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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,248 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.

2010 Subaru Forester electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 032015


  • 85,000 miles


After work, I got in my car and started it up. Check engine light came on, followed by traction control and tire pressure lights. This was odd because these lights had never been on before. I started to drive home--it was too late to bring the car to have it checked out. I live a minute and a half from work. The cruise control light then came on and flickered in no particular pattern. Then, about 45 seconds into my 90 second drive, the temperature gauge light came on. The weather was about 50 degrees and rainy. When I got home the engine fan was spinning really fast. I popped the hood. No smoke or anything visibly wrong. At roughly 2:10am there was no way I could bring it to get the issues looked into. So I left the hood open to let some heat out and when the fan slowed and then stopped, I closed the hood and went inside. About 10-15 minutes later, during which time the car had been stationary and the engine had been shut off, I heard a pop sound. It was a strange noise and I got up to check it out. It was a massive engine fire. It toasted the engine and melted a good portion of the front end. The fire dept shattered the windows and peeled the hood back. The car is totaled. The fire was just feet away from my house on one side, and the neighbor on the other side. Had I been asleep the fire could have spread to my house or my neighbor's, potentially killing people. It was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced. There is a video on youtube with something similar (search Subaru engine fire). The car is a 2010 Forester xt, completely stock. It has been very well maintained and has about 85,000 miles on it. My mother originally owned it. She bought it brand new from the Subaru dealership and I bought it from her.

- Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #5

Sep 232013


  • 30,517 miles
Over the course of the weekend the vds and ABS warning lights came on intermittently. On Monday, went to start the car for work and heard a slight popping sound and car would not turnover. Smelled burning plastic, but no smoke. Upon further inspection that evening discovered the vinyl of the driver's side rear wheel well was burn then removed the spare tire cover to discover a small fire had occurred in the spare tire compartment. It appears as though the wiring harness had caught on fire there. The car was wired for a trailer hitch by the dealer.

- Juneau, AK, USA

problem #4

Feb 242012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 30,995 miles
On 2/24/12 my brakes started to rub and squeak so I took it in to be checked. To my surprise it was my rear brakes and they had completely denigrated. The dealer couldn't explain to me why this happened so they just went ahead and replaced them under warranty. On 6/21/13 (20,000 miles later) same thing happened. Back brakes denigrated so the dealer replaced them again with no explanation. 5 days later I had the brakes inspected by Firestone (still squeaking) and they informed me that the back brake pads were down to 8mm and one of the rotors had been shaved "way down". inquired about this to my dealer and apparently they replaced only the pads and said this was standard practice. In the 3 years I have had this car I have replaced the brakes 3X (rear 2X and front 1X), motor in sunroof, heating unit, radio connections, replaced front light bulbs 4-5 times and have had at least 2 recalls. I have contacted Subaru corporate but they keep directing me back to the dealer. My big concern is that the rear brakes are not operating properly and I drive around with a 4 year old in my car everyday. My understanding from asking around at the dealer is that I am not the only customer who has come in with rear brake issues on the 2010 Subaru Forester. The car feels like it is dragging when I drive it and sometimes it feels like the brakes are rubbing when I am driving.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 142012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 45,700 miles


The engine started knocking. Took to the dealer. Turns out I may have forgotten to change the oil for approx 14,00 warning light ever came on to remind me. No oil light, no engine light...nothing. Now I am facing a possible big expense in repair...waiting to hear from the shop as I type this. These warning systems are in place to avoid this situation. Had it worked properly, I would have been reminded to get the oil changed.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 292011


  • 26,277 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated and remained illuminated. Also the traction control, cruise control and air bag warning lights were illuminated. The dealer made nine attempts to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The current mileage was 27,433 and the failure mileage was 26,277.

- Lajolla, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 242011


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Forester. The contact was driving 10 mph uphill when the vehicle stalled and rolled backward until crashing into a tree. A police report was not filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the ignition was not recognizing the key and advised that they did not have a suitable remedy for the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who offered to pay the insurance deductible and extend the warranty for an additional seven years, with conditions. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 5,000.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

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