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Rear Suspension Problems of Subaru Outback



Subaru Outback owners have reported 49 problems related to rear suspension (under the suspension category).

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2001 Subaru Outback 1
Failure Date: 04/20/2012

My vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign 03v153000, which resulted in manufacturer recall wwm96-rear. This recall was performed on my vehicle on 4/13/2004 at 36,339 miles with the intended purpose of halting premature rust-out of the rear sub-frame component. In the process of recently replacing exhaust components at approximately 130,000 miles it was noted that the rear sub-frame component is now perforated by rust even though similar components are not, which would seem to indicate that the original repair was not adequate. An exchange of emails and telephone calls with Subaru of America has resulted in a decision by them to decline repair or replacement of the component at their expense due to the age of the vehicle. The only remedy offered was a $500 credit toward the purchase of a new Subaru. Since replacement is not an option for me at this time I have no choice but to continue operating the vehicle in its current condition. My safety concern is that in operating the vehicle to what I consider a reasonable point (200,000 miles), the consequence noted in campaign 03v153000 may occur. I have pictures of the sub-frame component and copies of the email exchange with Subaru of America which I can send to you if you so desire.

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car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2002 Subaru Outback 2
Failure Date: 04/17/2012

The contact owns a 2002 Subaru Outback sport. While having the vehicle examined, the contact was informed that the sub frame had begun to rust and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not serviced. The current and failure mileages were 152,000. Updated 05/09/12.

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car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2000 Subaru Outback 3
Failure Date: 06/13/2011

The contact owns a 2000 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the rear cross bar was rusted. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 03v153000 (suspension:rear) for the same failure. The manufacturer was contacted who advised that the vehicle was previously repaired at their expanse and no further assistance would be offered. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 130,000.

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car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2003 Subaru Outback 4
Failure Date: 03/16/2011

The contact owns a 2003 Subaru Outback. The contact stated she took the vehicle in to the dealer for a regular maintenance when the mechanic noticed that the front and rear suspension was corroded and would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted who did not offer any assistance stating that the vehicle was not included in recalls associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 03v153000 (suspension:rear) and NHTSA campaign id number: 03v232000 (suspension:front). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 86,000.

See all problems of the 2003 Subaru Outback.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 5
Failure Date: 03/01/2011

2008 Subaru Outback 2. 5i driving straight on compacted snow or icy roads starting at approx. 35mph. Rear of vehicle feels as if traction is breaking loose and fishtailing. Tires are 1 year old and made for snow/ice conditions and alignment was done 2 weeks prior. Problem is exacerbated when additional passengers or weight is added to vehicle. Unable to drive over 40-45 mph; 2-wheel drive compacts passing me in an Outback on a flat snow covered road due to inability to maintain control at speed. Alignment was done to correct the problem from a road trip one month prior to this occurance. No similar road condition driving between the two.

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car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 6
Failure Date: 01/10/2011

Rear end of the vehicle fishtails when driving straight on an icy road. I have read many similar reports and experienced the issue somewhat, but today driving with a full passenger load was truly terrifying. The rear wheels would sway suddenly and completely without warning, sometimes feeling very close to the point of losing control on the interstate. I have lots of experience with driving various vehicles (including other late model Subarus) in icy conditions and can state with absolute certainty that there is a dangerous problem with this car.

See all problems of the 2005 Subaru Outback.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 7
Failure Date: 01/08/2011

Driving on icy/snowy roads, the back end sways/"ghost walks" extremely dangerously probably 2-3" each way regardless of braking/turning/straightaway/accelerating. We were driving along with a 2wd vehicle from WI to mt which handled significantly better than the Outback (which is supposed to be the top of the line winter car). Had brand new (300 miles) quality all weather tires and an alignment. The car actually appears to be doing this now in dry conditions as well when I encounter bumps at highway speeds. The feeling of safety is severely lacking.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 8
Failure Date: 12/23/2010

Ghostwalking Subaru Outback, 2008. Driving my family (2 adults, 2 teens) to a family event, along with luggage, experienced rear end sway back and forth uncontrollably while driving on slightly slick roads (slushy conditions). It felt like rear end was swaying into traffic in adjacent lane. It was extremely unnerving. Occurs in speeds above 50 km/h. Problem continued while driving above 50 km/h with slick road. Had to slow down below 50 km/h on highway (which is illegal).

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 9
Failure Date: 12/03/2010

2005 Subaru Outback exhibits a serious of stability when driving at a steady speed on the highway when there is the slightest degradation of traction. The rear of the vehicle will begin to sway from side to side on flat and straight road surfaces if the roads are wet from rain or even with a light dusting of snow. On December 3 2010 I was driving north on I-75 north of flint michigan, there was occasional light snow flurries that were barely coating the road surface. I was driving at the posted speed limit (70 mph) when the snow started to lightly coat the road the vehicles rear end started to sway from side to side in a violent manner. I had to slow down to 50 mph to regain control of the vehicle, all the while I was being passed by 2wd pick ups and 2wd drive vehicles. The vehicle has exhibited the same behaviors on wet road surfaces during and following rain. It's time for Subaru to correct this problem. I'm not feelin the love.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 10
Failure Date: 10/23/2010

2005 Subaru Outback unstable rear suspension. This car is absolutely terrifying to drive at hwy speeds in adverse weather conditions. The rear end sways and hops and swings uncontrollably. I have stopped driving this car and it will have a new owner. I will not drive such a under engineered piece of japanese iron and have the life scared out of me. There's plenty of cars out there that are safer to drive than this thing. Subaru need to step up to the plate and fix this.


 
car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2003 Subaru Outback 11
Failure Date: 06/21/2010

Accelerating from complete stop, I heard a loud snap from the right rear wheel well. Upon inspection by an ase mechanic, it was determined that the right rear strut and assembly had rusted out and broken on a vehicle with only 81,000 miles on it. The car is located in a very high salt use state, maine, and this seems to be the exact type of rusting and breakage problem other Subaru's have previously been recalled for in high salt use areas.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 12
Failure Date: 02/21/2010

My 2006 Subaru Outback begins to ghostwalk at about 50mph and is unsafe, smaller cars and vehicles can pass me with better control while mine fishtails at the back until speed is reduced at less than traffic speed.

See all problems of the 2006 Subaru Outback.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 13
Failure Date: 02/11/2010

We have a 2005 Subaru Outback that sways in the rear of car under the following conditions 1. Over bumps the rear will swing to the right and dip. When roads are slick it will almost spin the vehicle. If you are in a left hand curve, even at low speed, the condition is exaggerated more than you would expect sort of like it was pushed in addition to the normal inertia you would experience. 2. Rear end traction becomes unstable under icy conditions where it appears that too much power is being distributed to the rear of the driveline then oscillating to each individual rear wheel. In my opinion 100% of the vehicles power concentrated to the rear differential is alternately distributed between the rear wheels and kind of gets stuck in this mode.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 14
Failure Date: 02/05/2010

90 degree swing of rear end when traveling at only 10 mph on icy road with excellent snow tires. There may be a rear suspension problem because left rear is over an inch lower than right rear. There is no Subaru recall.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 15
Failure Date: 01/24/2010

1. Slick road conditions with moderate to heavy passenger or cargo load 2. Rear of the vehicle loses control in any kind of slick road condition. Even happened on wet pavement with loaded car. Results are having to slow to unsafe low speeds to maintain any traction. 3. No parts or work done yet.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 16
Failure Date: 01/04/2010

Subaru Outback 2008 2. 5i side-to-side motion: recurring issue is considerably dangerous and presents itself when driving on wet and or slippery roads. Yes, although the conditions are less than ideal they are normal driving situations. Testing has been conducted with identical conditions and other vehicles and similar behavior was not experienced. This testing has been repeated with identical results. Issue: when traveling on slippery roads - rain, snow, ice the Subaru all wheel dirve/suspension configuration creates side to side "fish-tail" like behavior. This motion can cause the vehicle to spin-out. Other dirvers have expericed over correction issues when dealing with this unexpected back-end motion. The side to side motion does not seem to be a result of application of power. Wth power applied or coasting the motion is still evident.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 17
Failure Date: 01/01/2010

2008 Subaru Outback wagon sways dangerously on rough roads. The sensation is that when one hits a bump the rear end bounces/kicks/walks out to the right. While there have been no accidents with this vehicle, it does not feel safe to drive. The car has been serviced regularly, has newer tires, and has been aligned several times.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 18
Failure Date: 12/30/2009

This past week in minnesota we had cold enough temps so that road salt was ineffective on I-35 north of minneapolis. We had light snow at the time I was driving so that slippery ice formed on the wheel ruts in the right lane. Most of the other drivers ignored it. My Subaru, however, began fishtailing immediately when it encountered an icy spot, so that I had to slow to 45 mph in order to maintain control. This has happened regularly over the course of the four winters I have driven the car. When on ice at highway speeds, it begins fishtailing out of control. It happens with all loads. This is the second set of tires (not the same as the first). I have been driving on minnesota and wisconsin winter roads for 45 years. This car is (and has been since it was new) very dangerous on the highway in icy conditions.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 19
Failure Date: 12/26/2009

Experienced severe fishtailing on slightly slippery roads with a 2008 Subaru Outback. This was highly unusual for an all wheel drive car and I didn't have the same problem with my wife's Honda cr-v that I drove on the same day on the same roads.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 20
Failure Date: 12/15/2009

I have a 2006 Subaru Outback limited wagon. Driving on wet roads, not even icy, the most minor bump in the road, or frost heave, will send the vehicle's rear end swaying, almost out of control. This is supposedly known as ghost walking. This is extremely dangerous, as it happens at highway speeds, on straight roads, and causes the vehicle to sway back and forth across the lane. Tires have been replaced as well as Subaru dealership performing a full alignment. This is supposed to be awd, so rain should not be a factor. I also notice this swaying happen on dry pavement, but not as threatening. Seems like there is play in the rear end, but car was fully safety checked by Subaru and passed all points. Seems to be a major flaw in the awd, namely the limited slip differential in the rear end. I'm afraid to drive this vehicle in winter conditions, yet that's what Subaru's are known for.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 21
Failure Date: 11/28/2009

My wife and I have been loyal Subaru owners for over ten years, but we have encountered two troubling problems within the same year. The first problem was eventually taken care of by Subaru of America after several months of going to different dealers to resolve the problem. We had a bad transmission which finally was recognized as the problem and it needed replacing but Subaru of America decided it would buy back the 2009 Subaru forrester which had this problem from the day my wife purchased it. We were told we had to buy another Subaru but this we thought was no problem. My wife chose a 2010 Outback and within a couple of weeks the nightmare started all over again. We thought how could this happenwhat are the odds of two cars from Subaru having transmission issues. The first time was one thing but a second time? the transmission is electronic but it does not perform properly. We have taken it to the dealership a number of times have been told it is operating normally. We know the transmission is not supposed to slam into first gear when the car comes to a stop after being on the highway. The problem is way past annoying and we need to get to the bottom of this. My wife and I have been more than patient but enough is enough. We have test driven other models of this make and do not experience the transmission issue. My wife drives the car more than me seeing as it is her car but she is at wits end. We are way past being pissed off or extremely angry and want someone from Subaru of America to check out this car.

See all problems of the 2010 Subaru Outback.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 22
Failure Date: 11/27/2009

2006 Subaru Outback 2. 5i base with automatic transmission. My vehicle has a noticeable erratic stability handling problem on the rear of the car when it has a little extra weight (like a couple medium dogs, or a few normal weight passenger in the back seat) when driving on ice conditions, the car rear of the car will sway left to right as if someone is pushing the back sides of the car left to right. This is uncontrollable side to side motion is very scary. All my other Subarus 83 gl, 85brat, 92 ss, 92svx, 94 tw, never had this issue on the same types of roads. The older scoobs were rock solid, stable as a snowmobile on all conditions, and they never had dedicated snows, and could be loaded to the hilt, or not loaded at all, but the 06 Outback cannot maintain a speed of 40 safely while truckers, yugos, neons, and those with worn summer tires pass going 55 not having trouble. When it happens, it like the whole back end, both rear tires, are on marbles with someone pushing the car left to right on the back windows. Driving slower is not the solution, when you are already at 40mph and the car is doing weird motions in the back, and 99% of the others on the same road, same lanes, are not having control issues, they are cruising at 55-60 and almost all the cars are mashing the brakes to not rearend granny in the uncontrollable swaying Outback. Ah, so you say get dedicated snows. My other older soobs did not need them to be controllable, the other cars on the same icy road do not have dedicated snow and they have no problem. Something in the back end design, and yes they did have a TSB alignment update, still is not allowing the vehicle to be as safe on ice as other cars are.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 23
Failure Date: 10/26/2009

2006 Subaru Outback auto trans. On many occasions the vehicle's rear-end side-steps or oscillates on icy/snow-packed road conditions. This has also been described as "ghost-walking" where it feels like the awd system in the rear is over compensating, leading to the vehicle being uncontrollable. The behavior seems to happen in the 30-40mph range. Although, I prefer not to drive any faster than the road conditions allow, it can be very frightening when other 2wd cars and trucks are passing you going 20mph faster and it's difficult to even keep the car on the road or in a straight line. I have had the alignment checked and had brand-new all season tires installed, with no resolution. The dealer has not found anything wrong.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2009 Subaru Outback 24
Failure Date: 08/02/2009

Vehicle has a shimmy when driving at highway speeds: 70-75 mph. Shimmy has been present since vehicle delivery. 5 trips to the service department over 10 months did not resolve this issue.

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car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 25
Failure Date: 01/24/2009

I have a 2006 Subaru Outback 2. 5i. Occasionally, while driving on snowpacked/icy roads the rear end begins to sway abruptly back and forth, even on straight sections of road. It causes the car to become almost uncontrollable as it wants to start fishtailing. The only way to stop it is to slow well below a safe speed and the speed of traffic, creating another potentially dangerous situation. It appears to happen more frequently when the car is loaded with 3 to 5 passengers plus ski gear. I do a lot of driving in winter conditions in the mountains of CO and have never experienced anything like this. I just had my car in to the local Subaru dealership (for the 2nd time) and they could not recreate the problem or find anything wrong with the vehicle. The technician did acknowledge that other customers had the same complaint and they couldn't find anything wrong with their vehicles either. His only recommendation was to go to a more aggressive snow tire. I don't believe this would address the problem of why the car is swaying back and forth in the first place. It would just create more friction on the road surface to keep the car from sliding side to side. This needs to be addressed as it creates an extremely dangerous situation with a possible loss of control while traveling at safe speeds for the conditions. There is no reason a vehicle should be trying to fishtail while traveling on a straight section of road, regardless of how slippery it is.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 26
Failure Date: 01/17/2009

I have several times experienced what is known as “ghost walking� while driving my 2005 Subaru Outback 2. 4i. I have driven under the same conditions with the car minimally loaded. Only on the times that the car was loaded with more than 2 passengers and their belongings did I experience “ghost walk. €� on those times I was driving my Outback on snow or ice covered road. I was driving at a steady rate of speed with consistent pressure on the gas. The rear of the vehicle would begin to pitch back and forth as if being blown by a heavy wind. There was no wind on those occasions, or not sufficient to cause the to sway the way it did. It felt as though the rear of the vehicle was attempting to pass the front. I slowed down each time, even though the road surface conditions did not dictate it. I was passed by 2 wheel drive vehicles, because my car felt unstable and unsafe to drive. I have never experienced this while the car was lightly loaded under the same road conditions.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 27
Failure Date: 12/28/2008

I own a 2006 Subaru Outback 2. 5i with automatic transmission and about 28,000 miles. It is an all wheel drive vehicle. On "black ice", regular ice and hard snow pack, it weaves side to side on its own. The driver basically loses the ability to control the vehicle. The experience would be similar to be driving with a strong side wind which moves your vehicle on you. The difference is with the wind you can take corrective action and steer into the wind to counteract its effect. In this case, you are captive to wherever the vehicle takes you and can do nothing about it short of slowing down or stop driving it altogether. This is unnerving to say the least and frightening otherwise. The only way to stop the vehicle from moving by itself is to slow down to 35mph or less. While I have not been in an accident (yet), while driving it under these conditions, it is very nerve racking. Subaru is well aware of the problem and has chosen to do nothing about it to this point. They must be waiting for fatalities or lawsuits before they feel a "fix" is necessary. Please investigate this problem. It is real and could be very dangerous if not fixed.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 28
Failure Date: 12/25/2008

While driving on icy roads at speeds of 40 mph or more, the car sometimes "floats" to the side several inches. It feels different than fishtailing -- more like the car is being pushed by the wind. This occurs with no cross-wind, no acceleration, no cornering or braking, on flat straight icy roads while driving at a constant speed. The sideways slip is severe enough that you feel you may lose control and leave the road. The only fix is to slow down to 40 mph or less, while other cars are passing at 60 mph or more. After several occurrences, always on icy or slushy roads, I took the car to the Subaru dealer, who performed an alignment. The report shows that the car had positive toe-in of 0. 23 degrees (front left), 0. 24 degrees (front right), 0. 22 degrees (rear left) and 0. 44 degrees (rear right). Too much toe-in, I'm told, can cause excessive tire wear and can also cause poor handling on icy roads. Please consider that complaints for both these issues may have a common cause. There are reports that toe-in increases over time with Subaru Outbacks, and that toe-in also increases when there is more weight in the back end of the car. The Subaru Outback dynamically shifts power to non-slipping wheels when one or more wheels loses traction, and apportions power 60/40 favoring the rear wheels. Could these factors, along with excessive toe-in, create the kind of dangerous floating on icy roads that many Outback owners have experienced? please, please investigate.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 29
Failure Date: 12/24/2008

In December of 2008 I drove from idaho to montana over christmas. Road conditions were broken ice and compact snow. Whenever the car would hit a bump in the road, the rear end would tend to kick from side to side. I was forced to reduce my speed to around 30 mph, even though all other vehicles could maintain higher speeds in a safe manner. I have experienced this problem on several later occasions, and it appears to occur only when the vehicle has been loaded down with passenger(s) or cargo. Subaruoutback. Org has a gigantic thread on this topic. It appears I am not the only one with this problem. . Read more...

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 30
Failure Date: 12/24/2008

I am in my third season driving my 2006 Subaru Outback to lake tahoe for winter ski season. I've always felt confident driving on snowy or icy roads until my last two trips--christmas 2008, and new year's 2009. On these trips, I experienced very disturbing fishtailing that everyone in the car noticed, and I had to fight to compensate for. This occurred even on long straight sections. Each time I had to slow down well below the flow of traffic, and the speed of previous trips. This issue made me wonder about improper tire inflation pressure, so we called the tire dealer, who confirmed this was not the cause. It felt as if the rear wheel traction was overcoming front wheel traction, that made me also wonder whether the all-wheel drive was functioning properly. I also considered weight as a cause, because one day I drove from reno to tahoe with only one passenger, and little cargo, and did not experience the problem. But, the fully loaded vehicle was no different than many trips the previous two seasons, when the fishtailing did not occur, and I could maintain sufficient speed to stay with the flow of traffic. Same vehicle, same tires, same loads, same road, same conditions, yet much different performance. I noticed other similar complaints, some of which refer to "ghostwalking. " please work on identifying the cause and solution for this issue, to prevent serious accident/injury. Thank you.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 31
Failure Date: 12/24/2008

Rear tracking begins oscillating dangerously in winter driving conditions. Extremely dangerous. Going 30 mph and being passed by every car on the road while I am fighting to keep from crashing. Rear wheels seem to transfer traction to tires that are slipping, oscillating back and forth, causing rear end to fishtail at any speed. Replaced tires and same thing. This is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Been driving in wisconsin winters for 35 years. I have never experienced anything like this. Many similar complaints on NHTSA website and on internet postings. I am serious - this is really dangerous. When are you going to make Subaru accountable?.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2006 Subaru Outback 32
Failure Date: 12/15/2008

'06 Subaru Outback(auto) seems to have handling issues caused by awd system. Some have described it as "ghostwalking", where the rear end of the car shifts side to side when the awd kicks in. Please investigate this problem. Have replaced tires and checked alignment, problem still exists.

car image   Rear Suspension problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 33
Failure Date: 12/11/2008

2005 Subaru Outback, 2. 5l, 4eat, awd vehicle feels"loose" at speeds greater than ~35 on highways with patchy ice, slush, and or icy ruts. Rear end feels like it wants to come around. Has occurred with two passengers and approx 250 pounds in cargo area and with one passenger and ~250 pounds in cargo area.