pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,416 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.

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 302009

Impreza WRX

  • 1,400 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX. He stated that while driving 40 mph the engine started to make a noise while approaching a stop sign and shut off. He was able to restart the vehicle and drive to an authorized dealer; however, the noise became louder and more frequent and the vehicle continued to stall. The vehicle was towed to the dealer at their expense. The dealer confirmed that the engine was destroyed and could not be repaired. The dealer also stated that before the vehicle left the factory that the engine was not inspected prior to being installed in the vehicle. The engine was replaced per the warranty. The failure mileage was 1400 and the current mileage was 1600.

- Marina De Rey, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 052009

Impreza WRX

  • 5,970 miles
My 09 WRX, purchased in October, spun a bearing rod just over a month ago (had 6001 miles on it at the time). I live at altitude (8200 ft) and drive a roughly paved mountain road each day. This is not good on my tires, not one bit. Mike shaw Subaru in thorton, Colorado has finally gotten around to fixing the car. Took them one month, and I had a rental car for one week, but, they replaced the turbo and engine. One major however here. Let me quote my mike shaw paperwork- that I refused to sign- "this repair is not covered by Subaru's limited warranty due to the abusive or aggressive driving habits and/or vehicle modifications." Because of tire wear" really" now, my warranty is shot for any future engine work, the dealership itself told me. I refused to sign any of their papers, and will be aggressively pursuing litigation if I do not get this decision reversed or at least have someone knowledgeable explain to me how I 'abused' my car. I went above and beyond the break-in period (2K miles before it ever hit any substantial, sustained RPM). The vehicle history report will kill me when/if I try to sell this car. I also warmed the car up for a full 10 minutes before even remotely pushing the car between 2K and 6K miles. What this came down to was them telling me, verbatim, that "9/10 of these cars with this issue have come in due to driver error". are you kidding me? this was from the same people that wanted two proofs of oil change in the first 5,970 miles before they would proceed with changing my engine. I provided one, and they relented, but the sheer absurdity is the issue at hand here. I called soa and am still waiting for a return call. Perhaps I will endlessly hit redial in an effort to redeem my warranty, or perhaps I will do my absolute best shedding light on this defective 09 WRX issue via every other means available.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #4

Apr 182009

Impreza WRX

  • 5,764 miles
Engine failure.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #3

Apr 152009

Impreza WRX

  • 6,194 miles


There was no indication that a failure was going to occur before it happened. I had driven the car normally for almost 6 months. The engine began to make a loud knocking noise around 2000 RPM, sounding like metal hitting metal. Luckily for me, I was approaching a parking lot so I was able to pull over and have my car towed. I was told that if I had kept driving the car would have just stopped functioning entirely and left me stranded wherever it died. The failure, which turned out to be a spun bearing in the 2nd piston, was rectified by replacing the entire long block of the engine.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #2

Dec 122008

Impreza WRX

  • 3,870 miles
I purchased a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX (build date of 07/08) in September, 2008. On December 12, 2008 (w/ approx 3870 miles on the odometer) during my commute leaving work upon merging into traffic the vehicle exhibited a sudden loss of power. Thankfully at this time traffic was light and there was no accident. The vehicle at this time exhibited a rather pronounced cyclic knocking sound and harsh vibration. I was able to limp the vehicle to the home of a family member (vehicle at this point had 3892 miles on the odometer); shortly thereafter the vehicle ceased to function entirely and could not be re-started. Thankfully I was proximal to the home of a family member. It could be envisioned that this problem might leave others stranded in an unsafe environment (especially for those living in/near the snow-belt, as I do). The problem was diagnosed as a spun rod bearing (#3 rod) causing engine failure, the long block was replaced, and the vehicle was returned to me on December 19, 2008. While the vehicle has not exhibited any further problems thus far, in the recent months through my own research I have been made aware of approximately 60 (and counting) other 09 WRX that exhibit this same defect in the us. Similarly I have been made aware of 09 WRX exhibiting this same defect in both Canada and australia, some legacy and foresters exhibiting this same defect, and that even some replacement engines have failed due to this same defect (Subaru has replaced some defective engines with further defective engines). While the most recent problems seem to have initiated on vehicles built in 07/08, it seems that this defect or one very similar also occurred on select 08 Subaru models. For the reasons I have previously mentioned (loss of power in traffic or complete engine failure with the potential to leave the occupants in an unsafe environment) I feel this is a legitimate safety concern and hope that some resolution can be made in the near future.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #1

Apr 022009

Impreza WRX

  • 9,300 miles
My 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX, which I use as a daily driver, had a major engine breakdown at about 9000 miles consisting of a loud knocking sound and extreme engine vibration. The symptoms were confirmed by my dealer as a spun rod bearing (#4). My engine and turbocharger were replaced under warranty (after a 24 day wait). Scheduled maintenance had been done prior to the failure (oil changes). While the failure did not cause an immediate safety situation, as I was very close to home at the time, I feel that an issue like this could present an unsafe situation were it to happen on the many long road trips that I take, often in unpopulated or rural areas. I also drive in the local mountains quite a bit in winter to go skiing and a breakdown in the middle of nowhere in freezing weather would not have been safe. My research (and dealer statements) indicate that this is a problem that a large number of WRX's built in the first three months of production are experiencing. Subaru of America has offered no explanation about why this happened or why it is happening to many others who own this car. Although I have a replacement engine, I have received absolutely no assurances that it will not happen again and (frankly) have little confidence in the car at this time, as I do not want myself or my family (including 1 year old daughter) to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because my almost-new car engine fails at low mileage for no reason. For reasons of privacy I am not attaching my VIN number, but I can provide it if required for follow-up. The build date of the vehicle was 7/2008.

- Burke, VA, USA

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