really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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.

1998 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 042009


  • miles


The contact owns a 1996 Subaru Legacy. While pulling into a parking space with her foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and she was unable to stop the vehicle which caused it to crash into a building. Two passengers were injured. The insurance company stated that the vehicle was destroyed. The mileage was not available.

- Ashley Falls, MA, USA

problem #6

Jul 062006

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The speedometer on my 1999 Subaru Legacy L sedan stops working at random intervals. My mechanic tells me that this is connected to the also faulty transmission and is not just a minor speed sensor problem. Subaru denies any knowledge of these problems but I have researched and found many, many 1999 Subaru owners with the exact same problems. The 1999's had a new transmission that is very flawed and was changed again before the 2000 release because of so many problems. This is the second 1999 Subaru Legacy I have bought in the past 3 months with this very same problem (I assumed the first was a fluke and the dealer took the car back). The car has 96,000 miles and should not need a complete transmission overhaul at this point. I believe that Subaru is very aware of these faults but doesn't want to face the repercussions of a campaign or recall. I implore you to look into this. These faulty transmissions and their associated failures(speedometer, etc) are a danger to all owners. It is irresponsible of Subaru to release an entire model year that has so many expensive problems to fix.

- Syracuse , NY, USA

problem #5

Jul 012001


  • miles
Vehicle was in park and took off without prior warning. Dealership was aware of problem.

- Fisher, IN, USA

problem #4

Apr 222000

(reported on)

Legacy 4WD

  • miles


On two consecutive days, 4/15 and 4/16, while stopping from a <5 mph speed, the car surged ahead 2-4 feet, stopped, and immediately surged ahead 2-4 feet again, and stopped. The first time it almost put me out in heavy traffic on a 4 laned highway. The second time I was pulling into my daughter's driveway and was stopping when it surged ahead taking out the post supporting their front porch, stopped, then immediately surged ahead taking out the lattice work under their porch. Both times the car was on an uphill incline. Damage to the vehicle included the right front fog light, popped out and put a "wrinkle" in the right front bumped and scratched the hood. The mileage is approximate because the car is still at the dealers. When I called to check on it 4/19 they had not been able to replicate it and stated they had one more test to run and then I could pick it up. That is totally unacceptable!

- Sidney, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 131999


  • miles
Vehicle experiencing sudden acceleration.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 251998


  • miles
Cruise control was engaged as I was driving on the highway. When I applied the brakes approaching the exit ramp the cruise control did not seem to disengage. While my foot was on the brake pedal, I hit the cruise control switch on the dashboard--the cruise control light went off, however the car did not slow down although I was applying the brakes as hard as possible. I lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree head on at an estimated speed of 40-50mph. Neither driver nor passenger airbag deployed. The vehicle was a total loss. I contacted Subaru of America, Inc. After the accident and sent them all information requested on 11/24/98; I have had no response from Subaru to date.

- Winchester, MA, USA

problem #1

Jan 131999

(reported on)

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
While accelerating away from a stop, at low engine RPM and low throttle opening, the car hesitates. If you give it more throttle, it gives a sudden but unpredictable burst of acceleration. It is very difficult to get out of the way if someone happens to be headed toward you. It is also impossible to know when the car will start to accerlerate normally. It is a jerky type of action that does not coincide with the smooth application of the accelerator pedal.

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

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