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NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Suzuki Forenza (Page 1 of 3)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,490 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.

2008 Suzuki Forenza drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Suzuki Forenza Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Aug 142013


  • 53,000 miles


I turned on the car, when I put into reverse it clunked and the screen that usually says R just had scrambled letters going then when I put it into drive it clunked again and when I drive it like that it starts in 2nd so I have to put a lot of gas onto it then it won't switch into 3rd gear, and every time I take it to a mechanic the check engine light goes off and it works fine.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #42

Oct 092012


  • 95,000 miles
I have replaced the transmission range sensor in my 2008 Suzuki Forenza 3 times in the last year. Once at 95,000 miles, another at 101,000 miles, and now again at 109,000. I have attempted to contact Suzuki to no avail. The second time the sensor went out, I was merging on the highway and was nearly hit by a semi truck and trailer because I could not accelerate properly. The 3rd incident was yesterday 10/16/2013, I was pulling out of a parking lot onto a main road, when the sensor decided to slip, it moved the transmission into a high gear, causing me to inch out of where I was at in the middle of the road. Luckily, I was not hit. I would like to see Suzuki acknowledge the fact they need to do something about this issue. It appears to be a very common problem that mulitiple people are having online.

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #41

Nov 142012


  • 122,000 miles
Transmission range sensor went bad, had it replaced multiple times since the first incident yet the issue continues. Manufacture offers no solutions. Aftermarket part are just as faulty

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #40

May 012012


  • 20,000 miles


Multiple times the the transmission thuds when shifting from park to reverse. Dash display does not show "R" but has an "X" through it. Turn car off and on about three times to try to get it to work properly. Eventually works ok for a while. Has happened multiple times. Car is sluggish to drive after this happens and engine revs too high. Check engine light comes on but goes off in a few days. Transmission range sensor is bad.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #39

Sep 182013


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that the vehicle became unresponsive while attempting to accelrate from a traffic stop. The contact heard a loud bang as the vehicle began to roll away in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the technician stated the transmission range sensor would need to replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- North Huntingdon, PA, USA

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problem #38

May 152013


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph when the vehicle stalled as the contact down shifted. The engine RPM's then decreased abnormally low. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #37

Jul 292013


  • 64,500 miles


My family and I were going down the road and there was a weird noise and the engine started to rev up and the speedometer was going down to 30 miles an hour, at the same time the RPM"S were going higher. I pulled to the side of the road because the shift gage on the instrument panel was flashing weird. It had a D with a line thru it. We had to shift it manually from 1st gear up to drive. It was scarey since there was a truck with a trailer behind me coming up fast. It has done this to us twice in the last two weeks.I have seen that there are other people having the same problem or simular. Something should be done. When we have a warranty we still shouldn' T have to pay a deductible for some problem with this brand car" power train and speed control sensors. Going out and needing to be replaced.

- Brainerd, MN, USA

problem #36

Oct 092012


  • 78,000 miles
While sitting at a stop sign, I decided I was a little to far into the road. I shifted into reverse and noticed it shifted really hard. I put it into drive and pulled out onto the road - again it shifted hard. When trying to speed up, the car wouldn't shift out of 1st gear, the check engine light came on and I couldn't speed up. I've been told it is a bad transmission range sensor.

- Carthage, NC, USA

problem #35

Jul 302010


  • miles
I noticed my car having difficulty accelerating and it would occasionally feel the engine jump while driving. The check engine light was on. I was going down the interstate when the engine shut itself off. Luckily it turned itself back on and I was able to safely accelerate to speed. The shop said that it was the transmission range sensor and the transmission control sensor. A year ago the car was displaying funny symbols and would not start occasionally. Again the same sensors had to be replaced. A third time the car check engine light came on and the car was again having difficulty accelerating. The acceleration issue and the light are intermittent, it has now again begun doing the engine "jump" it is scary being at a light and not being able to move. It is very scary stopping to turn left into my apartment complex and not knowing if my car will respond when I have a gap in traffic to turn. Took it to a shop today to find out that the codes from the engine check light are again the transmission range sensor and the transmission control sensor. The car has under 65K and I have had these issues three times. I am thankful that it has not caused a major accident.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #34

Jul 152013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 42,677 miles
The car will not shift correctly. Displays a scrambled message on the dash information console. Dangerous almost caused me to be struck and killed by a 18 wheeler. Something must be done by this. Is a serious problem.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #33

May 012012


  • 25,000 miles


When shifting from park to reverse, the transmission thumps and the check engine light comes on. Car will only drive sluggishly. Goes away eventually, but has happened 3 times. Looking on internet, it appears to be transmission range sensor. Also, the brake shift interlock failed, and could not get the car out of park. Used the over-ride hole to get car out of park.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #32

Jun 262013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
For a few weeks the car had been running a bit off--not really changing gears right-but nothing to raise serious alarm-clunked one time a week ago when slowing down. Yesterday the engine light came on the car made a loud clunk and would not switch into gear. After turning the car off and on the engine light went of and the car was able to be drive. Took it into the local auto parts store--they ran a trouble code which came back PO700 and PO705. We looked this up and it referred to the transmission range sensor---the auto part fellow said get it in now to be fixed. $200 later the car is now running acceptable again. The car mechanic was able to get the part in a couple hours because the warehouse said this part has an extremely high demand for it so they stock it. We had a long distance trip planned next week and this could have been disastrous to have completely lost the ability to drive or something else.

- Shelton, WA, USA

problem #31

May 012013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 49,789 miles
Owner states that the check engine light comes on and loses power..car will go from drive to a different gear. This happened on numerous occasions (when at red lights..going uphill ( which is dangerous if there is a vehicle behind you) and regular driving. Took vehicle to transmission shop 6 times and after spending over $750 on range sensor and computer board problems...still having the same issues with check engine light..loss of power and gear slips.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #30

Feb 092011

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle started to hesitate as if it were attempting to stall. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the transmission range switch needed to be replaced. The contact had the dealer replace the transmission range switch four times, but the failure continued to recur. The contact stated that after the second repair, the manufacturer assisted with 100 percent of the repair costs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 49,000 and the current mileage was 73,000.

- Wylie, TX, USA

problem #29

Mar 092011


  • 80,000 miles
Seems to be a common problem with this vehicle and other similar models going back 4 years. Car hit 80000 miles and the trans range sensor went out. Car goes into "limp mode" because the computer thinks there's something wrong with it, when the reality is a bad sensor not an actual mechanical problem. That and the problem is intermittent. Sometimes occurs just as car is started and put in gear, and sometimes not at all. (check engine light goes off and on with each incident or new starting of the vehicle.) the safety issue is that because it is in limp mode, you cannot accelerate quickly and the car may even roll backwards on hills if you have to stop, as happened to me this morning while taking son to school, had to hold the brake and rev the (automatic!) engine until I felt it pulling to make it up the hill. Can sometime stop and turn the car off, then back on and issue goes away. Having a hard time believing that after 7 years of complaints a recall hasn't already been issued since this is an obvious blatant defect.

- Powell, TN, USA

problem #28

Jun 112009

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
I bought my car 3-29-09. At 4,000 mi. I began having problems. At 57,059 mi. 4-9-13 was the 18th time my car has been in for svc. I'm on my 3rd dealer (orig. Out of svc.) I am having my 3rd trans installed.can someone say "lemon law ?" 1st they could not find the problem as no codes were shown by the computer. My car at one point was at the dealer for 34 days straight! at times it would not even go into gear or would just die. I have had the tcm, ECM, & trans range switch replaced multiple times.since Oct 2012 have getting an intermittent ck eng light, I was finally able to bring it in on 3-29-13 & the ECM was replaced. On 4-8-13 I was barely able to make it in to the shop as my car was stuck in 3rd gear and I was on the hwy the ck eng, light was on. It was the trans range switch again! it was just replaced Oct 2012. Mon. Eve. The car would stall in neutral when in drive, slam into gear, the ck eng light remained lit, it was stuck in 3rd gear and the newest development was that as I was driving on the hwy, the lit D (drive) by the odometer was flashing normal & then with a line through it. I got to the dealer, pulled the code & the trans needs to be replaced again! I have absolutely had it with this car and am attempting to re-instate my arbi- tration with them (I dropped it when the supposedly fixed the prob.last yr). 14 of visits were major. Suzuki's tech explained to me that there is an engineering design flaw. My car is dangerous and I no longer want my life in Suzuki's hands. I cannot continue to drive a care that can become faulty at any time, especially when I am driving 55-65 mph on the hwy and the car gets stuck in third gear! my husband has also had the engine die on him while driving.(I took a short video with my phone that shows the ck eng light on and the D flashing with a line through it.every time that the ck eng light comes on lately, it's a new code.

- Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

problem #27

Feb 182013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate from a complete stop, the vehicle exhibited a delayed response. On a separate occasion the gear lever was shifted into drive and the transmission independently shifted into reverse. The vehicle was taken to a transmission center where the transmission range sensor was replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 47,000. Updated 04/30/13

- Charolotte, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 062007


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the vehicle erroneously slipped out of gear and jolted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for the failure on several occasions. The dealer updated the computer but the failure continued. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 7 and the current mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unknown.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #25

Nov 082012


  • 42,500 miles
About once a week my car has an issue when shifting. When I shift into reverse I get a clunk. Then when I drive the car seems to be stuck in a high gear. The check engine light will go on. If I turn the car off and leave it off for 5 to 10 minutes it will be fine when I start it again. The engine light codes are P0700 and P0705. Upon doing research on this subject I found that this is the transmission range sensor that is failing. Suzuki will not fix this under the power train warranty which seems very wrong since this is part of the transmission. I have found a large number of people with the same problem. This is obviously a defective part that Suzuki is doing nothing about.

- St Cloud , MN, USA

problem #24

Feb 052013

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 92,850 miles
My transmission range sensor has been replaced twice, both within a 12 months time frame. Both times my car jerks at low and high speeds and my engine light is invoked. The second time the dealership replaced my transmission range sensor...the very same week my vehicle is still experiencing the same exact issues, inclusive of my engine light coming on and staying on for 3 days. Upon return, the dealership says my jerking, hard gear shifting and on board engine light is being caused due to an engine skipping issue, which is "possibly" due to the electronic control module not communicating with the transmission control module. I'll have to pay the dealership $210 to see if the connector between the ECM and the tcm is bad, and if its not bad, I still pay the $210, but then they'll tell me what the next possible step would be?? I feel I'm in a no win situation, it sounds like, just keep writing checks. My issue sounds the same as the countless others that have been documented, my issue should be covered since Suzuki is more than aware that these are known issues.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

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