hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
137,227 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.

2002 Subaru Outback brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 062015


  • 141,682 miles


I bought car Oct 6; first inspection appointment at my usual garage mon Oct 12- failed due to rusty suspect brake connection. Seller had me take to his dealer- mastria Subaru in raynham. They put a paint/coating over rusty area. I was pretty skeptical but brought car to my garage in vt Monday Oct 19 and the leaky brake fluid much more clearly visible- due to smoother (though bumpy from oxidation below) paint surface. I also saw leaking coolant, leaks in oil pan, and a crack in muffler pipe just engine side of muffler (it had been getting noisier and noisier) my mechanic pointed out the timing belt gasket was missing and one bolt 'missing' ; it was sticking out of another 'hole' that was for a fully threaded bolt. The seller has sent long-winded insulting E-mails and states I must return car to him to have the same dealer service it. I am taking it to a&M, 400 mystic ave, somerville this morning near me! for estimate today. There's a reject sticker from reading petroleum on it- I didn't know MA & vt had reciprocal status- but I think the vt inspection is more stringent, safer and comprehensive

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #2

Feb 172013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the brakes would not release after being applied, even when the contact's foot was no longer on the brake pedal. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000. The current mileage was 135,000.

- Pilot Butte, NN, USA

problem #1

Feb 012012

Outback 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Dates are approximate, problem is ongoing. Upon initial start-up, in cool/cold weather the brake pedal will be very hard and brakes are very weak requiring tremendous foot pressure with still reduced braking effectiveness. After a period of time and multiple stops brake assist seems to increase and the brakes get stronger or normal. I have researched that this is not an uncommon problem with Subaru cars at higher mileage. It is said to be water in the brake booster hose one way valve. Changing the hose, I am told, will not solve this problem as more water will enter the system and freeze or gum pu the works. Very dangerous especially for drivers who do not have the strength to press so hard on the pedal.

- Berthoud, CO, USA

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