2010 Subaru Legacy engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
64,302 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.

2010 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #11

Dec 012016


  • 201,567 miles


The problem is with the torque converter failing and the dealership wants me to pay $2,100 which I'm not doing and it's an ongoing problem with Subaru with cvt transmissions which makes its stall when pressing on the brake when it happens to me every single day now ever since the dealership looked at it last.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 152016


  • miles
When making a hard break the RPM's will drop so low that the vehicle will begin to shudder and then eventually stall. This I find is dangerous because there have been times where I've been at an intersection and had to hard break and I have to turn my car off and turn it back on before I can move out of the way. There is a recall for my same year 2010 for the Subaru outback manual, I have the cvt transmission so I'm sure they differ but essentially described as the same issue. I notice it more at the beginning of my drives if I drive for over a half hour I don't recall experiencing the issue any longer. It's been progressively getting worse over the last few months. I read online that sound correct to the problem with a reflash some corrected the problem by replacing the torque converter and some a new transmission. I have been putting my car in neutral to keep the rpms from dropping out so low that the car stalls out

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 202016


  • miles
On the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5gt the under hood emissions label shows a misprint. The label includes the word "air" indicating that the vehicle should have a emissions related air pump. The vehicle does not! this was apparently updated on the 2012 models but not the 2010. This error on Subaru's part is causing me to fail California's emissions test. I now have to visit a referee because of this error.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 292015


  • 60,000 miles


Car shuts off while breaking. Used to happen when stopped but now happens a few times a day when just trying to break. It almost caused an accident a few times. The car shuts off while in drive, lights flash on the dash, I have to put in park and turn the key off. It starts up fine, but happens again and again. It's been going on for about half a year and is getting worse. No one can seem to find any fail codes or anything.

- Upper Chichester, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 192015


  • 80,000 miles
Car stalls when slowing down or braking to stop. No error codes or engine light warning. Car starts right after but stalls again frequently. Checked all fluid levels ok. Happens with hot or cold weather.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 032015

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 79,450 miles
I parked my car after traveling about 100 miles. I was sitting still with the engine running. I have a manual (6 speed) transmission, and the car was in reverse, but the clutch was in all the way and my foot was off the accelerator and on the brake. Suddenly, without any warning, I heard a noise and the engine quickly started to rev and the tachometer went all the way to the red line. After I recovered from the surprise, I tried to kick off the engine by depressing the accelerator quickly and releasing it. My action had no effect. I then turned the engine off with the key and it cut off. I have driven the car today and not had any recurrence of this nor have I had any instance of this type prior to last night.

- Wake Fores, NC, USA

problem #5

Nov 072014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 110,304 miles


My car stalls when I come to a stop. It is an automatic cvt car. He happens all the time. Could cause an accident when I stop and then accelerate.

- Paxton, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 072014


  • 37,000 miles
I had a major safety issue with my 2010 Subaru Legacy while driving on the freeway. The car was doing approximately 50 mph and I accelerated to change lanes and all of a sudden the car lost all power and eventually came to a complete halt right in the middle of fast moving traffic. I turned on my hazard light, put the car to park and restarted. The car would start but would shut down slowly in the next 2-3 seconds even before I could put it to drive and accelerate. I noticed that all the lights in the dash like traction control, check engine, etc all lit up and the car just slowly died. After trying it one more time (with same results) I shut off the car completely and started calling aaa for towing. After about a minute when I tried to re-start the car, it sprang up to life normally (I.e. without a slow shut-down like the prior two times) and accelerated when I put it to drive like nothing had happened. I was then able to get off the freeway for safety and popped the hood to see if there was anything on the surface that I could find wrong. Everything looked fine, I was even able to get back home all on the freeway normally. I tried to stay on the right lane and simulate the same (I.e. doing decent speed and then accelerating), but everything was normal. Sunday being mandatory dealership closures in NJ I was not able to bring it to the dealership. The whole incident was completely random and was needless to say extremely dangerous and stressful. I have contacted Subaru of America and waiting for their response. In the interim I wanted to post this to NHTSA in case other such incidents have been reported.

- Secaucus, NJ, USA

problem #3

Nov 192014

Legacy 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
On Wednesday, November 19, 2014 my son left for work at his usual time and started the Subaru. Immediately, the engine roared at full throttle, and the vehicle took off down the street, where it jumped the curb and crashed into a tree at 45 mph. Distance traveled was less than 400 feet from where it started. Based on an eyewitness account, it is presumed that the vehicle suffered an unintended acceleration mechanical issue outside of the driver's control. Emergency service personnel arrived within minutes, and he was taken to the major metro-area 833 bed hospital (level 1 trauma center) where he was admitted to critical care. He died peacefully and without pain on Wednesday afternoon, November 26, 2014, at age 37. Subaru of America was notified of this incident on Friday, November 21, 2014; a detailed description, police crash report, and 18 pictures were provided, with a request for them to inspect the totaled vehicle and download available information from the black box recorder/event data recorder. (note: As of today, November 29, 2014 no action has been taken).

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #2

Aug 192014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
I had entered a parking space, and was slowing to come to the end of said parking space. The car rapidly accelerated, and I could not stop it with the brake. I hit the concrete at the end of the space at full speed, which stopped the car. I noticed that the impact had slipped the gear into neutral. When I turned the car back on, it registered that it was in cruise control. I have never used cruise control on any this or any other vehicle. I have bruising from the seat belt, and neck pain from the impact. The vehicle is not drivable due to damage to the front end, and a rumbling noise in the engine with poor response when accelerating.

- Mckinney, Texas, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 012013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Problems with electronic throttle control or throttle bodys causes the vehicle to hesitate for several seconds upon initial acceleration. This has nearly resulted in accidents on several occasions when merging or pulling out into traffic. Problem of vehicle stalling when stopping at a light started at the same time (related problem). Drives fine under all other conditions. Dealer unable to assist.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

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