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NHTSA — Power Train Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,194 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.

2005 Suzuki Forenza drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Suzuki Forenza Owner Comments

problem #14

Jul 082016


  • 175,000 miles


I bought a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. I had no idea that these cars are so hazardous. On the second day after my purchase, the car suddenly went into reverse on the highway in rush hour traffic. I was lucky enough to get it out of reverse and coast to the shoulder. I have since found out this is an ongoing defect that, and that there are many more. I also found out that Suzuki has been made aware but sits back and does nothing about it. This car has the potential of being deadly and needs to be removed from the market so that people like me aren't forced to drive something so unsafe. I can't afford the costly repairs and I can't sell this car. I am scared to death that in one of the many stalls some one is going to hit me. It should have never been on the market to start with. I am confident that if someone hasn't already been killed because of this defective car that they will be.

- Aumsville, OR, USA

problem #13

Jul 022016


  • 78,000 miles
2005 Suzuki Forenza. Car has 78,000 miles. Manual transmission. Transmission jerks, slips and is now is stuck in the highest gear. Will barely pull out. The problem started with the slipping. This lead to the jerking. Then is started to down shift violently with no notice throwing you forward. These events appear to only present when driving in town conditions. Have not experienced any issues on highway. I have had it to mechanics twice with no success. The last time the transmission range sensor was replaced. At no time has an error code been present that would lead a trained mechanic to a viable repair. This situation is dangerous.

- Bluefield, VA, USA

problem #12

Mar 082016


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the transmission failed to shift which prevented the vehicle from increasing speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the shift control module failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 155,000.

- Milroy, PA, USA

problem #11

May 012015


  • 113,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that while depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle would not accelerate or would hesitate to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who replaced the transmission but the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 113,000. The VIN was not available.

- Hazleton Township, PA, USA

problem #10

Sep 202014


  • 61,500 miles
Gears started shifting on their own, and at times did not shift at all...thank god I was already arriving home when it suddenly jumped into park, bringing the car to a screeching halt, at this point I was already slowing down to get into the driveway. This happened after I had a 1hrs drive on a highway, it would have been a huge accident if this would have happened while on the road. Since this happened, I did my research online and found out this is a very common problem with this vehicle. The bad part is the transmission range sensor. I since then had the car inspected by a mechanic and read the codes P0700 and P0705 that is for that part.

- Miami, FL, USA

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problem #9

Mar 032014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated when attempting to accelerate, the vehicle hesitated to shift into gear and started to jerk. The failure persisted. The vehicle had not been inspected by a mechanic. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 103,000.

- Byhalia, KY, USA

problem #8

Jan 012014


  • 147,000 miles


The transmission feels like it is slipping it will not shift gears and will not go above 20mph without the car bucking and kicking like it is fixing to shut off. It only does this when the car is not hot. Changed the range sensor and that was the problem.

- Gulf Shores, AL, USA

problem #7

Oct 162013


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle erroneously down shifted to a lower gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the transmission shift sensor was replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 112,000.

- New Kensington, PA, USA

problem #6

Sep 012013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 69,200 miles
The sensor gets damaged, enabling the car to activate reverse and accelerates when placed on drive making hard pumping motor noise.

- Garrochales, PR, USA

problem #5

Jun 012012


  • 70,000 miles
Car accelerates very slowly. It will stall out if the gas pedal is floored. The check engine light will blink until the car is turned off. The check engine light will stay on for sometimes a few days at a time and then turn off. Others have complained about the transmission range sensor going up many times.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 062012


  • 66,021 miles


My car has been properly maintained and has a little over 65,000 miles and the transmissions range sensor circuit has started malfunctioning.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #3

Mar 152009


  • 59,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Suzuki Forenza uphill going 35 mph when it suddenly stopped accelerating and sounded as though it had shifted into neutral. However, the car was still in drive. The check engine light also came on. Leading up to this incident, I experienced rough jolting when my car (which is an automatic) was downshifting from third to second gear. I feel very unsafe driving, because I don't know when the car will suddenly stop accelerating. I have since been told that the problem is likely the transmission range sensor.

- Pacific, WA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152011

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that there was a loud knocking noise coming from the transmission. In addition, the vehicle would decelerate independently when driving at 50 mph and above. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was awaiting diagnosis. The contact stated that the transmission was replaced at the start of the year. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 68,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 01/18/12 the consumer stated in January 2011, the transmission completely failed resulting in having to replace it with a brand new one. In June 2011, the vehicle jerked extremely hard while driving and then wouldn't accelerated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they replaced the transmission range sensor. In November 2011, the vehicle jerked hard again and left the consumer stranded. The vehicle was towed again, where the transmission range sensor was replaced again. Four days later, the vehicle ceased to operate again. The vehicle was towed again and the transmission range sensor was replaced for the third time. Updated 02/01/12

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #1

Oct 162009


  • miles
I brought this vehicle used and it now has 37,500 miles. I barely drive it and keep it garaged and regularly maintained. After the bumper to bumper warranty expired and when it past the 36,000 miles (warranty expired before mileage reached) I started to experience hard downshift and hesitating shifts upward (reaches or goes above 3000 rpms before it shifts). These hard shifts are mostly between 30-20 mph and also occur between 5-20 mph but somewhat softer but still easily notable. The powertrain warranty is for 100,000miles/7yrs so I took it the dealer and told him my complaint. Right off the back they told me that they didn't have enough time to really check it out and that all they could do is drive. Also, he told me that my warranty (bumper to bumper) expired and that if the guy had experience with this type of complaint that he might be able to tell me what it was otherwise I was going to have to pay $80+$8 tax for diagnosis and that if it is anything electrical with the transmission that it wasn't covered. Of course as I expected he didn't see what the problem was and told me to schedule the $88 diagnosis. He also told me that Suzuki Forenzas are known for downshifting hard but I told him that it wasn't like that before the 36,000 mile marker. I came back home though without making the diagnosis appointment and read my warranty details. Under "...what is not covered" for powertrain, no where did it say transmission electronics, infact it covers 'transmission control module' which is an electrical component of the transmission, along with many other transmission parts! I guess they obviously know that this is a common problem since he tried to convince that is normal and that he right off the back told me that they don't cover transmission electronics and that there is a charge of $88 for diagnosis. After reading some of the powertrain complaints online, it seems like Suzuki knows that they have a big problem on their hands and are waiting until warranties exp.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

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