definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,826 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.

2001 Subaru Forester clutch problems

clutch problem

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2001 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 012004

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 46,000 miles


Began as intermittent clutch slipping (judder) when cold or damp. It is now occurring more frequently and I took it back to the dealer this morning. They experienced the problem, knew all about it and the tsb that Subaru had issued and advised they would call me when the parts came in. When I came home from work, I had a message that the vehicle was no longer under basic warranty (36000 miles) and since mine was 48,000, I would have to pay for the repair. It would seem to me since soa is aware of this problem and I was told by the svc mgr, has remedied it on new models, this is a defect. I live on a state road with heavy traffic around a curve. When I accelerate out of my driveway, I expect that the car would safely and quickly move me into traffic. This is just an accident waiting to happen and should be recalled and repaired by soa. There are numerous complaints about this on the internet if anyone was looking for this. And even those who had repairs made within the wty period complained of continuing failures.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

problem #8

Jul 102004

Forester 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Manual transmission suburu Forester purchased May 12, 2001 in Chicago, Illinois. In may of 2004 car began to have slow start up in lst. And 2nd. Gears. Dealer said he did not find a problem. However, problem worsened and progressed into 3rd, 4th. And 5th. Gears. Until one day in July while on highway clutch exploded. Dealership suggested car had been driven as though by a race car driver which caused the problem. Dealer suggested in my June 04 phone call that car might need a tune up which is why I did not hesitate to drive it with my children in it at highway speeds. After looking at attorney internet complaint site I found numerous similar if not exact complaints as I have made to dealership. At present dealer has my vehicle in another state and tells me I must pay for the 'clutch disc" at L39. And the cost of my rental car at 30. Day, repair could take 4-7 days. Also, I paid for the tow off the highway-the first tow. This problem could cost me $500. If the dealer would have found the problem initially in may this would have never occcured on the highway with children in car. Vehicle lost 20 miles spped in less than 10 seconds causing me to quickly and calmly move off to the side of road and await state trooper help. Mechanics tell me that dealership mechanic should have investigated clutch problems when I made complaints of loss of power in 1st. And 2nd. Gears.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

May 312001

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,000 miles
"clutch shudder" occurs shortly upon startup, first application of 1st gear ok  stop once and apply 1st gear again and the shudder is severe, shaking and complete loss of acceleration; this will continue for next 2-3 miles  warming the car does not remove the problem. This is an extreme safety hazard - there is no forward acceleration. Temp it frequently occurs 56  62 degrees, however once it begins it can re-occur at higher temps later in the day. Occurrence is intermittent. I reported problem to Subaru in san jose, they said "no problem found" after I left the car in service for 3 days - they said they could not repeat the problem. The clutch shudder happens to me frequently during the temps recorded above - I live in California  we have those temps often in the morning spring/fall. The # of 600 failures is an estimate - I could not enter "estimate" in this form. I have had the car over 3 years and the problem seems worse. My sisterS Subaru outback has same problem with same response from Subaru service.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012004

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


2001 Subaru Forester (manual transmission) experiences terrible "clutch shudder" (also called clutch chatter and clutch judder) starting from a stop in 1st gear, and occasionally in 2nd gear, most often when car is cold (morning). The shudder is extremely severe, shaking the whole car and results in loss of power. Since this happens starting from a stop, the problem creates a hazard with intersections; there is enough power to get the car into an intersection, then the clutch shudder requires complete reapplication of the clutch, causing the car to remain in the intersection for an inordinate amount of time.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #5

Oct 192001

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,435 miles
My 2001 Subaru Forester has had a clutch shudder when starting the car cold shortly after I leased the vehicle. It is an intermittent problem which I brought to the attention of my Subaru technician in Jan of 2001. They said they checked out the clutch and everything "looks fine". it still has the same problem, but if I can't reproduce it for them they can't fix it. I have read other complaints from other Forester owners about this and Subaru has issued a tsb # 03-51-02R. Why does the consumer have to tell these people how to fix the vehicles they service?

- Cleveland, OH, USA

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problem #4

Nov 042003


  • miles
Upon picking up my Subaru Forester in 2001, I complained to the dealer that the car was not driving correctly. Was told car was fine. Broke down 1 day later. Ongoing problems with clutch. Going from neutral to first car shudders. Told car is functioing as designed. On 11/4/03 brought car into network Mazda Subaru with complaint about clutch told it was fine and functioning as designed.. broke down on 11/9/03, clutch plate broken. Never experienced such a thing in the 30 years I've been driving a manual transmission. Purchased car at neil Subaru, went to gregoris Subaru, no satisfaction, went to dealership stated above. Service manager rude and talked down to me, I felt because I was a woman. Manual trans. Not working properly since the day I picked it up and no one will listen. Gregoris replaced clutch and said something was broken. No satisfaction from Subaru or the 3 dealers I have worked with so far. Need your assistance.

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 112003

Forester 4WD 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles


While driving at any speed the RPM's were acting erratic. The dealer inspected the vehicle and stated the clutch needed to be repaired. Consumer stated the vehicle was still under warranty, but the manufacturer and dealer refused to cover the cost.

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #2

Sep 242003

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Severe clutch shudder especially when cold. Dealer won't fix. Says it's a gas problem. It's not

- Erail, NJ, USA

problem #1

Sep 102003

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
After being told that it is normal for Subaru clutches to have clutch judder, and now out of my 60,000 warranty, I find that Subaru has issued a tsb to fix the clutch judder problem. I feel this is a recall issue and I should get a warrantied repair of my clutch as should other Subaru owners with this maufacturer's defect.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

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