2014 Subaru Outback electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2014 Outback is showing an early trend of problems with hesitation when accelerating.

The vast majority of owners experiencing this problem have reported that Subaru has not been able to find the cause of the engine hesitation, or fix the problem.

Especially because this is a potential safety defect, we are flagging the 2014 Outback as a model year to watch out for.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,302 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.

2014 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2014 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 242015


  • 1,400 miles


On or about Nov 24, 2015, an ignition problem developed. When turning the ignition switch there was no power. With each turn, more and more power turned until it finally started. According to sheehy Subaru, springfield, va, there was nothing wrong with the vehicle and stated "I needed to start the car ever couple of days." About 2 weeks later, reynolds GMC Subaru came and picked up the car and said there was technical bulletin out for this problem (I was not able to locate) and they have fixed twenty other cars with this same problem. The car was fine until January 11, 2016, the car started exhibiting the same ignition issues. I contacted reynolds who contacted Subaru engineers who said not to have my foot on the gas pedal when I turn the ignition key. The vehicle starts with a foot on the gas pedal or not. They stated the car was designed not to start with a foot on the pedal. I was called back and then told the Subaru engineers said the problem is intermittent, some vehicles have this problem and others don't. deal with it. The car has 15K miles and is almost brand new and has major electrical problems. On Tuesday, January 12th, 2015, dash instructions began flashing on and off. That is not normal. Prior to having nitrogen put in the tires, the car constantly pulled to the right and lost air pressure weekly. But now I am very concerned about the electrical problems. Subaru has been notified.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #8

May 072015


  • 20,400 miles
For the past few days, my vehicle many times hesitates for at least 3-5 seconds when trying to accelerate from a stop/rest at a stop light, almost cause accident when trying to enter into an intersection. It seems to happen around 2000 - 3000/RPM. The car even exhibited slight jerky when at the start of accelerating up a slight sloppy hill. This is serious issue as accident is imminent when the car has no acceleration when trying to get going in traffic. This issue is commonly experienced by other drivers (online forum) : www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/98450-2014-Outback-acceleration-hesitation.html

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 222015


  • 10,050 miles
On 3/22/15 while approaching a stop sign the electric parking brake locked on at 10 mph. After pulling off to the side of the road and releasing and applying the parking brake several times it finally released while the check engine and flashing brake light remained on. After shutting the vehicle off for 10 minutes the system reset to normal. The system remained normal until arriving at a Subaru dealer on 3/24/15 when the same problem occurred. The dealer took control, identified and replaced a relay and several sensors. The car performed normal until 4/1/15 when the same problem occurred while traveling 25 mph. After stopping and releasing and applying the parking brake several times the system reset but the check engine, brake and cruise control lights remained steady or flashing. After letting the vehicle set for a period of time the system reset itself. Another appointment has been made at the dealer for 4/6/15. The concern is that if the parking brake locks at high speed or in heavy traffic it could cause a serious accident.

- Wellsboro, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 042014


  • 3,800 miles


The car does not stay on. Started the car by turning the key to the "start" position from the "on" position. The car starts but once the key moves back to "on", the car stops. This is the second time I've been stranded by this occurrence. After 20-30mins, the car starts again. Both incidents occurred when it was relatively hot (+85 degrees F). Seems to be an ignition issue.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 062014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 11,528 miles
Zero oil pressure (red) indicator light illuminated at safe and prudent operating speed. Low oil indicator light (yellow) never illuminated. Light remained on for three miles, one at speed 55 mph to zero and two at 20 mph. Then went out. Inspection of oil level showed level approximately one centimeter above low level marker on dipstick. Addition of.5 quart us raises level to approximately one centimeter below full level marker on dipstick. Vehicle returned to dealership; had full oil service performed 2,500 miles ahead of scheduled service. Dealership claims "sensor resistance is high, will R&R." dealer failed to provide empirical oil pressure psi reading despite request. Part replacement yet to be done.

- Gary, IN, USA

problem #4

Jun 022010


  • 7,000 miles
Upon inspecting the trailer hitch and wiring loom that the reno, nv, Subaru dealer installed from their inventory, the wiring loom and connector which connects to a trailer's loom was found to be hanging freely in the wind. The trailer's loom runs both brake lights and tail lights. The loom was attached to the trailer hitch with a single plastic wiring tie which went thru the whole in the trailer hitch intended for the attachment of the trailer's safety chains. The plastic tie used was of the type normally used to hold a group of wires together. Upon attaching the safety chains, the plastic tie which supported the wiring loom, came in contact with the metal safety chain hook. Nowhere on the hitch was there any metal bracket to attach the wiring loom plug to prevent the loom from swinging in the breeze. If the plastic tie were to break or be worn thru by abrasion of the safety chain hook the wiring loom would drag of the ground and the brake and tail lights on the trailer would no longer function. The plastic tie which was the only support for the wiring loom and could not be expected to withstand the environment conditions it would be subjected to like; wind, rain, snow, mud, nor could it withstand constant abrasion from the safety chain hook. The wiring loom was attached to the safety chain bracket hole 3 or 4 inches from the plug which terminated the loom. This created a pinch point in the wiring loom where it was attached to the safety chain bracket. As the loom would swing in the wind, the copper wires would be caused to bend at the pinch point and break. Normally, a pinch point is avoided by firmly attaching the plug at the end of the wiring loom. The defects mentioned above will certainly cause unexpected brake light and tail light failure. This product should be recalled.

- Truckee, CA, USA

problem #3

May 292014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 925 miles


This is an update: Dealer called us to have [xxx] drive the car with a service technician present ( tech named [xxx]) car was driven aprox 5-6 miles without incident...system did not fault. Dealer told us they have been on the phone with Subaru tech center & completed all the test procedures but have not been able to duplicate any of the brake-check/ engine faults experienced 3 on 5/22 or 1 on 5/23/2014. [xxx] service coordinator is not certain what else can be done at the dealership. We asked if the vehicle was safe once the system faulted & the electronic stabilization & traction control system are shut down ( as a result of the fault). I asked them not to guess when they answered this question. Dealership has decided to keep the car an additional day for additional testing. They are trying to get the system to fault while under test procedure. The dealership appears to have exhausted all the standard procedures to determine root cause. It seems Subaru factory must get involved with this vehicle beyond the dealership telephone calls. Our concern is a vehicle will be returned to us in an condition which may prove to be unsafe...since they have done all they can on the telephone. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Hudson, OH, USA

problem #2

May 232014


  • 815 miles
This is the second incident where the electric parking brake light indicates the brake has been set & not released. The car was towed into dealership yesterday (5/22/2014) for same reason. Dealer stated they spoke with Subaru & were unable to find any reason for the fault. They stated computer indicated the brakes were not engaged but that this same system does disable the electronic stability control when this fault occurs. We are very concerned the vehicle is safe to drive despite the assurances of the service manager ( [xxx]) that the vehicle is safe (no worries). The instrument light on the panel also flashes "check engine light at the same time light flashes indicating parking brake has been set & not released. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Hudson, OH, USA

problem #1

May 232014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 800 miles
The electronic parking brake engages while the vehicle is underway. When the fault is cleared and driving resumes the electronic parking brake again engages. The mfg ( Subaru) provides a small tool & instructions how to crawl under the car, use the tool to mechanically release the electric parking brake. If a tool is provided along with instructions in the owner manual how to release a faulty electronic parking brake ( which may engage while the vehicle is under way ) this is a clear warning of a possible unsafe operating condition. The car had to be towed to the dealership for repair. The dealership tells us ( this parking brake problem has never happened) the tow truck operator tells us towing vehicles to dealerships because of faulty electronic parking brakes is a major part of his business.

- Hudson, OH, USA

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