Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,323 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.

2006 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #17

Apr 212016


  • 54,000 miles


Purchased in ak in 2006. Approximately 13,000 miles on engine. Paperwork listed entry-point: Hawaii. Current 2016 mileage: Less than 60,000. Well-maintained vehicle.----- upon acceleration, the engine sometimes lurches and revs too high too fast, and then settles into how it is supposed to feel and sound. Other times, it suddenly loses power instead, lurching down like we've taken our foot off the gas (but we haven't because we are on a highway or freeway!), very briefly and then time, just a few weeks ago, it felt like I'd lost all power and the car was going to stop in the middle of the busy highway, but it immediately recovered and then felt normal.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 092013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles
The bus had just dropped off my son. I turned on the car and proceeded to roll down the hill to the corner where I was going to make a right turn. (about 4 car lengths from my original parked spot) all of a sudden the car was not responding to my foot or stealing commands. I rolled onto the front lawn of the corner property. As soon as we cam to a stop I shut the engine and put the car in park. I opened the door, took a look at the car and then tried to start the car again. I started the car and it was making like a reving noise. I when to put the car in reverse to back off the lawn (all the while my foot is on the brake.) and all of a sudden the car lurch backwards with such force and speed. I was almost standing in place with the force I was trying to brake. The car would not respond and I came to a full stop after crossing the road and into another front lawn and crashing in to the porch of that property. Totaled vehicle !!!

- Waterbury , CT, USA

problem #15

Nov 272012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
As I was waiting to pull into a small parking lot, an auto was pulling out. I had my foot on the brake waiting for him to exit. As soon as I released the brake the car lurched forward full speed towards the exiting car and I turned sharply to the right to avoid a collision but went full speed into a wall (side of a house) the exiting car was grazed, the house was damaged and my car was totaled. The sound of acceleration as I released the brake was as if I depressed fully the gas pedal which I did not do.

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #14

Nov 162011


  • 60,000 miles


The cruise control light has started flashing and the check engine light is on. It started out of the blue. The cruise control is not working. This seems to be a common problem among other Subaru owners and Subaru seems to have issued a service bulletin but they won't admit its their problem.

- Penobscot, ME, USA

problem #13

Aug 112011

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that while reversing at 5 mph, the vehicle surged backward and crashed into a house. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop, but the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was repaired for the body damages. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 104,000. Updated 10/21/11 the consumer stated the transmission failed as well. Updated evoq 10/26/11

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #12

Jun 142010


  • 56,000 miles
Owner of 2006 Subaru Forester was driving at 5 mph when press brake pedal. Suddenly car accelerated but it reduced speed when pedal was pressed again. Car mileage is 56,000. It is the first time that this incident happens.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #11

Jun 032010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 subuaru Forester. The contact was driving at approximately 2 mph exiting parking lot. When the brake pedal was engaged a sudden acceleration occurred without warning. The vehicle continued to accelerate. The contact exerted full body pressure to the brake pedal repeatedly and then shifted into the park position before the vehicle came to a complete stop. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and continued normally. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The VIN was unavailable at the time of the complaint.

- Longmeadow, MA, USA

problem #10

Aug 022009


  • 36,340 miles
I accelerated from a stop to merge with traffic. When I stepped on the gas pedal to accelerate, the gas pedal stuck & I continued to accelerate despite taking my foot off the gas & trying to firmly apply my brakes- I could hear the engine revving. My brakes did not stop the car & even in neutral with my brakes on I continued to go forward until eventually the car coasted to a stop in the breakdown lane & I was able to put it in park & turn off engine. It smelled like burned rubber after I stopped. Of note, it was a rainy day. I plan to bring it to the Subaru dealership tomorrow. I did read some blogs today with a few people complaining of the same problem but one person commented that the car was brought to the dealership & no problem was found. This was a very scary & unsafe problem. I did an internet search for Subaru Forester recalls & could not find one for this particular problem.

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #9

Feb 202009

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Forester. On February 20, 2009, while attempting to pull into the driveway at less than 6 mph, the hydraulic brakes failed. The brake pedal extended to the floor board and the vehicle began to jerk and accelerate on its own. The vehicle crashed into a tree and the frontal air bags deployed. The contact sustained major injuries and was transported to the hospital in an ambulance. A police report was filed. Her sternum was broken and she suffered major lacerations and bruises to her knees and legs. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were less than 25,400. Updated 8/3/09 the consumer stated no police report was filed. Updated 08/05/09.

- Northborogh, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 302006

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 13,421 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Forester. The air bag control module fails to activate at least once per week. On each occasion, the passenger side air bag off light illuminates. The occupant detection sensor does not recognize a passenger sitting in the front passenger seat. The passenger side air bag also does not activate when the vehicle is started approximately once out of 20-30 starts. The contact's wife weighs 120 lbs and is 5'5 inches tall. She sits erectly with the seat back nearly vertical. The failures have been reported and investigated by the dealer and manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that the "occupant protection system is working as its designed intent and as such we are unable to recommend a repair or modification". the current mileage was 28,000 and failure mileage was 13,421. Updated 01/03/08 oil was leaking onto the exhaust system, the engine would surge and sag during slight downgrades with the throttle held just off idle and speed held constant, the speed control over and under shoots on slight grades, it would not go to full throttle, or to closed throttle when speed control was activated. Updated

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jun 232007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles


Experienced sudden unintended acceleration twice., once when accelerating on the highway to pass and the gas pedal appeared to stick., and once when pulling up to a curbside as the brake was appiled and the vechicle suddenly lurched forward colliding into a parked car and pushing it forward. I had to jam hard on the brake to stop the acceleration.

- Peabody, MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 052007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,200 miles
I was driving slowly down the street, made a left turn into a parking lot. Perhaps I turned a little too sharply. There was a sudden surge and acceleration and the brakes were unresponsive. The car "ran away" while I tried unsuccessfully to brake it. Hit the building. I backed away and it surged backward and hit a tree. Then I was able to get it into park and turn it off.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 072007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated to more than 30 mph when gently depressing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle failed to stop when the brakes were depressed. After maneuvering the vehicle around a building three times the ignition was able to be shut off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, first team auto mall, and no failure could be found. The current and failure mileages were 4,000.

- Roanoke , VA, USA

problem #4

Mar 082007


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
On cold start the engine races uncontrollaby up to approximately 3500 rpms after clutch was depressed. It raced up and down until it warmed fully up. It sometimes races like this after high speed driving when you come to a stop.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #3

Nov 152005

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 180 miles
This is a repeatable event that could lead to an injury: Purchased a new 2006 Subaru Forester 2.5X end of October 2005. After approx. Two weeks car began to experience unexpected engine RPM increases immediately after a "cold start." When car is first started, engine rpms are at around 1500. Put car into reverse and back out of parking space. When the clutch is depressed, engine rpms shoot up to 3000+. then, after putting car in 1st gear, and releasing clutch, engine rpms drop to about 1500 but slowly increase to around 2500-3000 RPM and vehicle speed increases without foot even being on the accelerator. Problem usually clears up after driving a few minutes except on one occasion when car had been operating for around 15 minutes... when I came home for lunch and pulled into our drive and put in the clutch, the rpms shot up to around 3000. Turning the vehicle off and restarting will "reset" the rpms to around 1500 until it is put in gear once again and the clutch depressed. A couple of times this happened: After the rpms shot up to 3000+, I kept the clutch pressed to see how long the rpms would stay around 3000. The rpms did a decaying sinusoidal oscillation of about 6 cycles over a period of about 30-45 seconds, finally leveling out arount 1500 RPM.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 232005

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 850 miles
Apparently, Subaru has gone to a "?drive by wire?" for at least 2006. The 2006 Forester I have has the surging problem. It is worst driving downhill and trying to maintain a constant speed in either manual or cruise control. The steeper the hill the worse the surge. I live in the Colorado mountains and if there were snow or ice this surge would cause the vehicle to loose traction and go out of control. Actively accelerating or decelerating is not a problem. The surge occurs only when a constant speed is attempted. This problem has been reviewed by a Subaru dealer service department and reproduced on another 2006 Forester. Subaru said that this is not a problem and is expected with the drive by wire system. I feel that this is a safety problem as a driver could loose control with the severe surge problem.

- Fairplay, CO, USA

problem #1

Nov 072005

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100 miles
The contact stated vehicle is hesitated and surged. This happened more often when traveling down a mountain. The vehicle has been taken to a certified dealership for diagnosis, and the problem was duplicated. However, the manufacturer concluded there was actually no problem with the vehicle. In addition, the manufacturer offered $1,000 gift certificate as incentive to have no further contact with them.

- Evergreen, CO, USA

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