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Windshield distortion in the Subaru crosstrek

I recently purchased a new 2013 subaru crosstrek, and noticed an optical variance in the windshield that is giving me migraines ( it feels like my eye is being pulled out through my right ear). I took it back to the dealer and (after several visits trying to convince them it existed) they replaced the windshield. With one that’s worse, and now I’m stuck. I can’t drive the car in sunlight, only in the dark or on days its precipitating. My husband says he sees it, too. But the Dealer wants nothing to do with me. We tried to find an aftermarket windshield, but apparently the car is too new. Help. Anyone out there have any suggestions. I’m desperate. I want to love the car, but can’t drive it on most days. Thank you for any suggestions.

Open your owner’s manual and look for the contact info for Subaru America and contact them. Explain your situation, calmly, and see if they’d be willing to send someone to look at it. Barring that, a call to the National Highway Safety organization might get the ball rolling

Well I hope its just an anomaly with your car and can be corrected,I’ve noticed this problem with a good many cars when I started looking for it,kinda like a sore tooth now I bet,hope this doesnt affect all of them,perhaps bscars advice is the best-Kevin

Get a new windshield.
quick ,under warranty, while it’s fresh and new.

My sister-in-law’s Contour had a similar condition.
Because we went in ASAP as soon as we noticed ‘‘whoa, something’s wrong here’’, they barely let us finish the sentence when they say the same thing, BAM, new windsheild.

Ken, she said she already got one. And it’s worse.

I agree with bscar’s suggestions. Use the complaints pathway prescribed in the manual.

Third time is the charm, try again, then move up the ladder if you need to. They might have used one they replaced for someone else with the same complaint.

Have you tried sitting in a number of other similar cars at the dealership to see if this situation exists with those?

Was this problem not noticed by either you or your husband when you first looked and test drove the car?

The dealer can only do much and is obligated to replace the glass under warranty if there’s a legitimate complaint. Anything over and above that is going to require a higher authority.

open the conversation with a factory rep. ASAP
The dealer will only do what he will get reimbursed for and you the customer, will often hold more sway over their (manufacturer) decisions then the dealer. Secondly, go on their lot and inspect ALL the other Crossteks to get a sampling as to how many others have this same problem. That WILL reinforce your arguement and position.

I Had A Car In Which A Cracked Windshield Forced Me To Replace The Glass.

The new windshield had a definite optical defect that I could see when I was wearing my polarized sunglasses. Without the glasses it was OK.


" I can’t drive the car in sunlight, only in the dark or on days its precipitating."
Is that similar in your case ?

Do you wear glasses ? Anything unique about your lenses ?

Do you see it with or without glasses, both ?

Try holding your glasses in front of your eyes while looking at the defect. Rotate them 90* while still looking through them. Does anything change ?

Do others see what you’re seeing ?

Are you unusually short or tall so that you look through a really low or high area of the windshield ?


Excellent points CSA. A a glasses wearer, that needs to be considered.

@Dagosa, Thanks. I Had it happen.

Have you ever taken two pairs of polarized glasses and lined them up to look through a lens of both glasses and rotating one lens 90* while looking through a lens of both glasses and watch the view grew dark ? I’ve ridden on airplanes that use a similar technology to let passengers adjust light coming through outside windows.


Is it possible that the way this windshield curves, that is what is making the distortion? If so,there is likely little that can be done. Trying polarized sunglasses might help, no harm to try that, provided driving it is ok for you at night the way it is, since you can’t wear sunglasses at night.

Photographers also use variable neutral-density filters that consist of a pair of rotating polarizers. Adjust the angle between them to make the whole filter darker or lighter. Not in most photographers’ bags, but used by some specialists.