('14+) Safety concerns after new Forester crashed - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Safety concerns after new Forester crashed

Has anyone heard about any safety issues with the 2017 Forester? My wife bought her 2017 Forester 2.5i Touring in March, and was in a bad accident on May 3rd. Three things happened that make us worry about the car's safety. She was hit hard from behind by a large box truck and pushed into stopped traffic ahead of her. The airbags did not deploy, yet the force was strong enough to cause my wife (who was wearing her seatbelt) to strike the steering wheel with her chest. This makes me question both the airbags and the seatbelt. I know airbags are programmed to deploy at only certain force levels, but this crash seemed sufficient. We also think her head hit the side window too because she's had concussion symptoms including bad headaches and extreme sensitivity to light/noise.

In addition to the airbags and seatbelt, the empty front passenger rocketed forward in the crash. When I went to take my wife's belongings out of the car, I found three little metal hinges about 1 inch x 1 inch in size, each with a little greased ball bearing in the middle, scattered on the floor in front of and underneath the front passenger seat. It looks like they fell off the bottom rail mechanism on the passenger seat. The whole passenger seat was loose on the rails, I could rock it up and down and side to side like it had half-way fallen apart. I am so glad that no one was in that seat at the time, it could have been very ugly. Has anyone heard about this problem before? I've contacted Subaru and was told they'd call me but it hasn't happened yet. It could be that the passenger seat had been adjusted at some point before the crash and never clicked into a locked position, but even if that were the case I would like to think it would have stopped at the nearest locked position in the crash instead of rocketing all the way forward.

I'm curious if anyone has experienced these issues or heard anything about them?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:09 PM
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Even if the airbags don't deploy, the seatbelt should have locked in to prevent her from whipping forward into the steering wheel.

The airbags only would have deployed if the frontal impact was sufficient.

Do you have any photos of the damage?


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:10 PM
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Horrifying. I hope she is recovering well. We were rear ended pretty strongly and the bags didn't go off then either for us. We were okay; the seatbelts held, I hope you contact Subaru and have them investigate.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:13 PM
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As far as being rear ended, the front airbags are not supposed to be deployed. It sounds like after she hit into cars in front of her, but the impact was probably not enough or not in the right location to cause the bags to be deployed. I don't know a lot about your situation, so it would be best to have someone else look into it. The seat however is a problem. The seat should not come off of the seat rails and there should not be piece on the floor.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:19 PM
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Go to https://www.nhtsa.gov and report the problems, particularly the seat and seatbelt.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks GeoJosh, I will check out nhtsa.gov. Attached are pictures of the front + back of the car if you're curious. Subaru said it will be downloading the electronic data from the Forester to analyze it, and hopefully that will tell us if the airbags functioned as designed. I will try to update this post when I get more information about this.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 12:44 PM
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Based on the minimal damage to the front end, I am not surprised that the airbags didn't deploy.

The seat and seatbelt tensioner are still concerning problems that warrant further investigation.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:15 PM
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First at all, I hope your wife gets better soon without any long term consequence.
I never hear of any airbags (front or side) activated for a rear end accident. Seatbelt and seat are a different thing.



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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pet View Post
... I'm curious if anyone has experienced these issues or heard anything about them?
I hope your wife is recovering well. I would be worried if the airbags did deploy in that crash (see below video), but as mentioned the seat belt & seat are a concern.

In this whirlpool forum thread there is mention of the seats moving forward in a 2017 Impreza rear end crash after the Impreza stalled.


‘Brisvegas’ on legacygt.com posted a link to the following excellent YouTube video on airbags (warning - graphic description of the body internals in a severe crash):

Last edited by XT-sub; 05-16-2017 at 03:14 PM. Reason: warning added.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:57 PM
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Seat belt & seat does concern me..However dont expect SOA to provide you with results due to liability issues.
Hope you guys recover fully.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoJosh View Post
Go to https://www.nhtsa.gov and report the problems, particularly the seat and seatbelt.
I agree with GeoJosh, I'd be bringing it to their attention ASAP.

Peter

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 02:30 AM
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Glad your wife is ok. But I wouldn't have expected the airbags to activate.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:02 AM
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A question I have is how close to the steering wheel is your wife's seating position? I have seen some people who are inches away.

Hope all goes well with her recovery.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KLEMMER View Post
A question I have is how close to the steering wheel is your wife's seating position? I have seen some people who are inches away.
A mates wife used to drive like that, that was until her car aquaplaned on a roundabout into a power pole at 40 km/h. The drivers side airbag broke her Sternum, she was not allowed to drive for over 3 months.

I notice women drivers are the worst for sitting up close to the steering wheel.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Subyroo View Post
I notice women drivers are the worst for sitting up close to the steering wheel.
It's a racing position - check out how NASCAR drivers sit, it's also pretty well on top of the wheel, it gives them confidence and ability to easily grab the whole wheel. Of course, no airbags, 6 point harness, HANS and roll cage in NASCAR, it doesn't work so well in airbag equipped vehicles.

When I was a new driver airbags were just becoming a thing, and they warned us not to sit too close in a vehicle equipped with an airbag.

As for women doing it, I've only noticed it in women who learned to drive without power steering. :)
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