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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,969 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.

2014 Subaru Forester drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 312015


  • miles


Vehicle is unstable due to stalling and lurching forward under all throttle ranges. Vehicle may "chug" at variable driving speeds. The failure is intermittent and varies from subtle to heavy effects. Severe effects causes vehicle to shudder and/or stall then abruptly accelerate. Issue does not appear to be related to "turbo lag" as it occurs under low boost conditions. Transmission also produces "clicking" sound when engaging from neutral or under changes in speed. Condition occurs throughout all driving modes (I, S, S#). condition occurs mostly under acceleration from dead stop, but may also occur under "pick up" acceleration, ie off throttle to decelerate (55mph-45mph) then light throttle to resume driving speed. Vehicle may also backfire under acceleration. Vehicle may hesitate for several seconds before acceleration from stop or at highway speed than upon resuming acceleration vehicle may have a flat/slow acceleration in spite of heavy throttle. Factory authorized repairs attempted to remedy condition by cleaning throttle body and "upper engine" cleanse and states unable to replicate failure. Condition has been on-going from purchase with approximately 30K mile to current with 74K miles.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 022016


  • 16,320 miles
Safety problems from summer 2014. The car abruptly loses power when accelerating. This is dangerous when overtaking log trucks and other slow traffic on steep two-lane highways. We have taken the vehicle to dealerships several times for repair and except for updating the engine control unit firmware; they have been unable to isolate the cause. In February 2016, Subaru of America (soa) mailed us recall wqw-58R. The dealer did not respond to our recall appointment requests. We asked for soa assistance. The dealer was hostile, yet claimed to perform the recall. Later, a dealer employee informed us that some employees sabotaged the vehicle with the intent of having the engine explode. Another shop confirmed facts and corrected some damage. California bureau of automotive repair case (SA2016005132) cited the dealership. The sudden power loss remains and it is unsafe to operate. It has failed to start on occasion. We are afraid that the original problem or other acts by the dealership may cause us or to be injured or killed in a head-on collision when power fails. It may strand us in an isolated area during a snowstorm or in some dangerous location. We have requested that soa accept the car back as a lemon. They have refused. The instructions toservice departments includes the following: ¿reminder: Engine assembly replacement will only be required in a very limited number of cases.¿ [soa instructions to dealers includes the words ¿reminder¿ and ¿very limited¿ in bold type] in our opinion, the ¿reminder¿ to dealers was intended to suppress corrective action and reduce costs to Subaru of America. The Subaru of America wqw-58R recall does not appear on the list of safety recalls. From our experience, this is a very dangerous vehicle to operate, and we request that the NHTSA include this recall as a safety issue for this make and model.

- Hammond Ranch, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 052016


  • 30,000 miles
Subaru automatic transmission--- when backing up on a hill and shifting from reverse to drive the transmission does not lock up. The car continues to roll backward and can only be stopped by using the brakes. It acts like a standard shift transmission. This does not seem normal.

- Jamesville, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 152014


  • miles


I also have oil consumption problem with my 2014 Subaru Forester, purchased at early 2014. Though, my Forester's oil consumption rate is about 1-1/2 quart per 5000 miles. I visited this site because I received a settlement notice in the mail, per district court of New Jersey. I was hoping there are some official post to go along with the settlement notice for getting a no-charge fix from the dealer, if there is one. I suppose the notice itself will have to do. A official posting appearing soon on this site would be nice. Here is the url for those that did not get the notice:

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #8

Dec 282015


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Subaru Forester. While driving at various speeds, the transmission gears were grinding. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the cvt transmission needed to be replaced, which had been previously replaced twice. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Queensbury, NY, USA

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problem #7

Jul 252015


  • 11,335 miles
I had just gassed up at bj's in farmingdale and was pulling into a parking spot adjacent to and facing the pump area I had just left. Separating my parking space and the pump I just left was a curb and a short uphill embankment of about 45 degrees, and 20 feet to the roadwaway in front of the pump I had just left. As I "stopped" the car, it instead lurched forward, up and over the embankment, ripping out the undercarriage protective shield. This was all a distance of about 30 feet. With my braking it, the car stopped and I was able to drive to a safe area and inspect the damage. There was no leakage, but scraping on the underside of the front bumper, and I then realized the protective plastic shroud had remained at the embankment scene, so I retrieved it. The speed I noted is a guess, but the car had to climb a height of perhaps 8 feet in a 20 foot distance! very fortunately, there were no injuries, but, my "landing spot" was 20 feet in front of the car gassing up in the spot I had just left, adjacent to 6 double rows of gas pumps! had I selected 1 or 2 parking spots adjacent, my car would have crashed into them all! I have brought the car to hicksville NY suburu this am and they found no problem with the car, other than to reattach the shroud. I and they have no explanation, other than possibly the driver floor mat, which had a recall but appears to be in its proper place, and I have pictures of same which I took upon retiring home after the incident.

- N. Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #6

Sep 152014


  • 7,600 miles


In October of 2013, I purchased by way of lease, a brand new 2014 Subaru Forester. Right after purchasing a 2014 Subaru Forester I began to have issues with the oil consumption in my vehicle. In example, before my first oil change of 3,000 miles, I had to have my car assessed by the oil technicians as the oil light kept coming on. The oil technicians would "top" off my fluids and along I went. Sadly, after having my 3,000 mile oil change, I continued to have issues with oil consumption. I think I paid a visit to the oil technicians at least once every 6 weeks or so; so much so that the oil technicians were tired of seeing my vehicle. I practically developed a personal relationship with the oil technicians. If they did not know me by name, they were at least familiar with my vehicle. To make a long story longer, this month (September) or better stated less than a year of having a 2014 in my possession, while still being in the year 2014 with 3 months left to go in this year, I had some major work done to my vehicle. Up to and including a replacement of the engine. Please see the attached invoice to see all the items that were replaced. Now you are problem asking well how many miles are on the car? there are only 7,600 miles on the vehicle. In other words I put maybe 760 miles on my vehicle per month in less than a year.opportunity: Clearly, I was sold a high priced lemon; a dud. In order to improve on customer satisfaction, it is in my opinion that Subaru should provide me with a 2014 Subaru Forester that is not defective or one that does not have design flaws. No vehicle with less than 8,000 miles and less than a year old should require an engine replacement. Please be advised that after the work was done now the car has a vibration and feels as if it is going to shut off.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #5

Jun 062014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
I slowly pulled into a parking space at walmart and the vehicle suddenly accelerated violently and jumped the median. The car crashed into metal racks with plants on them. The car was suspended on the median. Witnesses saw that the car surged forward while my brakes lights were on as I slowed to enter the parking space. Earlier on the day of the accident and the day before I noticed that the car hesitated (chugging while I was driving about 20 mph), but that stopped when I entered the highway. I now think this is somehow related to the acceleration surge.

- Seymour, CT, USA

problem #4

Dec 022013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 4,240 miles
My 2014 Forester has a problem with the rpms of the engine. In cold weather & after the engine warms up (dash blue light turns off) & while city driving, the engine RPM goes up 300 to 400 rpms when the climate control (heater) is turned on. Then if I stop for a traffic light or a stop sign or adjust the heater fan speed, the engine rpms will go up another 500 to 600 rpms with the cv transmission going into a lower range (transmission whines quite loud at this time). I am now driving with the engine RPM at 1000+ over normal rpms (normal rpms is considered the RPM with the climate control off). This condition will continue for close about 20 minutes of continued driving and then stop. If I turn off the heater while driving the rpms revert to normal. If I again turn on the heater, the rpms again will go up 300 to 400 rpms and not go up the additional 500 to 600 rpms until I would stop again. The 1000 RPM plus condition appears to be dangerous on slippery roads.

- Fairlawn, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 142014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 10,500 miles
While driving our 2014 Forester xt 2.0 uphill on the highway at about 50 mph, the cel, hill-assist, eyesight-disabled and another warning light all came on. I pulled off the road, stopped and called the dealer, who said the car could be safely driven in for inspection as the cel was not blinking. Apparently the cel light sets off a bunch more to get your attention. The obd codes the dealer pulled said the catalytic converter had failed (no further explanation was offered). They said a new one would be ordered and installed under warranty. So the dealer put in the new catalytic converter yesterday, and now the engine performs extremely poorly compared to before service. The electronic turbo boost gauge now shows negative boost (I.e., no activation) until over 20% throttle position in I mode (before, turbo boost was obtainable at 8% throttle). There is a humming sound (rather like the alternator belt noise Ford vans make) that drowns out the engine purr when gently revving the engine in park and, when driving, the cvt shifts very irregularly and at much higher rpms in I mode (e.g., staying in one gear until tach hits 2000 before shifting where before the tach never went above 1500 at any speed unless we were in S/I or S# mode and shifting manually with the paddles). I have notified Subaru of America of the situation and this car is going back to the shop first thing Monday morning.

- Blanchardville, WI, USA

problem #2

Dec 262013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 900 miles
I started the vehicle, put it in reverse and nothing!! it didnt move. Stepped on the gas, nothing! tried this 4 times. After about one hour it started and went in gear. Took it to the dealer, they tested it, said nothing wrong. Second time, which was later that night, I had the car out. Started up, put it in reverse, nothing happened. Car was on a slight incline, car then rolled forward and almost hit a car in front of us. Tried 3 times before the car would back up third time, which occured on December 31st, 2013. I was driving to work. Stopped at red light. Light turned, I stepped on the gas and the car didnt move, it then jumped into the intersection of a major highway! lucky I wasnt hit from behind or head on! I could not get the car to go. Called the dealership. After about 5 minutes I was able to get the car going. The car is at the dealership now and I have a loaner car. They called and said again that they could not find anything wrong!!! I could have been killed!!! I do not want this car back until it is fixed or I get a new one to replace it. I am not very happy with the new 2014 Forester!

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #1

Nov 202013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 2,230 miles
While travelling at 50 miles per hour in heavy traffic, my car just stopped on the highway. It was during rush hour and it wouldn't move as I pressed the gas pedal. After about one minute the car started to move. Today, the 21st, my wife experienced the same issue while being on a highway. The car won't roll, it just stops dead. You don't have to start again, it will start itself.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

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