2018 Subaru WRX Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbags, engine and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

It’s not always easy to find a high-powered sports sedan in today’s market. Consumers tend to lean toward SUVs more and more, but the 2018 Subaru WRX still has a place in the hearts of enthusiasts. The new lineup boasts of “breathtaking performance,” but research states otherwise. Instead, this model seems to be consumed with a defective steering system, faulty engine and malfunctioning airbags.

 

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Problems with the Steering

Drivers of sports cars want to have complete control over the road. The trouble with the Subaru WRX is that the steering doesn’t operate the way it should. Instead, it puts drivers at risk.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact’s son owns a 2018 Subaru WRX. While making a left turn at 25 mph, the front driver side wheel remained in a turned position after the driver attempted to straighten the vehicle. The driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. The driver suffered a broken nose and a swollen eye. The driver was taken to the hospital for medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed from the scene to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was in the process of being transferred to [dealer] for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and planned to investigate. The approximate failure mileage was 1,055.”

The automaker has remained relatively quiet and chosen not to discuss a lot of problems, despite the overwhelming amount of complaints from owners. Instead, they have issued meaningless communications, such as Service Bulletin #07-137-18, which discusses diagnostics of the automatic headlight beam leveler system. While this information has a place and should be included, it would have been far better for the company to talk about direct steering problems. Because of the safety concerns, it’s likely the steering issues could end up being a recall in the future. At that point, it would be difficult for Subaru to maintain the breathtaking slogan.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Subaru WRX Steering Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 SUBARU WRX. WHILE DRIVING AND AFTER SHIFTING THE GEAR, THE STEERING WHEEL SEIZED WITHOUT WARNING. AS A RESULT, THE VEHICLE JUMPED A CURB AND CRASHED INTO SOME BUSHES. THE AIR BAGS DID NOT DEPLOY. THERE WERE NO INJURIES. A POLICE REPORT WAS NOT FILED. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO SUBARU OF SANTA FE , BUT WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS APPROXIMATELY 3,000. THE VIN WAS NOT AVAILABLE.

TL* THE CONTACT’S SON OWNS A 2018 SUBARU WRX. WHILE MAKING A LEFT TURN AT 25 MPH, THE FRONT DRIVER SIDE WHEEL REMAINED IN A TURNED POSITION AFTER THE DRIVER ATTEMPTED TO STRAIGHTEN THE VEHICLE. THE DRIVER LOST CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE AND COLLIDED WITH A TREE. THE AIR BAGS FAILED TO DEPLOY. THE DRIVER SUFFERED A BROKEN NOSE AND A SWOLLEN EYE. THE DRIVER WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION. A POLICE REPORT WAS FILED. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED FROM THE SCENE TO AN INDEPENDENT MECHANIC. THE VEHICLE WAS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING TRANSFERRED TO BRUNSWICK SUBARU FOR DIAGNOSTIC TESTING. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE AND PLANNED TO INVESTIGATE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 1,055.

THE WHEELS LOCKED WHILE DRIVING ON A CLEAR DECEMBER DAY (I DON’T HAVE EXACT DAY) ON A WINDING MOUNTAIN ROAD FULL OF CLIFFS. 38 MPH AND FEET FROM GOING OFF A CLIFF. SUBARU SAY ELECTRONIC MODULE FAILED THEN IN ANOTHER STATEMENT FROM SUBARU AMERICA THEY SAY THE TWO OCCURRENCES NOT RELATED EVEN THOUGH THEY HAPPENED SIMULTANEOUSLY. WE TOOK THE CAR IN BECAUSE OF THE WHEEL LOCKING UP WHILE MOVING AND THEY DISCOVERED THE ELECTRONIC FAILURE. THEY MAINTAIN THE CAR IS SAFE TO DRIVE “BECAUSE THEY CAN’T RECREATE THE PROBLEM”.

Problems with the Engine

While discussing the slogan, it’s time to look at the performance that is constantly talked about. The main aspect to reliable performance is a strong motor. Yet, customers reveal just as many motor issues as any other part of this vehicle.

Here is another comment left on the NHTSA website. “Vehicle mileage was 7,387 miles. While driving several Check Engine Lights illuminated including Traction Control, Check Engine Light, ABS, Hill Descent Assist, Cruise Control icon flashing. Vehicle power was dramatically reduced. Made appointment next day with Subaru dealership. I was informed code P0016 showed up on the diagnosis. It indicated crankshaft position camshaft position correlation Bank 1 Sensor A. Vehicle was at dealership for close to two weeks. Numerous parts were replaced including oil valve assembly, camshaft sprocket assembly, ECU control unit, guide chains, chain lever, etc. I have invoice from dealership detailing all parts replaced. Although covered under warranty, a brand new vehicle with under 8,000 shouldn’t encounter these issues.”

This owner seems to have a replacement part for just about everything in the engine. Subaru has acknowledged other issues on top of these. Service Bulletin #02-170-17R talks about the Active Valve Control System with the oil control solenoid valves that might require a new internal oil seal. Otherwise, there could be oil seepage into the wire harness. If oil seeps over time, the Check Engine light is likely to come on. There isn’t much performance that can be expected while leaking oil. Maybe the breathtaking part comes from the owners holding their breath while waiting for service. It appears to take weeks on end in some cases.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Subaru WRX Engine Problems:

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ADVISING CYLINDER MISFIRE ADVISING RING AND PISTON FAILURE. SPARK PLUGS DESTROYED

THIS ISSUE OCCURS ON ACCELERATION , MOST NOTICEABLE WHEN MERGING ONTO FREEWAY FROM ON RAMP 1/2 THROTTLE , THE VEHICLE STARTS TO ACCELERATE NORMAL THEN HITS AROUND 4200 RPM AND THE BOOST GAUGE GOES NUTS FLUCTUATING UP AND DOWN AND THE VEHICLE LOOSES POWER , HESITATES , SURGES ( LIKE A FLAT SPOT ) THEN FINALLY GETS A LITTLE HIGHER IN RPM AND IT WILL PICK UP AGAIN THROUGH THE REST OF RPM GAUGE , MOST NOTICEABLE IN LOWER GEARS

Problems with the Airbags

With all of these safety issues, it seems that the Subaru should have a functioning set of airbags, but again, this system is downright defective.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “The front passenger door was slammed on my 2018 Subaru WRX. This caused all of the side airbags to deploy, including the airbag in the passenger seat. The vehicle was stopped with the engine on. There was no impact aside from the door being slammed from the outside. This occurred in a parking lot.”

While there was an issue earlier where the airbags didn’t deploy, this owner can’t seem to keep them where they belong. Instead, the driver has to face extensive repairs as a result of closing his door. It seems Subaru can’t figure out how to make the airbags work right. Service Bulletin #17-17-13R even discusses equipping the airbags with EDR functionality. This Event Data Recorder allows the manufacturer to analyze the crash situations to see how the airbags are performing. If there wasn’t something the company was trying to figure out, there would be no need for this situation. After all, you don’t need to monitor a component that works as intended. It seems Subaru has a lot to do before it can continue to boast. To start, the automaker should focus on creating a car that doesn’t let its owners down at every turn.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Subaru pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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