really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,601 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.

2003 Subaru Baja brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Subaru Baja Owner Comments

problem #3

Apr 282006

Baja 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


I was approaching a stop light last April 28, 200) and went to apply my brakes, only to find that they weren't going to work. I was only going about 20 mph and gravity slowed me down to below 18 mph because air bags didn't deploy, only to be stopped by a car making a left hand turn onto a highway via road-ramp. 3 people were injured, and my driving record severely scorched. Needless to say, I had the car towed to an independent mechanic to fix the defective brakes ticket. There were no Subaru dealers in town. They did a visual inspection and found nothing to be the matter. As soon as I got back home, a week later, I took my car into Subaru, who ran diagnostics on the ABS only to conclude that I was a crazy person. I decided I rather needed a second, and third opinion. Now Subaru had my car for at least 3 hours, gave it back, took me behind the store to test the brakes, and the 20 feet on gravel it took to stop was normal, not to mention, I had I quote stating 100% functional and new brakes. So my main mechanic took the tires off to look the brakes, and said oh my god you can't drive this car, there were no brakes! none, it was not measurable, that' was how little there were.. so I got a third opinion, agreeing with the second of my mechanic, I conceded, and got my brakes changed. I asked to keep the brake pads to take to Subaru to show them their grave error. I gave the pads to them, they swore up and down to get to the bottom of it, and that was July 3, 2006, this is April 9, 2007. I thought all was well that ends well, but now that I knew other people having similar problems I didn't want to die just because I love my car, and I thought it might be time to buy out of my Baja.

- Eureka Springs, AR, USA

problem #2

Dec 122005

Baja 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact stated while driving down a winding mountain road the vehicle lost braking power. She tried to slow it by down shifting the gears, and then she used the emergency brake. The vehicle started smoking and she drove into a ditch. The brakes had been previously replaced by an independent mechanic. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. A police report taken at the scene. There was body damage to the vehicle. The insurance adjuster stated there were no problems with the brakes. The dealership has not yet inspected the vehicle.

- Rocky Face, GA, USA

problem #1

Oct 182003

Baja 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,802 miles
Total ABS brake system failure while attempting to stop vehicle in light traffic at less than 20 mph on dry surface. First attempt to brake met with undue brake pedal resistance with no stopping action. Second attempt met with unrestricted pedal travel to the floor with no stopping action. Vehicle only stopped on impact. The driver and two other people were injured.

- Chatham, NJ, USA

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