2009 Subaru Outback drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,989 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.

2009 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 112016


  • 37,457 miles


At 37450 miles, both cv joint boots adjacent to the transmission failed, causing grease to coat the exhaust system and the catalytic converter. This creates a fire hazard. The vehicle was purchased new in February 2009 from giles Subaru. The vehicle has never been off road and was purchased for its supposed safety features.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #3

Feb 052010


  • 4,500 miles
The vehicle is a station wagon with 5-speed manual transmission, driven only by my wife and I. within the first year, we experienced an occasional problem where it would pop out of first gear when travelling at low speeds. I did not report this problem during the 3 year, 30,000 limited warranty period, because it occurred infrequently, and did not appear to present a safety hazard. Furthermore, it's Subaru's policy, as stated by the dealer moyer Subaru, to not act until a problem can be demonstrated, and to charge the customer if no problem is found. However, the 5-year, 60,000 mile power train warranty, and a Subaru gold plus, 7-year, 70,000 mile warranty, are still in effect. Within the last year, the problem became more frequent, particularly when going down steep grades, which is necessary on roads slick from rain, snow or ice, or when there is some other hazard that warrants slow speed. When the transmission pops out to neutral, there is an alarming loss of control, and you must brake hard to arrest the acceleration, which is likely to cause skidding and sliding. I estimate this has happened at least 6 times in past two months of winter weather. Last week (1/30/13), I reported the problem to moyer Subaru who told me there are no recalls, and would not do a road test unless I agree to pay the cost if no problem is found. I am unwilling to do that, since there is no guarantee when this intermittent problem will occur again; only that it will occur again and likely cause a serious accident. Instead, I reported the problem on Subaru website, and they have documented my complaint (sr # 1-3193753102), but made no offer to investigate the problem. The Subaru impreza owner's group reports similar problems with numerous imprezas, and some Outbacks. We had this problem on a 2002 Outback that was fixed under warranty, only after it progressed to higher gears.

- Sinking Spring, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 012011


  • miles
About a month or two ago I was pulling out of a parking space - I put the trans in drive and started to move when I reached over to open the glove box. As I reached my cuff caught on the transmission knob and pulled selector from drive to reverse. I never noticed it before but there's no locking mechanism on the shift selector handle. The older cars used to require you to push down or pull up on the knob and /or pull up on an interlock handle. Looks like I was lucky going so slow.

- Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 012010


  • 46,000 miles
This type of incident happened twice. Making a left hand turn, pulling onto main two-way road, the dash lights flashed on, car jerked and then stalled. This was a very dangerous situation as 50 mph cars and trucks were coming in both directions at us - with two small children in the car, screaming their heads off. I managed to turn it off and restart and pull over, got vehicle towed. Curry Subaru computer couldn't come up with anything. Same incident happened 02/17/2011, making a left onto a main road. My daughter thought we were going to be killed, the car dash lights flashed and car died. I managed to restart and jerk forward. This car is a death-trap. My online research shows others with same exact situation. I brought car to my dealer - bill kolb - with no satisfaction. Car revvs forward at times during normal driving. Siting many on line complaints, Subaru must be well aware of the danger this situation presents, I cannot operate this car - my children are terrified after two incidents of near collisions.

- New Windsor, NY, USA

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