definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,500 miles

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problem #42

Nov 282008


  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Subaru Impreza. The contact observed a small amount of fuel leaking from the fuel tank onto the ground. In addition, while driving various speeds, the contact smelled a strong odor of fuel inside the passenger compartment. The failure occurred without warning. The authorized dealer stated that the fuel line was the cause of the failure, which could be corrected by a patch kit. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000. Updated 01/09/09. Updated 01/12/09.

- Raleigh , NC, USA

problem #41

Feb 282008

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I just purchased this 02 Subaru Impreza WRX car a couple of months ago and noticed a strong smell of gas on the outside of the car when I started it and also on the inside, I had it looked at by a mechanic and it was spraying out of one of the hoses by the air intake tube, he was able to tighten it a little to slow the leak but the car has the same problem when you start it and driving it you can smell gas very strong on the inside of the car, I'm worried to drive it fearing it may start a fire. Is there anything that Subaru will do to fix this problem and also, I have to have an emissions test done in another state where I will be attending college, I was told it would be a problem. Thanks, any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Rexburg, ID, USA

problem #40

Feb 012008

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX during cold temperatures a fuel line leaks. There is a service bulletin for this problem (tsb: 09-36-03), but it has not been made a recall. If enough fuel accumulates I would expect.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #39

Nov 152004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,200 miles
Car develops a fuel leak from the defective fuel lines in cold temperature (winter). Gasoline dripping onto engine block and filling inside cabin with heavy smell of gas fumes. Subaru of America is aware of the problem since April of 2003 but unwilling to fix the problem at their expense. Defect is due to the incorrect manufacturer's design of fuel rails and hoses and is being fixed by installation of new updated parts.

- Elgin , IL, USA

problem #38

Nov 012007

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 91,000 miles
On cold mornings there is a tremendous gasoline smell in side the car. This seems to only happen when the car has sat overnight and when the overnight temp goes below 35F. Gas can be smelled in the engine bay and what looks like gas can be seen pooling on the passenger side of the motor. I decided to file this report after speaking with other 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX owners who indicated that they have the same issue. I believe that this issue presents a fire hazard and that if this issue is wide spread, a mandatory recall is in order.

- Slippery Rock, PA, USA

problem #37

Jan 142006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
When the weather is under 20 degrees F, there are strong gasoline fumes inside the passenger compartment of the automobile. It makes me dizzy, causing the necessity to drive with the windows down in single digit temperatures. Subaru is aware of this problem and they have issued a service bulletin, but they will not fix many cars that are no longer under warranty. This is a health concern, an emissions concern, and a safety concern, as raw gasoline is leaking somewhere in the engine bay.

- College Park, Md, MD, USA

problem #36

Jan 232007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
2002 Subaru Impreza ts - fuel smell in cold weather. When starting my Impreza ts at temperatures below 32F there is a distinct and overpowering fuel smell in the cabin of the vehicle. There is a technical service bulletin released for the WRX model but not the ts. Please address the exclusion of the ts model as this issue is a significant health and safety concern.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #35

Dec 272006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,000 miles
In very cold temperatures (below 30F), the smell of raw fuel enters the cabin. Subaru has a tsb for this issue, but I think this should be a recall issue considering that fuel vapor is highly flammable and is also a known carcinogen.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #34

Dec 082006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 61,000 miles
Began smelling odor of raw fuel inside of my 2002 Subaru Impreza. After a short research I found it to be a common problem during cold weather. Contacted a dealer and was told that it is not covered under warranty or recall.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #33

Dec 072006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I just wanted to share with you a very recurring, and very unsafe problem regarding the Subaru WRX Impreza. I came home tonight to a strong smell of gasoline coming from the engine bay of my car. I proceeded to open my hood and investigate. What I found was actual fuel leaking from a part of my car! this fuel can ignite and even explode if it were to touch something hot (turbo charger, cat converter) well upon going online, I looked the problem up, and it seems a lot of WRX Impreza owners are having this exact same problem. This is a problem noted since 2002 and Subaru has done nothing about this! in the link I am about to provide to you, it will show many cases of people dealing with Subaru, in some cases with very poor customer service. forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?T=131755 that website is just one website representing the countless amounts of people experiencing the same exact problem. I do not see how Subaru cannot create a recall on something so extremely unsafe.

- South Elgin, IL, USA

problem #32

Nov 152006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,255 miles
When the weather is cold, my 2002 Subaru WRX develops a fuel leak in the engine compartment underneath the intake manifold on the passenger side. Leak rate is about 1 drop per second. Vehicle has 64,000 miles. I just recently moved to a colder climate area.

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #31

Nov 052006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,300 miles
I drive a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan. When I start the car on cold mornings and turn on the heater with the air recirculation off, a distinct smell of gas comes through the air vents. Then, when I open the hood to look for the problem, the smell of gas is even stronger and more noticeable. Much like other WRX owners, I have been unable to trace this problem. Because of this, I have not made any attempts to fix it. Gasoline is widely known to be carcinogenic among many other unfortunate things, and the presence of gasoline in an engine compartment along with sparks and high heat seems extremely dangerous. This problem has been documented by many, many other people for over three years now.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #30

Mar 212006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
Not a new as others have it too and Subaru knows of the trouble. Upon first starting the 2002 Subaru WRX there is a raw gas smell due to a defective part within the fuel system. Both the NHTSA and Subaru know of this but I have been told by dealers that the full cost of this manufacture defect must be paid by the car owner-I was told by a dealer that failure to do this would result in engine fires. I found this info within this site and cannot understand why Subaru is not working with the NHTSA to assist people driving potential fire hazards in fixing as fast as possible the defect.

- Abington, MA, USA

problem #29

Feb 202006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Fuel leak near engine. Raw fuel smell in cabin.

- San Marcos, TX, USA

problem #28

Feb 182006

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,202 miles
We have terrible gasoline fumes in my wife's car when it's cold outside. It's coming from the engine compartment and getting into the cabin. It's so overpowering that my wife and children can not be in the car with the windows closed. It even gave her a headache today after she drove it with the windows open. It's a 2002 Subaru Impreza ts wagon. I have done some research online and I have found that this is a common problem with this model, yet there has not been a recall. I have seen the investigation report PE04002. Our problem persists even when the car is fully warmed up. I drove it for 45 minutes, and it was just as bad at the end of the trip as it was at the beginning.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #27

Dec 132005

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,900 miles
I purchased a new 2002 WRX three years ago and am inhaling gasoline fumes in my car when driving in cold weather. The Subaru dealer told me that they are aware of this problem with the "cold fuel smell". I think that inhaling gasoline fumes is very hazardous, especially when driving. I hope and beg that Subaru corporation will recall this common fault.

- Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #26

Dec 192005

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,400 miles
When the temperature gets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit fuel lines leak on the engine of my 2002 Subaru Impreza rs. The leak can be clearly smelled from inside the car. This issue is known by Subaru and they won't designate this as a recall. They do consider this a technical service bulletin and only service this under warranty. Otherwise, it's up to the owner to spend upwards of $350 to have a Subaru dealer perform the repairs.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #25

Dec 182005

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 62,000 miles
I purchased a used 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX and have been smelling gas. I have read a previous investigation, PE04002. I understand there is no immediate safety concern for fire, but when driving over long periods the smell does not go away and has caused light headedness for myself and passengers, to the point that I have had to pull over and get out of the car. I also am curious why a recall has not been issued for a known defect, found and acknowledged by the manufacturer. Leaking gas is dangerous to inhale and dangerous to the environment. I would urge you to investigate this issue further.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #24

Dec 062004


  • miles
My 2002 Subaru WRX is becoming increasingly difficult to drive in cold weather. The smell of raw fuel has recently become intolerable during cold temperatures. I am forced to use recirculation on the ventilation system and drive with my windows open if freezing weather to help with the gas smell. I have tracked the leak down to a two-inch rubber hose section under the intake manifold on the passenger side. It appears that the clamps are loose and cannot be tightened without removal of the manifold. I have seen that a technical service bulletin has been issued on this matter. I called my dealer to have this safety and health issue repaired. To my dismay, I discovered that it is not covered under a recall or warranty. My car currently has 48,270 miles on it and has been impeccably maintained. The dealer has verbally quoted $400-$500 for the repair. Upon searching the internet and the NHTSA, I see that fuel vapor odor in the cabin in certain 2002 WRX's is a well-documented defect. I hope for my sake, Subaru's sake, and the sake of others with this problem, that Subaru of America, Inc. Will show itself as a standup organization that will make good to it's loyal customers. As an 11 year mechanical engineer in the design and manufacturing industry, and an automobile enthusiast, I can explain that this leak is due to three conditions. 1) improperly torqued hose clamps during factory assembly, 2) fuel line material shrinkage/stiffening due to cold temperatures, leading to further loosening of clamps, and 3) misalignment of fuel lines. Subaru should repair this fuel leak at their cost; avoiding health and safety issues, and loss of future customers. This is not a condition caused by the operator of the vehicle by any means and should not be placed on the operators shoulders. Over time this leak will become more severe and may possibly ignite under certain conditions or cause dizziness in the more severe cases.

- Blacksburg, VA, USA

problem #23

Nov 152005

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,500 miles
On 1 or 2 occasions in the past couple years I have smelled a gas fumes during very cold weather on my 2002 Subaru WRX wagon. I was not often or very strong, so I did not pay much attention. This winter it has been happening more, any time the temperature gets into the low 20's, it is a much stronger smell and lasts quite a while (several minutes). I did some digging on your site and found action number PE04002. I plan to visit my dealer and have the service bulletin completed, but wanted to make you aware that the problem may get worse over time, I currently have 66,000 miles on the vehicle and have driven it since July 2001.

- Dalton , NE, USA

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