Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've owned a lot of cars over the years and many with leather/vinyl interiors and they've all held up well, but my wife's 2015 Outback 3.6R is an exception. I've never seen this before. The lower cushion bolsters (covered in vinyl) started to harden and eventually cracked and finally tore a few days ago. The opposite side bolster is rock hard too and will crack/tear at some point. The dark material around the tear is fabric sticker residue as I had the crack covered for about 2 weeks while I figured out the best solution to repair and to keep it from tearing (too late now). All the other vinyl and leather in the car is still very pliable and in great condition after nearly 5 years of ownership.

About every 3 months or so, I wipe down the seating surfaces with warm water and a occasionally treat with a Meguiers vinyl/leather care product. My wife doesn't use any chemicals on her legs when wearing shorts. Anyone seen this before?

It looks like the lower cushion over is around $130. I've recovered automotive seats before and could do it, but I may approach Subaru first and see what they might do (car is out of bumper to bumper warranty).

472397
20191014_174007 (1).jpg
20191014_174007 (1).jpg
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
I have a '15 as well, but I just checked and everything is soft like new. FWIW, I don't use anything on them except possibly a damp towel. Not wear aggravated by sun damage, eh?
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
Joined
·
2,938 Posts
Same here, on the lower and upper left bolsters, but the material just cracked one day without warning, there's been no "hardening" that I've noticed. I never bothered with any special cleaners since most of what I've read about vinyl (and even the "sealed" leather Subaru used on these seats) suggests that such products are unnecessary. My vehicle has never been garaged, and I know this area likely receives more sunlight, which will accelerate the ageing process. But, having engineered and tested numerous UV protective coatings in the past, I've always had serious doubts about any products claiming to provide UV protection for interior surfaces.

Anyway, I found a vinyl repair product that has worked well for the upper bolster, but wasn't tough enough for the lower (although I suspect it might have held if I had caught it earlier). Since I have the black leather, I just slapped some gorilla tape over it, which actually doesn't look as bad as I expected. Only problem with tape is that it starts to slide off in the heat of the summer. I was considering buying a lower seat cover at some point and taking care of it before next summer, but if anyone has any luck with Subaru, please post back here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Same happened here on my 2015 Outback. It happened just before the powertrain warranty was up and the dealer wouldn't cover it understandably. Car is parked inside when not used, and few times a year I cleaned and used Lexol to condition the leather.

I fixed it with a patch kit from Permatex where you use a clothes iron. It's a bit ugly, but better than a tear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Same here, wife's 2015 OB. No sign of trouble then the rip, mine is way worse though. The material is very thin and cheap. Stealership won't fix it without $$$ so I am stuck with it until I find a thrifty solution.
 

·
Registered
2016 2.5i Outback, 2002 Audi S4 Avant, 1980 CB750F Supersport, 1985 Carrera 3.2
Joined
·
568 Posts
Happened to me as well, I bought the OEM replacement cover and did it myself. Hardest part was removing the C-clip loops attached to the seat frame, otherwise it's pretty straight forward if you're patient.
 

·
Premium Member
2016 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ EyeSight
Joined
·
269 Posts
My driver's seat bottom had the exact same tear. I put a patch on it I bought on Amazon. Link below.

Interested to see how this plays out with Subaru. I inquired with a few upholstery shops in my area and was disappointed. No one returned emails and phones were left to ring, no voice mail. I said to myself, "eFF them, business must be good."

This is one of my peeves. If you have a website with "contact us" and / or an email, I assume you're gonna check it at least once a week. Anyway, I put the patch on there prevent further degradation. Eventually I will get it fixed or a new seat cover.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H64JKDK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Exact same spot. 2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited AWD 4 Cylinders 2.5L MFI DOHC. Happened around 40K miles. Car is garaged when at home. Poor quality interior is conclusion.
 

·
Registered
2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
Joined
·
3,869 Posts
Back when I was looking at new Outbacks this is kind of what I imagined the seats would look like after a couple of years. That's one reason I cheaped out on the lower model and got the cloth seats. Just looking at the leather ones offered didn't give me a lot of confidence as far as durability went.
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
Joined
·
2,766 Posts
My next new car purchase, I am getting a base model (whatever car it is) and swapping for Katzkin leather. Heck, I might even do that right now. I cannot believe I paid thousands extra for the crap in the original post. I feel like I got swindled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but did OP ever get any answers? I am in the same boat (along with many of you...)

Currently in talks with dealer, also in talks with 3rd party repairer. Also looking at katzkins...

Not impressed...
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6 Outback (green)
Joined
·
192 Posts
Same happened to me on my 2015 3.6R.

I didn't even bother with Subaru warranty as the next cover will do the same thing after three years.

Paid $100 to a local boat/auto upholstery shop and it was done in an afternoon with higher quality material. Not a perfect color match, but I care more about function and durability than appearance in this case.

Jason

 

·
Registered
2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
Joined
·
1,950 Posts

·
Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
·
10,849 Posts
Pretty much every "leather" seat I've seen do this.

However 5 years is an incredibly short life. Usually it's more like 15+.

It seems it's just low quality stuff.

I wonder if seat covers could reduce the likelihood of this happening?

I have a set of wet okole covers I haven't taken off since they were put on.

Additional thought: Has anyone had this happen on black leather or is it only appearing on the ivory models?
 

·
Registered
2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R
Joined
·
14 Posts
This is on black 'leather' of my 2016 with about 108k on it, started seeing it couple years ago and it's getting worst, I guess I have to stop dragging my but on the seat when I get in and out of the car. Extended warranty doesn't cover it and the dealer wanted over $700 to replace the seat cover.
487353
 

·
Registered
2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
Joined
·
2,938 Posts
Mine are black and are also pretty bad (outside driver's bolsters), just not quite as bad as this picture.

I would love to just put neoprene covers over it, but I didn't care for wet okoles on my impreza. Guess I'm a relatively sweaty person, but the stock leather breathes much better for me.
 

·
Registered
2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Additional thought: Has anyone had this happen on black leather or is it only appearing on the ivory models?
That's what I was wondering. But guess not... Mine's perfect, but she doesn't get out much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brucey
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top