hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,611 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #7

Jan 142014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
In very cold conditions. When the car is in idol or running it has a very strong gas smell around the engine and in the cabin area. I have heard the WRX and outback models have also have this problem.I was told it is the fuel line hose the connects to the clamp and contracts in severe cold and extracts when it gets warm then seals its self to the clamp. I think this is a serious issue with Subaru and it should be investigated and possible recall on the older models if it has been corrected with newer models.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 152010


  • 109,000 miles
Intermittent engine surging and/loss of power.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #5

Aug 302007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,900 miles
External coolant leak due to failure of head gaskets in engine on a 2002 Subaru Forester with 50,000 miles. Results in coolant dripping onto exhaust system and other components resulting in strong odor. Also creates possibility of low coolant causing overheating, engine damage and possible engine fire due to excessive heat. This problem is known to Subaru however, the only recommendation offered is to add a sealer to the radiator coolant. According to several mechanics I have consulted, this will result in clogging of the radiator and heater core passages further causing overheating problems. The only fix for this problem is replacement of the head gaskets something Subaru refuses to do.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 102007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Soa is not being forthcoming about a major defect affecting many of its vehicles. On Wednesday July 11, 2007 I spoke to soa and explained my concerns about the chronic leaking head gasket problems on many of your vehicles. I own a 2002 Subaru Forester which was diagnosed with a leaking head gasket in December 2006 and 68000 miles by a teape Subaru technician in arlington tx. This repair would cost $1900. As I had to save up the money I did not get the work done until 07/10/07 at 75,000 miles. I considered this a major safety problem. Had soa brought me in for a repair I might have avoided this expensive repair. My car could easily have overheated, resulting in an injury to myself and others. Research revealed that this was a huge problem with their vehicles that frequently occurred again after being repaired/replaced. Soa's representative told me that not only was my vehicle out of warranty for this problem but that there was no recall for it. He did, however, give me a case #1017178. Subaru needed to step up and handle this problem. I am encouraging you to make them do that. The final cost for my gasket replacement work was $1725.42. I am mailing soa an itemized list of parts and labor along with my paid receipt, and I want a full refund for this work which included the labor.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 112005

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,378 miles
On three occasions when placing my 2002 Subaru Forester in reverse, the engine has begun to race uncontrollably. In each instance, because I had my foot on the brake and was able to shift into neutral, I was able to maintain control of the vehicle and avoid a crash.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 232002

(reported on)


  • miles
When the consumer depresses the fuel pedal the vehicle hesitates and sometimes stall, the dealer has been notified of the problem several time but no remedy has been found. Nlm

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 222002

(reported on)

Forester 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer stated the engine started hesitating during acceleration from a complete stop, hesitation occurs one second to a few seconds after acceleration and can lat approximately three seconds. Since the problems have been happening with the hesitation, the transmission now shifts with a slight thump to a loud bang, during acceleration the automatic transmission misses a shift and goes into neutral causing the engine to instantly over speed to 2,000 RPM's the transmission searches for different gears while gently accelerating, on 2 occasions the dealer has reprogrammed the computer modifications which has made the problems less intense, but still exists.

- Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA