2015 Subaru Outback electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,053 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.

2015 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2015 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #20

Dec 012014


  • 350 miles


Since the car was new, periodically when the vehicle is started, . the blind spot caution/waning system is disabled. This is confirmed by a caution light in the instrument panel. The only way to reactivate the system is to turn off the ignition and restart the engine. If the malfunction is not caught on starting the vehicle the system cannot be activated until the vehicle is stopped and the engine restarted. The problem has been ongoing for two years and 40,000 miles. Every time the vehicle is brought in for service at daryl waltrip Subaru in franklin tn the problem is pointed out to the service manager. Every time I am told by the service rep that there is nothing wrong with the system but they have updated the computer. Recently a relay in the system, part no. 87611al00B, was replaced. This has only exacerbated the problem. I have made multiple calls to Subaru's customer care line and they have not been willing to help. Multiple calls to the service manage at daryl waltrip Subaru in franklin tn have gone unanswered and have not been returned. Subaru customer care has supposedly contacted the service manager at daryl waltrip Subaru requesting that he contact me, he has not. This is a continuing problem.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #19

Oct 022015


  • 20 miles
Two problems. 1. replaced windshield three times in 15 months. Two were original Subaru branded windshields. Original and industry replacement windshield are too brittle and thus unsafe. Any little pebble chips them and they always have a long crack within a few hours. 2. radio system does not always function properly. At times it scrolls down and we are unable to change channels or adjust the volume. The dealer was made aware of the problem in July and would replace it since it is under warranty. Supplier has not responded to send part after four months. Subaru is non responsive to our concerns.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #18

May 012016


  • 20,000 miles
When I pull the express window switch to lift my driver side window, it will go all the way up and then come down about halfway. It will not let me raise the window unless I move the switch down to lower the window. I think the first time it did it was around may, 2016. By July, it was doing more and more often, and the passenger side was also doing the same thing. I took it to the dealer on July 26 and they told me they had to reprogram it. They said if it does it again, just hold the switch up for 5 seconds and that should reprogram it again. That did not help. Both my windows are doing it more often now. When I go back to dealer to have my windshield fixed, I will let them know that my power windows are still not working properly. This problem occurs while I am driving or stationary. It does not do it all the time, but it does it enough times that it is problematic.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #17

Jun 232016


  • 33,500 miles


After being parked and unused for as few as 3 days, the battery drains and the car will not start. This has happened on two occasions. Several other owners of 4 cylinder 2015 Outbacks have reported this issue at www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/344506-dead-battery-2016-a.html

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #16

Jun 292016


  • 12,700 miles
Technician and service advisor informed me that a 80 pin connector that controls the head system had caught on fire and fused two connectors together. I used the HVAC system on my way home from work and parked the vehicle in the garage.if this happened in the garage it could have resulted in a catastrophic house fire.

- Bristol, TN, USA

problem #15

Nov 172015


  • 19,000 miles
Purchased the 2015 Outback in Sept. 2014. Took to back to dealership service dept. October. 24, 2014 because of loud popping noise around windshield especially when bluetooth phone connected. They could not find any problems. Popping noise around windshield continued from time to time. Took back to dealer July 29, 2015 for popping noise around windshield and poor radio am reception. They replaced the radio but am radio reception still not great. Got in the Outback on Nov 17, 2015 and there was a 5" crack on the bottom of the windshield slightly right of the center. A couple of weeks before this I was driving and heard a very loud popping noise. It made me jump as I thought the windshield was going to shatter but nothing happened. I had received a letter from Subaru about windshield cracking problems so I contacted the dealership. I took it in so they could take a picture. At that time I also reported problems with the defroster not keeping the windshield clear especially on rainy days and nights. This problem with the defroster has occurred several times and it was I the lower portion of the windshield. I thought the Subaru had electrical L issues because of the popping, poor am radio reception and the defroster. Now the windshield! this is my first Subaru and possibly last if the problems persist. All of the incidents happened while driving but when I discovered the crack it was parked in the garage. Crack us now about 9".

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #14

Apr 012015


  • 1,000 miles


The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that there was a chemical odor in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be inspected; however, the mechanic was unable to determine origin of the odor. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 062015


  • 900 miles
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5I limited - Monday 6 July 2015 - while driving, the check engine light, collision prevention off light, line warning off light, and X-mode light messages displayed. I had not disengaged the collision prevention or line warning lights and had not engaged the X-mode feature. There was no message indicating no brake lights. Made appointment for Thursday morning 9 July. Based on service advisor's advice that it was ok to drive the car until I brought it in, I drove the car for two days with no brake lights. (discovered this when my wife followed me to the dealer.) there should be a message to alert the driver brake lights are not operable. After service appointment Thursday (flashed computer to clear codes), noticed the vehicle was sluggish. While driving at 60 mph Friday afternoon 10 July sluggishness continued to increase, gear shifting became erratic, then the collision prevention off light and line warning off light messages displayed - but no check engine light. Shortly thereafter the vehicle totally failed to maintain speed or accelerate. Coasted off the exit ramp and called for a tow truck. Do not know whether brake lights were operable while this was occurring. I am aware there is a recall wqs-54 on the eye-sight system (which we showed the dealer service advisor). Having no way to know if brake lights are operable is a severe safety hazard. I have not received any notification from Subaru regarding this recall.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #12

Apr 232015


  • 300 miles
We recently purchased a new 2015 Subaru 3.6 R Outback (currently less than 600 miles) and the srvd (blind spot & rear cross traffic detection) system keeps malfunctioning. This happens when the vehicle is started and does not go away when driving. A small yellow " I " icon displays in the instrument cluster but is easy to overlook since there is no audible warning. The system starts working again if the car is stopped, and the engine is turned off and on - until of course the next random failure. This is a case of a "false negative" error, because the the side blind-spot mirrors indicate that the sides are clear to pass, when they may be not. It would have been preferable with a "false positive" error, namely the side blind-spot mirrors indicate that the sides are not clear to pass even if they are! what is truly alarming is that the dealer was not able to replicate the problem codes even after keeping the car overnight for further test drives. Since my family has come to rely on this safety system it is potentially a very serious hazard. I hope Subaru takes this matter seriously and (unlike Toyota) alerts all their customers immediately before it is too late, and comes up with a fix asap.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #11

May 022015


  • 1,600 miles
We stopped to have lunch and 30 minutes later the car battery as dead or so it seemed as it wouldn't turn over. We had to call highway safety to come and he jumped it off. We got some an hour later and then we went to our son's house for another hour and when we tried to start it again it was dead. Our son sorta rocked the car from side to side and then it would crank. On our wy home we stopped at the grocery store and got milk and then it was dead again. A man jumped it off again. Next day as we were taking the car to our Subaru dealer it started right up. Still we took it on in to our midland, tx dealer and they could find nothing wrong! we are elderly 87 and 83 and can't take much more of this kind of trouble. (nothing is wrong) we sat 3 hours in the sun on sat as we waited for road side service. Please help.

- Andrews, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 032015


  • 3,400 miles


The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while the vehicle was on, the front window defroster caused the front windshield to crack. The crack was located in the middle of the windshield and extended upward. Also, the contact indicated that the plastic exterior panel near the window melted. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 3,400...updated 06/09/15

- Glen Cove, NY, USA

problem #9

Feb 182015


  • 1,021 miles
I have had 3 intermittent start up issues when the temperature is below 0 degrees on my new 2015 Outback. It occurs after a short trip, less than 10 miles. When I went back to try and start the car the first time the door is open bell chimed, but the car would not start up.the heater, radio and other electronics were not showing on the screen. The third time the car key would not even turn in the ignition. I left the key in the ignition and 10 minutes later the car would start. Being stranded in below 0 conditions is a scary proposition! I have read on the Subaru.org thread that there is a relay switch issue.

- Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #8

Feb 122015


  • 1,200 miles
Two issues; the similarly reported electrical stop. Started car on cold morning, drove short distance, dropped kids off at school. Went to restart, and car was completely dead. Had to jump it. Second issue; burning oil smell in cabin. Oil level was fine, and smell not coming from tail pipe. Took car to shop today for the oil smell, and I told them about the electrical stop. They said the electrical issue is related to needing to replace 4 relays. The oil smell, however, is due to a bad crankcase seal that they said failed most likely due to the cold. I found similar reports on subaruoutback.org/forums/

- South Royalton, VT, USA

problem #7

Jan 152015


  • 2,500 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the navigation voice commands failed to activate. As a result, the contact had to constantly look at the screen, which was a distraction. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The contact was unsure about what needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer who diagnosed that all personal data needed to be cleared out as a temporary remedy. The technician stated that there was no remedy for the failure. The failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 2,500.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #6

Feb 162015


  • 2,000 miles
I warmed the car up and drove to shoprite. Twenty minutes later I returned to the car to put the stuff away to go home. When I pressed the button to start the car only the radio started and the message flashed keyless start up deactivated see manual. I saw the manual could, just about understand it, did what it told me nothing changed. I called roadside assistance at Subaru and the lady said it was my battery even though I told her what the message said on the screen. She sent someone to jump the battery.when he arrived 50 minutes later the car started perfectly. I called Subaru service at my dealership, that I have used since 1979. The person I spoke to said he knows nothing about it. I looked on line at the Subaru forum and found others experiencing the same or similar message. I am including their website www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/220162-2015-Outback-not-starting. I want to know if the car resets itself. No one can tell me at Subaru (glannzmans) I have driven Subaru since 1979 and they started all the time. This is the eyesight model supposedly really safe but I do not know when I leave my house if the car will start. I makes me feel not very safe.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 032015


  • 100 miles
Two incidents related to the ignition/electrical system for this car happened during a second start after a short trip in cold weather. Both incidents occurred in temperatures at or below 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The car started and ran normally, then after I drove for short trip (between 5 and 10 minutes long) I parked the car, turned it off and left it for about 5-10 minutes. For the first incident: The car would not start. The accessories, including the heat/fan system and radio worked, but the car would not crank. The dashboard "security immobilizer" indicator flashed as if the key was not in the ignition. After leaving the key in the "on" position for 5 minutes, all of the dashboard lights briefly illuminated and the car was able to start again. The second incident: The car started, but the accessories, including the heat/fan system would not turn on. I was able to drive, but because there was no heat or fan, the windsheild soon began to fog-over, diminishing visibility, disabling the eyesight system, and forcing me to find a safe place to pull over. After the car ran for about 4 minutes total, the accessories turned on again. I have contacted both my dealer and Subaru of America of this problem, and have not yet been advised of a solution other than to avoid short trips in cold weather.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Jan 022015


  • 25 miles
We took delivery of this vehicle on 1/2/2015. It is a 2.5 limited model with eyesight, navigation and keyless ignition. On the day of delivery, the entire electrical system failed and the ignition did not work. The car was returned to the dealer who checked the battery and found nothing wrong. A few weeks later, the same problem occurred. After five minutes, the problem resolved itself. The car was again taken to the dealer who indicated that the problem had been fixed (loose wire/fuse). Today (2/16/2015), the electrical system partially failed. While the ignition worked and some warning lights illuminated (including the air bag warning light). The entire center panel of controls (radio, navigation, climate control, etc.) was disabled. We are concerned because the eyesight system controls braking, acceleration, etc. The air bag warning light illumination is also a concern. We have seen that other Subaru owners are reporting similar chronic issues with their new similarly configured vehicles.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #3

Feb 082012


  • 80,000 miles
Accelerator suddenly became unresponsive resulting in complete slowdown to stop in traffic. Had to shut off vehicle and restart numerous time to get to safe location. Resulted in expensive fix and could have been disastrous if occurred during highway/heavy traffic situation. Apparently was a sensor of some sort. Happened a while ago, so date provided is approximate, but I just became aware of this site.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #2

Dec 172014


  • 1,000 miles
In November 2014, I took delivery of a new 2015 Subaru Outback, 3.6 limited. The vehicle was equipped with the optional premium electronics package, and the eyesight collision avoidance system. After about three weeks of ownership, I started to experience random malfunctions with the key-less ignition, and the key-less entry systems. The ignition problems all involved engine start, and occurred in scenarios where the key-fob wasn't recognized. About the same time, the gps navigation system started to display erroneous locational data, and the associated ┐'starlink┐Ł touch screen system would freeze-up (become inoperable). As of today, I have posted six different videos to youtube to dramatically illustrate the problem. Https://www.youtube.com/watch"V=9mf_rumicqm. I have had the car back to the dealer five times for this problem, and it can't be fixed. I have also met with Subaru, seattle zone service manager. In emails from Subaru's corporate service officials, they refuse to acknowledge the problem exists, despite the videos. Unofficially, the zone service manager acknowledged that some other owners are experiencing the same issue, which he believes is a systemic problem in vehicles with this option combination. He does not know of any solution. My concern is that the eyesight system can override driver commands involving braking, and engine throttle. Will the problems with the gps and starlink touch-screens potentially create a dangerous malfunction of the eyesight system that creates an accident rather than mitigating it"

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #1

Jan 082015


  • 450 miles
After being parked outside overnight with temperatures below 0 degrees F, the vehicle started fine the following morning but had numerous warning lights illuminate (power steering, at oil temperature, among others) while idling in my driveway. Vehicle warmed up for 5 minutes. Once warmed up, owner turned the vehicle off and attempted to restart 20 minutes later. Vehicle would not restart but other electrical components (lights, radio, etc) worked but the starter would not engage. Vehicle towed to dealership for diagnosis of what appears to be an electrical problem.

- New Britain, CT, USA

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