2010 Subaru Forester brakes NHTSA complaints: Service Brakes, Hydraulic

NHTSA — Service Brakes, Hydraulic Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,214 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 #8

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 #7

Oct 152012


  • 32,715 miles
At 32,715 miles rear brakes failed. Both the brakes pads and rotor had completely rotted or fallen apart. The front brakes and rotors also needed to be replaces. At 25,000 miles I had a complete inspection of the braking system where it was determined that the brakes were worn down to about 50%. so in less than 8000 miles the the rear brakes had completely failed, and the front brakes where almost completely gone.

- Collinsville, CT, USA

problem #6

Oct 152011


  • 32,000 miles
Rear brakes started scraping slightly on a Saturday (so slightly that they couldn't be heard with the windows up). That following Monday we took it to our mechanic who told us that the rear brakes pads were completely shot (metal on metal were his exact words). Front brakes needed new pads. It's realistic to replace front brake pads at 32000 as we do mostly city driving, however rear brakes should last twice as long as the front pads. We had no warning that such a severe rear brake issue existed and had we not gone to the mechanic at the first sign of any issue, we could have had a serious problem resulting in injury or death. We believe this is a design or manufacturing defect on Subaru's part and needs to be looked into more closely.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #5

Oct 082011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


During a routine state inspection it was discovered that the rear disc brake rotors and pads were no longer acceptable and had to be replaced. The brakes were still functional at this point but only barely. There was no wear indicator sound that ever emanated from the brakes. There was no warning light on the dash board indicating a brake problem. There was longer braking detected but only that associated with normal wear of a vehicle. There were no signs of any issue with the brakes. A routine recent inspection of the front brakes by the owner to assess the vehicle prior to inspection revealed no issues with normal wear of the front pads and rotors. The rear disc brakes were not examined at the time as the assumption was that brake wear would be nominally the same as the front. The yearly state inspection revealed the excessive wear of the rear brakes relative to the front brakes. This indicates a vehicle flaw, possible design or component, as the vehicle only had 25,000 miles on it and the front disk pads and rotors indicate only normal wear. The rotors were worn too thin to be used. There was excessive rust on the brake components. The pads were past acceptable wear. The rear brakes/pads/rotors were either defective, improperly working, or improperly designed. There could have been a serious brake failure resulting in an accident as a result of the excessive wear of the rear disc brakes. This should be red flagged as a serious issue of concern.

- Sewickley, PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 152009


  • 4,000 miles
On icy downhill grades when braking or slowing ABS system will cause a "rock hard" pedal and complete loss of brakes. All four wheels will lockup. This causes loss of directional control and loss of braking. This failure occurs when ABS fails to prevent wheels from locking up on slick surfaces. Consequences include rear end collision, loss of control, unexpected exit from the roadway and loss of control of vehicle attitude. Vehicle was take to dealer and brakes were inspected. Nothing was found to be wrong. Brakes were operating as designed. This is a design defect in the antilock braking system in that the system causes unexpected drastic changes in the feel of the brake pedal, allows the wheels to lock and does not give the driver clear expectation of how to regain control of the vehicle. On low coefficient of friction surfaces the ABS system cannot differentiate between the vehicle moving with wheels locked and vehicle stationary with brakes engaged. Vehicle must be accelerated to start wheels turning in order for the ABS to release the pedal.

- Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #3

Dec 132010


  • 18,000 miles
At low speeds near intersections with light snow or slush on the road vehicle's ABS system causes loss of stopping ability and loss of directional control. Partial or complete loss of braking and/or directional control at stop signs and on slick roads. Premature activation of ABS system in snowy and slushy conditions. Potential consequences include striking pedestrians, leaving the road unexpectedly and stopping in not before an intersection. Dealer inspected braking system and stated that it is performing as intended. Dealer further documented that oem tires had low traction rating causing ABS system to operate incorrectly in certain driving conditions. In particular ABS causes drastically increased stopping distance with loss of directional control with oem Bridgestone dueller H/T 687 tires with 7/32 tread depth and correct inflation pressure. Dealer states that tires should be changed to improve drivability and ABS function in snow and ice conditions. Bridgestone dueller H/T 687 tires will be replaced with a different brand. These tires will be put in storage and will be available.

- Mishawaka, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 062010

Forester 4-cyl

  • 21,797 miles
We experienced brake failure twice on a trip 11/4/10 - 11/6/10. The first incident occurred on 11/4 while using cruise control. To slow for a vehicle in front of us, I hit the brake pedal. The brakes were not responsive and the cruise control remained active. Pumping the brake pedal in a few seconds deactivated the cruise control and the brakes returned. This occurred with a noticeable jerk. The second incident occurred 11/6 while on heading East on rt 30 coming down sidling hill. The cruise control was not in use. While attempting to brake to reduce speed going down the hill, the brakes completely failed. Repeated attempts to use the brake pedal failed to provide any braking. I used the parking brake to slow us down; however, the parking brake did not seem very effective. It took a considerable distance to come to a stop. I proceeded down the hill in a lower gear and at some point the brakes returned to use. There does not appear to be any reason as to why they failed or how or why they returned. The car has over 20,000 miles on it and this was the first incident of brake failure; although the situation with the cruise not deactivating had occurred once before. The car was taken to the dealer on 11/7. the dealer checked both the cruise and the braking system and found no problems. The dealer reported consulting with Subaru on the problem as well. On 11/12 at the suggestion of the dealer, I contacted Subaru customer service (ref#1-1157948155). Subaru's follow up was that the car was checked and found to be ok and we should drive it and see if it happens again. This was not acceptable and we opted for a replacement vehicle at considerable out of pocket expense. This vehicle should not be sold to someone else. It should be returned to Subaru to determine what caused the failures described.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #1

Sep 282010


  • 200 miles
While driving a 2010 Subaru Forester around a corner up a steep driveway I encountered a vehicle coming down the driveway. The Forester is manual and there was a shoulder in the driveway behind the corner I had rounded; I applied the clutch and brake when I saw the vehicle and released the brake while continuing to hold the clutch when I saw that I could roll back onto the shoulder directly behind me to get out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. The Subaru did not move and I began to panic as the oncoming vehicle approached and my service brake had apparently ceased (the car would not move by gravity yet the service and hand brakes were both off). I put the car in reverse and revved the engine unusually hard while aggressively releasing the clutch to overcome the apparently frozen brake and avoid the head on collision, at which point the brake released and the car flew backwards toward a stone embankment behind the turn-off in the driveway. I stopped in time and avoided the vehicle exiting the driveway. I contacted the dealer and was told that this is some sort of safety feature on Subaru whereby the service brake will not release when the clutch is depressed on a hill. The Forester I was driving gives no indication to the operator that the service brake will behave in an unexpected way and there is apparently no way to disable this behavior in this model. As a seasoned driver with hundreds of thousands of miles of experience in many makes and models with manual transmissions I find this highly unsafe and totally unacceptable.

- Cropseyville, NY, USA

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