definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,901 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.

2004 Subaru Outback transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #1

Jun 302006

Outback 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 22,901 miles


I purchased a new 2004 Subaru Outback (manual transmission) in May 2004. I have been very happy with the vehicle, have maintained it per manufacturers instructions and have had no problems with it. On June 30, 2006 I took the car to my local dealer in response to a notice stating there was a recall on 2004 Outbacks for an "engine control module reprogramming (reflash). Since that reprogramming the rpms are sluggish in returning to normal in between shifts and at idle. In-between shifts, the re-engagement of the clutch is what forces the engine rpms down to match the transmission revolutions (I do have concerns this will eventually cause abnormal wear on the clutch plate. It can take anywhere from 1.5-5 seconds for the rpms to drop from 3-4,000 rpms to 1,000 rpms; and longer at higher rpms. This is dangerous when a sudden decrease in speed is essential for safety (the brakes are fighting the engine revving even thought the accelerator has been released). My gas mileage has decreased due to over-revving (I have kept a mileage log since I purchased the car). On one road trip last August, the rpms never dropped below 1000 and, in fact, fluctuated between 1,000 and 2,000 rpms at idle! I have taken the car back to the local dealer numerous times over the last 5 months (and 7,000+ miles) to try to correct the problem. A case # was opened with Subaru of America and I have been in touch with them several times regarding the issue. A "field rep" has collected data on the vehicle and sent it off to the corporate techs. The local dealer has done everything they know to do at this point. I have been told that there is nothing "wrong" with the car. This is not acceptable to me; it was a great car until the ECM re-programming. I cannot drive this car for the rest of it's life in this condition; nor would I want to sell it to another person due to safety concerns. It is not safe.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

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