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Howdy, I have a 2013 Crosstrek Limited and was having the same issue described here.

I don't mind defeating the safety lock. You still have to press the key in and turn to get it out, I'm not terribly worried about inadvertently taking it out on the freeway for instance.

On my model, I was able to easily remove the steering column cladding by rotating the steering wheel 180 degrees to either side and removing the Philips head screws (2). The two halves separate easily.

On the key chamber there's a white connection that can be easily disconnected. Here's a picture:

View attachment 297167

One caveat: After disabling and you want to disable / enable the locking chimes and try to perform the sequence where you insert the key 6 times, you'll need to re-enable this connection.
have you had any issues since bypassing the ignition safety lock?
I had the same thing happen on my 2014 Forester and found the same solution works for me
 

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2017 Desert Khaki | Sparco Terra's | Yokohama G015's | Sports Mesh Grill
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Count me in as one of the lucky few who cannot get his key out unless I slam the shifter into Park. I'm going to try what VitaminRAD did tomorrow. No way am I willing to pay ~$500 to get this fixed. Looking for temporary fixes until the rumored 2021 2.5L comes out.
 

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16 Crosstrek Premium Quartz Blue Pearl
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This has just started happening to me. Anyone know if this would be covered under the powertrain part of the waranty, or just the base part, which just expired?
 

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thanks for posting this, but i can’t open the video without a password.

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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my ‘16 crosstrek, with just under 64000 km and 40 months, so it’s out of the basic (60k/36mth) warranty, started doing this. i checked with the dealer service department, and was told that the shifter isn’t covered under the powertrain warranty. yammv.

This has just started happening to me. Anyone know if this would be covered under the powertrain part of the waranty, or just the base part, which just expired?
 

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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.
View attachment 287956
“warranty good!”
 

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$60 part and a few hundred for labour?

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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this isn’t a problem with the steering column lock binding - that’s a very common problem with all brands.

this is the (electric) interlock that prevents the key from being removed, unless the shifter is in “park”. either the switch or the solenoid isn’t functioning properly. jiggling the gear selector usually releases the key.

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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my dealer won’t do it under warranty (i’m past the basic vehicle warranty and they won’t call it powertrain or extended).

the part itself costs <u$30 by mail order, so i’m considering replacing it myself. (the shifter and console takeapart seem simple enough. and the leather shifter boot is a tempting upgrade.)

has anyone done this, and are there any tips or gotchas to watch out for?
 

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my dealer won’t do it under warranty (i’m past the basic vehicle warranty and they won’t call it powertrain or extended).

the part itself costs <u$30 by mail order, so i’m considering replacing it myself. (the shifter and console takeapart seem simple enough. and the leather shifter boot is a tempting upgrade.)

has anyone done this, and are there any tips or gotchas to watch out for?
so I'm curious your dealer won't fix it under service bulletin 16-112-18R ? https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2018/MC-10153178-9999.pdf
 

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Took mine into the closest stealership today as my 17 Crosstrek has been getting worser and worser. The service advisor acted like the service bulletin didn't exist or was incorrect. They insisted on starting with a $155 diagnostic fee to rule out a faulty ignition or faulty key before considering the park switch replacement advised in the bulletin. It needs to get done as the car is becoming a real PITA. I'll be having a long convo with SOA when the final bill arrives.

FWIW, there were probably 100 Subarus trying to get in for service today.
 

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'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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FWIW, I've found it goes better if you have a printout of the TSB. Not sure why as these people are supposed to be helping us. Perhaps they get more commission if they sell more services...
 

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Had some significant success with calling SOA and asking for some help on the repair under TSB 16-112-18R. They agreed to pay for the repair ($450 which is ridiculously high) and I needed to pay the $155 diagnostic fee. Thats still malarkey, since I had already fully diagnosed the issue before bringing it in. Did get the brake lamp recall done too, so I can stop getting email from 3 different dealers.
 

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Had some significant success with calling SOA and asking for some help on the repair under TSB 16-112-18R. They agreed to pay for the repair ($450 which is ridiculously high) and I needed to pay the $155 diagnostic fee. Thats still malarkey, since I had already fully diagnosed the issue before bringing it in. Did get the brake lamp recall done too, so I can stop getting email from 3 different dealers.
Had the same problem on my 2016. About six months ago, I took it to the dealer and they were well aware of the problem, but they were charging FULL retail for the repair despite knowing it was a "known issue". They wanted over $699 + tax to fix the issue. Then they tried to lay the "we can't really let you take the car with this discrepancy" nonsense. Paid the bill and left a very grumpy puppy.

Zero stars on their service process on this one. Made sure the survey reflected that as well.

Fm
 

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2016 Subaru Crosstrek
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my dealer won’t do it under warranty (i’m past the basic vehicle warranty and they won’t call it powertrain or extended).

the part itself costs <u$30 by mail order, so i’m considering replacing it myself. (the shifter and console takeapart seem simple enough. and the leather shifter boot is a tempting upgrade.)

has anyone done this, and are there any tips or gotchas to watch out for?
I just took my car to the dealer for this problem and this is my plan. For ~$40 I am more than happy to spend a few hours re-pinning the part. I have previously done the leather boot upgrade, and have since taken the center console apart for a few varied upgrades, and there is nothing too tricky to it.

Here is a great video to follow along with:
 

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I made an account to post here because I just had this fixed on my 2016 outback. TLDR - call Subaru of America. I had an amazingly good experience with their customer service and they paid for the entire repair.

It started happening about a month ago - every couple days I wouldn't be able to get the key out without restarting the engine and shifting the gears around a bit. It gradually got worse and worse, to the point where every single time I drove anywhere I'd end up having to restart the engine multiple times after parking. I started getting worried that someday I wouldn't be able to get the key out at all.

I made an appointment at my local dealership and mentioned the service bulletin. At first the technician was pretty sure the repair would be covered under warranty. But he came back a few minutes later to tell me he'd checked with a coworker and it wouldn't be covered after all. He estimated $500-600 for the total cost. To his credit, he also recommended calling Subaru of America, as he thought they might offer to help out.

Calling them was the best decision I've made in months. I was on the phone for less than 5 minutes. The woman immediately knew exactly what I was talking about and confirmed that Subaru was paying to have it fixed on a case-by-case basis. She took down the info for my dealership and put in some kind of "priority claim" with their resolution department. An hour later I got a call from someone else at Subaru saying they'd been in touch with my service technician and they were paying for the entire repair.

The car was at the dealership for about 5 hours total and now works perfectly. It was an annoying problem to have, but overall I'm really impressed by how Subaru resolved it for me.
 

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Hi All,

Just to follow up. I just did this repair on my 2016. It is doable, but the skill level required elevates it beyond a simple swap. I would only tackle this if you are very comfortable with tools, taking things apart, and putting them back together with no parts left over. This is a no kidding "moderate" job, well past swapping out the stereo head unit or fixing a broken window motor. You also need a torque wrench because there are 4 large bolts and the nut to the transmission cable that require being torqued to spec when you put it back together. You really need the Crosstrek service manual and the exploded diagram. You need to order a few more parts (push nuts) besides the new plate itself.

It took me about 4 hours, full on, to do once I had the parts, not including disassembling the console trim. The time it takes at the dealer is legit.

Given that Subaru seems to be fixing this issue on their dime, I HIGHLY recommend people take advantage of the getting the dealer to do it.

Fm
 
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