remove the aftermarket auto starter; however, the contact refused to remove it. The auto starter manufacturer stated the auto starter had nothing to do with the defective air bag but the manufacturer stated that it does. The failure mileage was 15,500.

- Middle River, MD, USA

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problem #2

Oct 312013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 8,600 miles
I was traveling West bound in the furthest right hand lane at approximately 45-mph on los angeles ave. On 10/31/13 in moorpark, ca at approximately 11:30 a.M. on Thursday morning. A full-size Ford F150 pickup truck failed to yield while making a left turn into the adjacent shopping center. He was turning left out of a median divider in the center of a four-lane highway. There is no marked signs or lights to make a left turn there, but you must yield to oncoming traffic on la ave. From the broken yellow lined center divider. I hit the side of the truck causing the truck to spin around with the force of the impact. My air bags failed to deploy even though the impact of the crash was significant, the whole front end of my car was severely damaged, and the crash was essentially head-on. I suffered a acute cervical strain, and I went to the hospital the day after with pain. I am in the process of getting further testing to see the severity of my injuries. My two-year old daughter was in her britax car seat in the passenger side back seat, and luckily she was unharmed in the incident. I am very shocked that the air bags did not deploy, and I feel like this is a major safety concern that should be investigated.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 262013


  • 40 miles
When my wife sits in the passenger seat the majority of the time the passenger side air bag will not be turned on. My wife is roughly 5'2" and 120 lbs. Dealer claims there is nothing wrong but that the sensors can be overly sensitive with smaller people. This is a safety issue as the bag will not deploy in an accident if it is off.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

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