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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,344 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.

2004 Subaru Forester seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #20

May 022016

Forester

  • 100,000 miles

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

Takata recall

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #19

Nov 272014

Forester

  • miles
Having seen the complaints from other users regarding the reliability of airbag deployment in this model vehicle. Relevant to let the proper authorities know of a rollover accident in which no airbags (nor front nor side) deployed with a resulting fatality.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 152009

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles
Since 2009 the driver side airbag light will stay on after I have started the car. It will stay on for days, whether it is hot summer time or cold winter days. It may stay on for a few days or for months. The last time was from July 19, 2014 to August 25, 2014. This is the first time that I have reviewed the list of vehicle safety complaints. Seeing the other complaints about the airbag light remaining on encourages me to submit my history also. When it has been on, I think I should take it to the dealer but then it goes off before I can take the car in to the dealer. Seeing all the complaints I also think Subaru should be responsive to this problem.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #17

Aug 012014

Forester

  • 80,000 miles

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

The airbag light stays illuminated for weeks at a time and then will randomly turn off. I have taken it to the dealer twice and they could not identify the problem. I have continuously had the problem off and on for the past year. I see several people have had the same problem with this model and year Subaru, this should be taken care of by Subaru- [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- East Wenatchee, WA, USA

problem #16

May 152014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
The driver side front air bag light has lit up on the dashboard. It stays on every time I start the car and drive it. I have taken it to the local Subaru dealer in rochester, mn (clements). They say it will cost $3000 to install a brand new air bag system. I disagree. This is an inherent, serious safety flaw in the car. In my opinion, Subaru should fix it free of charge. I have not received any safety advisory from Subaru of America. Your guidance would be appreciated. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Rochester, MN, USA

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problem #15

Mar 182014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
My car was parked. When I got in car and turned key, the passenger side airbag deployed. Car was not hit or in accident.

- Marysville, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 122009

Forester

  • 50,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2004 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated for both the passenger and driver side air bags. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #13

May 192011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
For three years, there has been a problem with the airbags light staying illuminated. According to Subaru service, the airbags will not deploy if the light is illuminated. On the last visit to the dealer, I was told that the under-seat connections for the airbags were corroded and had to be replaced at considerable expense. Since these connections are not exposed to the outside environment they should not corrode unless the equipment is defective. Since this defect represents a major safety risk, there should be a corrective recall.

- Martinsville, NJ, USA

problem #12

Mar 012011

Forester

  • miles
Airbag light comes on and goes off when the driver's seat is adjusted, ( this has been happening since the car was new, & sometimes staying on for weeks at a time). When ask about this problem at the dealers service department, they were aware of the problem and wanted over $170 to repair this safety issue as when the air bag light is on, the airbags are not working according to the dealers service department in auburn, wa. Since we still own this car, with less than 60,000 miles on it, we think that Subaru should be responsible for this safety problem.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #11

Mar 012011

Forester

  • miles
Airbag light comes on and goes off when the driver's seat is adjusted, ( this has been happening since the car was new, & sometimes staying on for weeks at a time). When ask about this problem at the dealers service department, they were aware of the problem and wanted over $170 to repair this safety issue as when the air bag light is on, the airbags are not working according to the dealers service department in auburn, wa. Since we still own this car, with less than 60,000 miles on it, we think that Subaru should be responsible for this safety problem.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #10

Mar 012011

Forester

  • miles

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

Airbag light comes on and goes off when the driver's seat is adjusted, ( this has been happening since the car was new, & sometimes staying on for weeks at a time). When ask about this problem at the dealers service department, they were aware of the problem and wanted over $170 to repair this safety issue as when the air bag light is on, the airbags are not working according to the dealers service department in auburn, wa. Since we still own this car, with less than 60,000 miles on it, we think that Subaru should be responsible for this safety problem.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #9

Sep 192008

Forester

  • 58,383 miles
The airbag light randomly goes on and off for periods of days at a time. This has been happening for many years. I brought it in to the Subaru dealer but they claimed it did not light up for them during their inspection. It then lit up for me on the way home and when I called the dealer from the road they would not look at it again until I made another appointment. Unfortunately I cannot assure that it will be on for them when they get the car. I later discovered that there was a Subaru technical service bulletin for this problem #17-07-04. They should have at least checked to see that this is a common problem. Further my mechanic said that when the light is on the air bags will not deploy upon impact.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #8

Jul 062010

Forester

  • 82,000 miles
The air bag dashboard light is always on. It first came on when the vehicle had about 82000 miles and at first it was intermittent. After about six weeks, it has become permanently lit when the engine is turned on. I have noted that this seems to be a problem on this model. The light does not bother me, but the fact that people have been in accidents and the airbags did not deploy does concern me greatly.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #7

May 072010

Forester

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Subaru Forester. The contact stated the air bag warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where he was advised that one of the air bag plugs that was connected to the air bag wiring was not contacting. The contact was concerned with the possibility of being involved in a crash and the air bags potentially would not deploy. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated there was a technical service bulletin issued by the manufacturer (NHTSA item number: 10015705: Air bags) but there was not a recall for the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000 and the current mileage was 69,500.

- Louisville, CO, USA

problem #6

Jul 092008

Forester

  • miles
The air bag warning light comes on intermittently when the drivers seat is moved. The connector wire under the seat must be cause but the dealer will charge $600 for repair that they state may or may not fix this problem. This has been happening since the vehicle was one or two years old. A search of your records shows the exact problem in complaint #10196583, and is the likely cause of complaint #'s 10149296 and 10101059.

- Windsor, CO, USA

problem #5

Jun 032008

Forester 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The air bag system will not function in the event of a collision due to an electrical connector malfunction. The connector is located under the driver's seat and is constantly stressed by seat movement or contact by the driver's feet. As a result, the air bag warning light is chronically but intermittently on. This has been a problem since first identified when this vehicle was approximately 1 year old. The repair of the connector was eventually ineffective. When the air bag warning light is on the air bags are inactive and will not deploy in the event of a collision.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 102006

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Airbag light came on shortly before the warranty on the item ran out. Dealer checked connections and light went out. A few months later the light came again. Checked connection, light went out. Light started going on intermittently. Now was on steadily. Goggling 2004 Forester air bag light indicates this was a common problem. It was a poor design that exposed the connector to damage by feet or other objects under the driver's seat.

- Rio Rico, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jan 082006

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,500 miles
: the contact stated while driving on the highway at 55mph the vehicle was involved in an accident. The air bags did not deploy. Although seatbelts were worn the two occupants sustained injuries. A police report was filed. As a result of the accident the vehicle was totaled.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 252005

Forester

  • miles
Pulling into parking space. Had foot on brake. Approximate speed of car 10 mph. Car accelerated on its own with my foot on brake. Looked down saw that gas pedal was to floor. Car accelerated into brick building. As quickly as it accelerated it stopped. Was able to reverse car into parking space. Hole in building damaging electricity for building. Entire building without electricity for entire day. Building has a 5' X 5' hole in wall and cracks doing up and down and around corner of building. Car was towed to repair shop since Subaru(Forester 2004) does not do repairs. Car was inspected by mechanic who said he could see no visible reason why gas pedal stuck. Frame of car in tack, estimated damage $3600. Car will be repaired and shipped to Subaru for inspection prior to repossession of car. Airbag did not engage during accident. Prior to accident, approximately 2 months ago a similar incident happened. I came to a stop at an intersection, stepped on brake and car accelerated. It took both feet on the brake to stop the car. I thought perhaps it was winter and I slid on ice, or perhaps it was just a freak accident. Didn't think much of it until the second occurance.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #1

Nov 012004

Forester

  • miles
Fuel door release button does not work. Airbag light came on possible electrical problems. 5 days after purchasing the vehicle, the fuel door release button fell off. Opening of the fuel door was and continued to be difficult. The consumer would like a full refund for the vehicle.

- Bedford, IN, USA

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