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20 Outback Limited XT 13 Outback 3.6R Limited
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Are most of you having problems not running the newer version came out end of Feb? Other than audio settings not sticking, I'm having zero issues. Also, I'm AA on an S10+.

I'm wondering if most the problems are older version, Carplay vs AA, or perhaps even phone. I got rid of my LG G4 before getting the car because it had major Bluetooth problems.

On mine, I had "Hey Google" stop working once. I could blame the head unit, but I'd be wrong. Rebooting the phone fixed it.
I'm experiencing many of the listed problems on an Outback built 1/2020. Slow, hangs, no sound, loses presets, info display at top changes from where car was when shutdown. I've never had a vehicle sound system that wasn't up and running a few seconds after starting the car. My Outback takes forever for music to start. I start the car, put my seatbelt on, drive up my several hundred foot driveway, wait for traffic and start down the road before I get sound. I don't use AA or CarPlay. My car has the older infotainment software, pre the TSB. The fact that the car has been shipping for about 9 months now, and many of us are experiencing problems that seem to be increasing in frequency is a black eye for Subaru. Is it the end of the world, no. Can I live with most of the issues, assuming they will eventually be fixed, most of them. One time I lost all sound for a day. That is not acceptable Don't like driving my car without music. And yes I've tried the infotainment reboot by holding the volume/mute button or fiddling with the system, which is a distraction from focusing on driving. That temporarily corrected the issues except for the one time loss of sound for a day. No, I'm not going to disconnect the battery cable. I also understand the complexity having run software development teams from mainframes to iOS apps. Unlike trying to run programs across a multitude of different hardware and all the possible variations, Subaru has a closed system. The head unit is the same, they (or sub vendor) have control of firmware, operating system, QNX layer, and any apps that run on top. With focus, dedication, resources, and a smart team; it's all fixable. They need to get to it.

My plan is to detail all the problems and make sure the service writer puts them on the repair order when I go in for my first oil change. I certainly hope they will release an update that fixes things by then. They'll also hear about the useless voice commands, especially for Navigation, which wants to take me to Utah. I've got a 2016 Ford F350 with a touch screen and integrated sound, navigation, climate, and other system controls. It's Ford's Sync 2 built on Microsoft technology. It has worked far better than Subaru's system. My plan is document the issues, give Subaru a chance to fix them, up to 3 times, and if not addressed, pursue alternate course for redress.

I'm also having EyeSight problems, not sure if any part is run off of the same head unit or has totally independent hardware. It goes off momentarily when the lines are visible, no rain, snow or other interference. It seems to go off most often when I run near or over the fog line. It should indicate a lane departure. Happens when I go to the right to avoid pot holes, oncoming cars, or cutting the inside line on a corner. It will come back on a few seconds latter. It rarely seems to go off when I go over centerline and correctly alerts. Has anyone experienced this?
 

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I'm also having EyeSight problems, not sure if any part is run off of the same head unit or has totally independent hardware. It goes off momentarily when the lines are visible, no rain, snow or other interference. It seems to go off most often when I run near or over the fog line. It should indicate a lane departure. Happens when I go to the right to avoid pot holes, oncoming cars, or cutting the inside line on a corner. It will come back on a few seconds latter. It rarely seems to go off when I go over centerline and correctly alerts. Has anyone experienced this?
What's a fog line?

Is EyeSight alerting you that it's shut off, or that it's no longer tracking a lane in lane centering mode?
 

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2019 Outback Limited.... Every time I tried to update the system software, it crashed the system. One time maps would not show, second time no sound at all. My dealer, who goes beyond and above wonderful service has replaced the head unit twice. Now I do not try to update the system (everything seems to be working) I just update the maps over the Wifi, which takes FOREVER but at least I keep a working system.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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85 Posts
Yea, more people take to forums to complain BUT...

I started researching the 2020 Outback in late 2019. I read articles, reviews, and watched many videos. Much of that content was produced on press junkets where Subaru was basically asking for fluff pieces to advertise their product. (Not all, but many.) The absolute number 1 complaint? The infotainment system. Shocking...I know.

Those reviews were just scratching the surface of this system. Obviously I knew about some of the negative reviews of the system and I still bought the car. Why? The car is amazing. The ride, the cargo space, and man...punching that accelerator to pass in our Onyx...yea...that could get addicting and expensive. The challenge however is that you really can’t truly evaluate just how bizarre the system is until you use it for an extended time and I’m pretty sure most dealers aren’t gonna let you have the car for a test drive for two weeks.

Anyone with common sense has a pretty good grasp of what an interface should work like. Settings should not randomly reset. Displays should not randomly change. These are basic functions.

We have three vehicles with infotainment systems. They all have quirks. This however feels more like beta test software than a finished product. Yea, most of the stuff works, but things just don’t always work as expected or aren’t where they should be. They claim “safety” for a lot of their design choices too but in some cases the design choices are not only unsafe but lack any common sense at all.

Take for example the low fuel warning. The system tosses up a message asking if you want to find gas stations near you. You tap yes just to get a three or four line message telling you that the keyboard has been disable and you need to press a button on the steering wheel and confirm the POI. Yea that’s safe. You’re never gonna convince me that is safer than just giving me the dang list. Instead, read the screen, find and press button, talk to the car, now look at the screen again, pick a number from the list. Yet at the same time they completely DISABLE the SiriusXM Travelink once the car is removed from park.

For those not familiar, Travelink has the ability to search for gas stations nearby and show you price and direction, using an arrow, so you know if the station is ahead, behind, or off to the side of your current position. Massively useful. This system, while the car is parked, even brings up a map of those gas stations. Sweet! Completely useless because they disable it in the name of safety. BS. I’m not going to pull over to look up a gas station. Screw that, I’ll grab my phone first.

Love the car, hate the Blackberry based infotainment, but will concede the fact that it has huge potential. Ultimately, the company they contracted to build the system needs to be forced to use the product everyday and live with it. Then they might actually figure out how to design a proper system. Running the code in emulators and looking at it on PC screens all day ain’t gonna cut it.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #45
Yea, more people take to forums to complain BUT...

I started researching the 2020 Outback in late 2019. I read articles, reviews, and watched many videos. Much of that content was produced on press junkets where Subaru was basically asking for fluff pieces to advertise their product. (Not all, but many.). The absolute number 1 complaint? The infotainment system. Shocking...I know.

Those reviews were just scratching the surface of this system. Obviously I knew about some of the negative reviews of the system and I still bought the car. Why? The car is amazing. The ride, the cargo space, and man...punching that accelerator to pass in our Onyx...yea...that could get addicting and expensive. The challenge however is that you really can’t truly evaluate just how bizarre the system is until you use it for an extended time and I’m pretty sure most dealers aren’t gonna let you have the car for a test drive for two weeks.

Anyone with common sense has a pretty good grasp of what an interface should work like. Settings should not randomly reset. Displays should not randomly change. These are basic functions.

We have three vehicles with infotainment systems. They all have quirks. This however feels more like beta test software than a finished product. Yea, most of the stuff works, but things just don’t always work as expected or aren’t where they should be. They claim “safety” for a lot of they’re design choices too but in some cases the design choices are not only unsafe but lack any common sense at all.



Love the car, hate the Blackberry based infotainment, but will concede the fact that it has huge potential. Ultimately, the company they contracted to build the system needs to be forced to use the product everyday and live with it. Then they might actually figure out how to design a proper system. Running the code in emulators and looking at it on PC screens all day ain’t gonna cut it.
Very well said.
 

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2020 Outback
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...Ultimately, the company they contracted to build the system needs to be forced to use the product everyday and live with it...
This was my Father’s mantra. He was an industrial designer and I could not count the number of times I heard him say that.

And I agree.
 

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20 Outback Limited XT 13 Outback 3.6R Limited
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What's a fog line?

Is EyeSight alerting you that it's shut off, or that it's no longer tracking a lane in lane centering mode?
A fog line is the painted line on the shoulder side of the road, as opposed to the center line down the middle of the road.

EyeSight is alerting me that it's Off, different from when the display changes line colors to indicate it having trouble picking up a line (line(s) gray out) or you are approaching a line (line turns yellow). Mine comes back on in seconds. I get it that EyeSight will sometimes get confused or lose the lines. I see that happen where two lanes come into one, or the paint is faint or missing. In my case, I've had it happen when the lines are clearly painted and visible, in daylight, two lane road, no special conditions or lane markings.
 

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2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0 T AWD
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We wish our 20 had the bigger center console and wider infotainment screen our 19 had, but otherwise we like everything better on the 20 and if we had to choose again right now it would be another 20. The infotainment glitches we had with our 19 were improved with the August 2019 update, but it still had some remaining issues, like the radio not staying muted when you restarted, hit and miss with XM tune scan, stuff like that. The 20 has none of the issues the 19 had, which is progress, but it does have some new issues of its own. The recent TSB did make the 20 more stable, though still not perfect. While I hope the May/September/whenever update makes it better, the car right now is pretty great and we have no plans to replace it. If it proves reliable after 150K+ miles we'll consider another Subaru, and if it doesn't we'll look elsewhere.
Yes, more storage. The little slanted pocket thing, what a joke! Subaru should of just gone with what works. And mirrored the Forester or Ascent's center stack and infotainment system. For a car maker that advertises their "Global Platform". They sure do change their interiors a lot from vehicle to vehicle.
 

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I’m hoping Subaru delivers an update at some point to work out these software gremlins. I’ve had a number of head scratching bugs (mostly related to CarPlay or general infotainment crashes) that I never had to deal with in my Toyota.

Overall it hasn’t been too bad for me, and I do really enjoy the car, but I also recognize that I’m a couple decades younger than Subaru’s typical demographic. I can’t imagine my parents being as comfortable with these infotainment issues.

What WOULD bother me, is if Subaru just updates the 2021, and leaves the 2020 owners with old and buggy software.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #50
I’m hoping Subaru delivers an update at some point to work out these software gremlins. I’ve had a number of head scratching bugs (mostly related to CarPlay or general infotainment crashes) that I never had to deal with in my Toyota.

Overall it hasn’t been too bad for me, and I do really enjoy the car, but I also recognize that I’m a couple decades younger than Subaru’s typical demographic. I can’t imagine my parents being as comfortable with these infotainment issues.

What WOULD bother me, is if Subaru just updates the 2021, and leaves the 2020 owners with old and buggy software.
I'm 61 and generally not a big tech guy. I'll figure out what I need too but generally preffer easy to use over super capable systems ( They had to drag me ranting from Windows 95 😫 ). Subaru knows it has an older base with the OB and did a decent job there (IMHO) I addapted quickly to the tech in the 2020 OB Limited. Some was a bit scarey at first but most of it is well layed out and not hard to engage/turn off if I didn't like it. i.e.I'm comfortable with it WHEN it works. . What drives me nuts (and allot of older folks in general) is ANYTHING that can't perform the function it is designed for. Especially when it replaced something simpler and easier to use . At this point, my Nav is near unusable. Phone maybe 60% and the Audio settings reset 4 out of 5 starts ..................Yes, that kind of tech torques off us old folks to no end.
 

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This is what was reported as they are the most annoying and or noticeable. There are other small quirks that only happen rarely.

Issues with Center Information Display (CID) and infotainment system

1)On start up, the screen sometimes freezes. Also On start-up, it can take 20 + seconds before the heat / seat settings can be accessed. It’s like the system is confused.

2) On start up- the Information bar randomly opens in (leftmost) Audio screen vs Favorites where it was set and left before closing. Frequency is 2-3 of every 10 starts on average but it can go a few days straight in either mode.

3) On start up- the Audio Equalizer and Fader settings randomly reset to the flat/factory settings vs profile settings where it was set and left before closing. To regain the settings I must go in and change profiles. Frequency is 5-6 of every 10 starts on average but it can go a few days straight in either mode. This has been an issue since delivery.

4) On Start-up, Sirius XM presets sometimes get deleted. (FM presets aren’t forgotten but can change position.) When this happens they must all be manually reset. Three times since Dec 1

5) On start up- the Audio and Radio Apps can’t be opened on occasion. ( All other Apps work except for these two). Touching the app produces no response at all. When it’s like this all Audio is silenced with the exception of Voice command response. Frequency is 1 in 20 starts (i.e every couple of days) but once it happens, it can stay that way for 3-4 restart attempts. Letting the car sit for ½ hour + seems to be the only cure. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

6) ) Entire Infotainment system has become unstable and crashed and shut itself off on 4 occasions in the last 2 months. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

7)On attempt to use the Voice command to make a call, the system will sometimes find the number and attempt to make the call but the call timer shows all zeros and there is no dialing. This does this with multiple phones ( even after “repairing” the phones) . Frequency is 2-3 out of 10 attempts. Cancelling the call and changing number to dial may/may not correct the fault. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

8) Navigation system is very slow and confuses easily. It’s near unusable to find anything. Even inputting addresses via the keypad is prone to failure/ wrong address being interpreted. ALL attempts to use voice commands to find an address result in it suggesting a completely different address on the other side of the united states ( Usually Utah ) It has not worked once in 15-20 attempts to find a location via well pronounced voice commands. I’ve given up. Navigation has been near unusable since delivery but seems worse since I downloaded and installed the recommended update last month at Subaru’s direction.

9) Sound level setting on Navigation menu resets to zero randomly so that instructions cannot be heard. I have reset this setting to midrange 5-6 times now in 5 months. It goes unnoticed until you need it.

p.s So I'm not here to debate any of these. I'm just passing on info for those hoping that this is all going to go away because Subaru is on it. They clearly are not. FWIW, the service department I go to has not attempted any troubleshooting despite several complaints on sysem performance my part. I will likely take this to the states A G's office if I get no love here by mid summer.
My radio reception is half of my wife's Outback and my prior Outback. I get few of my old nearby stations. The service department can't be bothered and the national customer service just gave me a run around and tried to get me to say it was acceptable. The infotainment system is garbage.
 

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Seriously doubt .gov would require a recall because the radio doesn't always work as expected.
Z, I think it depends upon what the malfunction may be. The radio? Not a safety hazard.

Erratic access to heat/defroster settings? That's a bit iffy on a cold morning, because some owners will say to **** with it, and fly on down the road with a icy or fogged-up windshield. NHSTA would have a concern with that.

It irritates me to see so many manufacturers continue to cram as many functions as possible into these overblown dash-mounted iPads. Even if the infotainment systems perform flawlessly, one day they'll puke and roll over on their backs (usually out of warranty). That will be really fun to deal with while you apply for a second mortgage to pay for it's replacement.

I don't mind a 'hybrid' type infotainment system where key functions are still operated via physical switch or dials.
 

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20 Outback Limited XT 13 Outback 3.6R Limited
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My radio reception is half of my wife's Outback and my prior Outback. I get few of my old nearby stations. The service department can't be bothered and the national customer service just gave me a run around and tried to get me to say it was acceptable. The infotainment system is garbage.
I suspect you have a unique issue not related to the general infotainment glitches. Those issues seem to be software bugs. Reception on my 2020 Outback is better across the board than my wife's 2016. Better Sirius and FM reception, don't listen to AM. We live out in the country with mountains between the Hudson Valley and NYC radio areas so FM reception is an issue as were on the fringe of both radio markets. The mountains and tree canopy sometimes block satellite. It sounds like you may have an issue with the antenna, and/or the wiring connecting the antenna(s) to the infotainment system, or possibly a defective infotainment system. If receptions is poor across the board, I'd lean towards the antenna. If one band is worse than the others, could be the receiver component in the infotainment system. If you local dealer won't address the issue, I suggest you try another dealer if you have one near by. You may also want to call SOA if your dealer is not addressing your issues and see if they can light a fire under the dealer.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
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I'd rather listen to my USB stick.
That's what I do all the time, and that has its own set of problems in my '18 Outback. Subaru has refused to even consider them unless I can convince the dealer that it's a safety issue, and listening to music is hardly that.
 

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This a NO SALE deal for me. I waited almost a year for this car to come out and I was ready to buy my 4th Subaru. The Outback Bluetooth issues were so annoying, I just turned it all off. I like the car better now but I'm thinking there is a Toyota in my future. Don't they know enough to be embarrassed???
 

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I'm 61 and generally not a big tech guy. I'll figure out what I need too but generally preffer easy to use over super capable systems ( They had to drag me ranting from Windows 95 😫 ).
Me too, except with a dozen more years than you, they had to drag me ranting TO Windows. :rolleyes:
Give me a good old command line any time.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring
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Whew. I am feeling very happy now that I did not get a 2020... Last October I picked up a very, very low mileage '19 touring w 6 cyl engine, have always been happy without turbo, but now I think I dodged a bullet on the computer. (1) My audio volume will go weird once in a while, particularly when android auto is involved, (2) lane tracking is a major joke, (3) and emergency autoschtopp is one false alert after another. But, I think overall, not only did I save dollars on the used car, but some serious headaches in usabililty.

Hmm. On second thought, I still think they hired a puzzle designer to place the various buttons and levers around the cockpit. Just today, I turned on the steering warmer when trrying to hit the shift paddles while turning. Silly, I know. But why the **** is that switch configured the same as a shifter?
 

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This is what was reported as they are the most annoying and or noticeable. There are other small quirks that only happen rarely.

Issues with Center Information Display (CID) and infotainment system

1)On start up, the screen sometimes freezes. Also On start-up, it can take 20 + seconds before the heat / seat settings can be accessed. It’s like the system is confused.

2) On start up- the Information bar randomly opens in (leftmost) Audio screen vs Favorites where it was set and left before closing. Frequency is 2-3 of every 10 starts on average but it can go a few days straight in either mode.

3) On start up- the Audio Equalizer and Fader settings randomly reset to the flat/factory settings vs profile settings where it was set and left before closing. To regain the settings I must go in and change profiles. Frequency is 5-6 of every 10 starts on average but it can go a few days straight in either mode. This has been an issue since delivery.

4) On Start-up, Sirius XM presets sometimes get deleted. (FM presets aren’t forgotten but can change position.) When this happens they must all be manually reset. Three times since Dec 1

5) On start up- the Audio and Radio Apps can’t be opened on occasion. ( All other Apps work except for these two). Touching the app produces no response at all. When it’s like this all Audio is silenced with the exception of Voice command response. Frequency is 1 in 20 starts (i.e every couple of days) but once it happens, it can stay that way for 3-4 restart attempts. Letting the car sit for ½ hour + seems to be the only cure. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

6) ) Entire Infotainment system has become unstable and crashed and shut itself off on 4 occasions in the last 2 months. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

7)On attempt to use the Voice command to make a call, the system will sometimes find the number and attempt to make the call but the call timer shows all zeros and there is no dialing. This does this with multiple phones ( even after “repairing” the phones) . Frequency is 2-3 out of 10 attempts. Cancelling the call and changing number to dial may/may not correct the fault. This started only after the TSB (15-261-20) was installed.

8) Navigation system is very slow and confuses easily. It’s near unusable to find anything. Even inputting addresses via the keypad is prone to failure/ wrong address being interpreted. ALL attempts to use voice commands to find an address result in it suggesting a completely different address on the other side of the united states ( Usually Utah ) It has not worked once in 15-20 attempts to find a location via well pronounced voice commands. I’ve given up. Navigation has been near unusable since delivery but seems worse since I downloaded and installed the recommended update last month at Subaru’s direction.

9) Sound level setting on Navigation menu resets to zero randomly so that instructions cannot be heard. I have reset this setting to midrange 5-6 times now in 5 months. It goes unnoticed until you need it.

p.s So I'm not here to debate any of these. I'm just passing on info for those hoping that this is all going to go away because Subaru is on it. They clearly are not. FWIW, the service department I go to has not attempted any troubleshooting despite several complaints on sysem performance my part. I will likely take this to the states A G's office if I get no love here by mid summer.
I own a new 2020 Outback Touring XT and believe that I can address #5 on your list. Do not plug in your iPhone to use Apple Carplay before starting your vehicle. Start your vehicle first and then plug in your iPhone. I had the same issue as you but found that it was related to actually “when” I plugged in my iPhone. Prior to this procedual change, Radio and Media would not function if my iPhone was already plugged in. It seems to be sn issue with Apple Carplay software. No problems since I modified my plug in order. Took delivery of my Outback at the end of March. No issues at all with the nav screen and software other than when to plug in my phone and activate Apple Carplay.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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Discussion Starter #60
I own a new 2020 Outback Touring XT and believe that I can address #5 on your list. Do not plug in your iPhone to use Apple Carplay before starting your vehicle. Start your vehicle first and then plug in your iPhone. I had the same issue as you but found that it was related to actually “when” I plugged in my iPhone. Prior to this procedual change, Radio and Media would not function if my iPhone was already plugged in. It seems to be sn issue with Apple Carplay software. No problems since I modified my plug in order. Took delivery of my Outback at the end of March. No issues at all with the nav screen and software other than when to plug in my phone and activate Apple Carplay.
Thanks for the advice but I don't plug my phone in at all. Maybe twice since I bought the car in Nov.
 
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