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Subaru and SiriusXM

Hi Folks
Just heard from SiriusXM that the reason my car radio (original equipment) is not holding the xm radio stations is that Subaru needs to adjust the firmware. Subaru acknowledges that there is a bulletin (15-205-16R)out on this issue but since I didn’t report a radio problem while in warranty… it will cost me a minimum of $150 to upgrade the firmware. I bought the car in May 2016 brand new, the bulletin came out in November 2016 and was upgraded in 2018… I tried but to no avail to get them to honor the upgrade. For me this is the “straw” with Subaru; am cleaning the car and putting it up for sale. Any suggestions on a similar size SUV AWD for New England.

Does “Subaru” refer to your specific dealership, or to Subaru at the corporate level?
If it was the dealership, I suggest that you make contact with the corporate folks via the phone number or address listed in your Owner’s Manual.

Do you really want to take a loss of 2 or 3 thousand dollars or more over 150.00 charge ?
As VDC says , contact corporate and maybe at least they may help with the charge.

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The local dealer, who is a mega dealer in the area. I will try the corporate folks, it can’t hurt

Well to be fair they said it would be a minimum of $150. While I hear you about the additional cost/loss, honestly, I’ve been unhappy with this vehicle for some time. It’s a bunch of quirky things that just are adding up. I wrote earlier this year about the car seats… the Forester is great on many things but a long distance drive in those seats even thought we’ve tried several types of cushions, is just unbearable and we aren’t big people. He’s 6’1 about 175 and I’m 5’ at 115. So they shouldn’t have worn down…
I will try the corporate office on Monday…frankly it’s not that I am so enamored with Sirius, it just seems to me since they installed the Sirius XM radio, they should honor the change…or meet me half way. Thanks Again

The upgrade should only take a few minutes, but most dealers have a minimum 1 hour labor charge. The hourly rates must be very high in your area. Anyway, you can do it yourself. This is from the corporate website.

This seems pretty surprising for a Subaru dealer and I agree with contacting corporate. Also, thanks to Keith for the do-it-yourself method he found, although it sounds mildly complex for a one-time event.

Oddly enough, my 2019 Ascent, bought in November, had the opposite problem-it would occasionally lose all my presets except for the Sirius XM ones. I couldn’t figure out why it happened and I brought to the dealer who said, yes there is a known issue and they would update the software. So far, they have not vanished since the update.

Not sure about the XM and AWD aspects, but Rav 4, Chev Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Hyund Tucson, Jeep Liberty, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 seem good alternatives to consider.

I doubt any of those manufactures would honor an expired warranty though, unless it’s a recall or perhaps a customer interest bulletin. You might surf over to the NHTSA website, see what they have to say, there might be some safety aspect you could parlay to a software update repair.

I think they can charge the $150/hr because they are such a large dealer who bought out all the little guys. I bought my car from a stand alone dealer who was then purchased by Prime. I read through Keith’s info. OMG — This happens every time I shut the car off; I refresh, it loads and then it works until I shut the engine off. I’ll show my techie friend and see what he says . Thanks everyone. I’ll let you know what the corporate response is

This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone dump a car over an issue with the radio, particularly over an issue with satellite radio.

I can imagine few things that are as penny wise and pound foolish as this.



Haha no not over the radio though I can see why it looks that way.
Actually there have been cumulative issues and this silly little thing with no dealership support over the issue with h the radio that was known since I bought the car from them was the proverbial final straw.

@Lorraine24, I feel your pain. I have been very disappointed in my 2014 Legacy over a number of issues and I hate the car. Never again Subaru. I don’t have the Sirius problem because I don’t subscribe, I use an iPod instead.

One big issue is the Subaru’s performance in snow. It has been my experience that AWD vehicles, especially those with rear bias like the Subaru perform poorly in snow and any low traction environment. A true 4wd will help you get out of being stuck, but if you stay in 4wd, they become unstable as speed increases, but at least with those, you can take them out of 4wd. The best vehicle I have ever had for snow was an 86 Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon. You could select 4wd or FWD. 4wd would get you moving and FWD would provide stability up to around 45 mph. But that type of vehicle is no longer available.

I would urge you to go with an FWD with winter tires. If the snow gets deep in your area and potholes are an issue, then a FWD crossover would be a good choice for their higher ground clearance and higher profile tires. The winter tires should be mounted on steel wheels for the pothole and snow season, all season tires on the alloys for that month of poor skiing.


This is NH we don’t fill them until a car or two is swallowed (lol)

Thanks for the info

Here’s my update
Corporate took a different view than the dealership where I bought the car and they sent a voucher to cover the cost as quoted plus a little extra

Waiting for new radio that different dealership said they would “goodwill “ to me. So far so good. While the car was in their shop they did an inspection and recommended tires and an alignment… we had already been shopping for them as the car has 42k with original tires
The new dealership said that We can use the voucher on the tires. I’ll post again when work is done, hopefully before pot hole season. Thanks everyone

Oh oh I forgot to give the update. Not only did I get a new radio, Sirius, comped me 3 months free which expires on 12/31/19 plus the new discount rate of 4.99 /mo. The people at the smaller dealership --Granite State Subaru- could not have been nicer. Gave us the 2019 Crosstek for a few weeks. DId the other work we wanted done and used the voucher toward the work…I am singing their wonderful customer first -services to anyone I meet that asks about the vehicle. I still don’t like the seats but after many medical tests later…it was not the seats that were hurting my back. Merry Christmas to all.