hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,206 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.

2003 Subaru Forester miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 182003


  • 104,000 miles


Inspection of vehicle in July 18,2003 required replacement od both subframe bars due to severe rust. Second incident involved severe loss of control of vehicle while driving in heavy traffic. Lower control arm, and drivers side axle broke, and bent which caused vehicle to hop, jump, loss of steering. Stopped by running along side of curb. Had to replace axle and lower control arm due to severe rust. Mechanic said parts were back order for months. Was not able to replace so he reshaped a 2002 Subaru assembly to return my vehicle, after 11 days on his lift. I am 73 yrs. Old and have chronic anxiety issues. Am still afraid to drive this vehicle because passenger side also looks rusty.

- Danville, PA, USA

problem #2

Sep 012015


  • 132,819 miles
Today I was at my mechanics to replace a muffler. After raising the car up on the rack he noticed destructive rust that was covering and inundating the K frame and front lower control arms (transverse links). In September of 2012 I was at gary lang Subaru (Illinois) for an unrelated issue. The safety recall for my vehicle, wvx-34, required an inspection and repairs, and if necessary, replacement or corrosion treatment of the lower control arms (transverse link). According to Subaru of America, that recall was "completed". the Subaru operator (kayla) could not elaborate on the term "complete". no mention of any specific action was reported. Today, during the inspection of said area, my mechanic indicated that no proof existed of either corrective action, either undercoating or mechanical repair or replacement. This is a safety concern, and at some point it is possible that loss of control will follow if the lower control arm breaks. I will pursue the Subaru dealer for repairs but have no idea if they will assume responsibility.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 232003

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,800 miles
This vehicle posed a serious safety problem because the vehicle only had one key hole, but had five doors, the consumer was able to access the vehicle through the drivers side door/key hole. Once the consumer was in the vehicle a lock pad on the door allowed for entry through the other doors, or a key remote. The consumer's lock pad also didn't work temporarily so the consumer couldn't open the hatch. The manufacturer and the dealer had not been notified of the problems. The remote entry device did not work temporarily so the consumer had to gain access with the key to the only hole on the driver's door, but then the power locks failed so the consumer had no way to open the hatchback. There was no release for the vehicle. The air bag light was on and needed a new harness to re-fix the problem and the odometer along with the speedometer failed immediately after the consumer had taken ownership. The consumer also stated there was a problem with the power windows

- Waterbury, CT, USA

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