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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,540 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.

2011 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 312014


  • 23,500 miles


I pulled into a parking space, applied my brakes and was about to put my 2011 Subaru Forester into park when it suddenly accelerated forward and drove into a store front. The car travelled approximately 20 feet before hitting the wall and plate glass window. My driver's side airbag deployed. The car was totaled.

- Hooksett, NH, USA

problem #5

Jul 122011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
After owning 3 other Subaru, we figured it was a great idea to buy a 4th. Well, Subaru has changed the engine design enough where as the oil needed is a super light weight synthetic 0W20. After about 2000 miles consistently, the car will always need oil. We have 40,000 on it now and after multiple oil changes the car still uses way too much oil. Not a great choice of a car is what I am thinking now. Someone needs to step in from the NHTSA and determine why a new car would be losing oil as fast as the Subaru does. I have read other similar complaints. Maybe it is time to start an online petition to help nudge NHTSA and Subaru.

- Unionville, PA, USA

problem #4

Mar 212013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
On the last two dates this vehicle started up by itself without input from key or remote. The vehicle was unlocked by remote which is the manufacturer remote. The door was opened then the "lock" button in the door was pressed and the door closed. After the door was shut the engine started up. This happened on two separate occasions. On other occasions the engine would still keep running even though the key is removed from the ignition. This vehicle was fitted with a remote starter by the dealer (not factory). The remote start was changed twice, I'm on the third set. The dealer asked me to bring in the vehicle again on Friday March 29th so that the remote start installer can look at it again. Originally when the engine kept running I would have to disconnect the wire from the battery to stop the engine as everything else failed to stop it. Subsequently when the engine kept running it would only be shut off with the remote starter. This problem still keeps happening occasionally.

- Queens, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 042011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 4,300 miles


Purchased car new 12/2010, dealer told me it used syn oil and only needed to be changed every 7500 miles. 03/2011 the car had 4300 miles and when I checked the oil it was not showing on the dipstick. Dealer did not tell me that the Foresters use oil. It was over 2 quarts low. It has been two years now and Subaru has still done nothing for my car. All they told me was it's in your owners manual and they use a qt every 1200 miles. This is crazy for a new car. 6 qts for an oil change and 5 qts in between. Can't depend on this car. Not safe to drive on long trips. Engine is very noisy. Subaru deceived me at time of purchase, I would never bought a car that uses oil like this.

- Wittensville, KY, USA

problem #2

Mar 182012


  • 21,000 miles
I was driving and suddenly heard a very loud knocking noise. The car started slowing down and then stopped. Smoke was coming out from under the hood. The car was towed to a nearby dealership. They determined that the one of the connecting rods punctured the engine block which caused engine oil to shoot through the hole onto the engine block, melting the wiring, and causing the smoke.

- Oakland , NJ, USA

problem #1

May 092012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 11,440 miles
A vehicle 2 cars in front of me dropped a load of freight on the freeway--possible one lane over. The cars in front of me slammed on their brakes, and one may have swerved into my lane. I was able to slam on my brakes and slow to about 15-20 miles per hour before I hit the car in front of me. Within 20 seconds of hitting that car, flames were coming from under the hood of my car. Within 2 minutes my car was fully engulfed in flames and the passenger cabin was fully involved. This was an almost brand-new car with no aftermarket parts, and little front-end damage. It seems suspicious that such an accident would cause such an intense and fast-spreading fire. Had children been restrained in safety seats, I don't know if I would have had time to get them out of the car.

- San Pedro, CA, USA

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