2008 Subaru Outback suspension NHTSA complaints: Suspension

NHTSA — Suspension Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,289 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.

2008 Subaru Outback suspension problems

suspension problem

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2008 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #7

Oct 012010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


Three failed wheel bearing by 100K. One at 30K, the second at 67K. The third at 90K. The dealership couldn't find anything at 90K. At 103K, there is a half inch of play in the front passengers side wheel and it sounds like a jet airplane. This is unacceptable. This is a serious safety issue that is not being taken seriously by Subaru of North America. If this bearing failed at highway speed it would be catastrophic.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 102007

Outback 4-cyl

  • 25 miles
Carpet had bad spot upon purchase, told by dealer defect and nothing could be done. That spot is now a hole in the carpet. Seat material is very cheap and low quality started to wear before 1K. That too has left a hole in the seat. At 37K passenger cv boot went due to thin rubber boot followed by driver boot at 38K. Boot rubber is extremely thin compared to other manufacturers. When they go, they go quickly without warning the smell is horrific and the sticky residue left behind under the hood visually unappealing. As to the boots, our weather rubber car mats are thicker and certainly less expensive! at 68K clutch went; power-steering pump was leaking and A/C / alternator belts were cracked. This car has never missed a maintenance and has been immaculately cared for so imagine our disappointment. The clutch resulted in the car stalling in rush hour traffic. This car did not live up to the Subaru reputation of safety and quality. I would not entertain the thought of every purchasing another Subaru.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 152013


  • 94,000 miles
While driving on slightly slick roads in northern Michigan the rear wheels would lose traction and start to fish tail. This happened without the gas applied, with or without the traction control engaged. The car felt as if it was sliding side to side in the back. The tires are in good condition and the vehicle is well maintained. Other vehicles were traveling without issue. This has been referred to as ghost walking in on line blogs. This is extremely unsafe and dangerous.

- Davison, MI, USA

problem #4

Jan 202013


  • 85,000 miles


I was driving on the interstate. It was winter in Wisconsin. The roads were mostly clear, but it was starting to sleet. While driving, any time I would go under a bridge, the rear of the car would dramatically shift to one side or the other. I slowed down to 45 mph, and the problem almost seemed to get worse. It would be fine until I went under a bridge where the road seemed to be a little icy. It was acting like the rear tires were compensating too much for the car. My tires had 75% treadlife left on all 4 tires. There was a little extra weight in the vehicle. There were 3 people in the car along with approximately 200lbs in the rear cargo area. When the roads got a little more ice on them, so that it wasn't just under bridges, the car was moving all over the place and I was convinced that there was going to be an accident. I have also noticed this when driving on dry pavement if there is any weight in the rear of the vehicle. When the rear tires hit a bump or a crack in the road, it will shift the rear end of the car to the right or left, usually to the right. I have researched this and it is a very common thing know as ghostwalking in Subaru Outbacks.

- Eleva, WI, USA

problem #3

Feb 102012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
I bought my 2008 Subaru Outback new. I have driven it in almost every road and weather condition possible. It is driven 90% of the time with just me or me and my wife in the car. Just a few days ago I was driving with a full load of luggage, and 3 adult passengers in the car. Road conditions became icy on the interstate. There was a fairly rapid onset of the car kind of jerking side to side almost like the back end of the car was being blown from side to side even though there was not much wind. I was driving very slowly at about 40-45 mph while other cars and semi trucks were passing me. I had not experienced this before and I thought at any minute we would end up in the ditch. It happened without any input from me such as giving it gas or braking and while going straight. The car has new tires with less than 5000 miles on them. I just had the 45000 mile service completed by the dealership. The car is a 2.5I with an automatic transmission. I did research as soon as I arrived home and found this issue well described in a Subaru Outback forum. It was described as "ghostwalking".

- Billings, MT, USA

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problem #2

Jan 192009


  • 15,000 miles
Vehicle swaying while driving at hwy speeds on icy roads. Subaru out back 08. I have experienced this swaying back and forth while driving on slippery roads. I will be driving at 30-50% then all other traffic to maintain safe characteristics. The term "ghost walking" has been associated with it. Soa and the dealership denies any issues or problems. The care is completely unsafe during ice conditions.

- Grand Forks Afb, ND, USA

problem #1

Jun 032008

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Subaru Outback. While driving 30 mph and greater, the vehicle would tend to pull to the right. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for an alignment, but the failure continued to occur. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 21,000. Updated 07/29/08 updated 08/05/08.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

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