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 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,992 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.

2015 Subaru Forester drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2015 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 122016


  • 18,000 miles


Vehicle surges when trying to lightly accelerate in hot weather. Rpms begin to drop, car bucks back and forth until more throttle is given, then car lurches forward. There seem to be tsbs out to alleviate the issue, but they feel like a bandaid repair and just mask it. Now instead of bucking back and forth, the vehicle just accelerates very lightly. Throttle is very unresponsive. The inconsistent throttle response creates a safety issue, as the vehicle can be unpredictable when accelerating away from a potential hazard (accelerating to make a lane change, accelerating to avoid an accident, etc.).

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 302016


  • 15,000 miles
Our 2015 Forester turbo has 15,00 miles on it. We have had it to the dealer 4 times now asking them to find out why it is loosing power in times of need. The dealers from 2 different locations have said they were unable to duplicate the issue. We are going to take it back this week, it happened again today on the highway at 60 mph. Engine feels like it shuts off, cars traveling along side and behind had to skid the brakes to stop. This has become a life or death situation. We do not feel safe driving the car. It looses power in turns and highway speeds.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #9

Jul 012016


  • 15,444 miles
Car was in park. Left running to come back & get something in house. When went back to car, opened door & vehicle started rolling backwards. By time I was able get in, the car rolled in ditch & damaged driver's side door. Happened in a matter of 3 minutes tops. Bottom of driver's door was fouled in on side of bank.

- Prichard, WV, USA

problem #8

Mar 212016


  • 38,000 miles


What has been happening is I will be driving down the road (does not matter how fast I am going) and all of a sudden all the lights come on and I lose acceleration and control of vehicle. Each time it has been towed to Subaru they cannot recreate the problem so it cannot be fixed. This last time I was on a very busy road going about 55 mph and all of a sudden again my check engine lights etc came on and I lost acceleration and power. I quickly checked my rearview mirror to make sure no one was too close behind me. It was very scary and I was able to coast and abruptly turn into an enterprise rental. I was lucky I was not hit from behind or have my kids in car. This last time too when the tow truck arrived the car would not turn on. I am now completely uncomfortable driving a car that consistently has had the same issue that no one can fix.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 202016


  • 11,350 miles
We were driving approximately 65-70 mph on the highway on Saturday February 20, 2016. The car suddenly began to shake and jerk and we smelled burning rubber. We pulled onto the berm as soon as we could and waited for the tow truck. We knew it was a transmission problem because it was the second transmission placed in the car. We had the car back from the repair shop less than 3 weeks after the transmission and torque converter were completely replaced from the manufacturer's. Subaru has notified us that a new transmission and torque converter plus 4 new tires are being placed in the car now currently back at the dealer in the repair shop. The tires were ruined by the burning tread as they locked up when the transmission stopped working. This will be the third transmission in the car since it was at the manufacturer. This is no longer just a warranty issue it is now a severe safety issue. The car's tires were completely locked when it was being taken off the tow truck. It had to be jacked up and slid off the back of the flat bed ramp.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #6

Jan 162016


  • 19,100 miles
While starting to drive forward ( normal speed ) from a stop -went about fifty feet. I heard a clunk. Than the SUV rolled to a stop. I than tried to put it in reverse - would not move. I than put it back in drive - it did not move. I checked to see if the engine was running - it was. I called my emergency hot line and had the car towed to the dealer. They found that the chain in the transmission ( or some place in the drive mechanism ) had broken. Still waiting for it to be fixed - 11 days have passed so far.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #5

Nov 162015


  • 12,500 miles


My vehicle is bucking/jerking under light to medium acceleration loads between about 10 mph to 30 mph. The issue occurs intermittently, but it will occur several times during a single trip to work 25 miles away. I have taken it to the dealer, but the technician was not able to replicate the issue in the parking lot. They believe it is an issue with the cvt. Others online have expressed concern with the exact same issue. Specifically, you depress the gas pedal a constant distance, but the vehicle will give you unreliable amounts of acceleration: Sometimes an initial lurch and then a pause and then another lurch or very little acceleration and then a pause and a lurch. Depressing the gas pedal farther during one of the jerky periods has little effect except to make the lurch more violent once it finally happens. Not being able to accelerate reliably during a turn with oncoming traffic is extremely dangerous and the reason for me writing a report. I will continue to work with the dealer, but from the research I have done, this is not an isolated issue. I believe the only reason I was not able to find recorded car accidents referencing this issue is due the newness of the vehicle.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 132015


  • 11,265 miles
From a full stop, A/C on, I began to accelerate at a green light. Car stopped acceleration at aprox. 2 miles per hour and coasted thru large intersection before accelerating again. I checked to see if the car was in drive and that the emergency brake was off. I took car to dealer who said no "error code" is available that would indicate a problem and they were unable to replicate the issue. Obviously there is an issue because another driver made this same report. This is a huge concern for me because 1) what happens if the car fails again when I pull into traffic with my kid in the car? and 2) I bought a Subaru because they are supposed to be safe and reliable. I'm seriously reconsidering my decision now.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #3

Aug 052014


  • 250 miles
I have a 2015 Forester premium with winter package, I bought it new with 10 miles on it. When starting out from a dead stop. I step on the gas and there is a delayed throttle response ( like a hesitation or a slow shift on the automatic transmission ) either from the computer module or transmission. Other owners, that I know, have experienced this issue also. Friends that have the outback say its less pronounced. As you might guess>> I have a bunch of subie fans !!! this is my 2nd Subaru, and while I am happy with it, I still can't get my dealer to do anything to resolve the issue. They say " its the nature of the beast ! " I'm hoping there will be a service bulletin to fix this annoying problem.

- Baden, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 052014


  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. After stopping at a stop sign, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not accelerate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that the vehicle was functioning as designed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5.

- Sykesville, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 092014


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that while in park, the vehicle rolled away. As a result, the vehicle crashed into trees and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 2,000.

- Pleasantville, NY, USA

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