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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,575 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.

2015 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2015 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 232016


  • miles


After moving vehicle in reverse, then shifting into drive, the transmission remains in neutral until the accelerator is depressed allowing car to roll backward if on an incline. There is then a surge forward when it does engage. Also, on a cold start when temp. Is below 0 trans will stay 1-2 gears lower than it should for > 5 miles allowing for excessive engine rpms. After taking car to dealer, I was informed that both these conditions were normal for this transmission.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #7

Apr 022015


  • 100 miles
I have a surging issue with my 3.6R after cold starts. Upon start-up, the idle will be ~1800 and when I put the car in drive, it will drop to 800-1000rpm. Then, as I slowly pull into the garage, or pull into a stopped line of traffic, the engine will surge back to the higher RPM, causing the vehicle to push through the brakes. I have had this return to high idle occur after I have come to a complete stop, causing the vehicle to push through the applied brakes and requiring additional brake pressure to stop the vehicle. I have also had it occur when slowly rolling forward. I believe this is an unsafe situation that could result in damaged property and/or injury. I see that there is at least one additional NHTSA complaint for this issue, which Subaru deemed "normal" operation. I did contact my dealer requesting a firmware update, if one was available, and they said there was not one. I have owned this vehicle since 3/23/2015 and this issue has occurred since new, but it more common in colder weather. I have 18K miles on the vehicle.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #6

Aug 252015


  • 6,100 miles
I received a safety recall from the NHTSA (campaign id number 15V502 - transmission oil leak). I contacted the Subaru dealer and they tell me there is no such recall. Who is right?

- Lawrence,, PA, USA

problem #5

Jun 302015


  • 120 miles


I had stopped to disembark myself and passengers. I turned off the engine. I did not realize it was not in park. As the passenger on the left was getting out, the car started to roll backwards. I was able to put on the brake to stop it and put it in park. I have a push button ignition. On page 3-6 of the owner's manuel it says " the push button switch cannot be switched to "off" when the select lever is in a position other than P". in contacting the dealer ship they checked other Outbacks with push button starters and they also have this problem.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 112015


  • 2,000 miles
I was getting gas at a station. When I was finished pumping gas I entered the car, started it, put it in reverse, braked, put it in drive, it rolled backwards, put on the brake, it continued to roll backwards, gave it some gas since it was still in drive, car jumped forward almost hitting car parked in front of me, my foot was still on brake and in drive while I tried to keep it from rolling backwards. Tried to manipulate brake and gas to stop rolling backwards. Eventually I swerved around parked car in front of me without hitting it. This has happened 4 times since I purchased new car. I went to 2 Subaru dealerships and they said that is normal.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

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problem #3

Oct 162014


  • 25 miles
When the engine is cold, the idle speed is 1600 RPM when started. When placed in reverse or drive it reduces to a nominal 900-1000 RPM. When the vehicle starts to move it suddenly drops to 600 RPM. When braking to a stop after moving vehicle the RPM suddenly jumps to 900-1000 RPM just before vehicle halts. This causes sudden unexpected acceleration of the vehicle and presents a safety hazard. I believe this is due to an engine/transmission software issue. This has occurred since new. Updated 9/15/15

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 252015


  • 3,400 miles
.of us as traffic was causing it to speed up and slow down. With no warning, our car suddenly lurched ahead as if I had stepped hard on the gas pedal, throwing us back in our seats. After a few seconds, it hit brakes and threw us forward. It did not completely stop but resumed previous speed. This continued to happen every couple of minutes. I took the first exit that appeared, about two miles ahead. I was very frightened that we might collide with the van in front or swerve into the traffic in the lane next to us, or that it might suddenly stall in our lane. I did not try to stop the car although I had my foot resting on the brake pedal. It badly frightened my wife and I. the car has a cvt transmission. We stopped in a parking lot and then had car towed to closest of two Subaru dealers in the area. I had both of them run extensive checks on engine, power train, computer, etc. Neither could identify any issues that would cause the problem. My wife has sworn she will never drive or ride in the car again. I can't blame her. We have to go over a winding, hilly road of about ten miles to go home. There is heavy car and truck traffic off and on throughout the day. To get home, we rented a car as I now fear driving this road in this car at anytime day or night. The dealer where we bought the car has offered to store the car for us until we decide what to do. I've tried calling Subaru and will try again. Long wait periods so far. This is our second Subaru. First was a 2012 Outback which we traded for the current one which we have leased. The irony of this is that we bought the current one for its many safety features! I've owned many cars in my life but have never experienced anything like this!

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 102014


  • 856 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the vehicle failed to accelerate without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician informed that the vehicle was functioning as designed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 856. Updated 02/18/15

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

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