really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,084 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.

2006 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 302017

Forester 4-cyl

  • 68 miles


On July 30, 2017, while driving on a southeastern Michigan freeway (M-14), our 2006 Subaru Forester's engine suddenly and without warning caught fire. Emergency personnel responded and vehicle is a total loss. Even older vehicles should not spontaneously catch fire without a reason. This was a very traumatic event for occupants of vehicle and one had to take anti-anxiety medication. Updated 10/23/2017

- Grosse Pointe, MI, USA

problem #7

Dec 152016


  • 80,000 miles
Upon start up in cold weather there is a very strong smell of fuel inside the cabin of the car. It made myself and my daughter feel very ill. Had to exit my 2006 Subaru Forester xt. Inspected engine under the hood to find leaking fuel lines. Googled the problem to discover it is reacurrent with this make/model/year as evident by similar complaints in Subaru forums, google search, and fb pages. This is a danger to health and safety and should be recalled. Vehicle is under 100,000 miles. Leaking fuel drips directly onto the engine cylinder and close proximity to the turbocharger on the passenger side. There is significant risk of engine fire! health and safety risk also from the fuel fumes in the engine cabin. Subaru dealership quoted $1,300. To fix.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #6

May 202016


  • 44,400 miles
Vehicle has 44,000 miles on May 20th while in traffic, car suddenly surged forward striking vehicle in front, car then bounced off and hit the other vehicle again. On May 25th while driving to work the car suddenly accelerated; I had to hit the guardrail to get it to stop. Both times the brake pedal went to the floor. Both times the Subaru service could find no cause. Neither did a rep from the manufacturer.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #5

Apr 212016


  • 54,000 miles


Purchased in ak in 2006. Approximately 13,000 miles on engine. Paperwork listed entry-point: Hawaii. Current 2016 mileage: Less than 60,000. Well-maintained vehicle.----- upon acceleration, the engine sometimes lurches and revs too high too fast, and then settles into how it is supposed to feel and sound. Other times, it suddenly loses power instead, lurching down like we've taken our foot off the gas (but we haven't because we are on a highway or freeway!), very briefly and then recovers.one time, just a few weeks ago, it felt like I'd lost all power and the car was going to stop in the middle of the busy highway, but it immediately recovered and then felt normal.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012014


  • 40,000 miles
Purchased in ak in 2006. Approximately 13,000 miles on engine. Paperwork listed entry-point: Hawaii. Current 2016 mileage: Less than 60,000. Well-maintained vehicle. --- in cold weather, despite being garaged, intermittent strong smell of fuel in garage and upon start-up. Sometimes the odor is present before startup. Other times odor not present until engine starts. Goes away when engine warms. Used to be in only very cold weather, then in 2015 it happened in cold but not as cold weather. Recently, in 2016, it happened in garage in warm weather state, so cold weather no longer necessary variable. Again, it is intermittent. This issue first became noticeable in winter of 2014.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 242014


  • 95,200 miles
I took my car in based on a recall sent by my dealership for my 2006 Subaru Forester ll bean model original owner. They completed to service recalls on my vehicle none of which are listed on this website.wvl22 and wvu31. The wvu31 was to reprogram my ECM. As I was driving home afterwards the check engine light immediately came on and my cruise light began to flash. I called the dealer immediately who advised it was safe to drive if the check engine light was solid and not flashing which it was. He denied it could be related to the wvu31 reprogram of the ECM but I advised that my vehicle was fine not due for any service and had no issues prior to bringing to the dealership for the reprogram. I now have to return the car to the dealership and they said only "if the check engine light is related to the recall" would they fix it. I believe this is definitely caused by the reprogram of the ECM and there are a multitude of complaints on a website regarding many people complaining that within miles of driving after the wvu31 reprogram fix that the same thing happened and they were all told that they had to fix something or repair something at a cost. This is unconceivable as I now have to return to a dealership that is out of my way, miss work and return the vehicle and only hope that they do not claim it is another problem. If they do then I am stuck with another repair. I believe that this wvu 31 reprogram is defective and is causing issues that are leading to additional and unnecessary repairs. My car was just fine and believe had I done nothing as I am planning to buy a new car this year it would have been fine. But I tried to do the right thing and take it in for service due to the recall notice. I believe this is totally error prone.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 092013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles
The bus had just dropped off my son. I turned on the car and proceeded to roll down the hill to the corner where I was going to make a right turn. (about 4 car lengths from my original parked spot) all of a sudden the car was not responding to my foot or stealing commands. I rolled onto the front lawn of the corner property. As soon as we cam to a stop I shut the engine and put the car in park. I opened the door, took a look at the car and then tried to start the car again. I started the car and it was making like a reving noise. I when to put the car in reverse to back off the lawn (all the while my foot is on the brake.) and all of a sudden the car lurch backwards with such force and speed. I was almost standing in place with the force I was trying to brake. The car would not respond and I came to a full stop after crossing the road and into another front lawn and crashing in to the porch of that property. Totaled vehicle !!!

- Waterbury , CT, USA

problem #1

Jun 062012


  • 90,000 miles
When I took my car in for it's 90000 mile service, I was shown that there was oil leaking for the drivers side head gasket. I was informed that this is a common problem for Subaru Foresters from the late 1990S thru 2009. Appears to be a faulty design, which Subaru has not owned up to. My online search located a large number of complaints by Subaru Forester owners on this design flaw.

- Reno, NV, USA

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