Subaru Outback 2.5 GT 2008 shudders and hesitates

The car has 15,000 miles on it. From the very beginning the car has shuddered prior to changing gears in certain driving conditions. It is as if, the computer is not giving the car enough gas or delays the downshift. This typically occurs aroung 40 miles per hour or 65 miles per hour when going up a hill. Subaru has reset the computer twice - and there has been one computer software upgrade since I bought the car, but nothing has eliminated the problem. It occurs during intelligent, sport, and sport plus modes. The only time it does not occur is for a few miles right after the computer is reset, and then it starts again. Any ideas. Could there be something else going on besides bad software?

I don’t know the transmission system in this car, but that surely sounds exactly like a torque converter clutch (TCC) malfunction to me. And if it is then this is certainly Subaru’s problem. Keep meticulous documentation of everything that they do and every contact so that you are covered for later.

If Subaru is not forthcoming with a solution, I would start searching for Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), recalls, and others online reporting similar problems.

Generally TCC problems require major transmission work - you don’t want to get stuck with that down the road.

Why have you tolerated this for 15,000 miles, when there is legal recourse for failure to fix a new car that is under warranty?

If you have not yet researched the terms of the Lemon Law in your state, you need to do so. If you precisely follow the terms of the law as per the consumer, and if the manufacturer does not provide a fix within the specified number of repair attempts, you will qualify for a settlement. In some states, the settlement is a new car of equivalent value, in others it is a full refund, and in still others, you can choose which you prefer.

If you delay any longer, you may lose the chance for a settlement. Go to to see the details for your state, and then take appropriate action.

Incidentally, when you initiate a Lemon Law action, it can be amazing how rapidly a repair solution is finally found by the company’s Regional Manager.