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Subaru Says It Slowed Production Of New Outback Before Ramp-Up To Ensure Quality

Subaru was concerned about the quality of the new 2020 Outback and Legacy models and says it controlled production before ramp-up began. See what its policy on quality says.

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This summer, Subaru Indiana Automotive, the plant where the new 2020 Subaru Outback and Legacy models are manufactured, slowed production of the new models to ensure quality remains at a high level. Torque News reported in June that leaked documents from Subaru’s U.S. National Retail Advisory Board said dealers are concerned Subaru “vehicles are being produced with the quality the brand and its customers deserve.”

In July, Torque News also reported certain 2019 model year Outback (1,965 units affected) and 2019 Legacy (142 models effected) were being recalled for poor quality welds located on the duct below the cowl panel may have been improperly applied, impacting the vehicle's body strength. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said In the event of a crash, the reduced strength of the vehicle body may increase the risk of injury.

Subaru Outback production

Because Subaru needed to get the all-new 2020 Outback and Legacy produced without any quality issues, Subaru Corporation made the decision to control the production of the newly-redesigned models “in order to ensure the quality of new vehicles before ramp-up” according to a recent Subaru Corporation press release.

Even though production started at the end of July, dealers did not receive new models until late September. This was likely due to another recall that did affect both 2020 Outback and Legacy models due to a brake pedal mounting bracket that possibly had a missing or insufficiently tightened brake bolt. A total of 3,450 U.S. vehicles were affected by this recall.

2020 Subaru Outback and Legacy quality

Should customers be concerned with Outback and Legacy quality?

Subaru had been a victim of its own success as it has seen record sales for 10 straight years and they have a goal to reach 700,000-vehicle sales in the U.S. this year. There have been growing pains and Subaru of America has been challenged by needing to produce more vehicles for dealers to sell, and also maintain quality for their customers.

Subaru Indiana Automotive issued this quality policy

“Customer Satisfaction is the First Priority” to achieve this we must ensure SIA is committed to meeting regulatory requirements and our global customer expectations of ZERO defects in our products. This policy supports the direction of Subaru Corporation as outlined in the Prominence 2020 Mid-Term Management Vision and provides the framework to establish our quality objectives and targets."

"We will team up to continually improve our products, our processes, and the quality management system, to enhance customer satisfaction. SIA is committed to being a world-class leader in quality. This policy is communicated to all SIA Associates and is available to the general public."

Subaru is walking a fine line between quantity and quality at their newly-revamped plant in Indiana in order to produce enough new 2020 Subaru Outback and Legacy models for their customers. Subaru knows the issues and seems to be committed to building quality models for North American customers.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Torque News

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Digitaldoc (not verified)    November 3, 2019 - 12:25PM

Every manufacturer has to walk a fine line between quality and quantity. An early recall with a loose brake bracket suggests that Subaru still has some things to work out, and are not at the top of their game.

Al (not verified)    November 3, 2019 - 3:54PM

My 2020 outback touring XT is on order.While I wish I was in it now, I’ll gladly wait the 8-10 weeks I’ve been told it would take to assure the quality is all there and always has been with Subaru. So take your time, do it right the first time ,I’ll wait.

Tony Wilson (not verified)    November 3, 2019 - 5:50PM

It is a terrible shame that being a loyal customer such as I since mm 1 got the comment of these American-made Subaru are less than the Subaru made in Japan, in quality. I bought my 2004 Outback Limited and have never had a problem with it I bought my wife 2017 and it has been in the shop more than a dozen times since buying it the workmanship is terrible I do not plan on buying another Subaru for any of my family or ourselves. .

Kristian (not verified)    November 3, 2019 - 10:05PM

Multiple Subaru owner here. Slight correction: Subaru isn't a victim of its own success, the owners of many of the defects they've pushed out over the last 6-8 years are the actual victims. Regardless of whether issues are covered by the manufacturer, some of Subaru's defects are inexcusable from a company that constantly boasts its safety and longevity. Owners time is not free either.

BLBA (not verified)    November 4, 2019 - 10:16AM

Love our outback. Eyesight is outstanding. Don't understand comments about the CVT. I don't notice any noise. Performance in mountain highway driving is excellent. Just got home from NC to OH trip. Over 31mpg thru the Appalachians. My biggest complaint is lack of sensible, easy, free updates to GPS and maps. And color combination for interior/exterior colors.

Duke Woolworth (not verified)    November 4, 2019 - 5:05PM

I saw my first Outback 11/3. It's a yawn, just as Subaru likes it. I was hoping it would be more VIZIV/Levorg (Grovel backwards) influenced. It gives me little incentive to upgrade from my present Outback.

Mike (not verified)    November 20, 2019 - 3:46AM

We have had our 2020 limited 2.5 since October 5 and must say it is an outstanding vehicle
I don't think there is any other vehicle under $50,000 that can compete with it.
The others out there are not in the same league, just a bunch of pretenders with fake AWD that is pretty useless.