The 8 Most Common Forester Problems

We've pulled together a list of the most widespread problems that Forester owners have to deal with.

Unintended Acceleration

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An increasing number of Subaru owners say their vehicles will inexplicably surge forward when the vehicle is stopped and their foot is on the brake. The unintended acceleration incidents often happen as the driver tries to shift the trans…

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Brake Light Switch Defect

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A build-up of chemicals from scented cleaning products containing silicone can disable the brake light switch in millions of Subaru vehicles. This can prevent the brake lights from turning on when pressing the pedal, among other things, and…

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Cracked Windshields

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Since 2015 there has been a surge in complaints about Subaru windshields that crack spontaneously. Many believe this is due to a design switch to 'acoustic glass.' Owners want compensation from Subaru because windshield replacements come wi…

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Lineartronic CVT Reliability

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Once praised for its design, Subaru's CVT is showing problems with age. It can shake occupants back and forth as it wobbles its way though gears. In extreme cases it can hesitate so much it causes the engine to stall, forcing Subaru to exte…

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Rodents Chew Subaru's Soy Wires

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Rodents just can't resist the soy-derived wire coatings used in many Subaru vehicles. The chewed up wires are costing owners hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars in repairs but Subaru, like other automakers, insists this isn't a def…

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Subaru Vehicles with Recalled Takata Airbags

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A large number of Subaru vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

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Excessive Oil Consumption

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Subaru is one of a handful of automakers accused of making new engines that excessively burn through oil. And they'll tell you that adding a quart (or two) between scheduled changes is totally normal. It's not.

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Rust and Corrosion Problems

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OK, maybe it's not fair to pick on cold-weather vehicles for having corrosion problems, but the problem is much deeper than rotted body panels.

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What Forester Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Worst Topics

Worst Years

Forester Generations

Generations are groups of model years where few, if any, changes were made to the vehicle which means their model years tend to break in similar ways. The Forester has 5 generations available in North American markets.

By the Numbers

  1. 706 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 810 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 33 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Timeline of Recent Forester News

See All Forester News

What Owners Say About Their Forester

Unintended Acceleration

While driving the car in a parking lot, I turned to park on a spot and as I was parking with my foot on the gas pedal, the car accelerated on its own. I ended up on the sidewalk close to the window of a dentist office. A very scary situation that could have hurt someone.

Cracked Windshields

The 2019 Subaru Forester was less than a week old. I was driving down the road, no one or nothing near me, and I heard a pop. I then saw the crack in the windshield ... I found other reports of windshield issues, took the information to the dealer, and they reluctantly replaced the windshield.

Excessive Oil Consumption

I have noticed that when I change my oil it's a lot less than I pour into the engine. I did a little research and stumbled across this problem, I wasn't the only one with the engine consuming oil. I would have thought Subaru would have fixed these problems but according to them that is normal.