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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,504 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2015 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #16

Sep 122016


  • 9,673 miles


While parking and apply the brakes the car suddenly accelerated. My wife was parking the car and while pulling into the parking stall she applied the brakes and the car suddenly accelerated and rammed into a steel cable that separated the parking stalls.

- El Monte, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 202016


  • 10,067 miles
While driving 75-80 mph on the interstate, I lost the ability to accelerate. Luckily I was able to change lanes ( I was in the middle lane when I lost power) and pull over. All the lights were on (check engine, at oil temp, battery, ect) and what I was able to stop the car, it stalled. Every time I tried to start it again, it would stall. After about 10 minutes, I was able to get it started. The dealership says nothing is wrong. About a year ago, the same thing happened except without the lights and stalling. The dealership told me that it I probably was hitting the gas and break at the same time. I drive with one foot, always have.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #14

Aug 012016


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle misfired and hesitated. In addition, all the warning lights illuminated. After consulting with a mechanic it was determined that the failure was caused by a faulty emissions control system to the turbo charged engines. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Dulzura, CA, USA

problem #13

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 #12

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 #11

Feb 092016


  • miles
This is a follow-up on 12/05/15 (nhstsa id 10808561) - problem on check engine oil around 1,500 miles before the next scheduled oil change. Reported to Subaru and did an oil consumption study, basically bringing the car to a Subaru dealer at 1,200 miles after an oil change. Asked the technician at dealer what they did. I was told they just looked at the oil dip stick level - how very scientific. So, he said everything was ok and that was it. Since then, I have been putting a quart of oil around 1,300 miles before my next oil change. Mileage of my car is now over 58,000 miles. I am concerned that at 60,000 miles, the warranty will be over and I have to pay for repairs as this problem continues. Subaru still claims that this is normal. Previous cars I owned never had this problem. Why is Subaru not held accountable and stand behind their product?

- Williamston, NC, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Jun 222015


  • miles
Strong coolant smell since bought car new, occurs in upper right front passenger door area after engine has been running and occurs right after when engine is turned off and door is opened; dealer has not been able to resolve - independent mechanic is thinking it is transmission transfer case. Passengers and driver exposed to coolant smell on a continual basis.

- Lolo, MT, USA

problem #8

Aug 242015


  • 5,814 miles
While finalizing parking within a parking lot space at very low speed (last 2 feet) with foot on brake, the engine suddenly revved and the car accelerated without warning and struck the parked car on the opposite parking space. Both cars sustained moderate front-end damage. The other car was able to be driven away but ours had front fender parts pushed into the front drivers tire and had to be towed away to the repair shop. Not sure of the cost to repair the other (parked) car but ours ran approximately $5000 due to front frame damage. No air bags deployed, no one was injured. Police officer who responded said low speed impacts do not normally set off the air bags. Repair shop said they were not able to tell on the car computer what the sudden acceleration was due to. Contacted our insurance agent who recommended we report the sudden acceleration to Subaru and NHTSA. Subaru dealer denied any such accelerations and said there was no recourse. Found several instances very similar to our on NHTSA site for Subaru Foresters in 2014 and 2015 model years and decided to make a report. Odometer reading at time of accident: 5,814.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #7

Jan 182016


  • 30,000 miles
I've noticed I run extremely low on oil at about 1,500 miles before my scheduled oil change. I've been adding a quart at every 5,000 as to not run dry and damage the engine. I mostly drive highway miles and starting having this issue at 30,000 miles.

- North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #6

Dec 042015


  • 45,680 miles


The current mileage of my car is 45,751. I faithfully follow all maintenance schedule, particularly, oil changes. On two occasions now, my oil light has come on, the last one 2,000 miles before the next oil change. When I questioned the Subaru dealership service guy about this, he said, well, I need to have oil changes at 5,000K instead of the recommended 6000K. He said 6000K is for ideal driving condition - temperature should not below 30 degrees, no stopping here and there, no idling, etc. Synthetic oil is expensive enough and I certainly do not need to be paying someone to top it off every time. And I do not want to be caught with this problem while I'm travelling. I bought this car new and at this mileage, I should not be having this problem. Fyi, the mileage of this car is mostly highway miles. From reading online, I learned that other Forester owners are having problem with oil burning as well. There is definitely something wrong with the car and Subaru needs to remedy this. Would appreciate any assistance to this problem. Thank you.

- Williamston, NC, USA

problem #5

Oct 022015


  • 14,000 miles
Around 14000, engine oil light was on. I brought the car to Subaru dealer. The service advisor said it was because appox. One quart oil left. He said he will do the engine oil consumption test for me. The technician filled the engine oil in normal level. After appox. 1000 miles, I brought back to dealer fo measuring engine oil level.they found one quart oil burnout. The advisor said it was normal oil consumption under the rule. Ok, I drove around another 1500 miles. The engine oil light was on again. I brought the car back for engine oil consumption test and check the engine oil light. Got the same answer from the advisor." Normal oil consumption" I asked the advisor that my car fills 4 quarts oil for each oil change, and Subaru recommend 6000 miles to change oil. But my car will burn out the whole 4 quarts of engine oils. The answer is "yes". I need to keep checking the engine oil before next oil change and need to keep adding the change oils before each oil change. It is because the oil consumption met the rule. My car was 2015 model and 17000 miles now, and I only drove 14 months. I asked the advisor what kind of the rule, then he said it was hard to explain. "?? is it true??" if the rule is true, how come I can't see any info in owner manual. Now, I am worry about the situation will get more worst after the warranty was expired.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 032015


  • 24,000 miles
I'm having an issue with my 2015 Forester 2.5I cvt that has nearly caused accidents, but when I took it in for service today I was dismissed without being helped. My car has about 24,700 miles on it, so it's thoroughly broken in and I'm used to the way the cvt works. In the past month or so, I've noticed bucking, shuddering, and power loss during initial acceleration from a stop. Sometimes this is just a little bumping, but other times it's a near total loss of power for several seconds, long enough to be very dangerous while accelerating or especially while turning. When I took the car in for service, the advisor there started to tell me that the behavior is normal even before anyone had started to look at the car. After a tech took it for a test drive, the advisor told me that my concerns "describe a perfect cvt" and he doesn't see a problem, and that it's expected behavior to have dangerous power loss like this. I was told that my problem is not a problem and sent away. Power loss like this during acceleration is clearly a problem, despite the claims of the Subaru employees, and I do not feel safe in this car. Subaru refuses to address this issue. The service advisor suggested that I avoid accelerating or turning any time power loss would be a danger or issue - this is clearly not an acceptable solution.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #3

Sep 152014


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that the engine burned excessive amounts of oil. The contact mentioned that the engine burned a quarter of oil every 2,500 to 3,000 miles. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not provided. The failure mileage was 24,000.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #2

Jun 102015


  • 8,581 miles
I was driving vehicle at normal rate of speed on city street when suddenly there was a sensation/sound of gravel and then I could no longer accelerate. The car died and I had to pull over to the side of the road. The lights and sensors were all functioning, but the car would not start. Had oil change done at 6000 miles with synthetic oil as recommended. Dealer says engine is blown. Had no warning prior to this happening -- just stopped working. Unacceptable for brand new car.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #1

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

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