2010 Subaru Outback drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2010 Subaru Outback (Page 1 of 2)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,933 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.

2010 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jan 022017


  • 121,000 miles


Our 2010 model Subaru Outback with 121,000 miles began stalling while braking at stop lights and behind others vehicles also braking hard. While I am able to start it back up immediately, this has become a consistent problem and I feel a very dangerous issue. I have been left stalled in the middle of rush hour traffic because the car in front of me braked hard. After speaking with our dealership the response was that we need a new torque converter and that this is a known problem with the 2010-2012 Outbacks. After a second opinion to be sure, we are having the torque converter replace to the tune of $2000!! I am asking for a recall for these models from Subaru to prevent anyone from getting injured from this consistently-identified danger.

- Rhoadesville, VA, USA

problem #23

Jan 012017


  • 93,200 miles
Car parked on slight uphill incline of house driveway.. started engine, moved automatic transmission selector to D(rive). Transmission went to reverse. Moved transmission lever to N(eutral) and back to D. transmission again went to reverse. Moved selector (shifter) to P(ark) and then to D. this time the transmission responded correctly. Care was stationary during the event.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #22

Dec 012016


  • 120,000 miles
Driving on highway or city streets and car stalls and engine turns off during hard braking. Must come to a complete stop and shift to neutral or park to restart engine. 120,000 miles. Subaru dealer said I needed to replace torque converter and would cost me $1750 dollars. This problem has happened many times.

- Dauphin, PA, USA

problem #21

Jan 012014


  • miles


Car shudders and sounds like engine will die when coming to complete stop. If this were a manual transmission, feels as if clutch should be pushed in. Problem occurs intermittently. Cold or hot engine. Problem became noticeable around 58,000-60,000 mile.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #20

Sep 012016


  • 88,000 miles
Car started stalling after coming to a full stop, at 88,000 miles. Was fine at first start up, and fine when backing out of a parking place or garage, but after driving and coming to a stop at a light or stop sign, or when trying to make a left turn when there was oncoming traffic (this was the really dangerous part), it would stall, requiring me to put it in park to restart the car. First check at service station found nothing wrong in the computer. Took to Subaru dealer on 11/1/2016 and was told I needed a $1,600 repair to the torque converter.

- Exeter, RI, USA

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problem #19

Aug 012016


  • 106,000 miles
Car has been stalling when I come to a stop. Ususally a quick stop. We thought it might be bad gas, clogged fuel injectors which we have addressed. Still stalling. Afraid someone is going to hit me. This has been going on for a couple months now. Also stalls on inclines when I come to stop not going down hill.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #18

Sep 192016


  • 108,650 miles


My car has only 108,650 miles on it and I was told on 9/19/16 that I need a new transmission torque converter. I got a second a opinion which was the same as the first. My car shudders, hesitates and stalls when coming to a stop which creates a safety hazard. It creates great potential for a rear end collision. It started out just doing this rarely and is happening more frequently. This has been happening for about two months. The cost to repair is $1521.24. With this low of mileage, I'm told I should not be having this type of problem. Subaru is aware of the problem as they have issued a service bulletin (16-90-13R). I received no notification from Subaru and only found out about this when it started happening. I googled the term "transmission torque converter" for 2010 Subaru Outback and found this to be a common complaint. I feel this Subaru should be recalling vehicles with this problem and fixing it. I bought my car when it was two years old and it only had 57,000 miles on it. I have since driven it just over 50,000 miles and don't feel I should be dealing with a problem of this severity.

- Bayside, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 202016


  • 93,000 miles
My 2010 Subaru Outback with about 93,000 miles has stalled several times when making a hard stop. It only happens sporadically, but has happened 4 times in the last week. I called the dealership and made an appointment and they said that they have another car in the shop right now with the same issue.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles
We bought our car in 2010 its a Subaru Outback. There has always been an issue with a loss of power. The dealership at the time said it was caused by excessive carbon build up on the pistons. Its now 2016 and the car will stutter and shut off when you are braking at red lights. To try to beat the stutter and stall, I find myself having to ease off the brakes and try to reapply my brakes to see if it won't shut off. I've avoid many accidents but one of these days I won't be so lucky. I feel a rear end accident is coming. This stutter and stall happens any time during the day and in any weather. This morning there was no issue, this afternoon there might be. Usually once the car stutters and stalls the problem goes away for the day. I read some other complaints on nhsta and they are reporting their similar issue as it being a possible torque converter problem. I'm not sure either way since my mileage puts me over the warranty and I don't want an accident to deal with I would like to see what are options to getting this problem taken care since its been doing this since 2010.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #15

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles
When driving and approaching a traffic light the car will begin to stutter as if there is a clog in the system. Then it will shut off. I contacted Subaru regarding the issue when we first had the car because there was always a loss of power. Our model is the Outback 2010. They inspected and said it was a carbon build up in the pistons that would cause this issue. There hasn't been any recalls or Subaru notices about this. Now while driving and coming to a stop the car just turns off. On your site nhsta some other customers have been saying that it could also be a bad torque converter. Either way this issue could cause serious accident if not dealt with. The stutter and shutting off happens any time of the day and cold or hot weather it doesn't matter. Some days it happens more often the others and usually after a few times of shutting off the problem does stop for remainder of the day.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #14

May 022016


  • miles


Vehicle stalls when coming to a hard stop. The condition is similar to coming to a stop in a manual transmission equipped vehicle without depressing the clutch pedal. This seems like a safety issue to me.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #13

May 152016


  • 127,000 miles
Vehicle stalls when coming to a hard stop. Apparently this is a known issue to Subaru since they issued a service bulletin in 2012 - service bulletin # 16-90-13 design change to lock-up type torque converter bulletin description: This bulletin announces the availability of a countermeasure torque converter assembly to address a customer concern of very low engine RPM when coming to a stop. The condition is similar to coming to a stop in a manual transmission equipped vehicle without depressing the clutch pedal. Thrust washer wear inside the torque converter can cause restriction of the oil passage used to bleed off lock-up clutch application pressure. The result is either a delayed (momentary low engine RPM) or no lock-up pressure release. The thrust washer has been changed from a solid bushing-type to a needle bearing type. I'm not sure why this was not a recall since stalling should be considered a safety issue.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 082015


  • 100,000 miles
Cvt transmission. The vehicle predictably stalls while in motion approaching a stop on city streets or on the highway. Electric system remains operational during and after stalling indicating that the issue is unrelated to electrical system. Mechanic believes issue to be now-known and widespread faulty torque converter. Vehicle stalling in traffic has become very dangerous and has nearly caused several accidents.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #11

Sep 192015


  • 93,000 miles
Both right and left cylinder head gaskets defective (blown). Right hand cylinder head cracked.

- Auburn , CA, USA

problem #10

Sep 012015


  • 90,000 miles
Car stalls from rapid braking. Dealer reports the torque converter is defective.

- Weston, CT, USA

problem #9

Nov 012010

Outback 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Subaru Outback steering wheel shimmy and vibration. I purchased my 2010 Subaru Outback new in October of 2010. After driving the vehicle home and spending a few miles getting used to the feel and sensation of a new car, I noticed that the ride of the car was somewhat unsettled, vibrating and shaking at highway speed. I initially attributed this to the new tires and slightly overly inflated tire pressure. I precisely adjusted the tire pressure and spent the next few months waiting for the tires to "settle in" and smooth out. My wife started driving the car regularly and did not mention any issue about the ride. I drove the car several times afterwards and on each trip found the car very very uncomfortable to drive. The ride is noticeable leaving the driveway but is most apparent at highway speed, most especially in low power situations like coasting down descents at greater than 60mph. The steering wheel shakes dramatically in this situation. Thinking that the cause of the shaking was the oem tires, I removed the conti contisport tires and replaced them with Michelin defender xt's from costco. Almost immediately, I noticed that the tires were no smoother than the oem's. I had costco remove and rebalance the tires. The steering wheel shake and vibration remained even after the rebalance. I was about to return the car to costco when I found the link on the Subaru forum about "shaky Subaru" and that the problem was so widespread that a technical service bulletin (tsb) had been issued about the problem, mandating that major modifications be made to the car. I have not been notified by soa about the tsb.

- Louisville, TN, USA

problem #8

May 012010

Outback 6-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R limited, automatic transmission. Upon leaving freeway from 50-60 mph and decelerating on the off ramp to approximately 5-15 mph, there is a definitive slam as the transmission downshifts to 2nd or 1st gear. Also, when decelerating from 30-60 mph and then applying the accelerator there is a 1-2 second delay before the vehicle begins to accelerate. The vehicle then tends to buck, or accelerate faster than intended from the accelerator being depressed further due to no initial acceleration. I took the vehicle to the dealer who said the vehicle "operates as designed", but reset the transmission "memory" anyway so it would "learn" how I drive. This did not improve performance. This issue occurs every time the vehicle is driven at the above stated speeds.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #7

Nov 022009


  • 3,000 miles
After decelerating to approximated 5-15 mph and then applying the accelerator there is a 1-2 second delay before the vehicle begins to accelerate. When it does it tends to buck or accelerate faster than intended as the accelerator was depressed further as there was no acceleration. Driving in city traffic that has almost resulted in a accident dozens of times. There have been two tsb's issued for this known problem one for the engine and one for the transmission, neither one of which has addressed the issue. I have taken the vehicle to two different dealers who state that this is a known issue and that there is no known fix. This issue occurs every time the vehicle is driven at the above stated speeds.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 252012


  • 49,970 miles
Vehicle placed in park and ignition turned off. Engine would not restart. Towed to mechanic. Mechanic restarted after sensing loose ignition connection and noted no other problems. Returned vehicle to owner, parked in garage in park and ignition turned off. Engine would not restart. Mechanic came to home and restarted as before. Driving to repair shop, stopped and placed in park, but left running and exited vehicle. Apparently transmission not actually in park but in reverse and traveled a distance before hitting a tree causing an estimated $9,000 damage to vehicle. Apparently shifter in park but transmission in reverse and loose connection in transmission/ignition communication. Shortly after purchase and delivery of vehicle in 2010, experienced significant recurrent problem believed to be transmission related thought to be fixed.

- Pentwater, MI, USA

problem #5

Nov 182009


  • 300 miles
Engine almost stalls when coming to a stop or (not as often) accelerating from a stop. I have spoken with Subaru technicians at two dealers and both acknowledge that this is a none issue with no known fix. The frequency of the problem is increasing on my car and may become dangerous if a sudden acceleration is required.

- Juno Beach, FL, USA

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