really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,714 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Subaru Outback:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 062016


  • 129,000 miles


Terrible gas smell. Fuel is leaking because it is cold outside.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #6

Jan 012016


  • 40,000 miles
When temp. Outside go below 32 degrees, the inside of my car fills with raw gas smell, this happens every winter. I live in wi. When it is above freezing it is fine and all summer it is fine. I am so affraid to have my grand kids in the car. Not sure if the fumes will explode.when I am driving I do not smell gas. But if I stop at a stop sign or light it fills up the car. I have to roll down my windows to get fresh air

- Hubertus, WI, USA

problem #5

Jan 132015


  • 75,000 miles
In 10 degree weather, my 2002 Subaru Outback wagon developed a fuel leak while being driven by my 17-year-old child. This is my second Subaru wagon and the second to have cold weather fuel leaks. I tightened the clamp on the offending fuel line and I hope that is an adequate fix. But it is simply unacceptable that such a dangerous problem has not had a recall, and that it has been happening for 20 years. (my first Subaru with this problem was a 1991 legacy wagon.) how many car fires have resulted from this problem" how many injuries or even fatalities" please make Subaru take responsibility for a poorly designed fuel line.

- Lewisburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Dec 192013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 179,000 miles


Rubber fuel linkages contract in low (below 30F) temperatures, allowing fuel to leak into the engine compartment. The leaking fuel creates a very strong, at times intolerable, fuel vapor smell in the cabin. Some leaks drip onto the exhaust manifold and engine block so engine fire is a possibility.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 172014

Outback 4-cyl

  • miles
Since the recent temperature drop where we live (Maryland, DC metro region), we've noticed a strong gasoline smell inside the car's cabin. The smell is strong enough that we are uncomfortable driving long distances, for our own health and that of our children. The smell only appears when the car is running (though it doesn't seem to depend on speed). We've owned the car since March 2010, and this is the first time we've noticed the issue; it's also the coldest weather we've encountered since purchase. Apparently there's a fuel-line-related recall for imprezas of this vintage, but not yet for Outbacks.

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #2

Dec 062013


  • miles
My wife drove her car, a 2002 Subaru Outback, about 5 miles home from work, and told me in the evening her car reeked of gasoline when she arrived at home. When I checked her car the gas odor had dissipated, but when I started it and backed it out of the garage the gas odor was very strong. I moved it back into the garage and shut it off. I discovered online that the odor was likely due to a fuel hose leak associated with a cold weather start. The temperatures here are cold for Missouri, with highs in the low 20's. it still is cold, albeit as a Minnesota boy it still seems like spring. At any rate, I found a website with useful diagrams and I located the hose under a bracket (of course), and managed to uncover the hose and tighten the clamps, which were very loose. After re-assembly I drove the car to burn off the gas remaining on the engine and I tested the repair with another cold weather start later. I have ordered a replacement hose from the Subaru dealership for 12 bucks. I understand that recalls and service advisories have occurred and are in place for other Subaru models including the closely related 2001 legacy. I would like to add the 2002 Outback and every other Subaru that uses the hose part # 807707130. The discussions online about this issue reveal some people are driving with their windows open or with cabin air set to recirculate, or waiting until the engine warms up enough for thermal expansion to seal the leak. As an industry chemist I find this ignorance about the hazards of gasoline fires appalling. However I think Subaru's piece-meal approach to addressing their defective engineering is frightening. Don't they care about the safety of their customers? my wife teaches chemistry, a typical customer, according to Subaru ads. She loves her Subaru. Subaru does not love her.

- Webster Groves, MO, USA

problem #1

Jan 012005

Outback 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The car always has a strong gas smell inside during winter. The smell is so bad that I get headaches.

- N/A, MN, USA

Not what you are looking for?