really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
112,665 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.

2001 Subaru Outback suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 272015


  • 157,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for service and it was diagnosed that the rear sub-frame was severely corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in the NHTSA campaign number: 03V153000 (suspension). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 157,000.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #11

Mar 292015


  • 180,980 miles
On Sunday 29 2015 at $12.30 am.. my son was driving and a loud noise was coming from under the car. He had some trouble to turn and stop on the side. He did it, we had to tow the car. The S arm broke subframe broke off. Was all rusted..

- North Haven, CT, USA

problem #10

Aug 032014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I was driving on I-84 in ct when my passenger side rear tire blew. The car fishtailed but I got it slowed down and over to the shoulder without getting into an accident. When the garage put the car up on a lift it was determined that the rear subframe had broken right where the upper control arm connected to it which allowed the tire to lean in towards the body of the car where it rubbed against the body, heated up and then ruptured. These tires had just been installed 3 days earlier. Looking at the subframe it was badly rusted, the various control arms attached to it had some surface rust but nothing like the subframe. The underside of the car was not rusted. The Subaru dealer gave me an estimate of $2000 to replace the subframe, since the car was worthless otherwise I told him to proceed. I found out that my vehicle had been subject to a recall for "certain rear suspension subframe components were produced with poor paint quality "..."which, after continued exposure to corrosive road salts for a period of several years, could result in rust-out of the component and possible breakage of the subframe. If such breakage occurs while the vehicle is being operated, control of the vehicle could be affected, increasing the risk of a crash." My vehicle got "treated" for the recall which included cleaning the subframe and painting it. I called Subaru of America and asked if they would be willing to share in the costs since it was obvious that the recall "treatment" did not work and there was no reason, except a defective paint job, for a subframe to fail on a 13 year old car. The declined to help me citing the age of the car and the fact that the recall "work" had been performed. They also offered a $500 coupon if I wanted to buy a new Subaru. I believe that these vehicles need to be recalled and the rear subframe replaced on Subaru dime.

- Stoneham, ME, USA

problem #9

Jun 132014


  • 250,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, he lost control of the vehicle and spun out of control, crashing into an embankment. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the rear driver side tire was completely bent inward and the subframe was fractured due to corrosion. A police report was not filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who verified the failure and stated that the rear sub frame needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not offer any assistance since the vehicle had previously been repaired under recall NHTSA campaign number: 03V153000 (suspension). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 250,000.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #8

Mar 032014


  • miles
I currently own and drive a 2001 Subaru Outback. I was recently made aware of an issue with my sub frame rotting out. There was a recall placed on this issue and the recall was apparently performed on my vehicle. The subsequent painting of the sub frame only masked the problem, leading to what seems an unavoidable failure of the part. With some investigation I found that nearly every Subaru that was included in this recall, is now failing and is unsafe to drive. The dealer I brought my car to even stated that this is a common repair in their shop. The total quote for repair is around $1400, which I cannot afford at this time. My problem with this is that numerous car owners are unaware of this failure, and that the recall work did nothing to absolve the situation. Subaru stated because of the age of the vehicle, they could not assist with the repair, but other than this problem, the car is in perfect working order. The recent recall by Toyota seems extremely similar, and I was hoping that this would be resolved in a similar way. Any information on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

- Fort Edward, NY, USA

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problem #7

Mar 302013


  • 184,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the rear suspension and sub frame was found severely to be corroded during a routine inspection. The sub frame and suspension were also fractured. The dealer advised the contact that NHTSA campaign number: 03V153000 (suspension) was previously performed and denied any further assistance with the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 184,000...updated 04-22-14

- Brockton , MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 292013

Outback 4-cyl

  • miles


This vehicle was purchased at approximately 150K miles two years ago and has just over 167K miles now. While being looked at by mechanic in June 2013, mechanic noted that the rear subframe was rotted and rear trailing arm bushings needed to be replaced. Subaru acknowledged this issue, with recall number wwm-96 (NHTSA recall no. 03V153). I use this car on a daily basis for work and have kept up with maintenance and care, replacing all wheel bearings and the head gaskets within the first year of owning the vehicle. On 8/19/2013, I called Subaru to speak with a customer service representative to hopefully resolve the subframe recall issue, and they refused to replace the affected part or even work with me on a solution. I was told, "there is nothing we can do for you, " leaving me with a vehicle that is unsafe to drive, because of a poor quality part made by Subaru. I was offered no assistance other than being told to contact my local Subaru dealer for repairs. After doing much research online, I've discovered that I am not alone in this battle, and I am hoping that Subaru or NHTSA can do something to help keep me safe while driving my vehicle.

- Wyoming, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 202012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign 03V153000, which resulted in manufacturer recall wwm96-rear. This recall was performed on my vehicle on 4/13/2004 at 36,339 miles with the intended purpose of halting premature rust-out of the rear sub-frame component. In the process of recently replacing exhaust components at approximately 130,000 miles it was noted that the rear sub-frame component is now perforated by rust even though similar components are not, which would seem to indicate that the original repair was not adequate. An exchange of emails and telephone calls with Subaru of America has resulted in a decision by them to decline repair or replacement of the component at their expense due to the age of the vehicle. The only remedy offered was a $500 credit toward the purchase of a new Subaru. Since replacement is not an option for me at this time I have no choice but to continue operating the vehicle in its current condition. My safety concern is that in operating the vehicle to what I consider a reasonable point (200,000 miles), the consequence noted in campaign 03V153000 may occur. I have pictures of the sub-frame component and copies of the email exchange with Subaru of America which I can send to you if you so desire.

- Southbury, CT, USA

problem #4

Mar 102012


  • 195,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. The contact was having an oil change performed and was advised by the mechanic that there was excessive rust on the frame. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign I.D. number: 03V153000 (suspension:rear) in which an anti- rust coating was applied to the vehicle. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the repair that was performed under the recall and the recent rust failure. The manufacturer advised that they had performed the recall in 2003 and could not assist with the recent failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 195,000.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #3

May 072011


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Subaru Outback. The contact was driving 35 mph when the sub frame of the vehicle fractured. The contact stated that the dealer advised that NHTSA campaign id number: 03V153000 (suspension: Rear) was performed on the vehicle in 2004. The recall required the manufacturer to spray an anti rust and wax onto the sub frame and axle. The contact stated that the recall repair did not prevent the failure from occurring and the sub frame and rear axle were both fractured due to rust. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 125,000.

- East Calais, VT, USA

problem #2

Feb 262002

(reported on)

Outback 4WD

  • miles
Steering wheel vibration at highway speed (50-70 mph) (tiresize: 225/60/R16)

- Rolling Meadows, IL, USA

problem #1

Mar 252001


  • miles
While driving vehicle goes to the right. Consumer has taken vehicle to dealer, but no notation has been made concerning the problem. One of the dealerships employee's test drove vehicle with consumer, and did not notice wheel turning. Dealer has showen no concern to rectify the problem. Please add the VIN# and mileage to form.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

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