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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,023 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Subaru Forester drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 202014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 170,701 miles


After purchasing a 2002 Subaru Forester, the vehicle was driven for a very short period of time prior to noticing that the front end of the vehicle began to feel loose and unstable while steering, and the vehicle began to pull to one side while accelerating and braking. After noticing the instability and swaying action, I conducted cursory inspections of the front end and suspension areas of the vehicle. As a result of inspections, I didn't notice anything wrong with the undercarriage. While driving the vehicle on 20 September 2014, without warning, the right front lower control arm broke. It could be observed that there was a failure in the weld between the hanger bracket and the main portion of the control arm. After the control arm broke, it caused the control arm to move towards the rear of the vehicle; it caused the right front tire to slam abruptly into the rear portion of the tire well; it then caused the right front tire to lock up, which subsequently caused the tire to immediately begin to skid. Contributing factors which minimized results: Vehicle was only traveling at about 45 mph; it occurred on secondary road; road was straight and level; there was no oncoming traffic; and road surface was dry. There was additional vehicle damage. Upon checking the recalls for the 2002 Subaru Forester, I discovered that the 2003-2008 Foresters were recalled for this exact reason (recall id # 70673.) there were other additional recalls as well for similar issue. After contacting Subaru customer service, I was advised that they would not cover the front lower control arm under the recall even though the characteristics of the recall were the same. I believe that the failure of the control arm is very obvious and it should be covered similar to the other recalled years. I would be happy to provide pictures of the front lower control arm failure. Thank you.

- Marcellus, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 032003

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,345 miles
On the green traffic signal I accelerated and the car surged into the vehicle in front of me. I jammed my foot on the brake and threw the shift into park when the car stopped, then with my foot on the brake and shift in park, the car surged in reverse hitting the car behind me. I previously experienced surging twice before this. My 2002 Subaru forrester was recalled for the parking rod replacedment in April 2003.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

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