Ripped 2010 leather seats on outback


Asked by Mar 10, 2011 at 09:06 PM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Anyone had problems with the leather seats?? Mine are ripped from very minor use (child's
seat) and Subaru is basically telling me to get lost. I owned an accord for almost a decade
and put everything from a 200 pound dog to air conditioners on those seats and not one
scratch. I'm not impressed.

18 Answers


My 2009 Outback developed a hole in the leather on the side of the seat from almost no use. After only one month of use of a new seat, another hole developed in the same spot. I never have anything in my back pocket. The only time this part of the seat is touched is upon entering or exiting the car. No other car has ever posed this problem for me. I think the leather is low grade and very thin and cheap. The dealer replaced the seat cover one month ago with no hassle but this time he just took photos and will send them to the factory.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Yah brutal eh?? Really quite disappointed in this vehicle, as previously mentioned I had an accord forever and I abused that vehicles interior. Every couple of months id give it a good clean and it would good as new. If I wasnt sick of manual transmission I would have kept it. If only honda would come out with an accord wagon! I'd trade in this wanna be tough and robust car which is actually cheap crap for one the day they came out! Not the paint on the silver spokes on my steering wheel is rubbing off! Is this car for real?? My buddy has a Kia and it's better than this.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Well someone should have told Subaru that. It was a terrible experience dealing with their management and the dealer. It took months of back and forth nonsense and me explaining the situation over and over again for them to finally come across and fix it. After about three months of back and forth crap I had a meeting with one of the most pompous little brat managers I have ever met. After he examined the seat he determined that Subaru would not replace the seat but pay for half the repair. Who makes this guy an expert on the quality of the seat material anyway? I explained to him that after paying in cash over forty thousand dollars for the vehicle I was very disappointed and intended on sharing my experience with my friends and family. His response was “so what are you threatening to bad mouth Subaru if I don’t pay for this”. I responded by saying “well call it what you want but this rip in the seat is unacceptable and when I am asked how I like the new car I purchased it’s only normal to share my experience with others”. Finally Scarborough Subaru stepped up to the plate and made a call to Subaru and got the seat fixed. Good on them! I highly recommend this dealership; it was a strong contrast to any other dealer.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I just vacuumed my wife's 2011 Outback today with less than 3000 miles and as I removed the car seat in the back I have the same issue!!! We even made sure to cover the seats the day we picked the car up before installing the car seats to avoid scratching the seats, etc.. and the tear is about 2"-3" long!!! Any suggestions? I am going to the dealership this week to see what they can do for me. It absolutely ridiculous!!!! The car is brand new!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I've had problems with 2007 Outback cloth seats wearing prematurely; the problem appeared after only two years, mostly highway use (ie, not much getting in and out of the vehicle). The dealers I asked about this said that this was normal. The best car's seats I've had were in a Honda.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The dealer charged me $100 as a one time "courtesy" and said that I would have to pay the full $500 if it happened again. I have been extra careful, never let valets drive the car, never let carwash people get inside, but it is happening again. 7,000 miles later and a wear spot is appearing and will become a hole. The car has under 29,000 miles.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Yes. I'm having the same problem with my 2010 Outback. More specifically, the driver's seat has frayed at the left edge of the seat back. I believe the frequent entry/exit has worn down a very thin layer of (fake?) leather along the beaded edge.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Yup me too. Driver side on the piping around mid-lumbar area. Pretty upset since this was my first new vehicle purchase and I sprung for the "top end" only to discover that most of my leather seat is actually cheap vinyl!

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I wrote to Subaru and they authorized the dealer to replace the seat at no cost to me. Thanks Subaru!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

How lovely. I'm looking to buy a new car but after reading these comments I'll be scratching Subaru off my list.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I bought a new Outback in 2006 and have experienced the same rubbing on the driver's seat left side about half way up the seat. I thought it was something my husband had in his pockets, but he does not carry anything except his wallet. It is continually getting worse. Only 60K highway miles on the car. I have another friend that has the same car and it is doing the same thing in the same spot. Arrrrrg!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Be for warning, Subaru is now replacing many of the leather seating areas in their newer Outbacks with cheap thin vinyl inserts. Our new 2001 limited outback was all leather in the seating areas and bullet proof for over 200,000 miles. Our new 2009 outback limited has thin vinyl on the many seating portions of the front and rear seats. My drivers seat started ripped at the seam at 37,000 miles when I realized it was vinyl. We bought it in to our Subaru dealership to be repaired and because it was just out of warranty we were out of luck. Don't get me wrong, we've enjoyed our Subaru's over the years, but when you pay extra for the limited model and assume you are getting leather seating, at least where your back and bottom touch the seats and find out that's not the case anymore, I start wondering where else is Subaru cutting corners. If we stick with Subaru, it's fabric seating going forward unless Subaru bring back the Love and installs leather where our body's meet the seats.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Thanks for this forum. Same problem in my 2011 suby that I just bought used. Perfect condition except for tear in seat that I didn't notice until after I signed/paid. Dealer was zero help. Also made me angry to learn that the seats are advertised as leather but actually mostly vinyl. I took Mark helpul's advice and contacted Subaru and they are paying for a new seat cover! Thanks Subaru. Wish your dealers were as customer-oriented as you are.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Hmm..a child seat is not minor's probably one of the worst things you can do to a leather seat, and I bet your honda seats WERE ripped you probably just didn't notice where, because that's the most ridiculous biased statement if I ever heard!! And that's not a tear, that was definitely CUT with something sharp and it's screams of misuse, so your very fortunate! Dicook, Do you guys wear jeans a lot? I think the rivets maybe doing damage if so?? And either Crappie is very obese or is probably doing something weird they don't notice where it ripped, daily. My '08 has has nice leather on the SEAT and BACK of all seats(except middle rear) and the so-called vinyl is the same thing your nike's are made of now because it's easier to take care of and lasts longer. PROBLEM IS..LEATHER NEEDS CARE AND MOISTURE...!!! BTW, If you have kids, wear riveted pants, are over-weight, like to keep things in your back pocket... your probably the cause. Period.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

An effing's your life, genius

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Luap...your comment is not helpful or accurate at all. I am not a child and I don't need to be told how to sit in a car without causing damage. I am extremely careful and take good care of my vehicles and never carry sharp objects and never have jeans with rivets. Nobody else drives my car. I bought the top of the line Subaru expecting to get top of the line results, but am disappointed in their shortcuts and denial. My friend drives a Honda and does all the things you describe and there is not a mark on the leather. Subaru uses cheap thin fake leather that wears out no matter how careful you are.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

So disappointed in Subaru. My 2016 Outback was ordered with black leather seating. I had traded in my 2005 Nissan Altima with full leather seating. The leather was as good as new in the Altima. Never a problem. When I paid substantially more for leather in my Outback, I did not question if it was FULL leather, or just in particular areas. Now with 24,000 miles, the leather, which I was just informed by a Subaru service man as "pleather" on the drivers side, is now rubbing off (thin layer of pleather), he told me it was from getting in and out of the vehicle, and my jeans rubbing the side. WHAT?? So am I supposed to wear a certain material, or perhaps a silk dress to avoid the normality of entering and exiting the vehicle? I was also told that the actual sitting area of the seat is pleather as well!! So upset that I was misleaded into what I thought was leather is actually a thin pleather over fabric. Only surrounding areas are real leather. My Husband's Ford F-150 has beautiful black leather, and it withstands everything. I'm writing to Subaru, and possibly file a class action suit.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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