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1.4

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
120,084 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.

2003 Subaru Forester body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 232016

Forester

  • 119,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Subaru Forester. While the vehicle was undergoing a routine oil change, the contact was informed that the subframe was completely rusted. The dealer diagnosed that the subframe needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 012016

Forester

  • 162,000 miles
I was getting new tires placed on my vehicle when my mechanic noticed that my control arms as well as the subframe was rusted out. I contacted Subaru who stated there was a recall on the control arms for rusting out but not on the subframe. When the vehicle was brought to Subaru dealership to get control arms place on a mechanic from the dealer ship contacted me. He stated that the subframe was in bad shape and that if they were inspecting the vehicle they could not pass the inspection per the level of rust and corrosion of the subframe. They stated that both the front and rear subframe would have to be replaced/fixed. My mechanic has never seen a subframe corrode so badly in such a short period of time. The last thing on a car to go should be the subframe and frame of the vehicle. There is obviously a safety issue with this and I am really surprised there is no recall in ref to this. I am not sure how they don't know this is an issue when they know there was an issue with the control arms.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 012015

Forester

  • 132,819 miles
Today I was at my mechanics to replace a muffler. After raising the car up on the rack he noticed destructive rust that was covering and inundating the K frame and front lower control arms (transverse links). In September of 2012 I was at gary lang Subaru (Illinois) for an unrelated issue. The safety recall for my vehicle, wvx-34, required an inspection and repairs, and if necessary, replacement or corrosion treatment of the lower control arms (transverse link). According to Subaru of America, that recall was "completed". the Subaru operator (kayla) could not elaborate on the term "complete". no mention of any specific action was reported. Today, during the inspection of said area, my mechanic indicated that no proof existed of either corrective action, either undercoating or mechanical repair or replacement. This is a safety concern, and at some point it is possible that loss of control will follow if the lower control arm breaks. I will pursue the Subaru dealer for repairs but have no idea if they will assume responsibility.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #6

Aug 042014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 - Subaru - Forester - body hardware, fender, structural components & rails, lower frame left is completely rotted through. There was a recall on the support strut beside it but none on this. This is a major crash protection component as it connects the bumper to the frame. I talked to the dealer about it and they said there is no recall so it is my problem. Clearly the steel that was used was subject to excessive corrosion in salty/humid road conditions and should have been included as part of the original recall on the strut. The other side (right) is in good condition, indicating defective materials in this part.

- Duxbury, MA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012015

Forester

  • 150,000 miles
My son was driving from New Jersey. Suddenly the front hood opened and crashed into the windshield. He was able to move over three lanes to stop the car. The windshield was cracked. This was a hood replacement done last spring after a deer ran across the vehicle. The latch has not been a problem until this trip. On the way to New Jersey, my son noticed that the hood partially opened. He stopped the car and made sure that the hood was tightly shut. The same repair shop is installing another hood and replacing the windshield. There is no collision insurance on the vehicle (Subaru Forester 2003). My two grandsons were passengers in the back seat. My son's fiancee was a passenger in the front seat. The only crash was the breaking of the windshield from the hood.

- Oakdale, CT, USA

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problem #4

May 132014

Forester

  • 160,000 miles
Front cradle arms and rear cross members are rusted to the point where the vehicle is unsafe to drive due to possible snapping.

- Vergennes, VT, USA

problem #3

Nov 102013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 Forester has extremely strong aromas of fuel when starting & driving in cold weather. Fuel vapors are very dangerous, here are side effects of inhalation: Inhaling gasoline fumes brings concentrated hydrocarbons into your lungs and bloodstream. Some of the ingredients in gasoline are extremely toxic and are mutagens. Liver damage and permanent brain damage are possibilities. The side effects caused by the inhalation of gasoline can range from central nervous system (cns) depression, which can include: Eye and throat irritation, mild or pronounced dizziness, headache, lack of appetite, drowsiness and in-coordination. In more serious circumstances, it can cause unconsciousness, pulmonary edema, and death. Subaru should issue a recall and address the issue, because they installed a defective product!

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 162013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
My 2003 Forester has recently been experiencing extremely strong smells of fuel when driving in the cold weather. Inhaling fuel vapors are very dangerous, here are side effects associated with inhalation of fumes: Inhaling gasoline fumes brings concentrated hydrocarbons into your lungs and bloodstream. Some of the ingredients in gasoline are extremely toxic and are mutagens. Liver damage and permanent brain damage are possibilities. The side effects caused by the inhalation of gasoline can range from central nervous system (cns) depression, which can include: Eye and throat irritation, mild or pronounced dizziness, headache, lack of appetite, drowsiness and in-coordination. In more serious circumstances, it can cause unconsciousness, pulmonary edema, and death. Subaru should issue a recall and address the issue!!

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 302013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 136,934 miles
I had my vehicle serviced at ramsey Subaru and was told the front sub frame is rusted and needs to be repaired. It seems more like the thin cheap metal is the problem. This is a big safety problem and they told me the warranty is only good for 5 years.

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

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