The Worst 2014-2018 Forester Problems

  1. Unintended Acceleration

    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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  2. Brake Light Switch Defect

    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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  3. Cracked Windshields

    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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  4. Lineartronic CVT Reliability

    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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  5. Rodents Chew Subaru's Soy Wires

    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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  6. Excessive Oil Consumption

    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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  7. Excessive Oil Consumption

    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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  8. Leaky Head Gaskets

    Why can't Subaru build a decent head gasket? The automaker has had issues with leaky gaskets in their 4-cylinder engines since the 1980's. And repairing the issue is expensive as it requires the engine to be removed.

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What 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.

What Breaks

Years to Avoid

4th Generation Forester Key Numbers

  1. 5 model years

    Grouping all models by their year can reveal some baddies.

  2. 353 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  3. 38th in reliability

    Overall reliability rank out of 38 eligible generations.

Recent Lawsuits for 4th Generation Forester Owners

  • Partial dismissal

    Powell, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc.

    A Subaru windshield lawsuit alleges 2017-2019 Subaru Forester and 2017-2019 Subaru Outback vehicles are equipped with windshields that suddenly chip, crack and break. Subaru allegedly refuses to pay for repairs even when the vehicles are under warranties, leaving owners and lessees with paying for windshield replacements.

    The case was partially dropped following Subaru's motion to dismiss.

  • Bare, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc.

    A Subaru acceleration lawsuit alleges Subaru Forester, Legacy and Outback vehicles in California have defects that cause sudden unintended acceleration problems. Included in the California class action lawsuit are the 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy, 2012-2018 Subaru Forester and 2015-2019 Subaru Outback which allegedly have software problems.

  • Leon, et al., v. Subaru of America, Inc.

    A Subaru windshield lawsuit alleges the glass chips, cracks and breaks within weeks or a few months of purchasing these vehicles. According to the plaintiffs, customers say the windshields crack and break from simple and light impacts to the glass, a problem no Subaru owner expects to experience on an expensive vehicle.

    Status
    consolidated
    Problem
    Cracked Windshields
    Class Vehicles
    • 2017-2020 Outback
    • 2017-2020 Forester
    • 2017-2020 Crosstrek
    • 2017-2020 Impreza
    • 2017-2020 Legacy
    • 2019-2020 Ascent
    Location
    California
  • Settled

    Yaeger, et al. v. Subaru of America Inc., et al.

    A class-action lawsuit against Subaru claims some of its most popular models burn oil at an expensive and excessive rate. The lawsuit, filed in a New Jersey federal court, alleges the cars are defective because the piston rings wear out early and can cause engine failure while on the road.

Recent 4th Generation Forester News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. The lawsuit against Subaru's crappy windshields will move forward after partially surviving the automaker's motion to dismiss.

    The windhsields crack and chip at an alarming rate, but Subaru doesn't cover replacements under warranty if the issue is due to a defect. According to them the warranty only covers material or workmanship issues. Strange position to take, but ok.

    While a few allegations were removed due to legal technacilities, the judge said dismissing the case entirely at this point would be premature.…

    keep reading
  2. Subaru owners say their vehicles are surging forward when trying to shift into PARK, even with a foot firmly on the brake pedal.

    The automaker continues to blame drivers for the incidents, propmting a second class-action lawsuit to be filed in a matter of months.…

    keep reading
  3. Cheryl Sauer says her 2014 Forester XT was never the same after it came back from a 2016 emissions recall.

    The engine would surge and stall. So naturally, Subaru must have installed some secret software under the guise of an emissions fix to de-tune the engine in an effort to address a long-running ignition timing issue.

    Naturally.

    keep reading
  4. Subaru vehicles are accelerating on their own and the automaker's claim that owners are to blame isn't going over well.

    A new class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of owners with cars that may have unintended acceleration problems. This includes the 2012-2018 Forester, 2015-2019 Legacy, and 2015-2019 Outback.

    One of the lead plaintiffs says they were driving slowly with the foot on the brake pedal, and as they were about to shift into PARK the vehicle surged forward causing a collision.…

    keep reading
  5. An investigation looking into OCS airbag-related problems in Subaru's 4th generation Forester has been closed following a recall.

    In the 2015-2018 model years, the passenger airbag would remain disabled even if a passenger was sitting in the seat.…

    keep reading
  6. Just a month after Powell v. Subaru, a second lawsuit is accusing the automaker of selling cars with defective windshields.

    The plaintiffs say the use of "acoustic glass" in the windshields seems to correspond with the uptick in complaints.…

    keep reading
  7. The lawsuit says Subaru refuses to pay for repairs under warranty even though the cracks are not being caused by an external force, but some internal defect.

    Additionally, the cost to replace the windshield skyrockets because the EyeSight system needs to be recalibrated each time.

    keep reading
  8. Some 4th generation Forester owners say the passenger airbags will stay off, even when there's a passenger in the seat.

    This is likely a sensor issue in the vehicle's capacitive occupant classification system (OCS).…

    keep reading
  9. A new lawsuit accuses Subaru of using a 2016 emissions recall as a cover to secretly update engine software meant to prevent surging and stalling issues.

    If true, that’s both devious and cunning because ”by calling it an official emissions recall, an owner wouldn't be able to renew their vehicle registration until the recall work was complete.”

    The lawsuit only names 2014-2016 vehicles with turbocharged engines, including the Forester XT, WRX and WRX STI.

    keep reading
  10. After some prodding, Subaru has decided to extend the warranty on their Lineartronic CVT.

    A Subaru transmission warranty extension has been issued for 2010-2015 Legacy and Outback, 2012-2015 Impreza, 2013-2015 Crosstrek, 2014-2015 Crosstrek Hybrid, 2014-2015 Forester and 2015 WRX vehicles, all equipped with continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).

    However, it’s a limited time offer. Inspections or repairs need to be completed by July 31, 2018.

    keep reading

What Forester Owners Say About This Generation

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.

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.