2011 Subaru Legacy engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,875 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.

2011 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 222016


  • 65,000 miles


Engine idle RPM is unstable. (+ / - 500 RPM) engine stalled many times (6 or 7) without reason and in dangerous situation as turning in the intersection or crossing rail roads, when stopping or slowing down. I went twice in Subaru service. At first they replaced the "torque converter" and proceeded with some adjustments in the engine. Second time they "re-programmed" the computer. As of today I am getting same issue without help from Subaru service. They advised to file a claim and eventually sue the company.

- River Vale, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 072016


  • 140,000 miles
01/07/2016 shortly after taking the freeway exit wife noticed the battery light turned on and power steering got heavy. All other warning light on the dash started to flicker as the passenger compartment quickly filled with smoke. She then pulled over and had just enough time to get both kids out before the entire car was engulfed in flames. Fire originated from under the hood of her 2011 Subaru Legacy 3.6R limited. The vehicle was a total loss.

- Patterson, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 012015


  • 59,000 miles
Car sputters & stalls when braking

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #5

Aug 102015


  • 110,000 miles


Whenever the brake is pressed hard to a complete stop, the car stalls and all electrical shut off. It doesnt seem to happen when you brake very slow before coming to a full stop. But if you brake slowly and then pressed the pedal full, the problem will occur. This can cause panic and also delay on cars running behind the car. It appears this is similar problem reported under 10395739. I also found a number of similarly reported problems online with Subaru cars.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #4

Mar 052015

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Car continues to stall when reducing speed. Occurs mostly at traffic lights and stop signs; however, has occurred when slowing for traffic. Car has completed all scheduled maintenance and oil changes as required. Initially told to service air flow sensor and have inspected for vacuum leak. Vehicle service did not resolve stalling. Service bulletin 16-90-13 shows Subaru knows the torque converter to be faulty on these vehicles, causing the vehicle to stall under these exact conditions. This is creating a safety concern on these vehicles for the potential to be rear ended due to stalling when attempting to slow vehicle. Safety recall should be issued and torque converter should be replaced by Subaru due to faulty design.

- Newtown Sqquare, PA, USA

problem #3

Mar 252015

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
For the past 2 months my Subaru Legacy has been stalling and losing power when I roll to a stop and/or when suddenly braking. Almost got rear ended by semi truck on the freeway and multiple times at stop lights in foggy situations. Subaru dealership said if it was an annoyance I should bring it in. Almost dying in a Subaru with my daughters is more than an annoyance. Dealership has known about it but performed a throttle body service, which was futile. Online forums suggest a faulty torque converter and a service#16-90-30. Quotes for replacing it are around $2000. Subaru knows it is due to faulty design of torque converter...this should be recalled. I used to love Subaru and this car, I am now forced to take a loss financially and buy a safer car. Completely unsafe.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 042014


  • 114,000 miles
I was coming to a red light slowing down from 15 mph while applying the brakes, the car acts like something is grabbing & it shuts down the motor. The car was not cold it was warmed up & drove about 28 miles before doing this. The skid light came on. It was a dry road. This car has done it several times. I have searched this on the internet & have seen others saying the same thing has happened with their Subaru. Its scary to think this might happen to me on one of our slick roads going off a hill. I have not had it checked out yet do to the holiday season. It does not happen every time I drive it. I have noticed while applying the breaks when it starts feeling like the rotors are grabbing if you ease off just a little and then apply again the car will not shut off it will stay running. I have shut off the skid protection and drove it & still it will do this and the skid light will show up. On the internet it says it could be the icv valve. But im not sure that has anything to do with the skid protection. I bought the car this summer & I had the dealer ship to put new breaks and rotors on it before I bought it. Had no trouble at all with this until last month. I just had the oil and filter changed this week. There are no service lights staying lit. & it still does this. I will be getting this checked out. A guy mentioned that it could be the transmission. This car is an automatic & does have the manual transmission shifters on the steering wheel. The car was in the automatic mode when this happened it is not drove in the manual side. Im thinking I should try driving in the manual side to see if it will do this. I've had no complaints with any of my other Subaru weve owned. I have never had this problem with them. However I have never owned one with the skid protection or in the 2000 model until this one.

- Rock Cave, WV, USA

problem #1

Nov 192014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle was stopped at a red light. Upon light acceleration, check engine light came on (and stayed on), parking brake light began to blink, cruise control indicator began to blink, and traction control light came on and stayed on. Driver did not detect any slippage. Authorized Subaru dealer found no problem with oil control valve (ocv) despite computer code indicating potential problem with that part. Dealer, however, indicated oil flush, rather than simply an oil change, was necessary despite less than 5,000 miles since previous oil change. Dealer asserted that oil level was not low, however. Cause of what triggered the indicators to be set off remains unclear.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

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