2023 Subaru Forester Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbags-related and electrical problems are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2023 Subaru Forester is a compact crossover model that’s part of the fifth generation. Subaru has produced the Forester since 1997 when it was originally built on the Impreza platform.

In 2022, there were 114,000 Forester models sold, which is down 40,000 from the year before. It’s unclear what the 2023 Forester sales numbers will be at the end of the year, but it may not perform any better.

Click on other model years to view more problems:  2019   2020   2021   2022

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Subaru Forester

The 2023 Subaru Forester appears to suffer from malfunctions in several different areas. First, there have been issues with both the air bags and the electrical system. Drivers are also complaining about problems with the exterior lighting, structure and visibility (NHTSA).

2023 Subaru Forester Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags:sensor:occupant Classification:front Passenger
Electrical System
Electrical System:adas:blindspot:software
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control

Air Bag Issues

  • Defective passenger air bag: One driver noticed that the passenger air bag would turn off when his wife was in the seat. The dealership hooked some weights to the seat and said that everything was fine. They weren’t able to fix it and told the customer to tell Subaru that they wanted to return it.

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Electrical System Problems

  • Faulty forward collision braking: The forward collision braking system activates when there’s no reason for it to. A driver had issues with the system while traveling at 35 to 40 mph in clear and dry road conditions. During this incident, the warning message appeared on the screen and the vehicle braked on its own. Additionally, the seat belts were activated. If there had been a vehicle behind the Forester when this occurred, a collision would have happened.
  • Safety systems create false messages: Other customers have complained about various warning messages when nothing is going on. One such example is the Blind Spot Monitoring System creating warnings without the need to. Dealerships have been unable to find the cause or repair it.

Problems Relating to Exterior Lighting

  • Overly bright LED projection lights: One driver, who lives in a rural location, struggles with other vehicle operators having trouble seeing because of how bright the LED lights are on the Forester. This owner repeatedly gets their lights flashed on them because they are blinded by the headlights.

Structural Problems

  • Loose door panel: One owner complained about the door garnish panel coming loose within two weeks of taking possession of the vehicle. The dealership had to hunt down the missing parts for installation.
  • Lack of storage: For Apple CarPlay to be used, a cord needs to be plugged in. However, there’s nowhere to put the phone after it’s plugged in. The front storage spot isn’t big enough to hold the phone with the cord plugged into it. Customers are purchasing aftermarket phone holders, but many of them block out the screen, making it even more of an inconvenience.

Visibility Complaints

  • Cracked windshields: Several customers have had issues with the windshields cracking for no apparent reason. Without any impact or road hazard, the auto glass shatters. The trouble is that many dealerships don’t yet see this as a common defect, so there isn’t a lot of warranty support.

2023 Subaru Forester Recalls

Subaru hasn’t issued any recalls for the Subaru Forester. Yet, we foresee multiple recalls coming down the pipeline once the NHTSA puts more pressure on the automaker. We would love to see some recalls for the air bag situation, which can be very dangerous. The cracking windshields also need to be dealt with as it can cause injury. Beyond that, the faulty safety systems are posing serious risks to drivers and others on the road. Hopefully, it doesn’t take major injuries for Subaru to start taking some of these matters seriously.

What Should You Do If Your 2023 Forester is a Lemon?

Not every 2022 Subaru Forester is a lemon, but it appears that there are multiple reasons why some may be. If you are plagued by issues that affect the use and value of your SUV, contact Lemberg Law for advice.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. We have negotiated many deals for our clients. All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. We will assess your problem and advise you. You don’t pay us because the law says that Subaru must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Joe R

    Glad Lemberg Law is there for the consumer. Just bought a new vehicle and have recourse if it turns out a lemon or unsafe. Without a well qualified law firm the average Joe is outgunned by the automotive giants.

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