fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,131 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 WRX drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2015 Subaru WRX Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 032016


  • 22,000 miles


I am a 44 year old woman, driving a 2015 WRX. I have only owned and driven manual transmissions my entire life. My last car, a Mazda 3, I drove to 110,000 miles and the clutch never went out. My 2015 WRX is at 22,000 and the clutch is being replaced. A bearing went bad and did damage to the clutch. The dealership is putting a new clutch in the vehicle.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 092016


  • 18,000 miles
Driving on the freeway during rush hour and tried to downshift (manual transmission) from 6th gear to 3rd since traffic slowed down but the shifter won't go into gear and I was going up hill. I tried 4th, 5th, 3rd again, 2nd, and I'm slow enough to try even 1st and still won't go into gear. Fortunately I had enough momentum to get to the shoulder going up hill in the freeway. I had it towed to the dealer and the service rep could not shift it into gear also. He was able to put it into the service bay by turning off the engine, putting it into gear, turning on the engine and driving it. At that point it shifts just fine and was told to let them know if it happens again. This is a big safety concern for me if it happens again since I won't be able to shift/accelerate to avoid obstacles or prevent accidents. There are times when I've felt that it's been a little hesitant to get into gear.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 012016


  • 28,000 miles
Manual transmission car. About 28000 miles when the issue happened. After driving about 10 miles, while coming to a stop in a traffic light the car could not be shifted to neutral from 5th gear. Clutch operated normally so I stopped using the clutch, while trying to shift out of 5th hear. As the light turned green I moved to the side of the road. Moving slowly in 5th gear caused clutch to smell, but continues operating. After stopping the engine and starting it again and pressing and depressing clutch multiple times while trying to shift, shifter eventually went to neutral and then shifted normally for a month. After about a month, in similar conditions after driving several miles, while stopping at traffic light, the car would not shift to neutral from 3rd gear. Tried starting and stopping the car and pressing and releasing clutch, and still could not shift out of 3rd. Since I was about 1 mile from home, drove car to home in 3rd gear. Had the car towed to dealership, and they disassembled the transmission and found some part of the differential had broken, causing the issue. Car was repaired under warranty by the dealer. If the shifting issue had occurred during highway driving could be a hazard. I am reporting this issue as it seems other owners have the same symptoms.

- Lakeway, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 132014


  • 24,000 miles


On my 24K service. Vehicle was checked in at briggs Subaru of lawrence, for typical recommended service. After leaving the service center once the service was completed, a short while down the road, I came to a stop at a red light placing the car in neutral. When the light turned green, I was unable to shift into gear to continue. I had to call the service center, and they had to pay for the tow back to the service center. Where a service tech joined me outside, he then proceeded to start the vehicle, while in neutral; revved the RPM to roughly 5K and shifted into first. The vehicle made a terrible grinding sound, lurched forward, and was able to be shifted normally at this point. This stalling\inability to shift into gear\downshift has happened on subsequent adventures in the WRX, while moving and at a stop after this point. At each designated service interval, I reported this to my service advisor; they could never replicate the issue. Proceeding to the 60K service, the clutch has since failed, and Iżve had numerous stalls where I was unable to shift into gear, the certified Subaru repair center, states this is not covered under warranty and in no way does my previous issues with not shifting into gear effect the clutch or any interconnected part thereof. Just imagine having this stalling or clutch failure happen while accelerating to get on the freeway or a busy intersection, like I myself have experienced. This is a major safety concern.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #5

Sep 202015


  • 13,000 miles
Once, three months after purchasing, and a second time eight months later, my vehicle suddenly would not enter gears from neutral. In the first event, the car was still warming up, driving quickly. In the second event, the car was at running temperature, driven for one hour, driving conservatively. In both situations, I had to pull over to the side of the road and call a tow. ~1 hour later, the vehicle worked fine. No burnt clutch smell, no change in the feeling of the clutch/gears. Dealership could not replicate the problem, corporate is denying the problem.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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problem #4

Dec 082014


  • 5,332 miles
Purchased the vehicle new with less than ten miles on odometer. From new, the vehicle produced a strong odor of burning or melting plastic every time it was driven. Clutch began slipping and then catastrophically failed at 5100 miles. Towed to dealership, clutch replaced. At 7,200 miles, clutch throw-out bearing failed, dealer replaced. At 11,709 miles, throw out bearing failed again, dealer discovered clutch was on the verge of second failure during service. A second replacement clutch has been ordered. Advised by service manager that cause of all failures was that a "plug" of some sort had worked loose, causing clutch to remain engaged at all times, leading to clutch failure. If clutch failure occurred at intersection or rail crossing, this manufacturing defect could lead to the severe injury or even the death of occupants in the disabled vehicle, as this failure renders the vehicle immobile.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #3

Nov 172014

WRX 4-cyl

  • 145 miles


Son had just purchased car. Took the car to an area which had an unplowed parking area to test the handling of the car in the snow. Car died while driving and there was an immediate strong smell of the clutch burning. Could not start the car with the car in gear and the clutch pushed in. Car would only start in neutral. When car started could not get the car to go into gear. Was able to get the car push started and driven approx. 0.2 miles to a secure area and then had car towed to dealership where the clutch was found to be burned out. Dealership claims it was driver's error but they sent pictures to me and it looks like the damage does not line up with what they say the problem was.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #2

Sep 112014

WRX 4-cyl

  • 6,200 miles
Automatic transmission was in manual mode. Left stop sign and used the upshift paddle shifter to change gears. Car would not upshift. Has occurred 4 times in this 6200 miles since purchased.

- Oakley, CA, USA

problem #1

May 162014


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru WRX. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph, the manual transmission failed to respond with a strong burned clutch odor. There were no prior warnings. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and towed to an authorized dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 1,500.

- Laredo, TX, USA

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