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2016 Subaru Legacy can’t remove key

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I get to work, turn off the car, and then I can’t turn the key the last little bit so that I can remove it form the ignition. I think maybe I’ve turned the wheel too far one way, locking the wheel, but that wasn’t it. Also, I think maybe I don’t have it in park, but I check and it is in part. I re-start the engine, pull out of the spot and pull back in. Then I’m able to remove the key normally. I don’t think too much of it.

It happens again a week later, but this time it takes multiple attempts before I can get the key to release and come out. I did some google searching and found similar issues with the Forester, the Outback, and the Crosstrek XV. I didn’t see as much discussion about the problem with the Legacy, but there was some mention of it.

It turns out there is a service bulletin related to the issue. I don’t know exactly what the service bulletin says, but it seems there is something wrong with the gear shift causing the car to not register when it is in park, thus the key will not be released. The bulletin is TSB-16-112-18R.

I called the dealership and they said they would check out my car. Based on what I read elsewhere, I also gave a call to Subaru of America, as I am out of my 3 year 36k warranty. I’m just over the 3 years but way over the miles at 60k. After the dealership checked it out, they let me know they took care of it as if were under warranty. I have no idea if they would have done that so readily if I hadn’t called Subaru of America first. Either way, it seems to be fixed now and they didn’t charge me for the repair.

It sounds like they had to replace the gear shifter, and possibly some of the assembly it connects to. Based on other websites (for other vehicles but a similar problem), it seems the cost can run over $400 to do the repair. Maybe if they get enough of these needing to be replaced they will issue of official recall.

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