really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,196 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 012011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 87,300 miles


Air bag light has been on for about a month. It went out once for a bit but has been on since. I had one service dept. Say the problem was in the passenger side air bag sensor. Ths Subaru dealership said it was the air bag sensors under front seats.- caused by changing the position of the seats freqently and made the wires break. I have 88.000 miles on my car. I am the only driver so I do not change my seat position often. There was nothing noted at time of purchase about limiting change of seat position. This is actually rediculos. They stated it would cost $370 to fix and they had packet pars available and could easily replace them. They stated this is an uncommon problem - if so uncommon problem why did they have to come up with these replacement packets" I read they reengineered this part for the next year model. I did some checking and found serveral complaints from other owners of 2003 Foresters with the same problem but not enought complaints to force a recall.. it is a definite "common" problem. In the end the dealership charged me $150 and replaced only one sensor which resolved the problem. I've read that such "safety parts" should be replaced at no cost? is this true" then I think I am owed a refund I am printing out a few of the same complaints and also the statement that this repair should cost nothing as it is a safety issue. Could you please advise.

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #2

Jul 232007

Forester 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Subaru Forester. The contact bought a used car from a Subaru dealer, which has a limited warranty for 90 days. She discovered that there are no air bags in the vehicle along with a non-working instrument cluster. The cost to repair or install the air bags is $1,200. She stated that the dealer misrepresented the vehicle regarding the air bags. The current and failure mileages were 52,000.

- Pahoa, HI, USA

problem #1

Feb 262006

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 59,287 miles
: the contact stated while driving at 35 mph on a gravel road a deer ran out in front of the vehicle. The contact tapped the brake pedal to miss the deer; this in turn caused the contact to lose control. The vehicle hit a double post head on, then slid down an embankment and stood on its nose. It then flipped onto the driver's side, rolled onto its top and then rested on its wheels. Seat belts were in use, but did not restrain the occupant. Frontal and side airbags did not deploy, injuries were sustained. The insurance company inspected the vehicle, but they could not determine why the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was totaled, the manufacturer has been consulted.

- Montrose, CO, USA

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