2014 Subaru Forester engine NHTSA complaints: Vehicle Speed Control

NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,946 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2014 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #19

Oct 042016

Forester 4-cyl

  • miles


2014 Subaru Forester. Attorney representing consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration collision. As the consumer approached a handicap space, he slowed down to approximately 2-3 mph and when he removed his foot from the accelerator and applied the brake to stop, the vehicle accelerated rapidly and struck two parked vehicles and then came to a stop, the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was totaled.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #18

Mar 312015


  • miles
Vehicle is unstable due to stalling and lurching forward under all throttle ranges. Vehicle may "chug" at variable driving speeds. The failure is intermittent and varies from subtle to heavy effects. Severe effects causes vehicle to shudder and/or stall then abruptly accelerate. Issue does not appear to be related to "turbo lag" as it occurs under low boost conditions. Transmission also produces "clicking" sound when engaging from neutral or under changes in speed. Condition occurs throughout all driving modes (I, S, S#). condition occurs mostly under acceleration from dead stop, but may also occur under "pick up" acceleration, ie off throttle to decelerate (55mph-45mph) then light throttle to resume driving speed. Vehicle may also backfire under acceleration. Vehicle may hesitate for several seconds before acceleration from stop or at highway speed than upon resuming acceleration vehicle may have a flat/slow acceleration in spite of heavy throttle. Factory authorized repairs attempted to remedy condition by cleaning throttle body and "upper engine" cleanse and states unable to replicate failure. Condition has been on-going from purchase with approximately 30K mile to current with 74K miles.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 222016


  • 64,000 miles
Vehicle hesitates for 3+ seconds when trying to accelerate. Brought in to the dealer on four separate occasions and the problem "cannot be duplicated." Dangerous when trying to get up to speed whether it's entering a local roadway or a highway.

- Clark, NJ, USA

problem #16

Apr 152016


  • 20,400 miles


When switching from the brake to the accelerator, the vehicle surges forward. This happens after coming to a full stop and when switching from braking to acceleration at low speeds such as in city traffic. This issue happens randomly. Driver has been very aware of the amount of pressure applied to the accelerator and surging can occur with very little pressure. Because this occurs when moving forward at intersections, moving forward in heavy traffic, and while parking or leaving a parking slot, the chance of a collision is great. The most dangerous is to surge suddenly into an intersection when moving forward to see around obstacles blocking the driver's view of oncoming traffic.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #15

Dec 072013


  • miles
While changing from reverse to drive (foot on brake) the vehicle hesitates very badly especially on a hill- pressing on the gas pedal when in drive does not move it forward until the hesitation is over - very scary. Dealer was informed of this shortly after purchase in Dec 2013 - he said Subaru was aware of the problem and were working on a fix - is this true?

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #14

Apr 192015


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Subaru Forester. While attempting to park, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact was unable to stop the vehicle and it crashed into a tree. The contact did not specify if there were any injuries or if a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer to have the body work repaired. The dealer had not determined the cause of the failure at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #13

Sep 162013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 98 miles


Within a few days of having the car, I noted that it did not move forward smoothly from a dead stop but surged ahead. I had not depressed the gas pedal very far. There after I am very careful to depress the gas pedal very carefully until the engine responds smoothly to a normal speed. I never had this happen in any other car I have owned and I noted after reading the complaints of other owners that others have the same problem. I have not reported it to the dealer because it was not a big issue but now I wonder if this could eventually become a dangerous problem as the car gets older. I also noted a complaint by another person, about the lines on the climate control knob that are difficult to see which she solved by marking them with white nail polish. Perhaps Subaru designers will hear about this and have those lines painted a color that is easier to see then the yellow they are using. Also I would like to see on the dash board something that tells one what position the lights are in, running" night time? or high beam" as the lever is shielded by the steering wheel.

- Red Hook, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 162014


  • 14,901 miles
I was making a routine visit to my mother at her apartment. Turned left into the complex then turned right and went up a small hill. At the top of the hill at no more than 5-10 mph I turned fairly sharply to the right to enter the parking space. At that point the vehicle suddenly accelerated and surged forward. The vehicle hit a tree approximately 15-20 feet away. The force of the crash caused the driver side airbag to deploy and the front end received extensive damage resulting in the total loss of the vehicle. I've been driving for over 30 years with no accidents and consider myself an excellent driver. Of course I questioned whether or not I could have hit the gas by mistake, but this visit is so routine and have made this same turn into the parking space so many times, I don't believe that is the case. It's hard to believe that the vehicle could have surged forward and hit the tree with that much force in such a short distance. Luckily there were no other people involved as I was alone in the vehicle. I can't help but wonder how much worse it could have been. I did report the incident to the Subaru dealer and will be making a report to the manufacturer Subaru of America.

- Augusta, ME, USA

problem #11

Sep 072013


  • 300 miles
When someone departs road on an exit and they are decelerating even if they are clear and out of the lane the car will practically stop on the highway, slamming on the brakes hard. Even under normal use of the cruise control the eyesight system does not engage the brakes slowly in a progressive pattern it hits them abruptly. I am in a congested area and have often had to override the system by hitting the brakes manually to disengage the system or floor the gas to prevent someone from rear ending me on the highway. I brought it to the dealers attention they say it is operating as it should and have brought it to Subaru corporate customer service attention on at least 3 occasions asking for a software update and have had no response. I believe the system is good but needs refinement of its software before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Merrick, NY, USA

problem #10

Aug 052014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Driving about 15-25 miles per hour. As I started to take foot off the brake car sped foward(forcing me to slam on the brakes).one time my wife hit car in front of her. This has happened five times in the last month. Dealer states nothing wrong with car. Has happened with both myself and wife driving. Very dangerous. Do not know what to do.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #9

Aug 172014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles


Just pulled into a parking spot, foot on brake, car surged.

- Pomona, NY, USA

problem #8

May 182014


  • 6,091 miles
In parking spot, foot on brake, car suddenly surged.

- Pomona, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 052014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
I was driving up my driveway. I was braking when the car jerked forward and hit the garage door. I was able to stop the car by applying the brakes. The garage door was damaged as was the front bumper and grill of the car.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

problem #6

May 032014


  • 11,500 miles
After a routine periodic maintenance that was reported to include a software update (unrelated?), intermittent events with uneven and briefly absent acceleration occurred when attempting to increase vehicle speed from slow speeds or from a stopped condition when depressing the throttle. No indicator lights were present on the dash of an electronic control problem or any unsafe condition. After initially denying the problem the dealer was able to replicate it. Electronic data was reported to be collected on the event and examined by Subaru. Subaru America is reported to have suggested checking the knock sensor connection. Dealer reported "tightening" the connection. No parts listed as replaced, no reason for "loosening" given (at 11500 miles), no reason given for "intermittent" performance, no reason given for lack of indication/dash light for a presumed uncertain state in a sensor controlling acceleration/fuel ignition. I guess the dealer and Subaru America know their product best - and this issue is resolved - but I am surprised that an intermittent connection to a sensor impacting acceleration would not result in a dash indicator or code. Also, since no reason for the "disconnection" was given - and no parts were replaced - I can only assume that a factory assembly defect occurred (manifest just after a software change?). in any case, Subaru America indicates this problem is resolved. No accident occurred, but since the performance issue was associated with acceleration control, it deserves to be noted.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #5

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

problem #4

Dec 212013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 10,261 miles
I was turning right to park at a state park. The parking area is sandy and full of pot holes. I was almost stopped when the car accelerated violently. My car mounted a flat boulder, one of many in the parking area. I still don't feel like I could have stepped or stomped on the gas pedal vs the brake pedal, but it is a possibility. I am a very cautious driver. Could this be a defect in this car? I feel that it should be reported and noted in case others have the same experience.

- Westport, MA, USA

problem #3

Dec 042013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 205 miles
The adaptive cruise has not recognized stopped vehicles, and did not slow the vehicle down thus potentially contributing to a crash and injury. The car has been evaluated multiple times for this by the dealer and has not found a problem. The dysfunction continues; there were 4 incidents today where there was failure of the adaptive cruise control system to initiate any safety maneuvers to avoid a crash.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #2

Oct 112013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2014 Subaru Forester. The contact stated while entering a parking space at an unknown speed, the vehicle erroneously accelerated and crashed into the wall. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was being repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 222013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 25 miles
After I purchased my vehicle, I noticed a hesitation between 20 - 40 mph. This is the first year for the Forester's to have a cvt engine so I thought it needed broken in. I also went through 3 cycles of filling up my gas tank from 3 different gas stations and the hesitation continued. The first time I brought it in the technician said he overfilled the oil a slight bit, removed it, and I should notice a difference. No difference. I brought my vehicle back to the dealership addressing the same issue. They performed the tests Subaru of America (soa) suggested and nothing was found. The last time it happened, > month ago, I feared an accident because it hesitated through an intersection. I returned the vehicle wanting answers. Subaru sent out their own technician to gather information to send to fuji and what I was told was that their equipment did not find anything wrong and that it was normal for a cvt engine. I test drove several more Foresters and they all had varying degrees of hesitation and all had different mileage on them.

- Harrisbug, PA, USA

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