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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,212 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

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

Sep 202015


  • 30,000 miles
I need to pursue a critical problem that the dealer is unable to re-create/solve. Approximately a dozen times(10 by my wife and 3 by me), we've turned left from a stop(typically at a red-light) only for the car to stall from 3 to 6 seconds. The 3 times I was driving, my wife and a grandchild were on the passenger side and narrowly missed a direct side impact. The problem is intermittent, we don't drive with our left foot on the brake, and we estimate it to occur once out of every 60 to 75 left turns and while I fully understand the dealer stating the problem cannot be re-created and the computer analysis showing no problems thus making it difficult to solve, what I will not understand is when one of my family members are critically injured because "we can't recreate the problem". you're prompt attention on this matter would be greatly appreciated as we've already taken the car to the dealer for the same problem 3 times(the car is at the dealer now and again no problem could be found).

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #8

Dec 142015


  • 15,000 miles
Periodically the vehicle will not accelerate for 3-5 seconds from a standing stop when the gas pedal is depressed. This is well documented in several Subaru user groups on the internet. When pulling into busy traffic this problem is terrifying. The car will just not accelerate. The car was returned to the dealer and, as expected, he could find nothing wrong. We told the dealer that the problem may only occur once or twice a week, and that he would not experience the problem with a test drive. The dealer said that Subaru built in a "safety system" that may cause this if one was driving with two feet. In other words if I had one foot on the brake, and one on the accelerator the car would "die". I told him I don't drive with two feet. He insisted that that must be the problem.

- South Padre Island, TX, USA

problem #7

Sep 272015


  • 6,700 miles


Three times engine has failed to respond to accelerator input. Duration, 3 to 15 seconds. Happens at low speed (<20mph) just after coasting for a few seconds and as engine is heating up. Last incident, 9/27/2015, backed out of parking space, then shifted into forward, did not use accelerator because cold engine speed was high enough to maintain 5mph through very congested parking lot. 20 seconds later attempted to accelerate to 35mph, engine speed never responded for the next 15 seconds, then engine started responding normally. No check engine light. These failures started 4 months ago, and happens when cvt transmission is in auto or manual mode. I checked internet and found several similar reports. Dealers and Subaru Corp., no help at all. In certain driving situations, loss of engine control could be just as dangerous as loss of brakes.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #6

Mar 082015


  • 13,725 miles
I was pulling up to park behind a Toyota prius on a road that was partially covered with snow & ice. The wheels on the right side of the vehicle were on snow & ice and the wheels on the driver's side of the car were on dry roadway. I was driving slowly to park when the car suddenly accelerated into the rear bumper of the Toyota prius. The engine was racing wildly and my attempt to brake were ineffective. There was damage to the rear trunk & bumper of the prius and damage to the front of the Subaru. I suspect that the Subaru traction/speed/stability/electronic throttle controls had malfunctioned.

- Norristown, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 092015


  • 10,200 miles
When driving a 2014 Subaru Outback I experience a 2-4 second hesitation upon accelerating. It first happen when turning left, crossing traffic. I stepped on the gas pedal and nothing happened for a few seconds and then suddenly accelerated into oncoming traffic. Fortunately there was no accident just horns beeping from the car I cut off. It happened again when accelerating from a stop onto a highway. That time I applied the brakes as it lunged forward before entering traffic. It happened a few more times at a stop light in the 1 week I drove it. The engine seems to stay at an idle and then after the 2-4 second delay suddenly accelerates according to the level the pedal is depressed. This is my daughter's vehicle and I am concerned about her and her family's safety. There are many complaints on line regarding this problem with Subaru, not just Outbacks. I actually brought the car in to get this checked out and they told me there are no service notifications regarding hesitations so they can't do anything! they stated that is normal with a cvt transmission. Believe me, that is not normal and is an accident waiting to happen. Please review the on line complaints.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #4

Dec 132014


  • 7,500 miles


Entering a main state highway from a rural road I pressed down on the accelerator resulting in no response placing myself in jeopardy for a a collision from rapidly approaching cars behind me this intermittent stalling problem also occurred previously at slow speeds upon exiting a shopping mall on to a busy local highway.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 172014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 7,500 miles
Driving with cruise control (cc) engaged on rolling terrain, the vehicle speeds up on a downhill slope until brakes are applied (by cc), then at bottom of hill pickup is sluggish and speed falls off 2-3 mph below set point. Then the power comes on late and hard, and the vehicle goes over the crest of the hill accelerating at peak power level, 2-3 mph above set point. An associated issue, observed since the car was new, is that when climbing a uniform 3-4% grade at highway speeds, the engine RPM cycles constantly over a range of 800-1000 RPM at a frequency around 4 cycles/minute. This is annoying to the driver and passengers, and increases the stress level on the driver. We have had the vehicle back to the dealer three times, and a factory rep has evaluated it, the response we get is that the vehicle is operating within specifications, and no action will be taken, nor will any adjustments be made.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 312014


  • 9,000 miles
Driving at approximately 20mph, the car suddenly begins to smell of gasoline. Soon thereafter, acceleration becomes hesitant and the low-fuel warning light illuminates. The vehicle quickly became inoperable in the middle of a busy road. The vehicle is a model year 2014 and was purchased brand new, less than seven [7] months ago (from the date this complaint was posted). The vehicle has only approximately 9,000 miles on the odometer and has not been driven under any especially severe weather conditions or through treacherous terrain.

- Albany, NY, 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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