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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
2,266 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2009 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 032010


  • miles


Driver was backing up vehicle, when it accelerated rapidly, causing loss of control and traffic crash where a pedestrian was backed over, pinned and killed. Drive had no explanation of why this happened. Passenger in vehicle claims there had to have been mechanical defect.

- Boyne City, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 012009


  • miles
Car engine races sometimes when slowing down.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012009


  • 2,000 miles
Bought the 2009 Forester in December 08. Drove fine for the first two months. Then it started to lag in its shifting. If I was about to stop at a light and the light changed, I put my foot back on the gas and car would not accelerate so I give it more gas and then it kicks in hard almost causing an accident to the car in front of me. It doesn't happen all the time. So I thought it was just me. Until I was driving on the highway about 16 miles from home got off the exit and it did it again. I have had the car in to the dealer 4 times this year for the same problem. The first time tech reset the computer and it drove fine for 3 days then started again. It happens in all types of situations when it wants to. My other mechanic felt the same thing had me take it back to dealer. I am frustrated with driving it. I am also now having the vehicle making loud noises and rough idling, mysterious acceleration that will adjust after car in turned off and on again and a burning smell coming from the engine after being driven. I drive locally a couple of days a week. Subaru dealer wants to take my vehicle home to evaluate transmission. I was told it was because it is a learning transmission, so why hasn't it learned how I drive and I'm the only one driving car.

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 202009


  • 7,064 miles
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester limited, on 6/20/09 I experienced an incident of unintended acceleration. Cruise control was on. Before our exit I canceled the cruise control but left it "on". on the ramp, I let the car slow. At about 40 mph I moved the shift lever into 'sport┐ mode, downshifted to 3rd gear, then 2nd, then braked to a stop. The car was stopped, in gear, idling. My foot was on the brake. Without warning, the engine raced and the car jolted forward about a foot; it would have continued but I increased pressure on the brake and stopped the car. The engine, with the car stopped and in gear, ran up over 2000 RPM. I immediately shifted into regular drive mode and then into neutral. Once in neutral, the engine briefly raced higher but then dropped to idle at about 700 RPM. I switched the cruise control off. Please note: To stop the car I did not move my foot; it was already on the brake, and I merely pressed harder. This is not a case of pedal confusion. The floor mats are in place. This is not a case of a floor mat interfering with the accelerator. At the time of the incident, we were not moving. I was not on the phone. I was not looking over my shoulder. I was not otherwise distracted. I was sitting still, waiting for the light to change, with my Focus on the traffic stopped in front of me. In my view, this represents a dangerous defect in the vehicle, and needs to be corrected immediately. Please advise regarding your proposed resolution. I have advised Subaru via their website today but have not heard back. I am happy to be contacted for further details if needed.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

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