2020 Subaru Outback, new Subaru Outback, specs, features,
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Will Customers Have Quality Issues With New 2020 Subaru Outback Like Ascent?

Subaru is riding high now, but for how long? Subaru dealers are worried customers will have similar quality issues with new 2020 Outback as Ascent.

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Customers are waiting for the all-new seventh-generation 2020 Subaru Outback to arrive and it should be a big hit with a more powerful 2.4-liter turbo engine, new Global Platform with improved driving dynamics, a roomier cabin, and improved safety tech. But Subaru’s success in America could spur problems for the new Outback according to concerns from Subaru’s dealer network.

Subaru has seen impressive growth in the U.S. for the past 10 years with record sales and expansion. But they have experienced growing pains that are manifesting itself in poor quality and it’s showing up with the all-new Ascent 3-Row family hauler. The new Ascent is built at the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana and has seen quality issues and some SUVs were recalled and destroyed due to manufacturing defects on the assembly line.

Dealers are worried the new 2020 Outback, manufactured at the same plant, could see the same quality issues because of the Subaru Indiana Automotive plant trying to keep up with demand for the new SUV/Crossover that will launch later this summer. According to internal documents intercepted by Automotive News recently, certain U.S. Subaru dealers and company managers are already concerned.

How will Subaru’s growing pains affect customers?

“We continue to be concerned that Subaru is not making the necessary investments and changes fast enough to ensure that vehicles are being produced with the quality the brand and its customers deserve,” Subaru’s U.S. National Retail Advisory Board wrote in a September 18th resolution to top management in the U.S. and Japan after last year’s rollout of the U.S.-built Ascent crossover was maligned by recalls. The board also noted it “would like to express its disappointment with the continued poor product quality and with the poor launch of the new Ascent.”

Automotive News interviewed Tom Doll, CEO of Subaru of America at the Chicago Auto Show where he acknowledged dealers had expressed concerns to Subaru executives in Japan. “This situation is going to correct itself,” Doll told AN. “A lot of it’s growing pains, right? But we’re not concerned at all about whether or not it’s going to get fixed or not. It will get fixed. We’re hopeful that it gets fixed fairly quickly.”

Quality is a concern

Also in the September 18th resolution, Subaru dealers expressed concern about how the Japanese automaker’s overall product line is slipping in quality. The board wrote, “Unfortunately, customers continue to have many issues with their Subarus, and the brand continues to slip in IQS and other industry metrics related to product quality. This is unacceptable and contradictory to what Subaru continues to tell the board and retailers about improvements being made thru quality initiatives.”

With its impressive growth, Subaru Corporation is having growing pains in Japan and the U.S. market. Customers have been waiting for the newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback to arrive and expectations are high for the new SUV-alternative all-wheel-drive vehicle. As it enters pre-production at the U.S. plant, dealers hope the seventh-generation Outback won’t have the same quality issues as it’s stablemate Ascent has experienced.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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My 2018 Subaru spent a week in the shop 3 months after i bought it because the front axle was loose. I have also had lots tech issues. It runs out of gas when the dash says you have 30 miles left. The stereo is awful.
Stereo is horrible 2017 outback. Go to Bose. Heated steering wheels should be standard in New England.
"should be standard"? Why should they? Not everyone wants to pay for them or may not want them period. This is not a criticism to be taken seriously
And article about quality issues, but absolutely not one concrete example of a quality issue. This article is a whole lot of padding with very little substance.
I am a victim of quality problems with my 2015 Outback. With only 40,000 miles I have had following repairs by dealer: 3 dashboards 3 drivers door panels Continued dashboard rattled Lift gate won’t open Drive shaft replaced Front axle replaced Excessive vibration when AC in on Continued shutter when turning right Glad I purchased the 100k bumper to bumper warranty.
My 2018 Outback 3.6 is a wonderful car. Yet there are real support issues related to electronics...updates of maps to the required Subaru navigation, radio automatically comes on at startup, etc. The dealer has no clue how to fix anything electronic. So when a writer states that Subaru is outgrowing it’s capabilitie, I see it daily.
When I got my 2010 Outback PZEV there were at least four recalls but none with my 2013 and 2017 Outbacks. I like that many of the 2020 changes are being tried on the Ascent and Forester before reaching the Outback, which I will be buying.
You're literally posting untruths. "The new Ascent is built at the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana and has seen quality issues and some SUVs were recalled and destroyed due to manufacturing defects on the assembly line." FALSE: Zero Ascents were destroyed, zero Ascents had bad welds. One robot miscounted what amounts to a couple shifts worth of cars, all 293 vehicles were inspected and all welds were there. All cars were cleared and released. "...after last year’s rollout of the U.S.-built Ascent crossover was maligned by recalls." (plural) FALSE: There was one not-really-recall - because, again, as I noted, ZERO cars actually ended up being recalled. All 293 were checked, cleared and released. Other than that, there were ZERO other recalls. maligned: "speak about (someone) in a spitefully critical manner." C'mon, Denis, you can do better than to malign Subaru for things that didn't happen. Please do better research.