All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Service


Subaru Headlights Replaced For Free On Some 2010-2012 Subaru Legacy and Outbacks!

If you own a 2010-2012 Subaru Outback or Legacy Subaru is offering to replace the Headlights free of charge for 10 years from the date of purchase.

Subaru will also reimburse the cost of prior replaced bulbs for affected vehicles as well. If you have an affected Subaru Vehicle you should have by now received a letter in the mail, in case you have not.

You can call 1-800 Subaru 3 for more information, be sure to have you VIN # ready when you call to see if your car is affected.  If you have an affected car and have had us replace your Headlight bulbs in the past and would like Subaru to reimburse you please email us and we will be happy to email you copies of your receipts and you must do this by November of 2016.

I will add to please be on guard when going in to have the burned out bulbs replaced for free, this is an opportune time to be upsold something you really don’t need on your Subaru.


Thanks for Reading






12 Responses

  1. Owner of a 2012 legacy, previous owner of two other Scoobies, with the light issue.
    About every 6 months or so one of the headlights blows, such that I’ve now started keeping a full bulb kit in the car just in case.
    You mentioned going LED, can you elaborate? Going through the inner fender lining is a pita but by now easy 5 minutes.
    If there’s something that has better visibility, longer distance and less maintenance I’d love to hear about it.

    1. Hey Simon,

      Are you buying the long life versions of the bulbs, every 6 months is nuts. Also if you are using the Auto feature, I would stop. Same thing for using the ignition switch to turn on the headlights, I know its a PIA, but if you want more life this will help.

      Diode Dynamics made a SL1 Led light for some models, and they are truly great, but the DOT forced them to stop selling and issue a recall.

      I dont have a LED suggestion at this time, I was hoping t find another option at SEMA, but it was virtual, and well learning virtual about new automotive products has challenges.

      Sorry for the delay, we took some time to be with Family.

      Hope that helps

  2. Hello,
    I own a 2012 Subaru Legacy. I’ve had it for a little over a year. During this past fall, my driver’s side headlight went out and I got it replaced. Then just last week, that same side headlight went out again. I got it replaced. Then less than 24 hours later, the same headlight went out again. Now the passenger side headlight has gone out. I’m at a loss and don’t want to keep spending money on bulbs if there is a bigger issue that needs to be fixed. Any suggestions or thought? Thanks.

    1. Hello Caiti,

      That is a situation that needs to be looked at locally, there is nothing I can really offer from here. My guess is Chinese bulbs as you have not provided any details about what was used.

      Sorry I cant offer more


  3. I have 2015 Subaru Impreza. I cannot tell you how many times my lights have burned out. Headlights do not last a year. Marker bulbs and headlights, brake lights going out constantly. I have been issued more tickets for lights on this car than all cars combined over my lifetime of driving. Subaru will not admit there is a problem and I was actually kicked out of the dealership. Now Subaru national offered me the solace to visit another dealership much further away, rather than deal with the problem that their dealerships do not how to treat their customers. So I have to go to work tomorrow but unfortunately will be missing time since I have a headlight out. This car has cost me so much money in lost wages and days of work due to the lights. It is quite insulting they will not even pay for the repairs that will never end. I will not be purchasing any more subarus. I have not even finished paying for this car but the lights are a regular bill and it never ends. If you have to work or be anywhere on a regular basis, do not buy Subaru.

    1. Hi Pauline,

      Sorry to hear about your Subaru ownership experience. You should call 1 800 Subaru 3 to voice your concerns, which maybe you have already done? My hunch is the following however;

      That maybe you are taking your Subaru to a “Multi Line” type dealership not using OE Subaru bulbs or the Long Life version of the H11 found in your Impreza.

      Another possibility is the ignition switch is being used to control the lights on the car rather than turning the lights off before shutting the car off, and turning the lights on after the car is started, this will shorten the life of all bulbs.

      Not sure why you would be missing work for a bulb replacement? We don’t charge labor for bulb replacements here unless its a 2010-2014 Legacy or Outback and even then its minimal. It should take anyone mere minutes to replace the head light bulb on your Impreza and is something you could easily learn to do yourself, I highly encourage all owners be able to replace bulbs on their car, not matter what it is they drive. If that’s not something you are going to be comfortable with than yes it needs to go to a shop, but any shop including the Dealer should be better at this for you.

      Next, if you google search the term “Headlight bulbs not lasting” with any car maker’s name in front of it, you will find stories just like your’s for Honda, Toyota etc. There are multiple reasons one driver will replace bulbs more often then another. Use and road conditions are the two biggest. You must really be unlucky to actually get a ticket for a burnt out bulb, let alone multiple tickets, that’s generally a warning where I live.

      Another thought is switching to LED’s, you would want to buy a good kit, one that is over $100. You will still want to get in the habit of using the headlight switch to control the headlights and not have them on when starting the car.

      My best advice to anyone not wanting to replace bulbs often, whether that’s in a car or a high up place in their house, is to use them less or make sure a long life version of the bulb is being used. I for one hate heights, so whenever I need to replace the entry way bulb I always use the one rated for the most hours not caring that it’s 5 times as much. Now the entry light is the one that’s on the most at our house for security and its dark a lot where I live. Before I was able to purchase a longer lasting LED light, it seemed that it was a yearly chore for me. The one that’s installed now has been up there for 6 years. I bring this up because, I sympathize that it’s a pain in the rear to deal with bulbs, but your setting yourself up for future problems if you get away form a solid car because the bulbs don’t seem to last as long as you want them to.

      There are some Subaru models 2010-2012 or so that have a overly sensitive auto feature that can cause shortened bulb life, but in most other other cases its just use combined with cheap bulbs. I believe that if you and you alone take ownership of making sure the long life version of the H11 bulb is being used in your Subaru it will last longer. I also believe that your Subaru ownership experience is only ever going to be as good as whomever you are going to allow to service it.

      Best of luck, hope it all works out okay for you.


    2. Dear Pauline, to discard the option of have a top mechanical masterpiece simply by burning light problem is not advice, in my poor opinion . Probably your Subaru never was tested deeply, electrically talking. Next time you have a burned bulb, in the top of checklist is alternator and voltage regulator, excess in working voltage always shortens bulbs life. Regards, George.

  4. I have two subaru’s, an 2011 Outback and a 2013 Legacy. I too have experienced a number of headlight burnouts on both vehicles, the 2013 has more, but it has twice the mileage as the 2011.
    The 2011 is covered by the recall for 10 years, so I don’t worry about that one anymore (just the time lost at the dealership)
    The 2013 is not covered, but after several calls to Subaru of America, they did finally conceed and replaced at no cost and they warranty these for a year. It seems that you have to be persistent and they will finally do something for you.
    All in all I am very happy with my Subaru’s and I plan on buying another one in the fall

  5. At walkers Renton Subaru right now. They will only replace lights that are out. I replaced ours with a after market ( not the one you recommended unfortunately). But it is to dim to be safe. They won’t replace the bulb. Called Subaru America and they are going to take care of it as a one time only good deal. In the future I could bring it back as bulbs burn out, but I will order the ones you recommend and do them myself. While a pain 2 hours at the stealership is also a pain. Wish I lived closer to you. Might use you guys if anything major comes up. Thanks a bunch.

    Last Subaru for us maybe we will buy an old used outback loved our 1998 until it was t boned the week after we had the engine rebuilt….. New ones just don’t cut the mustard.

  6. The extended warranty is all well and good but low beam bulbs is only a part of their problem!

    I have never had more bulb failures with a vehicle than I have with my 2011 Legacy sedan… I have actually lost count and it’s not just the low beams. I guessing low beams I’m at about 6 failures in 69,000 miles. High beams, side markers and daytime running lights have all been an issue. Right now I have a day time running light, a low beam and a high beam out… all were new bulbs last year. My mechanic had to tear the bumper off to replace the bulbs so given the price of the bulbs vs the labor to change them we decided it was best to do them all. It almost seems as though replacing all front lights should be added to the annual maintenance guidelines. I love my car aside from the light issue and the cheap quality leather seats but due to the light issues and Subaru’s refusal to admit and stand behind the problem I will be switching back to Honda.

    1. Hi Joy,

      I am sorry you have had that experience, we have had just the opposite in our 2012 Subaru Outback, having still not replaced a Bulb, I do often remind my wife about not leaving the head light switch on however.


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