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What Subaru Owners Need To Know About The 3G Wireless Network Shutdown

As 3G networks shut down in 2022, some Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, and WRX STI models will need to be upgraded. See if your vehicle is on the list here.

As wireless carriers are shutting down their 3G networks over the coming months, certain Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, and WRX STI models will lose the ability to automatically contact first responders after a crash. Subaru uses its Starlink Safety and Security technology, which will need to be upgraded soon.

What are the Subaru model years affected by the 3G wireless network shutdown? Check out the complete list below.

Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Crosstrek Subaru Forester vehicles affected: 2016-2018 Forester 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, and 2.0XT Touring.

Subaru Outback vehicles affected: 2016-2018 Outback 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited; 2017-2018 Outback 2.5i Sport.

Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek vehicles affected: 2016-2017 Crosstrek 2.0i Premium with Eyesight and 2.0i Limited; 2018 Crosstrek 2.0i Premium.

Subaru Impreza vehicles affected: 2016-2018 Impreza 2.0i Limited; 2016 Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium with Eyesight and 2.0i Sport Limited; 2017-2018 Impreza 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Sport.

Subaru Legacy vehicles affected: 2016-2018 Legacy 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited; 2017-2018 Legacy 2.5i Sport.

Subaru WRX and WRX STI vehicles affected: 2017 WRX 2.0T Premium with Harman Kardon; 2017-2018 WRX 2.0T Limited and 2017-2018 WRX STI, according to Subaru’s website.

What should Subaru customers do to remedy the situation?

Subaru says retailers offer a complementary update for affected vehicles with an active Starlink Safety and Security subscription. “This update will allow continued access to these important Starlink Safety and Security services. If an affected vehicle is not updated before the 3G network retirement date, the subscription will be canceled,” according to Subaru.

If you are an active Starlink service subscriber and do not update your system before February 2022, your services (Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and Remote Features such as locking and unlocking your Subaru vehicle) will automatically be canceled. You will be issued a pro-rated refund for the unused portion of your subscription.

If you are not currently subscribed to Starlink, then the operation of your Subaru vehicle will not be affected.

How do I get my Subaru vehicle’s Starlink system updated?

Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, WRX, and WRX STI customers with an active Starlink subscription will be able to start scheduling service appointments for the complimentary upgrade beginning on March 10, 2021. An authorized Subaru Retailer must complete the vehicle update. You can contact a Subaru retailer for further details or refer to your MySubaru account for scheduling assistance.

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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 USA


bob E (not verified)    January 17, 2022 - 12:08PM

Time required to perform the upgrade is 3 hours.

I got mail from Subaru telling me that if my upgrade was not performed by 15-jan, that my starlink subscription would be cancelled at that time, and not at the end of the month.

David (not verified)    February 23, 2022 - 11:41AM

I had requested this update be done twice in the last 10 months while having my vehicle serviced. Each time they told me they wouldn't have enough time this trip. Now Subaru is saying they won't replace my equipment unless I pay for it.

Rod Branyan (not verified)    December 13, 2022 - 11:17PM

Same issues as above. Both Subaru and Starlink are a ripoff.. I decided not to update and despite assurances, I wasn't refunded my subscription cost . Plus, Subaru tries to upsell you unnecessary services at each routine maintenance appointment, I'll never by another Subaru again.

Duane Troxler (not verified)    March 13, 2024 - 4:26PM

I have a 2019 Subaru Outback and the battery has a drain on it. I don't subscribe to Starlink, but the car is still affected. I was told a module needs replaced and the type of module depended on whether or not I am a Starlink subscriber. It cost over $700 to replace. I have replaced the battery thinking it was bad.

Robert DeForge (not verified)    March 31, 2024 - 4:33PM

In reply to by Duane Troxler (not verified)

Check Subaru TSB 15-312-23R Revision 06/28/23 This is for 16-18 Outbacks but I think it will cover 19's. I still have to check on that. The dealer can put the module to sleep and disconnect your sos and information button. If you wanted to use Starlink after this you would have to reconnect the switches, replace dcm and program. My vehicle was under waranty when they stopped the 3g service. Subaru should have replaced all the modules under warranty, not just if you had a Starlink subscription. Now I to have a battery drain issue too due the the module looking for the 3g signal. The TSB says its covered under a special policy. I have to stop by the dealer.