2012 Subaru Impreza electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
475,156 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.

2012 Subaru Impreza electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 192015


  • 60,662 miles


Falsification of recall service work performed for recall wqt-55 that is related to the air bag not deploying based on an issue w/ the occupant detection system. Waldorf Subaru states they performed that they didn't do. Subaru has been extremely slow an unresponsive in addressing this issue. My car was originally taken to waldorf Subaru to have the recall performed, after which I had a service work order indicating it was complete. I receive a phone call 2 days later from the parts manager indicating the "part that was needed for the recall is now in stock." As a second check, I took my vehicle to another Subaru location (herb gordon Subaru/mile one) to check it out and verify if the recall had been in fact fixed, this proved that it had not been fixed. I obtained a service work order with these details. I contacted Subaru to have them address this, and they have been slow to respond and have been unresponsive to the concerns that have been raised. Their internal complaint number has been opened to address this issue: Sr #:1-17536427192

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #13

Aug 022012


  • 5,700 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that the front passenger side seat became fractured and was replaced by the dealer. After the seat was replaced, the passenger side "air bag off" warning light would illuminate whenever the seat was wet or lightly damp. The failure did not occur prior to the seat replacement. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V419000 (air bags). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5,700.

- Black Earth, WI, USA

problem #12

Oct 122015


  • 6,400,000 miles
Having trouble ignition turning over I have taken back to dealer several times always told my car was fine this car has recalls I wasn't aware I had to replace tire & sensor wasn't working was told it was climate related when I brought it in......this is my second Subaru..I'm very disappointed w this car.....now my ABS, check engine, an tire gauges are blinking when I was parking I just took it to dealer a week ago....I was told everything was fine.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Jul 202015


  • 32,000 miles


When a passenger of 215lbs or more sits in my 2012 Subaru Impreza passenger seat for more than 10miles the airbag light comes on and the passenger airbag is turned off.

- Massena, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 162014


  • 45,000 miles
Warning lamps for stability control air bag randomly light up on my dash board panel. The passenger air bag will also switch to off even when a passer is sitting in the seat or the passenger seat belt warning sound will go off if a small object is placed on the seat. My mechanic can't find the issue as I cannot recreate the circumstances that cause the lamps to switch on or the warning siren to chime. Computer readings do not return any "codes" if the lamps aren't on.

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jul 012015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that the frontal side passenger air bag light would turn off after approximately 20 minutes when a passenger was occupying the seat. Also, the contact mentioned that the frontal driver side air bag warning indicator illuminated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000. The VIN was not available.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #8

Mar 102012


  • 20,000 miles


Driving down mountain after day of skiing. Roads were treacherous and icy. 20 minutes into the drive, driver and passenger airbag lights turned on, indicating that airbags would not deploy in the case of a collision. Several months later I was wearing a damp bathing suit while driving and the same situation occurred, indicating that the airbags would not deploy in the event of a collision. On another occasion, I was driving on a hot day with the windows down. I was sweating quite a bit and the airbag light on my Subaru Impreza turned on yet again. This issue was brought up with the dealership while the car was still under warranty. The dealer's service department simply reset the sensor, not solving the issue or comprehending the severity of this issue. The occupant detection sensor in the seat must have faulted and turned off the airbags when a small amount of snow/water/sweat on my rear caused a fault in the elecrostatic sensor. The occupant detection sensor is an electrostatic sensor that will fault when it senses an arbitrary amount of moisture. An internal memo in August 2012 from Subaru to it's dealers in North America acknowledged, but not solved this problem with the airbags not engaging when the seat is wet. From Subaru's internal memo: "when water or anything with high moisture content is spilled on the front passenger seat cushion, the airbag is designed to remain off until the seat cushion is dry".

- Arroyo Grande, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 022013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Driving about 30 - 35mph when all of a sudden the car lost power. The car did not stall, but engine went down to idle speed and my accelerator pedal had no throttle control. The "check engine " light came on as well as the "traction control" light. I drifted to the right shoulder of the road and turned engine off. After opening the hood to check engine - observed nothing unusual - I re-started the car. The car seemed back to normal, but the engine code lights stayed on. The warning lights eventually turned themselves off - 3 or 4 re-starts later. Subaru dealer reported a P2138 obd code, but he did not replace/repair anything. The same exact thing happened 9 months later (July 2, 2014), and Subaru dealer reported a P2138 code once again. No repairs or replacements done!

- East Islip, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 032014

Impreza 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Subaru Impreza. Consumer writes in regards to the installation of vehicle remote starter. The consumer stated he received a recall regarding the remote started. The dealer informed the consumer, the remote that was installed in his vehicle was not a Subaru manufactured unit, and therefore not subject to recall.

- Warren, NJ, USA

problem #5

Nov 302013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 6,800 miles
11/30/2013 while I was driving I received a phone call on my iphone 4 at 9:35pm. The engine stopped but blower for heater, lights and radio remained functional. I pulled over coasted to a stop and restarted the vehicle. My phone was not connected via bluetooth to the vehicle. 1/24/2014 while I was waiting at a stop light (0 mph) at 7:45 am I unplugged a headphone cable from my iphone 4. the engine stopped but blower for heater, lights and radio remained functional. I restarted the vehicle. My phone was not connected via bluetooth to the vehicle.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #4

Sep 122012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 6,175 miles


While driving in normal circumstances, engine power was lost, and complete loss of throttle control occurred. Car would accelerate extremely slowly, and not past 20-25 mph (presumably 'engine fail-safe mode'?). thankfully not on a high-speed road. Obd code was P2138, indicating a faulty accelerator position sensor, which was replaced by dealer under warranty.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #3

Jul 182012


  • 8,000 miles
2012 Impreza... bought new, nothing but headaches. All problems listed below occurred before I had even owned the car 2 years. 1. at 8-10K miles - while driving car would randomly turn off passenger airbags and illuminate no passenger seatbelt on the dash. Took car to dealer 3 times. Dealer refused to fix as the "error was not stored in the computer." Suggested cell phone was the problem even though cell phones were not near the seat during each of the multiple incidents. I had to complain to corporate who told the dealer to replace the sensor in the seat. No problems since. 2. at 15K miles - multiple times car would turn on check engine light and traction control light simultaneously. First incident dealer said "dirty camshaft sensor." Second incident I had to refuse to take the car back until they actually fixed a part. Dealer kept car a whole week and made calls to corporate engineers. Tests revealed it was a "failed oil pressure valve." Replaced the part and no more problems. 3. at 25K miles - bad battery. Had to replace when car was only 1 year and 10 months old.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #2

May 282013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 16,850 miles
Followed too closely through a double intersection with a non-functioning light. Police officer directed traffic through the intersection but apparently we had to stop before the second intersection. Apparently I slowed down enough that the airbag did not deploy. I indicated 20 but surely my airbag would have deployed at that speed. Was able to drive the car under its own power off the road into a subway parking lot. As I was maneuvering into a parking spot the engine caught on fire. It seems strange to me that if I was going slow enough for the airbag not to deploy but for some components to catch on fire that the car is road worthy. Worth looking into?

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 052012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The airbags in this vehicle turn off while driving (driver and passenger side dashboard icons indicate airbags are turned off). Vehicle must be stopped and restarted for the airbags to turn back on. There seems to be a relationship to electronic interference - passenger use of iphone or ipad may be involved - but it has happened with no passenger as well. This happened 5 times in one day recently while driving at high altitude (pikes peak, co). Probably related: The seat belt alarm has gone off when iphone is placed on empty passenger seat while driving.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

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