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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a 2020 Forester that has been leaking water when it rains heavy. It's coming out of the coat hanger thing on the roof behind the driver's seat.

After looking at it, the dealership has called and said it's just a flaw in the design and will happen when the car is parked on an incline, engine elevated (my driveway is pretty steep, and that's where it's parked when home).

When I go to pick it up I'm going to ask if they tested this with any other 2020's, but I'm curious if any other Forester owners have experienced the same issue. I'm hoping to confirm it's an issue with the design and not with mine in particular.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,378 Posts
@pork
My car is an earlier model without all of the new "enhancements".
It also doesn't leak under any conditions, and it has been through torrential rains.
It sounds like the typical "go away kid, you bother me" dealer response.
Regardless of cause, it is a problem that should be addressed under warranty.
If it is a design defect, it is still something that they need to repair.
A car should not have a water leak, and if it continues you risk mold growing in the car which can affect your health..
Tell them you want it repaired or they can have the car back.
It will qualify for lemon law if they can't/don't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the response, I was not aware of lemon law and thought this might just be something I have to live with if Subaru (or the specific dealership) was unable to fix it.

I'll update here when I find out whether or not this is a problem with all 2020 Foresters, and how Subaru intends to fix it if it is.
 

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DON"T "live with it". The dealer is just too lazy to bother to try and fix it. It does not matter if he has to take off the roof liner, or unbolt the roof racks to seal. It is Subaru's problem, not yours. Having a water leak can lead to both electric, rust, and health issues (mold). If the dealer won't fix it, call Subaru central and have them kick the dealer in the ***. Do not accept the treatment you are getting from the service dept.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport
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Definitely call SOA and tell them about that POS dealership. No new vehicle should do this. I've had my Forester for nearly two months with tons of snow and recent rains and I've had no leaks no matter what angle I've parked.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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615 Posts
The dealership will probably have to replace some very expensive trim pieces and rubber moldings. Make sure the interior roof liner is not stained. They are very expensive.

A new car should not leak under any circumstances. The dealership should bend over backwards to remedy this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There was some staining that they're fixing, that's why the currently still have the car - whatever replacements they need haven't come in yet. I am waiting for a call back to talk with them more about fixing leaking.

You all have definitely convinced me to push back and get the leaking problem fixed, and I very much appreciate it. This is my first time buying a new car.
 

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2019 Forester Base CVT
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Absolutely not acceptable! In addition to the cosmetic and mold issues, you have a side curtain air bag up there. Does the dealer want to be responsible (and do you want to live with the risk) if that gets damaged by water and does not inflate when needed?

As the great James Brown would have said, tell your dealer to "Get Up Offa That Thing" and fix it!
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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It’s Simply amazing that any dealership would make such asinine claims regarding leaks. The representative that made this statement that the leak is to be expected should be reported to the dealership manager in order to see what response the OP gets from the top level of the dealership.
 

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2020 Forester Premium and 2019 Impreza Hatch
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mine which is also a 2020 has survived the car wash and multiple rain storms with no issues...Ugh dealer service departments : (
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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Probably a sunroof drain plug is blocked, or a drain tube is disconnected at the roofline. Most likely the front driver's side one that drains into the front left wheel well ( there is one on each corner).
This video is of an older model but the set up will be pretty much the same as yours and will give you an idea of how it works and what your issue is.
The dealer is full of it. Insist they fix it. It is under warranty, and as others have mentioned it will destroy your headliner and potentially cause mold issues.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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If you take your seat belt bolts off, to drop the headliner, know that factory used a bit of thread lock. Add a small amount when replacing. Re: YT video above.
 

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If you take your seat belt bolts off, to drop the headliner, know that factory used a bit of thread lock. Add a small amount when replacing. Re: YT video above.
His is a 2020 Theseus. The dealer should look after that rather than giving him the runaround.
 

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Am a retired insurance adjuster and had all sorts of dealership claims I had to deal with over the years. Water leaks were some of them. There can be a missing line of seam sealer or some other oddball thing. Water leaks are one of the more hated things to deal with as they are tough to diagnose, I as an adjuster for 30 years, came from shop environment the other part of my life. If you get no resolution with this dealer, do as others suggested, climb ALL the way to the top of the ladder with SOA - this is a mold issue and when I used to get flood cars, we'd wrap them in plastic and mark HAZMAT / BIO HAZARD all over them due to the immense health issues of mold. Wreck your lungs and then you become an easy target for COVID 19. Mention that to them and give them your lawyer's business card and see what happens. Better Business Bureau should get a printout of this entire thread. So sorry to hear you having to endure such unnecessary hassle being a first time new car buyer. In the long run, my ins company would have your car repaired at an outside shop to return it to its original condition, pay for it and then subrogate the dealer to get our money back.
 

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I recently bought a 2020 Forester that has been leaking water when it rains heavy. It's coming out of the coat hanger thing on the roof behind the driver's seat.

After looking at it, the dealership has called and said it's just a flaw in the design and will happen when the car is parked on an incline, engine elevated (my driveway is pretty steep, and that's where it's parked when home).

When I go to pick it up I'm going to ask if they tested this with any other 2020's, but I'm curious if any other Forester owners have experienced the same issue. I'm hoping to confirm it's an issue with the design and not with mine in particular.
To prove him right or wrong, park it in the driveway 180-degrees opposite to how you normally park it (i.e., if you drive in nose first, back it in instead) and see if the problem persists. If it does, then that takes the wind out of the dealer's argument and he has to fix it.
 

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2020 Forester Premium and 2019 Impreza Hatch
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Lawyer up.
A lawyer is not needed, A simple call to SOA (or email) will resolve this easily..Or even a different dealer.
A lawyer will charge for services that are not needed and waste your money and time

on a side note, my wife is a lawyer : ) but even she would agree
 
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