really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,000 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.

2003 Subaru Outback transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 262007

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles


On January 26,2008 at 8:10 pm my husband and I arrived home from a dinner out. He stopped at the top of our very steep driveway and placed my 2003 Subaru Outback in park. The car was running... as I was in the car I didn't notice immediately that it was rolling. It made no grinding sound as it should have if it was slipping out of gear. It was as if it was in neutral. He yelled at me (I was strapped in the passenger seat) to hit the brake but I could not because I was strapped in my seat. I never thought of the emergency brake as I was panicked. In March of 2007 I was diagnosed with a very serious spinal condition and had to get a five level neck surgery to keep from becoming paralyzed. I was told that if I got hit on the back of the neck or was in an auto accident I could be paralyzed. The car reached a speed of about 10 miles per hour and I slammed into our 1997 rodeo Isuzu. Thankfully the airbag did not deploy and jolt my head and I braced my hands on the dash. I suffered only minor wrist sprains and multiple bruises and some neck soreness and absolute physical shock. I have had nightmares about the accident. We called highway patrol and our insurance company. I did not feel it necessary to get medical attention as I was not seriously injured. After this was over my husband went on the internet and read about a recall of 2002 and 2003 legacy Outbacks because of a defect of the parking rod that fails to engage. My car was not on the recall list but it should be. I took it to the dealer to check this problem out and they, after having the car for 6 days only checked the parking break and the shifter and shifter linkage which didn't address my complaint about the parking rod at all. I am currently out $500 deductible for my Subaru and $3000 for the body damage to my other car and mostly I am still major concerned that this rolling in park thing will happen again.

- Magalia, CA, USA

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