2010 Subaru Outback steering NHTSA complaints: Steering

NHTSA — Steering Problems

2010 Subaru Outback (Page 2 of 2)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,533 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Apr 142010


  • 100 miles


Our 2010 3.6R Outback arrived in Apr. The first time that the vehicle was taken on the highway, I noticed a prominent high frequency vibration in the steering wheel. There is also unusual feedback in the steering wheel at slower speeds that feels unlike anything related to road noise. I researched the "problem" on the internet and seen that there were many forums identifying the same problem for 2010 Outbacks. I informed our local Subaru service dept. About the vibration and made an appointment. A Subaru service technician confirmed the vibration during a test drive and recommended a spin balance. After reading all the complaints and proposed "fixes" on the internet, I told them that I was not confident that a spin balance was going to be successful. I asked the service dept. Manager if they had been informed/aware of the ongoing problems and she denied having any previous knowledge of steering vibration issues with any Outbacks. The spin balance added a multitude of stick-on weights to all four wheels (some exceed 9 in. In length). The invoice said that a follow-up test drive by a technician produced normal steering as designed. A test drive home from the dealership on the highway again produced the same high frequency vibration. I informed the service dept. Immediately and the vehicle was again left there this morning. I produced several pages of complaints found on the internet identifying this issue. They made copies of them and told me that they were going to contact soa factory engineers. The bottom line is this. The vibration is prominent enough to cause fatigue and numbness in the hands on extended drives. There is also a concern of what may fail and cause a loss of steering or vehicle control. The faulty component needs to be identified and the issue fixed by soa immediately. Soa has tried a number of fixes without success (spin-balance, forced balance, alignment, backlash spring, wheel bearing, steering pump, replace out-of-round tires).

- The Dalles, OR, USA

problem #16

Mar 162010


  • 90 miles
I purchased a Subaru Outback 2.5I premium (manual transmission) on 03/15/2010 and noticed moderate to severe steering wheel and front driver's side wheel vibration above 40mph on the second day. I subsequently checked tire pressure on all four tires, gave the car some time to "break in", and tested various road conditions and speeds to determine if the problem is more pronounced under certain conditions. The vibration can be felt at speeds above 50mph on the front driver and passenger side floors, seats, and in the steering wheel, with the intensity increasing with speed, regardless of road smoothness. After the car didn't self-correct, I scheduled an appointment at the dealership for 04/26/2010 to do an initial/routine check of the car. They rebalanced all four tires and said that should fix it, but asked that I advise any future issues. The vibration remains, but at speeds above 60mph (a mere 10mph increase) from both the steering wheel and tires, and - as before - is increasingly noticeable at higher speeds and during rain/wet weather. I called the dealer and have scheduled another appointment to address this vibration issue. I will post a follow-up once this service is complete.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #15

Mar 282010


  • 1,700 miles
Starting from 1,700 miles, this car started developing the vibration on the steering wheel. This vibration/shimmy is more pronounced on highway (>70mph) but noticeable in other speeds. I have owned a couple of vehicles and this kind of shimmy/vibration has never happened on any cars that I owned/drove. I am 100% sure it is not normal road feel and it didn't happen during the first 1,700 miles. Also, the car doesn't track straight and drifts on highway. Two alignments, tire balancing and rotation have been done but the vibration and drifting persist. I definitely consider the steering wheel vibration and drifting a safety issue since it totally isolated the road feel on highway. Also, I just can¿T seem to have a confident control on the car during highway driving. Recently I came across the following forum for Subaru Outback owners and found this is a widespread issue for quite a few 2010 Outbacks. Please refer to the following thread. www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?S=&threadid=20843&perpage=20&pagenumber=1.

- Richmond Hill, 00, USA

problem #14

Mar 202010


  • 3 miles


Purchased brand-new Subaru Outback-3.6 limited in late March 2010. At time of delivery (prior to signing papers), I notified the dealer of steering vibration. The dealer assured me that this was due to the need for the tires to break-in and to call service if it continued. The vehicle only had 3 miles on delivery. The steering vibration continued and I returned to service for a "potential solution" to the problem. Unfortunately, this did not resolve the problem and I was notified by the service manager and soa that it may take several attempts to resolve since they do not know how to fix the problem. The vibration can actually be felt in the floor as a driver or passenger. The intensity of the vibration increases if you drive over bumpy roads. (almost as if something was loose in the front end) the frequency of the vibration increases at different speeds and is not predictable. What concerns me more than the vibration is the occasional pull to the right. Almost feels like I hit a patch of ice and need to hold tight to the steering to avoid an accident. With concern for safety, I now drive with 2 hand on the wheel at all times in fear of the potential for an accident. At present, I am awaiting notice from the dealer on a "part" to arrive for the second round of attempts to resolve the problem.

- Old Saybrook, CT, USA

problem #13

Mar 282010


  • 1,200 miles
Steering wheel has considerable vibration at highway speeds over 60mph. During prolonged driving my hands become stressed due to the vibration and it inhibits the ability to drive the car safely. The car has only 1200 miles on it. Submitted complaint to Subaru and BBB.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 252010


  • 2,400 miles
Steering shake & shimmy

- East Aurora, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 152010


  • 200 miles


Steering wheel shake that has not been repairable. The slight vibration can also be felt in the car.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #10

Sep 232009


  • 10 miles
I purchased Subaru Outback 2.5I premium on 09/23/2009 and noticed a steering wheel vibration above 50 mph speed 1st day. Called dealer and scheduled appointment for 09/25/2009. They rebalanced tires, and it did not have a vibration under 80mph. About month latter, I noticed vibration around 70 mph, and I called a dealer, service manager told me they can not road test vehicle above legal speed limit. After I installed winter tires, problem was gone for about a month (under 80mph), then it started coming back. I just scheduled appointment with dealer (burlington Subaru, vt) for 03/25/2010, as vibration is noticeable at speed above 50 mph. This should be a recall based on number of complaints.

- Jericho, VT, USA

problem #9

Dec 152009


  • 250 miles
Brand new 2010 Subaru Outback has a shimmy problem. The steering wheel shimmies and when making a wide turn, often the steering feels like you hit an ice patch, even tho the road is dry. Subaru is and was aware of these problems before production, and sold them anyway.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #8

Sep 102009


  • 250 miles
2010 Subaru Outback. This vehicle has a steering wheel shake since 250 miles on the odometer. Most evident above 60 mph but present below. Despite multiple tire balances, road force balances, the problem persists. It causes me fatigue driving on the highway. The tires are not defective. Apparently this problem has occurred to 30% of the owners of this year/model vehicle based on survey done by the forum of Subaru owners.

- Deerfield Beach, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 122010


  • 500 miles


Steering wheel vibration/grabbing at speeds starting at 50mph and above. Vibration/grabbing and releasing in turns from a stopped starting position to sudden releasing. At speeds of 50 mph and above car can and will suddenly deviate left or right without any steering input to 10-15* deviation.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 302009


  • 20 miles
My 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5I limited develops unsafe steering and handling at highway speeds. The steering wheel shakes and vibrates and all steering feel is lost. When this occurs, this car wanders and, with the absence of steering feel and the shaking of the steering wheel, it is very difficult to keep the car's direction stable. This is a definite hazard in high speed driving. At lower speeds the steering and handling are fine. Repeated rebalancing of the wheels has not fixed the problem. Switching to winter tires did not fix the problem. The problem seems to vary to some extent with small changes in tire inflation above or below the manufacturer's recommendation, but it cannot be cured by playing with tire pressure. My car was purchased in July 2009 and the steering and highway wandering problem has been present since the beginning.

- Quicny, MA, USA

problem #5

Mar 022010


  • 500 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) 2010 Subaru Outback premium 2.5I steering wheel vibration issues, and also vehicle floats to the right and left. You sometimes have to countersteer. Today was traveling in straight line, and all of a sudden it moved to the right suddenly. Almost causing an accident. Alot of Subaru people are having this same problem. Think we need to look into this. [xxx]

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #4

Oct 122009


  • miles
There is an continuous vibration and shimmy in the front-end and steering wheel of my 2010 Subaru Outback that since new (Oct 2009) has not been able to be rectified by Subaru mechanics, even with cooperation by Subaru of America. This vibration can sometimes be dramatic through the steering wheel at highway speeds, and causes erratic drivability, especially in adverse conditions. This vibration may also cause premature wear on front tires, steering and suspension components that could lead to failure and injury, especially at highway speeds. In fact, Subaru initially blamed the tire manufacturer - Continental - for the issue, stating the tires were defective, and had Continental issue replacement tires for my Outback. This did solve the problem. If this problem is researched on popular and respectable automotive web sites, one can find that it has been affecting a considerable amount of 2010 Subaru Outbacks and to date, no owners have had their issue resolved by Subaru of America. Many other owners reported Subaru of America replacing what were considered "defective" Continental tires, with another set of exact tires from Continental. I am worried that this issue is not getting enough exposure and may take an unfortunate accident for anyone to seriously take notice. I have a customer service case open with Subaru, but it is evident from my repeated conversations with them that they are being evasive with where they are in fixing this issue, and I have now become deeply concerned for the safety of my family. They want to try another 'fix', but that will not be until mid-March, with no guarantee of resolution. This is a brand new car with only 6,000 miles on it, and I have been thoroughly disappointed with the issues it has had. This vehicle was heavily influenced by Toyota, who owns a considerable percentage of Subaru...if this says anything.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #3

Dec 152009


  • 400 miles
The 2010 Subaru Outback exhibits extremely poor handling at highway speeds. When traveling at normal highway speed, the steering wheel vibrates, and the car feels like it's at its limit. The car also tracks very poorly wanting to wander towards the shoulder, and is severely jostled around in crosswinds. When it encounters a stiff cross wind the car makes a sudden move, and there is a loss of road feel when the wind subsides and the car returns to normal. This sensation causes a possible over correction by the driver. Multiple attempts for repair have failed to correct these problems.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #2

Oct 012009


  • 5 miles
Serious vibration problems in 2010 Subaru Outback. Upon delivery, would say it was dangerous at anything over 45mph. After multiple fixes, is now down to a much more moderate vibration, most notable at 65-70mph in the steering wheel. The steering wheel oscillates over approx a 1/8" range, with a period of around 3 pulses per second. It is unnerving when driving, and certainly can not be good over a longer period for the integrity of affected parts.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 012010


  • 3,000 miles
My 2010 Subaru Outback has a shaking/vibration issue, this issue only happens at certain speeds. It seems early build models of the Outback has this issue. Check out this forum, and you can see.. www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?S=&threadid=20843 Subaru has performed the following actions on my car, they have road forced balanced the tires, and they have installed a heavier spring in the steering wheel. Despite this being done, the issue remains with my Outback. A simple test drive is all that is required to see the issue. When you hit certain speeds the car will start to vibrate, and the steering wheel starts to shake, if you let go of the wheel, the car immediately pulls to the left, not good. Subaru of America agreed to buy back my car, if the spring fix did not solve the problem, it did not. Below is the email I received from soa. From: Subaru of America, Inc. [mailto:custdlrservices@Subaru.com] sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:39 pm [xxx] as a follow up to our conversation this afternoon should the spring set that ramsey Subaru is installing on your 2010 Subaru Outback fail to address the vibration complaint Subaru of America will offer to repurchase your vehicle as a gesture of goodwill. After the spring set is installed the dealership will test drive the vehicle to determine if the issue has or has not been resolved. Sincerely, Subaru of America, Inc.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

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