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A couple of people on the Outback forum had the transmissions replaced on their 2020 XT Outbacks.
different beasts. I know nothing about the cause of those failures. There currently are zero recalls for that vehicle model, so if it were true that they had the transmissions replaced it is either very early on in what may be an investigation by Subaru or simply one off unit problems.
 

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We had the recall done. They didn't find an issue so they just did some programming and sent us on our way. We got the letter, so it's nice to have a long warranty. But if the harness is a known issue, I still don't understand why they didn't just replace it. Does their test somehow give them 100% assurance that it won't fail and destroy the transmission? Maybe it's horrifically expensive to replace.
 

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We had the recall done. They didn't find an issue so they just did some programming and sent us on our way. We got the letter, so it's nice to have a long warranty. But if the harness is a known issue, I still don't understand why they didn't just replace it. Does their test somehow give them 100% assurance that it won't fail and destroy the transmission? Maybe it's horrifically expensive to replace.
not all cvt fail due to a defective harness. In part it depends on its use during the time frame of how long the defective harness was in play.
 

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Maybe it's horrifically expensive to replace.
It's more that it's a pain in the backside to replace physically so given the labor involved, if it tests fine...
 
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If it is indeed the harness, how can there be owners who have had several transmission replacements?Obviously, it's more than just the harness. Subaru is putting a bandaid on a severed artery - not sufficient.
It's not the harness, technically. It's the connectors where the harnesses connect to each other. One of the connectors is made of a different metal compound, and, on some, is causing oxidation that's messing with the data.

That can quite simply mean that some small number of harnesses have exposed metal in the connectors (a little too little dielectric grease perhaps) allowing the oxidation process to start. That'd mean very few harnesses affected, and, very few CVT's killed by harness connector issues.

Since the harness connector is a part of the harness, I tend to shorthand it as "harness" - perhaps I shouldn't.

And, here's how some Ascent owners have needed a couple transmissions:
  • harness replacements were not part of the initial repairs, as the root cause wasn't yet diagnosed.
  • some replacement CVTs were not fully filled before the owner was sent on their way (probably filled using the wrong method).
  • some replacement CVTs were filled with the wrong fluid.
So, no, there's no band-aid here. There's a lot more details about what's gone on with those few 2nd replacement CVTs, and I am aware of the details on a very large portion of the few affected double replacements (i've followed up on virtually every one publicly posted), and, I can assure you, nothing is wrong with the CVT itself. And, I suspect most people with connectors packed with dielectric compound won't have any issues.

I am in the affected group. I'm on my original CVT and harness. And, I drive it, every day, showing that my words aren't just words. This was Saturday that just passed.
4761


4763


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And, a few weeks before that, doing a very difficult sand tow.
4762
 

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A couple of people on the Outback forum had the transmissions replaced on their 2020 XT Outbacks.
I didn't notice those posts. Can you please tag me in them? Same username. The only ones I noticed were a Jiffy-Lube one where they emptied the CVT (may have been in the FB group) and an owner created problem, where they did the same thing (emptied the CVT when doing an oil change) and were going to try to refill it.

With the sheer number of Outbacks sold, I would expect one or two CVT failures, just like I'd expect one or two transmission failures across any line.
 

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Sorry, I got my threads mixed up. Some guy had his fourth (4th) headunit in his 2018 Outback replaced. My apologies. But I am still mad at Subaru for installing a garbage head unit in my 2018 Outback.
What's it doing? You've got the Gen 3.x HK unit that looks like the Ascent's?
 

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And, I suspect most people with connectors packed with dielectric compound won't have any issues."
So if that bit of corrosion is the root cause, it would have been nice (and reassuring) if checking the dielectric grease in the connector were part of the recall procedure. I'm guessing the connector is accessible or they wouldn't be able to take it apart or put it together. Since they don't say they did it, is this something an owner can do?
 

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So if that bit of corrosion is the root cause, it would have been nice (and reassuring) if checking the dielectric grease in the connector were part of the recall procedure. I'm guessing the connector is accessible or they wouldn't be able to take it apart or put it together. Since they don't say they did it, is this something an owner can do?
That's a simple "perhaps this is why" guess.

But, let's run with it for a second. If, out of 79,000 Ascents, 150 had improperly packed connectors (number of failed CVTs based on extrapolation from all posts and comments here and in the FB group), then, it means the vast majority of connectors in Ascents with the previous harness design (79K) were properly packed. So, roughly a little under 2/10 of a percent weren't packed with enough. That's well within the margin of human error on an assembly line, I'd think.

Customer Check:
It is not an easy job to check the harness connectors. Heck, that's why replacing it takes only half hour less than replacing the entire CVT and harness.

If the connector has started to oxidize (and remember that the affected Ascents had been out and about for at least 7 months before the test procedure), then the new code, followed by the stall test, would indicate incorrect readings. That calls for a new harness (per the TSB).

Think of that this way: in the simplest of terms, a bad connection causes more resistance, which can be measured.

If after 7 months (for the newest of the affected Ascents) or 1.6 years (for the oldest, like mine), the harness signals read correctly, then, it's very unlikely to oxidize later (because it hasn't yet).

Brings us to the warranty extension...
So, now, people like me have a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty on our CVTs. On a personal level, I didn't particularly care. I already have an 8/120,000 mile warranty that covers the CVT, and, as you all know, I'll blast past 120,000 miles in under half that many years (late 2021 to mid 2022 at this rate). But, all the rest of you in the affected group have it too.

I think the test was sufficient, especially since spending hours on checking for a properly/improperly packed connector now, or later, isn't much difference when it's no cost to the owner and no real difference in time for repair (many hours, either way).

Just my thoughts and half cent.
 

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Robert, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't they need to literally drop the transmission to be able to physically inspect all the harness connection points? I believe that's why it takes nearly as long to replace the harness as compared to replacing the harness and transmission....
 
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Robert, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't they need to literally drop the transmission to be able to physically inspect all the harness connection points? I believe that's why it takes nearly as long to replace the harness as compared to replacing the harness and transmission....
Yes, which means axle shafts have to come out, and so on. They end up being just a few bolts and connections away from replacing the CVT.

And then everything needs to be sealed and plugged back together.
 

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That makes their process make more sense. Like I said, "horrifically expensive".
It also introduces a point of failure by unsealing the affected connectors, and then hoping everything is properly re-greased and re-sealed.

It would kinda be like exploratory surgery perhaps? Except an electrical test should be just as reliable in detecting oxidation due to resistance changes, vs a physical inspection.
 

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Just received letter confirming that Subaru will now warranty the transmission 10/100000. Of course with some caveats that will apply to some who have already had a transmission replacement. Nice to see they are doing right by the customer.
Just receive the same letter in Canada. Extending the CVT warranty on our 2019 to 10years/160,000km. It is our first Subaru and this really helps inspire confidence.
the way i see it is kind like insurance. I I’ll never need to use, but I sleep a lot better knowing it’s there
 

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My letter arrived as well. I may purchase another vehicle within the next ten years but I plan to keep the Ascent for at least that long. It's great to know there's one less major component I don't need to be concerned about long term.

Thanks Subaru!
 

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Along with the CVT, they replace the harness, which will be what caused the failure, so, with the root cause gone...
I guess, but at that point I have to ask, why are we even here?
 

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I guess, but at that point I have to ask, why are we even here?
I don't understand the question.

On a metaphysical level, I don't know...
 

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@Robert.Mauro, a question regarding the extended warranty on the CVT. I own a Honda Ridgeline and some people have had issues with the 6-speed transmission. The power train warranty is the normal 5 yr/60K miles. But if we purchase an OEM Honda extended warranty on the vehicle for say 8 yr/100K miles, any software updates are not covered after the initial 5 yr/60K warranty. Is it the same for the Subaru extended OEM warranty, and for the additional warranty Subaru provides for only the transmission? I thought it strange, but the extended warranty document clearly states, no software updates included.
 

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@Robert.Mauro, a question regarding the extended warranty on the CVT. I own a Honda Ridgeline and some people have had issues with the 6-speed transmission. The power train warranty is the normal 5 yr/60K miles. But if we purchase an OEM Honda extended warranty on the vehicle for say 8 yr/100K miles, any software updates are not covered after the initial 5 yr/60K warranty. Is it the same for the Subaru extended OEM warranty, and for the additional warranty Subaru provides for only the transmission? I thought it strange, but the extended warranty document clearly states, no software updates included.
Subaru has two levels of extended warranty, and, I am not sure. Some TSBs are not covered by them, while, others are. In all events, if it's a safety related update (one that has a NHTSA number), it is covered, regardless of warranty coverage. For instance, IF my understanding is correct, for something like the CVT reprogramming, Subaru would generally cover that, as they made it an NHTSA safety recall campaign.

Your best bet would be to email Subaru directly about specific or not-so-specific coverages.
 

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Subaru has two levels of extended warranty, and, I am not sure. Some TSBs are not covered by them, while, others are. In all events, if it's a safety related update (one that has a NHTSA number), it is covered, regardless of warranty coverage. For instance, IF my understanding is correct, for something like the CVT reprogramming, Subaru would generally cover that, as they made it an NHTSA safety recall campaign.

Your best bet would be to email Subaru directly about specific or not-so-specific coverages.
The main reason I ask is with respect to the head unit. I am assuming those updates will not be free after the expiration of the new car warranty. That could be expensive over time.
 
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