2010 Subaru Forester brakes NHTSA complaints: Service Brakes

NHTSA — Service Brakes Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,337 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.

2010 Subaru Forester brakes problems

brakes problem

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2010 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #16

Jul 102016


  • 55,000 miles


Rear brakes wore out at 55K miles. Front brakes still had 7mm wear on them. Technician said it was probably due to corrosion of the calipers. The calipers rusted, causing the brake pads to be in constant contact with the rotors, wearing them out prematurely. This could have caused a fire in the vehicle due to overheating of the rotors. Same thing happened on my 2009 Subaru Forester. Rear brakes wore out at 85K miles, with 6mm left on the front brakes. This sounds like a design problem to me.

- Saco, ME, USA

problem #15

May 302015


  • miles
The auto under warranty and has calipers that stick, this is a danger from every mechanic I spoke to, Subaru refuses to honor the warranty, from everything I have read and heard, Subaru has had a constant caliper problem and will not make good on it - they say it is ok to drive like this, I have two little children and I was told by several mechanics that this could be a fire hazard, Subaru should be held responsible for this problem and make good on

- Milford, PA, USA

problem #14

May 012015


  • 83,114 miles
My mother and I were out and about on a Friday 5/1/15 as we got ready to leave our location. I place my foot on the brakes and put it into reverse, then ever so slightly put my foot on the gas paddle, then the truck suddenly accelerated back at a high rate of speed and hit another truck in back of me, before it came to a complete stop. No one was injured -no police were called as it was on private property. Both vehicle were damaged. I then took the vehicle to a local mechanic the next day and was told that the rear and front break pads needed to be replace and if I had not brought it in when I did I would have needed rotors as well. There was no sound that the breaks were going bad, and there was no warning signals of any kind. This is a very high safety issues as people lives are at risk. Thank god my mother and I are okay.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #13

Feb 042015

Forester 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Forester. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V830000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the recall remedy was performed but failed to repair the vehicle. The specifics of the failure were not available. The contact received a second notice for the recall informing that the initial recall remedy was not a permanent repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 03/24/15 updated 10/20/2015

- Brookside, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jul 252014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Forester. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V311000 (service brakes) and stated that the part needed to repair the vehicle was unavailable. The dealer was unable to provide an expected date for when the part would become available. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Albion , NY, USA

problem #11

Aug 252014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 29,691 miles
The rear brakes are completely worn out at 29,700 miles. This was discovered during the mandatory annual Virginia safety inspection. I have owned and driven cars for 37 years and I have never seen rear brakes wear so fast. The front brakes look normal for a vehicle of this age. What is it with the rear brakes on Foresters? I have read other owner's complaints about the rear brakes.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #10

Aug 162014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


Brake warming light came on will driving at 35 mph. After the brake light cam on I drove 2.5 miles to my home address. After I parked the car I noticed brake fluid on the garage floor under the left (driver side) rear tire. I checked the government website on recalls and found NHTSA campaign number: 14V311000 indicating salt water could splash on the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, resulting in excessive corrosion of the brake lines. The consequence: Brake line corrosion may result in brake fluid leakage. Fluid leakage may result in longer distances being required to slow or stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. I had received a recall letter in July that indicated an issue and I would be contracted when parts became available. Recall campaign wqk-47 NHTSA recall no. 14V-311.

- Lac Du Flambeau, WI, USA

problem #9

Jan 012013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
Besides corrosion of brakes in recent recall, body paint behind each wheel is corroding since 2013. Furthermore, Subaru issued the brake corrosion recall letter #1 to a company that is not the registered owner!!!

- Sauk City, WI, USA

problem #8

Jul 122014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
I own a 2010 Subaru Forester with only 31, 000 miles. I had to replace the rear right rotors and calipers and all 4 brake pads. I am very concerned, these are not normal wear and maintenance.

- Iron, MN, USA

problem #7

Apr 022014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
At 40 mph front left brakes " self-applied" at maximum force. ABS prevented complete skidding of the tire, so no flat spot on tire. The vehicle lurched into a " nosedive" onto the left front wheel. After incident steering wheel cocked to left at about the "10:00" position. Flatbed to dealer. Dealer showed me bent tie rod end, anti sway bar and lower control arm. Vehicle 100% fine before incident. I believe the sudden violent weight transfer onto front left caused damages. Dealer unable to road test car with bent components. Parts on order to dealer. Will road test after repairs got case # from Subaru of America. Waiting to hear from them.

- Manorville, NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 082013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


Sudden acceleration from full stop. The vehicle had exhibited sudden acceleration 3 weeks prior but the dealer did not find any problem. From a full stop, the vehicle was placed into reverse at which time the engine revved to full throttle, overriding the brakes, resulting in the vehicle backing uncontrollably and stopping on top of a boulder with the back wheels off the ground approximately 4 feet. The incident was witnessed by a bystander. The vehicle undercarriage severely damaged and not drive-able. Photos and a police report were submitted.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #5

Sep 092013

Forester 6-cyl

  • 43,678 miles
At 23,486 miles, I took my car to my local and very reputable garage that specializes in Subaru. Once they got my car in the shop, they told me I was not going anywhere as the car was dangerous. It was towed to St. J. Subaru where I purchased the car. The left rear pad was missing and the caliper had been hitting on the rotor and ruin the caliper. At that initial repair, the Subaru service person said: "we've had some premature wear with the back brakes for some reason." 20,000 miles later, the same thing has happened again and the dealer gave the party line...to bad, warranty up. It appears there is some manufacturer defect with the brakes. Please look into this right away as I cannot afford to replace brakes every 20,000 miles. Thank you.

- Morrisville, VT, USA

problem #4

Feb 242012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 30,995 miles
On 2/24/12 my brakes started to rub and squeak so I took it in to be checked. To my surprise it was my rear brakes and they had completely denigrated. The dealer couldn't explain to me why this happened so they just went ahead and replaced them under warranty. On 6/21/13 (20,000 miles later) same thing happened. Back brakes denigrated so the dealer replaced them again with no explanation. 5 days later I had the brakes inspected by Firestone (still squeaking) and they informed me that the back brake pads were down to 8mm and one of the rotors had been shaved "way down". inquired about this to my dealer and apparently they replaced only the pads and said this was standard practice. In the 3 years I have had this car I have replaced the brakes 3X (rear 2X and front 1X), motor in sunroof, heating unit, radio connections, replaced front light bulbs 4-5 times and have had at least 2 recalls. I have contacted Subaru corporate but they keep directing me back to the dealer. My big concern is that the rear brakes are not operating properly and I drive around with a 4 year old in my car everyday. My understanding from asking around at the dealer is that I am not the only customer who has come in with rear brake issues on the 2010 Subaru Forester. The car feels like it is dragging when I drive it and sometimes it feels like the brakes are rubbing when I am driving.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #3

Feb 252013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 18,960 miles
We were driving on a level interstate highway. A noise began. It was like we were on coarse pavement. I pulled over thinking there was a flat tire. Instead the front right brake was overheated and seizing. We completed our trip at greatly reduced speed because this occurred at night when we were unable to get service, and finding a motel which would allow our 100 lb german shepherd seemed unlikely. We did not drive the car again until we could get a service appointment with the dealer. The brakes were serviced on 3/1/13 by the dealer, who had just replaced rear pads and turned rotors 2 weeks earlier. The dealer said our problem was due to rust attributable to use of road salt, and that this work would not be covered by our warranty and that we should have had the brakes serviced every year to remove rust. We had never been told this before, even when the same dealer serviced the rear brakes on 2/14/13. The next day, after a 10 mile drive, alerted by the "hot brake smell", I checked temperatures. Right front still overheating. Now after being serviced, the right front brake rotor runs hot still. I took the car back, and at the dealership, a laser-aimed infrared thermometer shows right front rotor is 147 degrees, left front 128, right rear 82, left rear 97 after 15 to 20 miles of highway driving (ambient temperature 20 degrees). Dealer again checked, says all wheels spin freely, and does not know why the right front runs hot. Another brake seizure seems inevitable. Brakes should not have these problems on a car which has less than 19,000 miles and less than 3 years of use. The car does not pull to the right. Maybe the left rear is compensating.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 052012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 24,870 miles
My brakes were checked by my regular mechanic/repair shop @ 21,788 miles. They indicated that I had 70% left on both front and rear units. When I took my car in for an oil change and check up @ 24,870 miles the same shop indicated that while my front brakes still had 65% left on them the rear units had only 15% left. They recommended that I replace the rear disc brake pads, which I did. I am not hard on my brakes and don't understand why the rear brakes should wear out so quickly over such a short period of time. I also do not understand why there should be such a great difference in the wear between the front and rear brakes. I notice that two other people have complained about needing early rear brake replacements on 2010 Foresters. I have never had to replace brakes on any other car I owned after so few miles. My shop is aaa approved and highly rated in my community and are very trustworthy. This should not happen and should be looked into.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 252012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 27,087 miles
Started to hear a grinding sound from the rear when I applied my brakes on 6/24/2012. Took car to dealer on 6/25/2012. Dealer replaced rear brake pads and disks. Car only has 27,000 miles and most mileage is highway. I do not overuse my brakes and I am concerned that this is a design defect that can affect safety.

- Harvard, MA, USA

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