2009 Subaru Forester windows / windshield NHTSA complaints: Visibility

NHTSA — Visibility Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,710 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.

2009 Subaru Forester windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2009 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 252010


  • 45,000 miles


My problem is with my 2009 Subaru Forester, purchased new. There is some sort of residue that forms on the windshield when we use the defroster (which we use a lot due to Montana winters). It cannot be cleaned off. We've used multiple products to attempt to remove it, and not matter what, the result is a greasy film that reflects light into our eyes at night, or uncleaned, obscures our vision. It has to be something in the heating system because this is our second windshield, and both were affected. Initially, the dealership said it was new car outgassing, then they said that "all of them do it". it's become an issue, as we drive 70 highway miles a day to and from work, in all conditions in Montana. We also know that it isn't new car outgassing because we've had the car for nearly 2 years and approx 45, 000 miles. We must clean the windshield at least 1 time per week, or we can't see in the sunshine or headlights. Additionally, the residue is worrisome because of potential health issues from breathing it.

- Fort Benton, MT, USA

problem #2

Jan 022009


  • 8,000 miles
My 2009 Subaru Forester has a warped drivers side outside mirror. As the weather gets colder, the problem worsens. I live in Wisconsin and in sub freezing temps it looks like a fun house mirror bending straight lines and distorting distances. Backing up at night and changing lanes are made less safe not to mention the perceived motion the convex shape causes. The dealership replaced it once but the problem remains. They offered to exchange it with one from another new Forester but they were all that way. While reading forums on subaruforester.org most posts from people in colder climates have experienced the same problem. Other cold related problems are a drivers side window that won't close (at 10 degrees or colder) and a tailgate that does not always latch securely. The mirror is the problem that causes the most unsafe condition.

- Waunakee, WI, USA

problem #1

Nov 282008


  • 6,131 miles
1. greasy film on windshield, could not see well to drive, film cannot be wiped off. Cannot be cleaned off with normal household cleaners only industrial cleaners. Film expands to get on all the glass & materials in the car, including the rear hatch. Film is more visible at night & when the ambient temperature is below freezing. Chemical poisoning. Breathing the substance(s) has caused me to be sick since the end of December. Breathing issues, cough, lungs, nose problems. 2. being poisoned by chemicals in the car that may be leaking out of some area as yet unknown. Unable to see well to drive. This happens whenever the defrost is run. Also, heater. Not sure about A/C. have been sick now with just running the air. There may have been enough buildup of this substance that it is on all surfaces of the car interior and/or in the ducts of the vehicle. 2A. symptoms: Coughing, sometimes uncontrollably with long rides in the car. Shortness of breath, unable to breath, congested, lung tightness, nose congestion, etc. Have been to national jewish hospital. They recommend getting rid of car. 3. for the first 4 times I brought it in, they only washed the windshield, or all the glass on the car depending upon how much had built up on it. They said it was off gassing of the vinyl. The next time I brought it in they waxed the windows in the car, this so you could breath it, but not 'see' it supposedly. It built back up again anyway. Then they replaced the heater box. Got sick again running only air. Then per my direction, they found 2 A/C valves leaking. Now, still getting sick if in car without windows open and/or if I run the defrost/heat. 4. I have never gotten sick from any other car my entire life. I was perfectly healthy, without even having had a normal cold in the past 6 years. There were no typical cold symptoms with this issue. Before this happened, I had no allergies related to breathing, lungs, etc; nor any diagnoses such as asthma.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

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