2011 Subaru Forester engine NHTSA complaints: Engine And Engine Cooling

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,639 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.

2011 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 052012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that the vehicle's oil consumption was excessive and that the engine oil would be depleted multiple times per week. The failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the oil consumption was normal. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Timonium, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 072013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 22,736 miles
When the check engine light (cel) is activated by an emission control failure Subaru has programmed a shut down of the anti-lock brake system (as well as shut down of cruise control). This ABS shut down could occur for a simple loose gas cap which is common cause of cel failure. The section 3-16 on cel warning light/malfunction indicator does not inform the owner that a cel event will be accompanied by the disabling of the ABS. The driver finds this out only because the cel is accompanied by blinking cruise light and steadily illuminated ABS light. Per owner manual section 7-23 for 2011 Forester when the ABS is disabled the car/driver/passengers are a risk of loss of steering control and directional stability. Three cel events occurred from June 2013 to December 2014 for same problem because thermostat was not to be replaced per service bulletin 09-56-13/10/21/13 until ECM re-programming occurred. Therefore I was forced to drive without anti-lock brake system 3 times 6/13; 8/14 and 12/14 until repairs could be scheduled. I am requesting that Subaru not be allowed to disable the ABS for cel/emission control system problems. This is because I have had multiple unpredictable cel events some during weather conditions for which ABS function was critical. The thermostat and gasket assembly wee replaced.

- Belton, MO, USA

problem #4

Nov 042013


  • 33,548 miles
My husband purchased a new Subaru Forester in may of 2011 for me with an extended warranty for 7 years. It was a big investment for us and I had hoped to drive my new Subaru Forester 2011 for several years down the road. Shortly after purchasing it, I noticed the brakes to be defective and would not stop the vehicle in a timely fashion or quickly enough. I told my husband all the time, who also happens to drive my car, also complained about its brakes. I had my vehicle regularly serviced as per the companies warranty requirements and at only authorized Subaru service & dealership centers. I recently told the service dept at my 30,000 mile servicing about the brakes issues I had again, to their attention but they said that- 'that was the way the Forester's brakes were and that I had to push the pedal hard to the floor(pump the brakes) to stop it quickly enough" and my brakes were fine according 30,000 mile servicing, and I was disappointed with their response I was driving on a local road 25 mph when another vehicle suddenly appeared in front of me to stop to make a left turn. I pushed the brakes but my vehicle just would not stop quickly enough. I was involved in a accident hitting the car in front of me. To discover that my front bumper now had a huge crack in it. I do not feel safe driving a vehicle whose brakes are so bad that it will not stop the vehicle quickly enough and needs to be pumped to stop it sooner(which may not be possible in many circumstances such as the one above),.after the car came out from the body shop I had a recent occurence but this time it was a rainy day I started to slow down pressing the brake to turn to my road which I had the same issue, instead of stopping or slowing down the brakes are accelerating. Please investigate the brakes at the very least to prevent future accidents. I am determined to trade in my vehicle for safe car.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012012

Forester 4-cyl

  • 22,241 miles


I am being told by the manufacturer that the engine failed due to lack of oil changes. I changed the oil on 7/6/11 at 10,639 miles. The engine then failed at 22241 on 2/1/12. The engine holds 5.5 quarts of oil but per the manufacturer had none in it at the engine failure. How does a new vehicle burn 5.5 quarts of oil in 11602 miles" there was also no warning light of any kind to tell me that the engine oil was low. The manufacturer stated that the oil level had to be lower than 2 P.S.I for the light to go off and warn me and at that point the engine would already be damaged. I got no advance warning that there was a problem with my engine or the oil level. The engine simply stopped working. I am being told that I have to foot the bill in excess of $9500 for a new engine. How can a manufacturer have an engine that does not warn the consumer that there may be a problem? I am very puzzled by this and the fact the Subaru dealership who said the warranty was voided is the same dealership charging me exorbitant rates for a new motor" please help or give me a suggestion.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #2

May 242011


  • 2,837 miles
On 5/24/11, while driving through an intersection, my Forester was hit broadside by another vehicle that ran a red light. The impact of the speeding vehicle caused the Forester to spin 360 degrees and flip-over on the driver's side. I was left trapped inside the Forester and witnesses pointed out that the engine and transmission continued to run after the Forester flipped over. Apparently there is no engine or transmission kill switch. Furthermore, there is no interior release of the rear hatch. As a result I remained trapped inside the vehicle and concerned about a gasoline leak and possible explosion. I was eventually removed from the vehicle by emts and brought to the hospital. My concern is that if similar accident occurred in a remote area or if the driver was more seriously injured, more serious consequences could have resulted.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 212011

Forester 4-cyl

  • 472 miles
Check engine light came on after driving the car about 472 miles. Called dealer repair, which instated that it was just the gas cap loose, which he had us remove and retighten. We were advised to keep driving it and that the check engine light would eventually go out. We drove it for a few more days and then had two different local mechanics shops check the code on the check engine light. Both said that the engine was misfiring, either random misfire, or misfire on cylinders 3 and 4. we called the dealer again, who said that the mechanics didn't know what they were doing and were wrong, but that we should bring the car in next week. We brought the car in on 8/30/11, with about 872 miles now on it and the check engine light still on. The dealer checked the car and said the some cam shaft adjusters were not set properly at the factory and that they would have to add a shim kit to correct this! (on a new car!) the next day, car still didn't work, they had to called Subaru manufacturer and tried at least 5 other procedures and car still doesn't work. The car is defective and should not have been sold as a new car. They have had the cover over 10 days now and still not fixed. We just want a new car, and get out of that one. Please help.

- Chester, CA, USA

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