2015 Subaru Forester drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,444 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.

2015 Subaru Forester drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2015 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #16

Mar 122016


  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. While the vehicle was stopped with the brake pedal depressed and the gear shift in the drive position, the vehicle independently lunged forward without warning. On another occasion, while the vehicle was in the park position, it continued to rev. The failure recurred more than twelve times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer; however, the failure was unable to be duplicated. The contact mentioned that the transmission was reprogrammed, but the failure continued. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 18,000.

- North Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 052015

Forester 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
2015 Subaru Forester. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle hesitation/acceleration issues. The consumer stated at low speeds, the vehicle would buck slightly as she/he accelerated. In stop and go traffic, the vehicle would lurch forward unexpectedly, or when she removed his/her foot from the accelerator pedal, the vehicle seemed to slow down abruptly. When the consumer attempted to accelerate, the vehicle would often hesitate before revving up. Subaru informed the consumer they were aware of the problem and there was a fix. However, within three to four weeks of the fix, the problem returned. There was an odd hesitation as if the vehicle did not want to go forward at idle after braking. When the accelerated was pressed, there was a delayed reaction and a lurch. Also, several lights including the engine light illuminated on the dashboard. The consumer went to another dealer and soon after the repair, the previous problems returned.

- Montebello, CA, USA

problem #14

Oct 112016


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. While parking the vehicle and depressing the brake pedal at 5 mph, the vehicle surged and lurched forward. As a result, a crash occurred with several other vehicles. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed and there were no injuries sustained. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 14,000.

- Wake Forest, NE, USA

problem #13

Oct 082016


  • 21,185 miles


Driving with eyesight enabled at 75mph in heavy traffic on loop 202 freeway at approximately 2:30pm local time. Weather was sunny and dry, approximately 97 degrees. Nearly resulting in a crash. Feet were not on any pedal. Vehicle suddenly lost power and revd to redline as if the car was in neutral, engine then shut off. Instrument cluster showed every warning light illuminated. Eyesight display showed a vehicle directly in front yet there was no vehicle present. I checked to make sure gear selector was still in drive. Pressed the accelerator which had no affect, no RPM change. Was able to coast a short distance but still obstructed traffic. Police had to shut down freeway to move my vehicle to the shoulder. Attempts to restart vehicle failed, all warning lights on instrument cluster illuminate any time the key is turned to the "on" position. Subaru roadside assistance towed vehicle to local Subaru dealer, awaiting diagnosis.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #12

Sep 252016


  • miles
Vehicle was purchased new on October 31, 2014 at a Maryland dealer. The following are dates, miles and the issues that have arised since taking ownership. All issues related to vehicle have occurred while driving. No specific roads, vehicle maneuvering or weather condition, changed or caused the the following issues. 12/09/14 6680 miles, issue with steering & alignment 12/20/14 8524 miles, issue with steering & alignment April 2015 replaced battery 06/20/15 41,700 miles, issue with electrical system 07/23/15 47672 miles, issue with driveability 08/26/15 53037 miles, issue with body electrical system 08/2015 all rotors and brake pads replaced 09/23/15 57923 miles, issues with check engine light & stop light lamp switch 10/08/15 60428 miles, issue with power windows 12/03/15 68762 miles, automatic transmission replaced, electrical system June 2016 issues with starting vehicle begins, undetermined cause July 2016 issues began with HVAC blower fan intermittent failure 09/25/16 110839 miles, unknown A/T possible failure Subaru of America still has an open ticket for electrical issues that still plague the vehicle; including power windows, hill start assistant, low oil pressure, audio speaker, vehicle stability control, ABS, brake system failure lights. Dealer has stated that failure can only be duplicated when an on-board diagnostic system code is present. Thus the reason for outstanding issues. Furthermore, not all repeated issues or communications with dealer are listed due to lack of records.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

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problem #11

Jun 122016


  • 18,000 miles
Vehicle surges when trying to lightly accelerate in hot weather. Rpms begin to drop, car bucks back and forth until more throttle is given, then car lurches forward. There seem to be tsbs out to alleviate the issue, but they feel like a bandaid repair and just mask it. Now instead of bucking back and forth, the vehicle just accelerates very lightly. Throttle is very unresponsive. The inconsistent throttle response creates a safety issue, as the vehicle can be unpredictable when accelerating away from a potential hazard (accelerating to make a lane change, accelerating to avoid an accident, etc.).

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 302016


  • 15,000 miles


Our 2015 Forester turbo has 15,00 miles on it. We have had it to the dealer 4 times now asking them to find out why it is loosing power in times of need. The dealers from 2 different locations have said they were unable to duplicate the issue. We are going to take it back this week, it happened again today on the highway at 60 mph. Engine feels like it shuts off, cars traveling along side and behind had to skid the brakes to stop. This has become a life or death situation. We do not feel safe driving the car. It looses power in turns and highway speeds.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #9

Jul 012016


  • 15,444 miles
Car was in park. Left running to come back & get something in house. When went back to car, opened door & vehicle started rolling backwards. By time I was able get in, the car rolled in ditch & damaged driver's side door. Happened in a matter of 3 minutes tops. Bottom of driver's door was fouled in on side of bank.

- Prichard, WV, USA

problem #8

Mar 212016


  • 38,000 miles
What has been happening is I will be driving down the road (does not matter how fast I am going) and all of a sudden all the lights come on and I lose acceleration and control of vehicle. Each time it has been towed to Subaru they cannot recreate the problem so it cannot be fixed. This last time I was on a very busy road going about 55 mph and all of a sudden again my check engine lights etc came on and I lost acceleration and power. I quickly checked my rearview mirror to make sure no one was too close behind me. It was very scary and I was able to coast and abruptly turn into an enterprise rental. I was lucky I was not hit from behind or have my kids in car. This last time too when the tow truck arrived the car would not turn on. I am now completely uncomfortable driving a car that consistently has had the same issue that no one can fix.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 202016


  • 11,350 miles
We were driving approximately 65-70 mph on the highway on Saturday February 20, 2016. The car suddenly began to shake and jerk and we smelled burning rubber. We pulled onto the berm as soon as we could and waited for the tow truck. We knew it was a transmission problem because it was the second transmission placed in the car. We had the car back from the repair shop less than 3 weeks after the transmission and torque converter were completely replaced from the manufacturer's. Subaru has notified us that a new transmission and torque converter plus 4 new tires are being placed in the car now currently back at the dealer in the repair shop. The tires were ruined by the burning tread as they locked up when the transmission stopped working. This will be the third transmission in the car since it was at the manufacturer. This is no longer just a warranty issue it is now a severe safety issue. The car's tires were completely locked when it was being taken off the tow truck. It had to be jacked up and slid off the back of the flat bed ramp.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 162016


  • 19,100 miles


While starting to drive forward ( normal speed ) from a stop -went about fifty feet. I heard a clunk. Than the SUV rolled to a stop. I than tried to put it in reverse - would not move. I than put it back in drive - it did not move. I checked to see if the engine was running - it was. I called my emergency hot line and had the car towed to the dealer. They found that the chain in the transmission ( or some place in the drive mechanism ) had broken. Still waiting for it to be fixed - 11 days have passed so far.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #5

Nov 162015


  • 12,500 miles
My vehicle is bucking/jerking under light to medium acceleration loads between about 10 mph to 30 mph. The issue occurs intermittently, but it will occur several times during a single trip to work 25 miles away. I have taken it to the dealer, but the technician was not able to replicate the issue in the parking lot. They believe it is an issue with the cvt. Others online have expressed concern with the exact same issue. Specifically, you depress the gas pedal a constant distance, but the vehicle will give you unreliable amounts of acceleration: Sometimes an initial lurch and then a pause and then another lurch or very little acceleration and then a pause and a lurch. Depressing the gas pedal farther during one of the jerky periods has little effect except to make the lurch more violent once it finally happens. Not being able to accelerate reliably during a turn with oncoming traffic is extremely dangerous and the reason for me writing a report. I will continue to work with the dealer, but from the research I have done, this is not an isolated issue. I believe the only reason I was not able to find recorded car accidents referencing this issue is due the newness of the vehicle.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 132015


  • 11,265 miles
From a full stop, A/C on, I began to accelerate at a green light. Car stopped acceleration at aprox. 2 miles per hour and coasted thru large intersection before accelerating again. I checked to see if the car was in drive and that the emergency brake was off. I took car to dealer who said no "error code" is available that would indicate a problem and they were unable to replicate the issue. Obviously there is an issue because another driver made this same report. This is a huge concern for me because 1) what happens if the car fails again when I pull into traffic with my kid in the car? and 2) I bought a Subaru because they are supposed to be safe and reliable. I'm seriously reconsidering my decision now.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #3

Aug 052014


  • 250 miles
I have a 2015 Forester premium with winter package, I bought it new with 10 miles on it. When starting out from a dead stop. I step on the gas and there is a delayed throttle response ( like a hesitation or a slow shift on the automatic transmission ) either from the computer module or transmission. Other owners, that I know, have experienced this issue also. Friends that have the outback say its less pronounced. As you might guess>> I have a bunch of subie fans !!! this is my 2nd Subaru, and while I am happy with it, I still can't get my dealer to do anything to resolve the issue. They say " its the nature of the beast ! " I'm hoping there will be a service bulletin to fix this annoying problem.

- Baden, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 052014


  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. After stopping at a stop sign, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not accelerate. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated that the vehicle was functioning as designed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5.

- Sykesville, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 092014


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2015 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that while in park, the vehicle rolled away. As a result, the vehicle crashed into trees and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 2,000.

- Pleasantville, NY, USA

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