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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,488 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.

2009 Subaru Forester drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 022016


  • 118,000 miles


Transmission fluid leaking. Transmission cooling lines have leaks along weld seams. Weld seams have severe corrosion.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #7

Mar 012016


  • miles
My Subaru Forester was recently in the shop for normal service. The technician advised I needed a new driveshaft center support bearing. Upon checking for the part(a $20 part) he was advised Subaru will not sell the part without replacing the entire drive shaft(@$700). There is nothing wrong with the drive shaft. Every dealer and auto parts store gives the same response hen I ask for the bearing. Is this some sort of scam by the manufacturer"??"

- Southport, NC, USA

problem #6

Sep 122012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, a vibration harmonic buzz was heard from underneath the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repair. The technician stated the heat shield needed to be repaired. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a second time for the same failure and same repairs were done. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 90,000...updated 01/14/13 updated 1/15/2013

- Pickerington , OH, USA

problem #5

Oct 032012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 52,500 miles


I was driving to work, and the car wouldn't accelerate, it also handled roughly. The check engine light, cruise control light was flashing, along with vehicle dynamics control warning light. I had my car towed, as it wasn't drivable. My local garage repaired my car, I received 4 new spark plugs, and an air filter. 9 days later the check engine light came on, as well as the cruise control light, and the vehicle dynamics warning light, again it was repaired, this had to do with the catalytic converter message, but all my local garage could find was a small leak near the manifold that they repaired. 2 days later the check engine light went on again, I now called my Subaru dealership, they replaced a faulty catalyst converter, and af sensor, the also changed my oil, as it was due, and suggested I have a transmission fluid flush and refill, and that my rear and front differentials, needed a drain and refill. 5 days passed another check engine light, this time it was flashing, I had to have my car towed, the Subaru dealership discovered the wrong spark plugs were put in initially, and replaced them with platinum tip spark plugs that my model takes. 4 days passed another check engine light, with being unable to accelerate, I was going up hill, so I continued on, to reach a parking lot, I could stop in but suddenly, it felt like something unblocked, this made the check engine light go away, until 2 days later, another check engine light, I once again brought my car back to the dealership, the mentioned something about the catalyst converter, but said it was 'too soon" so they left the work order open, in case it occurred again, and gave me this lecture about the grade of gas I am buying. 4 days later the check engine light returned, this time Subaru discovered the my other O2 sensor was faulty, and they would replace it, when the part comes in.

- East Brookfield, MA, USA

problem #4

Apr 232012

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles
For some odd reason on Monday, April 23 my check engine light came on, my AWD indicator, and the cruise control light started flashing all at once. I came into work and googled the above items along with my make and model of the car...much to my surprise multiple links, items, and threads appeared. So I read most of them and this appears to be a systemic problem with Subaru's throughout the United States and Canada. I became concerned because no recall was issued and it seems more than coincidence that many people are having the same issue. Please advise since I called the Subaru dealer and they could have cared less.

- Narberth, PA, USA

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problem #3

Dec 122011


  • 59,800 miles
Fails to function in drive when parked overnite and the outside temperature is below 40 degrees. After a warm up period the drive gear engages and the car is drivable except for a clunking and slippage of the transmission, also reverse appears ok until you place the car in drive and you a rattling clunk. The transmission RPM goes into the red zone at times while driving the car.

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #2

Feb 022010


  • 7,200 miles
Driving East on ardsley rd. In scarsdale NY, my vehicle accelerated by itself. At the time I was starting to go downhill, curving right with a "jersey barrier" in the center of the roadway. I tried to go around the vehicle directly in front of me but my right rear sideswiped his left rear. It continued to accelerate around a right curve (downhill). I could not stop. I struck an S.U.V. just starting to move with traffic. The vehicle I sideswiped sustained no damage. Both the vehicle I struck and my vehicle were heavily damaged (my auto is $4500). Both vehicles towed from the scene. Greenburgh (NY) police responded. No injuries as of this time. I reported this to the 800 number of Subaru. They took all the information over the phone. I have not heard from them. I told them I was reporting this because I didn't know if anyone else experienced the same fright. The time was 4:50pm.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 172009


  • 1,400 miles
Unexplained engine acceleration. Started vehicle in a parked position, was preparing to pull out, engine suddenly accelerated to top RPM and was surging. Still in neutral, wheels turned slightly to left. Could find nothing that may have caused this, placed foot on brake upon hearing the engine acceleration, floor mats were in proper position, etc. Shut engine off, restarted and things returned to normal. Still consider it a dangerous defect that needs immediate attention by Subaru.

- Madison, ME, USA

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