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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
OK this is weird, I will admit.

I bought a 19 Forester and since my ride home from the dealer I have been dealing with an issue that I just figured was my own issue.

The part of the seat belt that is to my right (the female end) is angled in toward the driver. The case is the same on the passenger side (angled toward the passenger). The issue is that the piece that is angled in is super rigid and pushed and digs into the occupant. You can imagine what a pain this is (literally) for the driver.

My car is in for some other issues that are non-related and I asked the service adviser to take a look. He called me back later that day and told me that all 19 Foresters that he sat in, base, premium, and touring (I have a limited) have the same, overly rigid seat belt receiver.

I figured that the car was new, I could be categorized as "husky", and the belt would loosen up over time. At this point my only fix is to stick a piece of plastic (left over Lexan from my workplace) in between the belt receiver and the seat to pry it off my leg.

I spoke to the service adviser and he said there is nothing he can do. I called Subaru North America and made them aware of the issue but at this point there is nothing they can do either.

Anyone else having a similar experience or am I the only fatty?

-Spencer
 

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2019 Forester Touring Automatic
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245 Posts
Would something like this help?
[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Seat-Belt-Lengthening-Accessory-Certification/dp/B07Q2GN95R[/ame]
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think so. It cuts in toward the driver. I work at a manufacturing site so I think I am going to talk to one of our engineers and have a alloy wedge made for prying the buckle receiver away from the seat.

More to come on this.

-Spencer
 

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2019 Forester Sport Auto
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132 Posts
I noticed the same thing but didn’t notice on the test drive. Luckily my commute is really short so I’ve not drove for more than a half hour max. I’ve wondered if I could bend it out so it doesn’t dig into my hip but haven’t had time to look (and kinda afraid to try for fear of breaking something).


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I notice what you're talking about. Typically I always carry something in this same area so the pressure is distributed a little more evenly instead of just digging right into my hip. Maybe a piece of Kydex could be cut, formed and attached to make things more comfortable for you. I have an after purchase meeting setup with a "delivery specialist" at my dealership on Friday. Supposedly it's in partnership with Subaru of America. If they're taking feedback to the company, I'll add this concern to my discussion list.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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Hmmm...
The earlier models don't have the '19's discomfort enhancement, as the inside buckle is quite flexible, and is nearly vertical.

The service advisor saying there is "nothing he can do" means that there is nothing he wants to do, or rather he doesn't care to do anything.
It's a bad design so you have to learn to live with it...
Not.
Anything sticking up at an angle can be bent with enough force... sometimes easier to bend when heated.
Any part that is attached can be detached, so perhaps removing the part first would enable you to straighten it out.
If the morons at Subaru can't help, find someone who can, if you can't do it yourself.
It sounds like a pretty simple problem.
If that turns out not to be a viable option, perhaps a replacement with an earlier model's latch which isn't designed to give you a hip pain would work.
 

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2019 Forester
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We have the same issue with painful seatbelt

I'm not sure if this would have made a difference in the car we purchased if we had noticed it on the test drive but yes, the seat belt hurts me everyday. The arm that you click the belt into is stiff as a rock. It will move about an inch forward or back but basically angles mercilessly into the seat area by 1.5-2 inches...enough to stick into the driver's hip. Further, it's the same way on the passenger side, making for an uncomfortable ride for both.

I've realized that I hitch my hip and weight over to the left as I drive to try to ease the pressure and it's giving me some low back problems. It's very disappointing and surprising....seat belts in our 2011 Forester do not have this problem.

I don't suppose there's any chance that Subaru would provide a fix.
 

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OK this is weird, I will admit.

I bought a 19 Forester and since my ride home from the dealer I have been dealing with an issue that I just figured was my own issue.

The part of the seat belt that is to my right (the female end) is angled in toward the driver. The case is the same on the passenger side (angled toward the passenger). The issue is that the piece that is angled in is super rigid and pushed and digs into the occupant. You can imagine what a pain this is (literally) for the driver.

My car is in for some other issues that are non-related and I asked the service adviser to take a look. He called me back later that day and told me that all 19 Foresters that he sat in, base, premium, and touring (I have a limited) have the same, overly rigid seat belt receiver.

I figured that the car was new, I could be categorized as "husky", and the belt would loosen up over time. At this point my only fix is to stick a piece of plastic (left over Lexan from my workplace) in between the belt receiver and the seat to pry it off my leg.

I spoke to the service adviser and he said there is nothing he can do. I called Subaru North America and made them aware of the issue but at this point there is nothing they can do either.

Anyone else having a similar experience or am I the only fatty?

-Spencer
Has anyone found a fix for this ? I am average size and having the same problem with the ascent. I cant buy it unless i can put the seatbelt on (passenger side ). And as of now it digs into my leg. We want to travel in this. I need to be comfortable so its got to be fixed and when I called subaru they just noted it down so looks like i will have to fix this myself
 

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I Googled "complaints about Subaru Forester seat belts" and the only results I got were post after post of people whose seat belts released upon impact and caused them to hit the steering wheel. Very reassuring BTW. I was beginning to think that at 175 lb I must be the largest person who ever bought a Subaru Forester. A friend found this forum for me and sent me the link. I now feel vindicated! It's not just me! But I don't have a 2019 Forester, I have a 2020. So that's how much Subaru listens to our complaints. I not only made two phone calls to the service manager at Reedman Toll Subaru in Langhorne PA, which he did not return, but I also made an appointment with him which he did not deem necessary to attend. He 100% blew me off. Apparently the "Subaru family" bull ends at the sale.
As if the Buckle itself digging into you isn't enough, the thick, chunky piece of metal that is the tongue plate holder is the icing on the cake! Does the 2019 Forester have this same Tongue plate or does it have the same flat piece of plastic that every other vehicle in the universe has? (I attempted to attach a pic but I don't know if it worked.)
 

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Many dealerships are going to be EXTREMELY reluctant to tamper with seat belts due to potential liability issues.

In the past, I’ve addressed things like this very successfully by using an auto interior recovering and customization shop.
 

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I do get that but a return phone call telling me that would have been better customer service than blowing me off. But thanks for the tip. I may try that or I may just dump the car on someone thinner who wouldn't have a problem with it and take the hit. Not only the bad customer service at the dealership but now that I know that Subaru won't change the bad design flaw that they were made aware of it has left a bad taste in my mouth. And let's face it, they can if they want to.
Just for my own curiosity, if you have a 2019 is the tongue plate the same as mine. (See pic above)
 

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Just bought a 2019 Forester 3 days ago. Didn't notice the seat belt hurting my right hip on day one. At the end of day two, I started to notice it. Day three, it's really bothering me. I'm a 62 year old female not with slim hips by any means, but not husky. Considering wrapping a towel or something sturdy/soft between my hip and the buckle. Thank you for letting me share my similar experience.
 

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Just bought a 2019 Forester 3 days ago. Didn't notice the seat belt hurting my right hip on day one. At the end of day two, I started to notice it. Day three, it's really bothering me. I'm a 62 year old female not with slim hips by any means, but not husky. Considering wrapping a towel or something sturdy/soft between my hip and the buckle. Thank you for letting me share my similar experience.
  • I found the solution and it's pretty simple. My mechanic started to remove that stiff, ridged arm that the buckle is attached to to see if maybe he could bend it. In the process we discovered that it is already bent. It bends towards you at the top. It is not necessary to take it off and try to bend it. All you have to do is take it off and turn it around. Now it bends towards the center console instead of you. It comes just barely short of where it would rub against the console. It was very simple. Nothing had to be disconnected or anything. Just remove the screw that holds it on turn the thing around and put it back on. Easy peasy. Now I no longer drive in pain and I no longer hate my brand new car! Although I still have lost respect for Subaru for such a bad design and for knowing about it and blowing off customers instead of doing something about it. This is my first and last Subaru. I like the car but Subaru's handling (NOT) of the problem just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
 

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I have had five foresters. Everyone in my family has followed my advice and become Subaru owners.
i just bought a 2020 forester. This is a horrible car. The seat belt hurts so much. I can barely stand to drive the car. It seems Subaru could do something to fix this fla.
I took a swim noodle and cut it in half. Then cut a four inch piece. The groove of the noodle keeps that horrible pointed sharp edge from digging into my body. It helps, but it still is not a comfortable ride.
 

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Please test drive a lot. This is painful.
I did not take any pictures when we had it disassembled. But trust me it is really simple. You could do it yourself. The buckle is attached to a piece of metal that is attached to the seat at the bottom. If you go into your back seat you will see the shiny silver bolt that attaches it at the bottom a few inches from the floor. You will have to access it from the back seat. All you need is the right size wrench to remove that bolt. Then take the metal part off and just turn it around. That is all you have to do is turn it around. Don't remove any of the sensors or anything that are attached to it. Just turn it around and put it back on with the bolt and your problem is solved.
There are two downsides. 1, the seat buckle release button is now next to you instead of being next to the console. It is just a tiny bit harder to access. A really tiny bit. definitely absolutely doable. A small inconvenience for the huge Improvement of NO PAIN! 2, Subaru would never approve as you have now altered their horribly designed seat belt. But they also will never help you. They will just tell you, as they have told others, that there is nothing they can do about it.
Good luck. It's really not a bad car when you are not driving in constant pain.
 

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I just bought a 2020 Forester today. Didn’t notice this problem when I test drove it- but did on the way home. Wish I had found this forum earlier! I’m going to try cutting a piece of memory foam to fit the back of the buckle and Velcro-strapping it around the buckle. I’m a little nervous about turning the seat belt around even if it is simple to do because of warranty and liability if I get in an accident. With this many people experiencing this- and BTW now I’ve found people posting about other makes and models with the same complaint, I am surprised nothing has been done about it. Guess I could try talking to the dealer about it- but doesn’t sound like there’s anything they’d feel comfortable doing to fix it. This is going to be a road trip car, so I will have to find a solution!
 

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OK this is weird, I will admit.

I bought a 19 Forester and since my ride home from the dealer I have been dealing with an issue that I just figured was my own issue.

The part of the seat belt that is to my right (the female end) is angled in toward the driver. The case is the same on the passenger side (angled toward the passenger). The issue is that the piece that is angled in is super rigid and pushed and digs into the occupant. You can imagine what a pain this is (literally) for the driver.

My car is in for some other issues that are non-related and I asked the service adviser to take a look. He called me back later that day and told me that all 19 Foresters that he sat in, base, premium, and touring (I have a limited) have the same, overly rigid seat belt receiver.

I figured that the car was new, I could be categorized as "husky", and the belt would loosen up over time. At this point my only fix is to stick a piece of plastic (left over Lexan from my workplace) in between the belt receiver and the seat to pry it off my leg.

I spoke to the service adviser and he said there is nothing he can do. I called Subaru North America and made them aware of the issue but at this point there is nothing they can do either.

Anyone else having a similar experience or am I the only fatty?

-Spencer
 

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Hi Spencer. I just bought a '20 Forester and my wife complained about the same pain. After much thought, I devised a solution! Because the seat belt is attached to the seat and moves along with it, all I needed to do was wedge something between the hard plastic of the seat base and the seatbelt support. I took a solid rubber doorstop, drilled a hole through it and inserted a zip tie. Then I moved the buckle as far as I could while wedging the doorstop down to the base. I closed the zip tie around the metal support and trimmed the excess and voila! Problem solved. I'm attaching photos. Hope this helps you.
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IMG_5288.JPG

IMG_5281.JPG

IMG_5284.JPG
 
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