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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have bought very nice cars throughout my life and have never had issues of any significance. I bought my first Subaru Outback 2013 after a great deal of research and thought that I made the right choice, however, that did not turn out to be the case.

Having never driven a AWD or a Subaru, I thought the 'stiff-tight' steering was something that I would acclimate to believing the 'feel' was due to changing from a Volvo 2wd to the Outback AWD.

After the first week, my wrists begin to hurt. I blew this off telling my self it is just a new vehicle. After the second week my entire body shut down due to the stress and extreme effort it took to turn the steering wheel and keeping it on the road on the highway. Once this exhaustion hit me...while in route to the mountains, I just turned around and came home to rest. The Subaru driving experience caused me to have pain in both arms, neck, back...which then moved down my back to my legs. I have been on medication to stop the pain and unable to drive my new car because of this issue.

BTW...this car was put on the lot without checking to make sure it was correctly set up. I was injured due to this.

I don't want to come across as a weakling...I am not. I have been an athlete my entire life, routinely work out, etc...not on any meds period.

Because this was such a strange experience I began to look up 'steering' and low and behold ....there they were...pages of complaints about the steering.

I called the dealer and had the car worked on for two day...they loosened the steering a bit although it still wasn't comfortable to drive and...created a new issue----steering wheel vibration. (They stiffened the steering for 2013 to get rid of the vibration of the 2012s.)

I've owned cars from the 60s with no steering enhancement and I have owned trucks, vans, sedans, sports cars, etc. and none had the stiff driving like this car.

Ultimately, the dealer (Subaru of Kennesaw, GA) offered to trade my car and CHARGE ME ANOTHER 2000.00 in addition to the 33k I had already paid. I called
Subaru of America, spoke with a guy who called the dealership to 'work this out,' yet when I called back the dealership and again spoke with the sales manager I was asked what did SoA tell you? Any offer? if he was fishing to see just what his dealership was responsible for. In other words, SoA and this sales manager spoke and came up with a plan that obviously did not help me. I guess I was to raise **** to have them accommodate me in a trade w/o more money paid or for a refund. I had been in pain for a week and just did not feel well enough to fight.

Instead of trading fairly or letting me out of the car deal---due to injury because the dealership put a "broken-unsetup" vehicle on the lot, they blew me off. For that, I took the car and bought a truly reliable vehicle....and it WAS NOT A SUBARU.

Besides the above issue:
They put on my side moldings incorrectly the first time and the service receptionist tried to convince me they were correct. Of course, I have eyes and I can see the difference on the car parked right beside my car...I had to go to two managers to get this corrected.

Besides these two issues:
The mechanics left smudges on my new beige leather seats and around the seat control buttons, which I had to clean.

I don't know how this company sales anything...the negligence was amazing.

Instead of treating a new customer right, they were completely unsympathetic and lacked any real concern other than to offer the 'company line.'

I will never buy another Subaru and I would warn others to be very careful in your purchase should you choose to purchase one.

This was an extremely disappointing endeavor and it is a shame that companies treat their customers so poorly. They would rather get their funds and stick-it-to-you, than treat you respectfully and have you walk away with a smile and a good thing to say.


Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
16,486 Posts
Sorry you had such a bad experience with the dealership. Profit margins are a pain in the arse and some people just don't give a ****.

You shouldn't be upset with Subaru. You should be upset only with the dealership you dealt with. I have owned Subarus for most of my life and have never had issues with the vehicles, all of which traveled hundreds of thousands of miles without major issue.

2021 MGM Outback 2.5i Premium with Tungsten Grey seats
3,025 Posts
I agree with cardoc, some of your issues are with your local dealer. I'm not sure what you expect the dealer to do to "setup" the steering prior to delivery. The alignment is set at the factory, and the PDI typically won't incluse a drive long enough to sort out fatigue issues (my Outback had < 10 miles on it when I picked it up off the lot), which would be issues only you could decide on anyway.

If you had done a "great deal of research" as you say you did, why did the potential steering issue not come up in that research if you found it after you bought the vehicle? By the way, the steering was not tightened to resolve the shakes of the 2012's, my 2011 was built post-shakes and has almost 15,000 trouble-free and shake-free miles. The steering was adjusted along with refining the suspension tuning, it MAY have been in response to the shake issue, but that was definitely resolved prior to 2012.
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