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NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,854 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Suzuki Forenza Owner Comments

problem #11

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 #10

Oct 072011

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 31,895 miles
I have been getting service engine soon light on the dashboard. Then shortly after my battery needed to be replaced and I thought that was the problem. Well the next weekend the light came on and now when I switch gears I get a loud thump and the car jumps really hard. I went to advanced auto parts with the service engine light still on they were able to retrieve codes and verify the transmission range sensor a circuit while in park/reverse/nuetral and drive. And they also retrieved the transmission control sensor. I am scared to drive my car now and I will not drive it till it gets fixed. I have had transmission problems for the longest time and I am scared this car will cause an accident. It is a very unsafe car and I am concerned about the problem with the airbag not deploying due to many complaints. You need to do a recall on this car before someone gets badly injured or killed.

- Thonotosassa, FL, USA

problem #9

Apr 022011


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The contact stated that when driving at any speed, the vehicle would lunge forward and skip gears. The contact stated that the vehicle would act as if it were in limp mode and the check engine warning light was also illuminated. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 36,000 and the current mileage was 39,300.

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #8

Nov 232010

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 6,211 miles


Purchased a 2008 Suzuki Forenza on 9/8/2008. Acceleration concerns, a ringing noise from the engine and my passenger side air-bag notification light was reported 9/16/08. Told by phone the car was new and would need to be driven for a couple of weeks to warn up. 9/16/08 ringing noise was louder had acceleration concerns, timing cover had melted due to friction from the belts sliding. Invoice reflects electrical body work as such: side airbag light not on tension on wire harness connector under the driver or passengers seat could cause high resistance - relocate both harness and secure them." 10/27/08 reported tapping noise at engine when starting car, acceleration was dragging and air bag light. Invoice findings - no problem found - told not to expect performance on acceleration. 1/17/09 (car released 1/23/09) side air bag light indicates it is off, cruise control dropping, transmission not accelerating, engine running loud until warmed up: Resolution - timing cover replaced other issues found to be working to factory specs. 6/18/2009 -acceleration is slow, car downshifting at high speeds, transmission not shifting well while coasting, must come to a complete stop to switch into gear: Resolution - Suzuki helpdesk ticket 175996598 suggested to re-initialize tcm (transmission switch). 10/1/09 - same issue as 6/19/09 - revving higher and loud in cold and damp weather told no new info: Issue seemed to subside no work done to my knowledge. 12/30/09 same issues as 6/19 & 10/1 timing cover adjusted told acceleration was normal. Fix for timing cover January 5, 2010. 8/1/10 & 10/26/10 taken in for acceleration & maint. After near accidents and problems driving between the speeds of 15 and 60 mph: Nothing addressed. 1/4/11 - transmission switch was replaced by a different Suzuki center. Told transmission or engine can go out. Acceleration issues have returned side airbag still shows off when occupied by person 120 plus pounds.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 092011

Forenza 4-cyl

  • 34,100 miles
Suzuki Forenza 2008 transmission problems with 34000 miles and the dealer says I have to change the transmission and the warranty does not cover repair, they told me that have three choices :new car, new transmission for $4000 dollars or 1600 dollars to repair it. Is just that?

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 032010


  • 26,526 miles
The car hesitates during cold start up. The car also jumps out of gear while I'm driving and has led to several near miss accidents where both me and my daughter could have been severely injured. Trying to get help from the american Suzuki customer assistance is a joke. The customer service is bad and every time you call back to follow-up the person that was handling your case mysteriously quits. All they do is jerk you around until the basic warranty expires and you're no longer their problem. After this all repairs are out of pocket. I have taken my car to get repaired several times and each time they don't know what's wrong. I have had two new transmissions put in and my car only has 29,856 miles on it. I can't believe there hasn't been a recall on this vehicle; it is a safety hazard. I guess this is why Suzuki was so quick to discontinue manufacturing this vehicle the same year it was produced. I want Suzuki to take responsibility for this defective vehicle and either replace it or refund the purchase price of the car. I refuse to pass this problem on to another consumer. The dealerships clearly misrepresented the safety and quality of this vehicle. Its not fair that consumers are getting ripped off and no one seems to care!!

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #5

Feb 212011


  • 77,000 miles


I have been complaining about the sensors in my 2008 Suzuki Forenza from the first week I bought it. There has been one problem after another and the warranty is bogus. This company has ripped off tons of consumers which is probably why they decided to not make this car anymore. I am now having problems with my transmission sensor which causes my car to jump out of gear while driving. The other day it did that and another car almost rear ended me in the back! what would have happened if they hadn't of stopped? me and my daughter could have been killed. I guess that's what Suzuki is waiting on for someone to literally die before they will admit that the parts on these vehicles are defective and no matter how many times you have the problem fixed it will become faulty again. Im sure there have been complaints made to the company but noone ever calls you back or even acknowledges that your concerns are real. Most consumers either hurry up and unload this lemon or wind up spending thousands of dollar to keep it half way running. I refuse to pass this junk off for someone else to go through the headaches and heartache I have had and if its the last thing I do im going to out Suzuki for the worst car company that they are. Their dealerships are ripoffs too. Something needs to be done about this blatant lying to consumers and then the horrible customer service after they have clearly sold you a lemon.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #4

Feb 042011


  • miles
I have complained consistently about the vibrations at idle and the loud noises in my engine compartment. Also fumes coming thru my vents that burn my eyes at times. Ended up in the er on one occasion and the next day the car had oil all over the valve gasket cover. Car was towed to the dealer but they said they seen no oil but I had pics of the leak. Still get intermittent smells of gas while driving that burn my eyes and throat. The engine gets hot fast and that's when the car starts to accelerate. Seems like it is searching for gears and the rpms rev up. I can feel the engine in my drivers seat really bad. My warranty is almost expired and it is now 2011 and the car has been in twice for the same complaints. Not to mention hearing the struts rattle over bumps and while making turns. They replaced my suspension twice. 1st time was while I only had my car for 2 months. I am not getting no results and this car is very unsafe. Now I am scared if I was to be involved in an accident the airbag may not deploy. They need to recall this car for the faulty transmission and the airbags before someone gets hurt really bad.

- Thonotosassa, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 102011

Forenza 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,666 miles
2008 Suzuki Forenza auto transmission code 783 3 4 malfunction 100,666 miles cost $1300 out of warranty by 666 miles service bulletin written in Jan 2008 for all Suzuki transmissions to dealers had to replace tcm module at 55,000 miles for not shifting gears. What a joke that Suzuki would help with $525 dollars of repair. Not full $1300. This transmission is sealed and you can not service fluid levels unless you are a dealer no user level checks possible. They will only give a 12,000 mile or 12 month warranty only on clutches and drums replaced not total trans.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 302010


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Suzuki Forenza. While the vehicle was parked, the contact attempted to shift the gear selector into the drive position and an unknown warning indicator illuminated. The engine was turned and restarted. There were several attempts before the gear shifted into drive. The vehicle was able to proceed properly without the illumination of the warning indicator. In addition, when driving the transmission would slip out of gear. The failure occurred intermittently. The dealer was notified of the failure and they advised that the problem could be related to the transmission range sensor. The manufacturer service warranty expired. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The failure mileage was 41,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ocoee, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 102008


  • 5,000 miles
Smoke and fumes coming thru vents. Check engine light keeps coming on. Purchased car new 05/06/2008, I have had problem since a few months after purchase. Transmission replaced twice and car still slips and hesitates and has cut off twice while in traffic since the transmission was replaced. Replace serpentine belt which warranty did not cover. Car has 29,500 mi. Loud squealing noise (this was why I paid to have the belt replaced because the dealership service center said this is what the original squealing was from) now they are saying the noise is coming from the tires but stated they did not have time to check it. My car was recently in the service center for 3 weeks because the transmission was bad and the first new replacement went bad during the test drive and they had to put a 3rd transmission inthe car and it still does not drive right. This car is unsafe. I am close to warranty ending and I feel this is why im getting the run around by the dealership. Car locks and unlocks on its own. Car will randomly miss while in drive (engine will rev up when I push the gas pedal with car in drive but will not move) I have to put it in park then put it in drive again to get it to work.

- Panama City, FM, USA

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