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I've had this problem for about a month now and it keeps getting worse but I think I've found a solution. Under the direction of a local lock smith I sprayed grease similar to WD40 into the cylinder. It didn't seem to help immediately but a few days later I don't get stuck anymore, I think some of the grease worked its way down to where it needed to go. Could be coincidence but given the alternatives it's certainly worth trying for you too.
 

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So, the dealer decided not to replace the brake switch and instead replaced the shift lock assembly. I haven't had my key stick for 3 days in a row now, but I've developed a new problem as a result of the work. I now can't shift into Manual Mode from Drive. The shifter won't slide over from D to M. I tried the shift lock release button but that didn't help. So, I am headed back to the dealer to have that looked at tomorrow. What a nightmare this is turning into.
 

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Update: The dealer installed the shift lock assembly wrong which caused me to not be able to shift into Manual mode. They corrected the installation and all seems good now. Also, my key has not stuck at all since the shift lock assembly was replaced. I'm hopeful that this has finally been resolved.
 

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Hi, I hope this isn't much of a dead thread revival. I'm a Subaru tech in Nashville. I read through this after having a client come in with a 2013 XV with this very same issue. I ran through the troubleshooting diagnostics and came down to this (and I was able to duplicate the concern). First, let's go through the symptoms for anyone that has posted. This client intermittently, yet more frequently as of late, can put the car in Park, turn the key all the way back (2 clicks) to the off position, where key can be removed, but the key fails to come out. The ignition has essentially remained locked, due to getting a signal indicating the car is in any other gear except Park. With some wiggling of the shifter or cycling again through the gears, the key eventually comes out. What's happening is the P Range switch in the shifter assembly is getting stuck in, albeit from a previously spilled beverage or grease getting on the contactor or something else (maybe even slight corrosion due to humidity) that migrated down around the panels and gummed up the switch itself. It's a simple 2-wire switch. It's not the easiest to replace but it can be done. It's the connector directly in front of the shifter assembly (with the panels removed). Pins 1 and 2 of connector B116 are for this switch. Replacing this should fix this (assuming it too doesn't get gummed up by something later).

For those worried about running out of warranty before this is repaired, don't worry. If you brought this complaint to your dealership's attention and it has yet to be properly remedied - so long as you did this while you still had SAS coverage, they are obligated to repair this even after your warranty expires. But be persistent and get this in and contact the service manager if you're not satisfied with the Service advisor handling this effectively.

If you have further questions on this subject, give me a holler!

- Sarge -
 

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Hi, I hope this isn't much of a dead thread revival. I'm a Subaru tech in Nashville. I read through this after having a client come in with a 2013 XV with this very same issue. I ran through the troubleshooting diagnostics and came down to this (and I was able to duplicate the concern). First, let's go through the symptoms for anyone that has posted. This client intermittently, yet more frequently as of late, can put the car in Park, turn the key all the way back (2 clicks) to the off position, where key can be removed, but the key fails to come out. The ignition has essentially remained locked, due to getting a signal indicating the car is in any other gear except Park. With some wiggling of the shifter or cycling again through the gears, the key eventually comes out. What's happening is the P Range switch in the shifter assembly is getting stuck in, albeit from a previously spilled beverage or grease getting on the contactor or something else (maybe even slight corrosion due to humidity) that migrated down around the panels and gummed up the switch itself. It's a simple 2-wire switch. It's not the easiest to replace but it can be done. It's the connector directly in front of the shifter assembly (with the panels removed). Pins 1 and 2 of connector B116 are for this switch. Replacing this should fix this (assuming it too doesn't get gummed up by something later).

For those worried about running out of warranty before this is repaired, don't worry. If you brought this complaint to your dealership's attention and it has yet to be properly remedied - so long as you did this while you still had SAS coverage, they are obligated to repair this even after your warranty expires. But be persistent and get this in and contact the service manager if you're not satisfied with the Service advisor handling this effectively.

If you have further questions on this subject, give me a holler!

- Sarge -

I'm having the exact same issue with my 2015 Impreza Sport (CVT). I couldn't explain it better than you even if i tried. It has been occurring for a few months now - twice a week during the fall and now during the winter, maybe once every 3-4 weeks.

After 5-6 visits to the dealer, the most recent yesterday, I have gotten back 4 "we can’t recreate the issue so we have nothing to fix." and one visit that they changed out the brake switch. My last visit, I was told they contacted SOA Tech line and Subaru also had no idea what can be done. My service adviser says they can’t just go around changing parts under warranty, hoping it will fix the issue. I have provided the dealer with multiple videos as the problem occurs but I guess that's not enough. My service adviser still get the push the key in while turning speech from the mechanics but she says she knows that’s not the issue.

I have already contacted SOA customer support, so I am waiting for a response from my rep to this last visit. My warranty is about the expire next week but I know this issue should still be covered until they fix it. Now I’m left with the question of what I can do next?

Edit: 5th time I have been told they are not being able to recreate the issue... Even better yet, arriving home from the dealer, the key got stuck again...
 

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Hi, I hope this isn't much of a dead thread revival. I'm a Subaru tech in Nashville. I read through this after having a client come in with a 2013 XV with this very same issue. I ran through the troubleshooting diagnostics and came down to this (and I was able to duplicate the concern). First, let's go through the symptoms for anyone that has posted. This client intermittently, yet more frequently as of late, can put the car in Park, turn the key all the way back (2 clicks) to the off position, where key can be removed, but the key fails to come out. The ignition has essentially remained locked, due to getting a signal indicating the car is in any other gear except Park. With some wiggling of the shifter or cycling again through the gears, the key eventually comes out. What's happening is the P Range switch in the shifter assembly is getting stuck in, albeit from a previously spilled beverage or grease getting on the contactor or something else (maybe even slight corrosion due to humidity) that migrated down around the panels and gummed up the switch itself. It's a simple 2-wire switch. It's not the easiest to replace but it can be done. It's the connector directly in front of the shifter assembly (with the panels removed). Pins 1 and 2 of connector B116 are for this switch. Replacing this should fix this (assuming it too doesn't get gummed up by something later).

For those worried about running out of warranty before this is repaired, don't worry. If you brought this complaint to your dealership's attention and it has yet to be properly remedied - so long as you did this while you still had SAS coverage, they are obligated to repair this even after your warranty expires. But be persistent and get this in and contact the service manager if you're not satisfied with the Service advisor handling this effectively.

If you have further questions on this subject, give me a holler!

- Sarge -
I'm having the exact same issue with my 2015 Impreza Sport (CVT). I couldn't explain it better than Sarge even if i tried. It has been occurring for a few months now - twice a week during the fall and now during the winter, maybe once a month if that.

After 5-6 visits to the dealer, the most recent yesterday, I have gotten back 4 "we can’t recreate the issue so we have nothing to fix." and one visit that they changed out the brake switch. My last visit, I was told they contacted SOA Tech line and Subaru also had no idea what can be done. My service adviser says they can’t just go around changing parts under warranty, hoping it will fix the issue. I have provided the dealer with multiple videos as the problem occurs but I guess that's not enough. My service advisor still get the push the key in while turning speech from the mechanics but she says she knows that’s not the issue.

I have already contacted SOA customer support, so I am waiting for a response from my rep to this last visit. My warranty is about the expire next week but I know this issue should still be covered until they fix it. Now I’m left with the question of what to do next?
 

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I have the same problem on my '15. It occurred just after 36k. I tried some graphite powder.This seems to have worked. I would love to see a few pics of the P range switch and how to access it.
The graphite seems to work. The manual advises applying the parking brake prior to shifting into park.
Getting the panels off to get to the P range switch looks like a bear. What's the procedure?
 

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I started running into the same problem on my 2016 Crosstrek. I HAVE FOUND THE SOLUTION. So very thankful for this youtube video as this problem is minor but such a headache. It is really an easy fix, just follow his instructions. You only need a phillips head screwdriver and something that can pry.. I used a small hunting knife. The fix took me about 10-15 minutes and sounds like it saved multiple trips to the dealership.
 

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I just came back from the dealer for the exact problem. The repair is listed as below

"Tech verified concern and found technical bulletin 16-112-18R for concern. Due to contamination of the park range switch internal component, the key will not release from the ignition. Tech ordered replacement park range switch (shifter)"
 

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If you can get the key out by disconnecting a wire or 2 then try this.If you are out and about and don't want to fuss with taking the cover off the steering column then disconnect the battery,remove the key,reconnect the battery and go do what you have to do.There isn't anything any where that can send power to the switch if there's no power available.If by some chance it doesn't work then there could be a capacitor or 2 that still has power in it.To solve this just turn on the ignition for a few seconds to discharge the system.
 

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Take it to the dealer. There is a sensor that it not working in the drive train. Sometimes it thinks the car is not in Park and will not release the key. We had the same issue but they fixed it and gave us a loaner car at Subaru of Delray Beach.

 

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I park in San Francisco a lot and curbing your wheels leads to key lock and frozen wheel ALL THE TIME. 2014 XV problem? Probably a Subaru problem as yet really unreported and unfixed.
 

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I've been having the same issue since October 2017, (I've got a 2015 Crosstrek) the key gets stuck in the ignition and won't come out. I'll jiggle the gear switch and "slam" it into park. Took it to a mechanic near me last week and they checked the Subaru Service Bulletin, they said that Subaru came out with a service bulletin June 21, 2018 that said it's because of a design flaw to the CVT system:

"This bulletin announces a design change to the CVT select lever (shifter) mechanism in response to isolated customer concerns of not being able to remove the key from the ignition switch when the vehicle is in Park. The cause is contamination of the Park-Range switch internal components."

This should be covered under the warranty.

Service Bulletin Number: 16-112-18R revised 06/21/18
 

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Began having issues with my 2016 Crosstrek (with 32K miles) . did some research and found references to the TSB (which I printed out). I called my local Subaru dealer and scheduled an appointment. Handed the tech a copy of the TSB when I checked in (and left another copy on the dash). Few hours later they called - all done! According to the receipt, they replaced the park range switch. Hopefully this fixes the issue.
 

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Same problem on my 2015 low-miles Crosstrek. Key stuck in ignition half the time, requiring I restart, reverse, and drive a few times. Initially dealer said they'd lube it up and see what follows. Later they said they said there was a defective part and replaced the shifter at no charge. Though I am past warranty, this is apparently a recognized and covered problem. So far it's working.
 

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I replied to this on a different thread. This week I brought my 2015 Crosstrek with 16,000 miles in to the dealer for the same problem. They initially said they'd lube it and then see what happens. But they then replaced the shifter based on some Subaru bulletins at no charge. It has fixed the problem.
 

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Same key-won't-release issue. Started happening 2/7/2019 in our 2017 Crosstrek with 9,800 miles.

Update March 1st 2019.
Key won't release more often now... 3 or 4 times per week.
So stopped into our Santa Cruz Subaru dealer today armed with a print out of the previous posting.

"This bulletin announces a design change to the CVT select lever (shifter) mechanism in response to isolated customer concerns of not being able to remove the key from the ignition switch when the vehicle is in Park. The cause is contamination of the Park-Range switch internal components."
"Service Bulletin Number: 16-112-18R revised 06/21/18"

The customer service rep said "O yes, we know about this issue."
She checked the purchase date and mileage which were 8/4/2017 and 11,345 miles.

Update March 8th, 2019
Repair took two hours at no cost.
Key release.jpg
 
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