2014 Subaru Forester electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,043 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.

2014 Subaru Forester electrical problems

electrical problem

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2014 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 262016


  • 61,222 miles


I was out of the country and didn't start my car few about ten days. When I come back the battery was dead. I had it jump started. As I was leaving the lot and going up a slight incline the car stalled while in drive - the battery was dead again. I could not move the transmission from drive to park with a dead battery. Fortunately I was able to get the car restarted with another jump. In the meantime the car rolled backwards until I applied the emergency brake.. so there were two issues, you cant move the transmission from drive to park if the battery is dead and the car rolls backward in drive (which I have experienced on other occasions).

- New York, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 252016


  • 30,000 miles
Lift gate: The lift gate button on the dash when depressed does not always open the lift gate. Several parts have been replaced by the dealer, and it still fails occasionally. Using the key fob opens the the lift gate 100% of the time, but not using the button on the dash.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #9

Mar 022016


  • 16,320 miles
Safety problems from summer 2014. The car abruptly loses power when accelerating. This is dangerous when overtaking log trucks and other slow traffic on steep two-lane highways. We have taken the vehicle to dealerships several times for repair and except for updating the engine control unit firmware; they have been unable to isolate the cause. In February 2016, Subaru of America (soa) mailed us recall wqw-58R. The dealer did not respond to our recall appointment requests. We asked for soa assistance. The dealer was hostile, yet claimed to perform the recall. Later, a dealer employee informed us that some employees sabotaged the vehicle with the intent of having the engine explode. Another shop confirmed facts and corrected some damage. California bureau of automotive repair case (SA2016005132) cited the dealership. The sudden power loss remains and it is unsafe to operate. It has failed to start on occasion. We are afraid that the original problem or other acts by the dealership may cause us or to be injured or killed in a head-on collision when power fails. It may strand us in an isolated area during a snowstorm or in some dangerous location. We have requested that soa accept the car back as a lemon. They have refused. The instructions toservice departments includes the following: ¿reminder: Engine assembly replacement will only be required in a very limited number of cases.¿ [soa instructions to dealers includes the words ¿reminder¿ and ¿very limited¿ in bold type] in our opinion, the ¿reminder¿ to dealers was intended to suppress corrective action and reduce costs to Subaru of America. The Subaru of America wqw-58R recall does not appear on the list of safety recalls. From our experience, this is a very dangerous vehicle to operate, and we request that the NHTSA include this recall as a safety issue for this make and model.

- Hammond Ranch, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 202015


  • 18,000 miles


Upon starting the vehicle or while driving it the following warning messages appear (it has happened multiple tines over the past few months, they will go away and ten reappear days or weeks later): Vehicle dynamic control system needs to be checked ABS system needs to be checked hill start assist system needs to be checked took car to dealership for normal maintenance in July (bay ridge Subaru) they could not find anything, messages started reappearing. Issue with theses messages is car will not go into gear upon starting unless you pump breaks multiple times.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #7

Apr 192015

Forester 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
While driving my car on the highway, (approximate 65 mph) I got a message on the console that indicated that SRS system had shut down and the red air bag light went on. I drove it home and then turned the car off. When I restarted it, the red air bag light went away. The next day while I was riding on the passenger side, the red airbag light went off and a note on the console said that the front passenger side airbag was not operational. I took the vehicle to the Subaru dealer who could not recreate the issue and turned the car back to us.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #6

Feb 012014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
The eyesight, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking systems do not recognize stopped vehicles - hard braking is required to stop vehicle in time. When systems do function they do not gradually slow vehicle and come to a stop, but do so suddenly and dangerously, causing me to brake hard to come to a stop at a safe distance behind stopped vehicle. Same systems are also dangerously affected by bright sunlight and fail to function without warning. Dealer said they checked systems out and found nothing wrong. Gave me print-out from operating manual stating it is the responsibility of the driver to operate the vehicle safely at all times and that the eyesight system is never a substitute for active driver involvement and may not operate optimally under all driving conditions!!!!!!! Subaru corporate customer relations representative said there was no software upgrade/fix available for the Forester model. Certain Subaru 2015 models are advertised to have an upgraded eyesight system that recognizes lighted taillights, among other improvements. I was told the 2015 system was not available for the 2014 Forester. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter. A response to my complaint would be greatly appreciated.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #5

Sep 062014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 6,800 miles


This problem has been getting progressively worst. The car has been having troubles turning over on cold starts, and has experienced a loss of propulsion and stall going up hill including a loss of brakes since I bought it a year ago. On 9/6/2014 the car was started and was idling high (approximately 4000rpm), check engine light was on, speed control light was on, incline alert light on, sport mode light was on and check emissions system light was on. Had to move the car out of the garage and it barely made it up the incline in the underground garage as it was not responding to the accelerator, called for a tow which never arrived and tried to restart out of frustration all lights were off and car I made it to the dealer which was not far away. Have already had the dealer inspect the car once to get to the bottom of the problem and they reported their diagnostics showed nothing was wrong and that car electrical\computer problems cannot be fixed until they break completely (or someone is hurt or injured perhaps). There was one more report similar to this on carcomplaints.com that occurred at high speed. Seems to me that car is not safe at this point.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Nov 072013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 5,927 miles
Starting from a cold or warm temperature the vehicle cranks excessively and will not start until a second or third attempt. This has happened at random and about a dozen times in the past five months.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 062014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 2,500 miles
At cold starting, approximately one time out of 20, the car is very difficult to start. It cranks for up to 10 seconds before starting. I don't know if it's a fuel delivery or an ignition problem. It has happened at ambient temperatures from 35 to 65 degrees. If I didn't continue cranking the engine to an extent that I think is harmful to it, it wouldn't start. I consider that a safety issue, if I needed to get the car going quickly.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #2

Nov 252013


  • 7,000 miles
I was driving my 6 month old 2014 Subaru Forester at about 50 mph at night and my driver's seat began reclining. I almost lost control of the car and had an accident because the mechanism to stop it was not working. It happened three more times after that occurrence. Also, the power lift gate was inoperable. I had to crawl into the back cargo area to try to open the rear lift gate. It would not open, even from the inside. It was reinitialized several times by kingery rye Subaru in rye, NY and they failed to correct the problem. Eventually they replaced the part but the operation of lift gate remains unpredictable. I need to be able to use the power lift gate at all times to put a wheelchair in the back. I was informed by Subaru of America (in writing) that some of the electrical problems that are occurring are because kingery rye Subaru installed an after market remote starter into my car without my knowledge or approval. I have written documentation from Subaru of America stating the dealers must install Subaru parts. I paid a lot of money for a Subaru remote starter. Rye Subaru put a cheap after market starter into my car. That is fraud. My car is starting randomly and without a key in the ignition. A co-worker came into work and told me my car was locked and running in the parking lot. Recently I closed the lift gate, using the button on the lift gate and the car started itself as I was walking away from it. The car has started on its own many times. There are multiple dangerous electrical problems that are putting myself and my family's lives at risk. The side driver's and passenger's windows fog up when the heat is turned on. The de-fogger does not remedy the problem at all. I am unable to see anything out the side windows which poses a big safety issue especially during the winter. I bought the car because it had a high safety rating. This car is not safe.

- Valley Cottage, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 142014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 7,700 miles
This vehicle is a Forester xt turbo. I was operating on cruise control at 78 mph, approximately 900 miles from home, when a sudden loss of propulsion occurred. Dashboard had multiple warning lights. Engine was still operating, though at very low RPM so I was able to maintain steering and braking control. After maneuvering to the side of the road, I noticed the tachometer was fluctuating between 500-800 RPM. I turned off the engine and was able to restart. The following warning lights were still illuminated: Check engine, hill control, cruise control, and operating mode. Operating mode was stuck in "sport" mode. I was able to drive vehicle at normal speed to nearest dealer approximately 10 miles away. The service technician stated I had an error code of P0606. This is a voltage issue on the engine control module, (ECM). The corrective action is to re-flash the ECM computer chip. This is a restricted action, requiring a field service engineer to come to the dealer to do the procedure. The technician stated they had already experienced this with a vehicle they sold but the problem with the module usually occurs on engine start. The technician cleared the error codes and I continued on my trip. Upon returning to my home, I took the vehicle to my dealer to be serviced. My dealer stated they were one of the first to experience this issue. I am wondering why there has been no recall/notice to owners of this problem since it has been known for a while. It is frightening to lose power when cruising at highway speed.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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