definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,250 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #4

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 #3

Aug 032004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
Transmission was defective. When driving on the highway and after the vehicle was running for a while lower gears in transmission will not go into gear. When vehicle cooled off for a period of time the vehicle ran well. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealership, and was told that after the vehicle was test driven there was no problem. However, after consumer drove the vehicle again, while the vehicle was hot, the same problem occurred. Already, transmission was replaced 3 times, but problem recurred.

- Canada, 00, USA

problem #2

Nov 011999

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Intermittent failures: Car does not shift into second gear and keeps accelerating with RPM increasing. Have to take foot off accelerator and pulse to get car to shift into second gear.

- Fallbrook, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 061998

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Defect within vehicle is causing the front of vehicle to shake, including steering wheel when vehicle is being driven at least 58-68 mph. Also pulls to right. Dealer also changed transmission bracket and angle of driveshaft, and put in new wheels and rims. Vehicle is still shaking.

- Tooele, UT, USA

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