really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,856 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.

2012 Subaru Forester electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #10

Sep 142022


  • miles


The vehicle will just stall. It has happened three times; usually at a stop sign or slowing down to turn. I have had it towed and in the shop, and they can't find anything wrong with it. No error messages. One shop cleaned the throttle body and thought that might be the problem. The vehicle has always consumed oil; at least a quart is added every 700-1000 miles. We have changed the oil regularly and don't understand why the oil consumption problem. Now the cruise light flashes off and on. The traction light and check engine light stays on all the time.

- Clinton, MN, USA

problem #9

Dec 212020


  • 146,000 miles
2012 Subaru dash light all come on and then the car starts to stall out. Dealer can not find out the problem. The happens intermittently. They reset the computer and it runs for a couple hours or day and then it happens again. This will happen in the while driving on the highway and is very dangerous.

- Cottage City, MD, USA

problem #8

Dec 232016


  • 65,235 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Forester. While traveling approximately 60 mph, the vehicle lost all power without warning. The contact was able to coast the vehicle to the shoulder of the roadway. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the mass air flow sensor and battery failed. There was also too much fuel in the system. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 65,235.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

Oct 272016


  • 800,000 miles


Which driving on the interstate at rush hour at 65 mph... with absolutely no warning or warning light my car stalled. When this happened the steering went out along with the brakes and all power. I sat in the fast lane of traffic unable to safely exit my car for almost and hour until help arrived. I took the car to the dealership neil huffman in louisville ky where I purchased the car new 4 years ago. I was told the mass airflow sensor had failed. I was also told that they had no idea why this happened at 65 mph with no warning. I paid the $403 repair and contact Subaru usa due to my concerns. Although I called several times and was on hold each time for up to 10 min and also emailed.. still not response. This seems to be a major safety concern. I no longer feel safe in the car.. and plan to purchase a new car soon.. but am concerned someone else will be my car and be in danger.

- Salem, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 052012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Forester. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle powered down on its own. The vehicle was able to restart after two attempts; however, smoke emitted under the hood near the driver's side windshield area. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that clutch fluid drained out of the reservoir, and the smoke was caused by fluid draining to the exhaust pipe. The vehicle was not repaired and the diagnostic was not accurate. The vehicle was towed to another dealer where it was diagnosed as starter relay failure. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. In addition, the chip for the key fob was not responding to the system. It was diagnosed that the body integrated unit failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was not available.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 092016


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Forester. While at a red light, the vehicle lost power and had electrical issues. The contact stated that the speedometer read 2 mph over the actual speed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was unable to be restarted by the mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 082012


  • 3,330 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Forester. While coming to a stop, the vehicle made an intermittent clunking sound when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact stated that the vehicle had a lot of electrical issues. While driving 5 mph, all the electrical components in the instrument panel failed and a whining noise was heard. The contact also stated that the vehicle was experiencing fuel issues. When the vehicle was fueled, the fuel gauge reading was inaccurate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it could not be diagnosed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 3,330.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 032015


  • 48,000 miles
While idling in a parking lot, my Forester caught fire. The fire was put out quickly. So, the damage was fortunately isolated to the location where the fire started. It seems that the connector between the wiring harness and one of the O2 sensors on the front of the vehicle ignited. The fire burned the wiring harness near the connector and damaged the O2 sensor. Both needed to be replaced to repair my vehicle. This fire happened spontaneously and seems to be a safety risk. In my opinion, a 3.5 year old vehicle should not spontaneously catch fire.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #2

Oct 012013

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Subaru Forester. Consumer writes in regards to ignition problems. The dealer claimed there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. However, the consumer continued to experience intermittent problems with the ignition. The consumer went to another dealer, at which time, they diagnosed the ignition issue as a software problem and stated that it was fixed with an update to the firmware. However, he continued to have the same ignition problem, but on a more frequent basis. The consumer went back to the dealer, where they stated the problem was the battery. Despite the new battery replacement, he continued to have the same problem at the same frequency. The consumer returned to the dealer, where they stated the problem was with the fuel pump, but were unable to confirm the diagnosis 100% until their fuel pump mechanic made further inquires with the Subaru factory. The consumer made another appointment, as it was finally confirmed the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The consumer was then informed, the part was not available.

- Surfside, FL, USA

problem #1

Apr 012013


  • miles
2012 Subaru Forester. Consumer writes in regards to engine problems. The consumer stated unless he drove the vehicle regularly, or started it and let the engine idle, the complex of electric circuits would run down the battery to a no start and shortly thereafter, all systems would be dead. The consumer stated sellers admitted to the problem and the service department recommended driving the vehicle and running the engine more often.

- Hancock, NH, USA

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