2021 Subaru Ascent, pricing, features, specs
Denis Flierl's picture

Investigation Into Subaru Ascent Transmission Problems Could Bring A New Lawsuit

A new report says the Subaru Ascent transmission problems are being investigated. Will the findings bring a new lawsuit against Subaru?

The all-new Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler has had problems with its automatic transmission, and a new investigation could bring a lawsuit against Subaru of America. The Ascent was all-new for the 2019 model year and made at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The Ascent transmission issues put the SUV on the Consumer Reports 10-Least Reliable cars list.

A report from ClassAction.org says attorneys are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed following reports of transmission problems in the Ascent family hauler. What is the problem with the Ascent transmission?

2021 Subaru Ascent, pricing, features, specs
Photo credit: Subaru of San Bernadino

Subaru Ascent owners have reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that they have had shifting problems. Drivers report feeling the vehicle hesitates, jerking or about to stall, and slipping of the continuous variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox.

Brian Jones, ASE certified master tech and Lemberg Law expert automotive contributor says there are several problems with the Ascent, and his investigation reveals, “Report after report talk about needing a new transmission shortly after purchasing the Ascent.”

2021 Subaru Ascent, pricing, features, specs
Photo credit: Riverside Subaru via @MarcUrbano

Did Subaru have a recall for the Ascent transmission issues?

Subaru of America recalled 76,842 2019 model year Ascent SUVs over a faulty sensor in the transmission. The hydraulic transmission sensor may inaccurately measure the hydraulic fluid pressure, and the Continually Variable Transmission (CVT) chain may slip in Ascent 3-Row vehicles.

If the chain slips, there could be irregular noise, vibration, hesitation while driving, and a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) illumination. The NHTSA says if driving under this condition continues, the vehicle may experience a loss of power, increasing the risk of a crash.

The affected vehicles were manufactured between February 22, 2018, and May 7, 2019, and were eligible for a software update under the Subaru recall. ClassAction.org says attorneys investigating the problem have reason to believe the update may not have fixed the cars and that those built after May 7, 2019, and left out of the recall, also “suffer from the same transmission problem.”

What should Ascent owners do?

The report says, “In light of these reports, attorneys are investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed. Before they can even consider filing a lawsuit, however, they need to speak with drivers to learn more about the problem.”

2019-2020 Subaru Ascent owners experiencing transmission slippage, jerking, shuddering, or other transmission issues can contact ClassAction.org here.  

You Might Also Like: New Subaru Ascent Family Hauler 3 Year Report Card - Are The Problems Fixed?

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru, Riverside Subaru via @MarcUrbano, Subaru of San Bernadino

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Hi Dennis, Thanks for the info! I went to the site and it says 2019/2020 models. Do they think this might affect 2021 models as well? Thanks!
I own a 2019 Crosstrek with no issues, scared about upgrading to 2021 Ascent to stay Subaru as I need a bigger vehicle or just go Toyota Highlander for peace of mind?!
The Highlander is having transmission problems also.
Is this only for 2019 and 2020 models or does it also affect 2021? The class action website just says 2019 and 2020.
My 21 ascent is having the issue. It’s been at the dealer since Friday and they don’t expect to have it back to me for weeks. The dealer mentioned their tech is doing several transmissions right now.
Well darn it... we just ordered one, now I'm concerned.
I had mine replaced but they installed incorrectly and had to redo it. Had my ascent for over three weeks. I was able to take video and post it on you tube of the issues
Can you share the link of the transmission issue so I can see if I am having the same issue. I own the 2019 Ascent and have experienced the 'shutter' intermittently. I have been in contact with the Class Action folks and need to decide if I want to be retained y the folks filing the class action suit.
No problems with my transmission yet but I am having problems with the brakes and rotors with less than 10,000 miles
As I think about this, the Ascent is a heavy vehicle. That coupled with the type of brake pad used could contribute to the problem. Find out the type of brake pads used. How frustrating for you.
I have a car manufactured during the specified period, was recalled and purported fixed. I WAS NOT. It still stumbles, hesitates and bucks. So very disappointed I can't express it.
Is the problem with the transmission fixed in the 2021 Ascent?
I have the same issue with my Ascent 2019 with cvt transmission problem. Almost, I got kill by a truck in the middle nowhere between NY and PA highway. My Ascent transmission was making noise and losing power uphill until die on me. I waited a month to fix the issue. Now, so far so good. My lease is about to expire. I don't know if should finance or I should go some place else like Toyota.
Just bought a 2019 Ascent, I didn't realize they hadn't fixed this problem. I have had my car less than a week. 47k miles. All of a sudden, screeching noises, shuddering, jerking, randomly dropping speed or increasing speed. I'm absolutely terrified to drive my car. When I put the VIN in online, it says no recalls for it (I assumed that might mean they already fixed the car I have), OBVIOUSLY NOT! I got a subaru to feel safer driving my family around, THIS IS NOT SAFE!
I own a 2019 Subaru Ascent. This will be the fourth time to have the same problem fixed. The AT Oil temperature light comes on. The dealer has looked at it, replaced the valve body wiring and returned it to us just to have it happen again. I am getting frustrated at Subaru! Why can't they just fix it the first time???
I own a 2019 Subaru Ascent that is having the same transmission issues. Jerks forward when shifting from reverse to drive, hesitates while driving and lots of squeaking noises It’s been looked at multiple times by the service department at dealership who agrees there is a problem with the vehicle but cannot get approval from Subaru Corporate who says it’s “normal operation”. This is not acceptable.
Transmission in my 2019 Subaru Ascent just died. Didn't have much issues with it until this moment. The only issue I had was the engine or transmission making higher pitched noise when accelerating hard from a complete stop - to this the service said they tightened something and it was gone for some time but recently came back. For the main issue with my transmission they said they are going to replace it and need a week to do so. I've had the vehicle for just 3 years and only put 17,500 miles on it.
Transmission jerks and feel peculiar when driving. Also steering wanders while driving