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 2014 Outback is showing an early trend of problems with hesitation when accelerating.

The vast majority of owners experiencing this problem have reported that Subaru has not been able to find the cause of the engine hesitation, or fix the problem.

Especially because this is a potential safety defect, we are flagging the 2014 Outback as a model year to watch out for.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,320 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.

2014 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #11

Aug 212016


  • miles


I had put the parking break on it got stuck the light finally went off and the at oil temp light came on I took car to dealership they informed me that the car had no transmission fluid and they believed that the place that changed my oil had accidentally drained transmission fluid that's not possible I never had any issues or lights on until the night I put parking break on the car already had a transmission problem

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #10

Jun 282016


  • 17,500 miles
Pulling car into parking space at slow speed when car, without driver input, suddenly accelerated. Heavy pressure on brakes, driver felt the ABS cycling, did nt stop vehicle. Finally, after colliding with a parked car, nose to nose and pushing other car out of its parking spot, driver was able to stop the car my moving transmission gear selector to park

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #9

Feb 062014


  • 3,000 miles
When accelerating after a near stop, the engine hesitates for at least 3 seconds at acceleration which in many instances has been very dangerous upon entering traffic, especially turning left and entering a high traffic street or road.

- Wimberley, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 262014

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles


Same issue as listed in complaint 10715452. While making a left turn on return from vehicle purchase, the vehicle stopped in the middle of the intersection for several seconds with the engine running. I was nearly T-boned while waiting for the drive system to re-engage. To date, 2jul15, this stalling situation has occurred numerous times. I had the dealer inspect the vehicle, but no out of specification conditions were found. I think the problem rests with the cvt transmission trying to shift during acceleration. I recently learned by experimentation that I might be able to minimize the problem by placing the transmission in manual mode and forcing it to remain in 1st during acceleration. I do not believe that one should be forced to manipulate an automatic transmission to avoid a very dangerous stall during acceleration. Someone is going to be seriously injured or killed because of this problem. A vehicle recall is required....updated 09/22/15 updated 10/13/2015

- Monroe, OH, USA

problem #7

May 072015


  • 20,400 miles
For the past few days, my vehicle many times hesitates for at least 3-5 seconds when trying to accelerate from a stop/rest at a stop light, almost cause accident when trying to enter into an intersection. It seems to happen around 2000 - 3000/RPM. The car even exhibited slight jerky when at the start of accelerating up a slight sloppy hill. This is serious issue as accident is imminent when the car has no acceleration when trying to get going in traffic. This issue is commonly experienced by other drivers (online forum) :

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

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problem #6

Nov 012013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Multiple incidents of lag when driving slowly into cross traffic or from a dead stop that sometimes last up to several seconds that has resulted in some very close calls in heavy traffic. The worst times have been while making a left turn across traffic when you are creeping out and try to accelerate and nothing happens! I have called the dealer and taken it into the dealer and they tell me it is a design flaw in their cvt transmission and that there is no fix at present. They did some updates to the cars computer and thought that might help but on a trip in St. George ut a few days later we were almost in an accident merging right into heavy traffic when we were left sitting in the middle of the street for several seconds before the car would move. The service writer said his 20013 legacy does the same thing and this is a common complaint. I have researched this on line and can't find anything about it, why" this is a very dangerous problem, we purchased this car with the eyesight accident prevention system because we wanted all the safety features it has, now were told that it's normal to leave you hanging in traffic waiting for the car to respond"

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #5

Oct 012013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 3,700 miles


There is a hesitation when accelerating, it happens from complete stops by stepping on the gas, and while turning your vehicle. I was on a 35mph. Back road and went to turn left onto a side street, I yielded for 2 cars and then went into the turn and stepped on the gas, it hesitated and then I was hit in the rear side of my vehicle. If it would have responded correctly I would not have gotten into the accident.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 082014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
Subaru Outback was started in a parking lot in order to cool interior down. Driver exited vehicle and walked behind and around to other side. Drive opened front passenger door retrieved an item and closed door. Driver then walked away a few yards in order to provide water for a dog. Driver heard a loud crash and turned around to find car had rolled backwards out of parking spot and hit a vehicle parked behind it. Car was still running and found to be in reverse. No one was in either car and no injuries. Both cars were damaged. Subaru Outback could not be driven. Car was parked on a very slight incline.

- Westerly, RI, USA

problem #3

Dec 042013


  • 1,174 miles
There is a lag of approx. 2 seconds length when shifting out of reverse and into drive. The driver cannot move the car during this lag (in fact, the car will roll backwards if on a hill). I have taken the car to the Subaru dealer 3 times, & sent a complaint to Subaru of America, and each time the response is "cvt transmission operates as designed". I consider this a safety hazard, and am concerned about driving the car in city traffic, parking, etc. When I shift into drive, I expect the car to move.

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 062014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
New car. Ok first 200 miles. Then; stopped for red light, on green pressed accelerator ( confirmed by visual observation, foot and accel. To floor ). held for 10 to 15 seconds, with much honking, then power resumed, and I finished left turn. No warning lights on during episode, steering, brakes, and air bags ok. Six more episodes during next three days. Had car delivered to miller Subaru, boise. Electronic check, test drive, and my subsequent driving, could detect no problem. Drive with caution, ready to flip emergency flashers and pull over with recurrence, which I expect at some time. Happens in drive or manual modes. Paddle shift makes no difference.

- Garden City, ID, USA

problem #1

Jan 102014


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated. The contact had to pump the accelerator pedal several times before the vehicle would respond and drive normally. The contact also stated that while at a stop light, the vehicle stalled as the contact proceeded through a busy intersection. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 5000. The VIN was not available.

- Alpine, WY, USA

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