The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2018 Subaru Forester, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Occupant Detection System (ODS) Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE19009

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: August 06, 2019
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags: Occupant Classification System - Ocs (Front Passenger)
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Passenger Side Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 51 complaints and additional Early Warning Report (EWR) data related to allegations of front passenger seat Occupant Detection System (ODS) malfunctions in model year (MY) 2016 through 2018 Subaru Forester vehicles. These vehicles use a capacitive type ODS, which is intended to classify the occupant of the passenger seat as either full-sized, small stature, a child seat or other object. The complaints report the ODS failed to operate properly, the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) warning light illuminated, and/or the ODS incorrectly suppressed (turned off) the front passenger air bag when the seat was occupied by a full-sized passenger. In a frontal crash sufficient to warrant deployment, a suppressed air bag may increase the risk of injury to the occupant of the seat. ODI is opening this investigation to assess the scope, frequency, and consequences of the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at under the following (ODI) identification numbers: 11232569, 11230006, 11229301, 11228633, 11221676, 11221333, 11221048, 11220818, 11208734, 11205164, 11197003, 11194757, 11194451, 11192564, 11184937, 11184689, 11184544, 11182658, 11173781, 11172674, 11166156, 11165546, 11156964, 11154746, 11152921, 11151957, 11150824, 11149508, 11143434, 11142191, 11141206, 11140691, 11132985, 11131785, 11124557 (duplicate of VOQ 11105070), 11124239, 11111454, 11110572, 11110323, 11110111, 11105070, 11102823, 11100798, 11091464, 11083621, 11082273, 11067171, 11052876, 11052638, 11041443, 11031915, 11025406.