2013 Subaru Outback electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Outback has a problem with excessive oil consumption.

A class action lawsuit is pending that alleges Subaru's "FB" engine has defective piston rings which causes oil to leak past the rings & burn up at an excessive rate. More information about the class action is available here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,309 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.

2013 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 102017


  • 64,000 miles


Elderly woman nearly ran us off the road. Horn wouldn't work. Barely avoided crash. Reliable Subaru in springfield, mo charged us $117 for diagnostic and didn't fix: No part on hand. If I had okayed, it would have cost another $548 to repair, total of $665 to fix what I regard as a safety issue. Art fletcher Subaru in joplin, mo repaired for $237. My opinion: This is a safety issue that Subaru should pay for. Horn problems with Subaru are commonplace.

- Macomb, MO, USA

problem #9

Jul 012017


  • 90,000 miles
Have replaced the low beam H7 bulb 5 times this year and has even blow less than 1 hour after fixed by a Subaru dealership. Tail lights have been replaced 3 times in 8 month. High beam lights 3 times in the past 12 months. Fixtures twice. Charred from extreme amp spikes in wires. Now to top it all off entire wiring harness for passenger side is out.

- Evans Mills, NY, USA

problem #8

May 162016


  • 108,610 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. While the vehicle was in operation, the check engine, ABS, and oil warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed as a locked up duty solenoid circuit failure. The part needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 108,610.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 122015


  • 27,640 miles


Upon noticing a blown 3rd tail light(one of the tail lights on the rear hatch/door of the wagon, ) I disassembled and found that the sockets on both sides(left and right 3rd tail-light sockets) were scorched around where the bulbs fit into them. The discoloration was brown/black and was present not only on the socket with the blown bulb but also the other, working side. Dealer replaced blown bulb and made no comment on scorched bulb sockets. It almost appears as if they were so heated they were ready to melt or burn the plastic. Car has been in service for 27 months and has 27K mostly city driving on it. Happy to provide photos of the affected sockets to anyone investigating or concerned.

- Potomac , MD, USA

problem #6

Aug 042014


  • 5,000 miles
Passenger side airbag indicator light and alarm go off whether passenger is in the seat or not. Intermittently, when I start the car, the indicator light flashes and then remains lit. If the car is driven in this state, the alarm sounds at speeds over 25/30 mph. Subaru doesn't know how to trouble shoot.

- Sunnyvale , CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 022014


  • 35,700 miles
Prior to this incident, I had noticed several occasions where the engine would suddenly rev for no reason while I was driving at a slow speed or braking. This incident happened on Dec 2, 2014 at approx. 7:40am eastern time. As I was approaching the security check-in gate at my job, traveling about 10 mph, I depressed the brake to slow down and wait for the gate to open. As I was slowing down, the engine suddenly rev'd to maximum and the car accelerated and lurched forward. I was not able to stop or control the car and it crashed through the security barrier gate. No one was injured and there was no damage done to the car, but the metal arm of the gate was severely bent. I took the vehicle to my Subaru dealer several days later to be inspected and report the incident. The dealer said there was a problem with the engine control module (ECM) and updated the software. Since then, the car has run smoothly with no further acceleration problems. The ECM update also seemed to solve a problem I had experienced where the car had difficulty starting up.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Apply brakes while in motion and car door locks open. Passenger complained when getting out of car that they got a shock.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #3

Mar 062013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 4,500 miles
With the eyesight system, Outback may start braking when you are coming up on another car or trying to pass it, even though you are moving away from the vehicle to pass it and are not endanger of an accident. Very annoying at times and forces you to disable it but might be worthwhile if it didn't go off just from coming near vehicles. I suppose they don't want it to go off too late. The seat/headrest is the bigger problem.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 192013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 5,312 miles
The navigation system overrides the safety backup camera with messages when the car is in reverse. This is very dangerous since the navigation system can display a message on the screen and completely obscure the backup camera display while backing up. This happens every time I start my car and begin to backup. The backup camera comes on when I put the car in reverse but as I'm backing up, the navigation system displays messages from my bluetooth phone connection and I can't see what is behind me via the backup camera. Nothing should override the backup camera when the car is in reverse.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 252012

Outback 6-cyl

  • 325 miles
Made a turn and was halfway down the block going approximately 15 mph when the engine suddenly shut off. The instrument gauge lit up with all sorts of annunciators. I was able to pull over to a safe location and park. The following annunciators were flashing; at oil temp, cruise control indicator, and the brake light. The following annunciators were lit solid; check engine warning light /malfunction indicator light and the vehicle dynamics control warning light. Turned off vehicle. Waited. Turned engine on and the annunciators were still present and the instrument gauge remained unchanged.

- Oakland, CA, USA

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