My 2019 forester rear gate won't open with the inside button or the key fob. How can I open it?

Asked by Jmj6490868 Mar 11, 2019 at 08:18 PM about the 2019 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring AWD with EyeSight Package

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The gate on my forester will not open with
key fob or the inside button. How do I fix
it?

50 Answers

304,705

Your dealer will fix it for you.

15 people found this helpful.
300

If you are on a vacation trip and you got this problem then you have to go back home and see your dealer to fix this issue. Subaru should provide a permanent fix my car is just 10 days old and I have seen this problem more than 5 times

30 people found this helpful.
340

I have had my car for about a month and have the same problem. It has happened two time. The first time I went to the dealer they acted as if it is my fault. I am going again. I have read the manual (it is very confusing and you have to read many pages, they are sometime a 100 pages apart) I need help! Very unhappy with the car.

34 people found this helpful.
1,470

I had this problem twice a few weeks after buying my 2019 Limited. After looking through the owners manual, I tried their advice about holding the button on the rear gate for about six seconds until it opened manually. Once I did that it worked automatically again.

147 people found this helpful.
350

Yes, Steve, I followed your advice on my brand new 2019 Subaru Forester Touring. It opened manually like you said. It then operated automatically for awhile and same thing again. Am taking it back to the dealer to check out. There should be a permanent fix for this problem.

35 people found this helpful.
240

6/5/19: This just happened to me a few months ago an then again today. I tried a multitude of cures to no avail then started looking on line. The suggested "fix" worked, however, I understand the error will return weeks or months later. Why is there no recall on this? Steve D.

24 people found this helpful.
80

This has happened a multitude of times to me as well, brand new car, this is ridiculous!

8 people found this helpful.
180

Had my brand new car for 3 weeks, taken back to dealer 3 x! They put in the 'new part' fix, 4 hrs later -can't open the lift gate ( not by key, not by door button, not with open button on dash! Can I use the 'Lemon Law' for this? I got this car because I wanted a keyless entry lift gate.

15 people found this helpful.
670

Subaru has just released a bulletin about this. They are ordering a new sensor. They will fix it for free. It is not a recall.

62 people found this helpful.
140

My wife just had same problem while on business trip with all her stuff locked in back of 2019 Subaru Forester. I had same problem recently and finally got hatch open by holding manual open button for a long time. After that incident it worked normally with remote for a while but went back into not opening with remote and having to hold manual open button a long time.

14 people found this helpful.
200

Thank you to the person who suggested holding down the button for a long time, it worked for us (e.g., hold button on key fob for 6+ seconds, wait about 10 seconds then gate will open). This is the 3rd time this has happened since we bought our 2019 Forester in Jan this year.

20 people found this helpful.
90

I have my my new 2019 Forster for a month. I have had all kind of inconsistencies with this vehicle, after bragging to my friends that I was going to buy the highest quality vehicle currently manufactured. I am so far disappointed with all the problems. They are erratic, everything’s great then certain features just won’t work for a day or so, sometimes just an hour or so, then all of a sudden they’re working again. Makes me feel stupid. I do like the ride, the ground clearance, great traction control system, but the eyesight safety feature is very inconsistent. I have a ton of air noise from the sunroof and using it ms Bluetooth system, everyone tells me they can’t understand me, that i sound like I am in a barrel or some people say it sounds like I’m riding around with my window down, others say it sounds like a bad signal, when my phone is showing full strength signal. Subaru has got to get these issues straightened out for me. I use this vehicle for business purposes and feel like I can’t really get business accomplished because of inability to use my phone in This vehicle. I am a realtor, and we are pretty much married to our phones. We need blue tooth to work correctly so we don’t have to hold a phone up to ear and drive. It’s dangerous and distracting

9 people found this helpful.
100

Just had this same issue. Thanks to everyone here for posting the temporary fix. Not at all happy about this. I loved my last Subaru that I owned 20 years ago. I’m not thrilled so far with this one. Aside from this issue, it seems to hiccup at low speeds and the a/c is lousy.

10 people found this helpful.
100

Will dealer fix this for free. So ready to call screaming

5 people found this helpful.
50

2019 touring same problem. Had this car for several weeks and this is a constant problem. Very annoying! Button on back works intermittently. Sometime will open door sometimes it wont. I end up having to open with fob or holding down button for 10 seconds. Will be bringing back.

5 people found this helpful.
170

STEVE HAS THE BEST SOLUTION ABOVE. HOLD THE BACK GATE BUTTON FOR OVER 6 SECONDS AND IT Will RESET. WORKED WELL FOR ME!! THANK YOU STEVE. No need to open the plastic panel and try to open hatch manually. It won’t solve the problem.

17 people found this helpful.
100

Called dealer on Friday. They said they never heard of this being an issue. I told them to google it. Said I can bring it in for them to look at.

5 people found this helpful.
110

Thank you Steve for your advice about holding the manual button on the rear-tailgate of my 2016 Forester for about six seconds ~ it worked!!! Agree with so many comments about Subaru features not working consistently. For the first month I thought it was something I was doing wrong and maybe I was just too old for this new technology, but now I know better! Thanks to everyone for their comments.

11 people found this helpful.
30

same thing happened to me ! i thought i did something wrong by pressing the wrong button ,i will try this out tomorrow,thanx steve !

3 people found this helpful.
390

There is a June 2019 Technical Service Bulletin to address this as well as the part revision for the repair. It will not be a recall, it will be a repair on demand order. The link to the TSB issued by Subaru is below along with the repair part number. This will help you deal with the dealerships. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC- 10163005-9999.pdf

39 people found this helpful.
180

I had my brand new 2019 Forester in and out of the dealer for the same problem, within the 1st 3 wks . They would reset something and sent me home... same problem happened again. Even after they replaced that part, happened again that night! So frustrated, and ready to turn it in (by Lemon Law), I came upon this site. I took Steve's suggestion of holding the button down for 10 sec.... Been working fine since then!! Thank you all for sharing your stories.

3 people found this helpful.
200

Check your "memory height" button, it has to be OFF (out, not in). Sum1 pushed the height button whem5the gate was closed.

9 people found this helpful.
200

If you have a motorized rear hatch, be absolutely sure the dashboard button for "memory height" is OFF (out, not in). Someone pushed it in by accident, most likely...

11 people found this helpful.
40

I have a 2019 Subaru Forester Limited Edition and the same thing has been happening to me. Before today I was able to get it to reset itself by starting the vehicle, letting it run for a couple of minutes, shutting it back off, locking the vehicle and then unlocking it and the rear gate button would work again. Today that did not work. I am happy to report after reading all of these posts I was able to get the rear gate to open after I pressed and held the button on the rear gate for more then 6 seconds. The gate will pop and you can open it all the way up manually. After that you can use the button to close the rear gate. I opened and closed it a couple more times with the buttons on the rear gate to make sure that it would keep working and it did. Thank you so much for posting that solution out here.

4 people found this helpful.
50

I have had the same problem with the power hatch. I intentionally bought a more expensive package so that I could have this feature. It's so, frustrating when it doesn't work as it should. Thanks, Steve, for posting the answer. It's also worked for me. However, I think this is something Subaru should fix permanently. This is the first Subaru I've owned and I'm disappointed in some of the issues I've had (the hatch being the most frustrating).

5 people found this helpful.
10

Having the exact same problem, initially holding the button worked on several occasions but now it's not working at all. Seems to be no rhyme or reason to when it doesn't function. Very frustrating for what otherwise seems to be an excellent vehicle for me.

1 people found this helpful.
20

Related to the manual hatch. It does not work well for short people. My partner just bought the 2019 forester. However she is 5' 1' and has trouble opening the back hatch because of the level of pressure needed to push the release button and pull the hatch open.. It is a strain.. then when the hatch opens, it is so high that she has to stand on tip toe and can barley reach the hatch to pull it down to close.. It's a real strain.. If she would have known how much of a struggle it was to open and close she would have brought the auto lift... Any suggestions? The mechanic at the dealership suggested adding a strap to the hatch to pull it down.

2 people found this helpful.
40

Hi everyone. Yep, same problem twice with our May 2019 delivery Forester PRG down here in Oz. Fixed per the 10 secs hold on the rear gate button. Have downloaded the Subie Service Bulletin that was kindly posted and will be asking the dealer for an immediate PRG replacement, after I wave this under their noses! Many thanks to all for the contributions.

4 people found this helpful.
10

I've been driving a loaner 2019 Forester for the last few weeks. Recovering from foot surgery and on crutches, and the problems with the rear hatch are driving us crazy! Works great for a few days and then won't open or only opens partially. Having to constantly manually override and reset the memory is a total pain -especially on one foot having to let go of my crutch to deal with the hatch. We were seriously considering purchasing a 2019 Forester, but maybe not, as this has been a constant frustration.

1 people found this helpful.

it will work if u read the manual open the reargate on the manual. And then try the remote control it will be back operating normally.

10

NOT AN ANSWER BUT>>>I have had my 2019 forester sport for 1 1/2 weeks when it started doing this. The service department talked me through how to reset which only work to open the tail gate but never fixed the actual problem. None of these trick have fix anything. I am taking it back to the dealership, but I am so glad to see so many people posting here it make me feel like I'm not losing my mind. The dealership doesn't seem to believe me/ understand the problem.

1 people found this helpful.
10

STEVE! You are a genius!

1 people found this helpful.
20

I was having the rear gate fail to open. Then I held down the rear gate button on the key fob remote for a little over 6 seconds, then I pressed the button again and it opened. I will contact the Subaru dealer tomorrow and see what they say. Occasionally, the rear gate system was behaving oddly, for example, it would fail to open using the dashboard button. Now all is ok,I'll see if it stays that way. Other things in the car are just fine. I am not having a problem with bluetooth for the phone, as one person did. If anyone is having extreme issues with the electronics in a car such as this, I recommend check under the carpets and other areas for moisture damage and try to discern whether the car may have been moisture contaminated, or perhaps may have been in a flood. The flood issue has been noted in connection with used autos, but with the extreme flooding in some areas of the US, new cars in shipment may have been affected as well. It may even be the case that new autos in shipment, either by rail or truck, may have been impacted by moisture damage and the transport company was unaware of it. In our local area (near Seattle WA) I have seen many times people driving through excessively deep water, sometimes something as trivial as a plugged street drain, when they really didn't need to. Avoid more than an inch or two of water, if at all possible, otherwise you gonna have problems.

1 people found this helpful.
30

2017 Subaru Forrester - my rear gate won't open. I hadn't used it in 2-3 days and when I went to open it. nothing. It attempts to open just a millimeter then some electronic noises can be heard, then it ever so slightly closes again. I have been smelling exhaust odors , now I wonder if it is just slightly ajar and fumes are coming in? Battery also died. UGH. All in the same day.

1 people found this helpful.
20

I suggest first get your battery issue fixed. Could be you need a new battery, or maybe the charging system is not working. If the battery is dead for sure the automatic rear gate won't work. Get battery to charge up, make sure car starts, and electrical system is working. Then try your rear gate again. Absolutely do not occupy the car with the engine running and the rear gate not completely closed. Inhaling carbon monoxide could very easily be fatal.

1 people found this helpful.
40

My 2019 Forrester has given me some problems and I've only had it a month. The back hatch no longer opens and all of my school stuff is back there. Another feature where the car turns off to save gas at stop lights has also stopped working. During the last week I have had multiple engine lights turn off and on and have requested an appointment to get this figured out. I didn't expect to have problems with a brand new car but I am hoping the company puts out more information regarding these issues.

4 people found this helpful.
10

I have had similar issues with rear hatch - very sporadic. It works most of the time but fails a lot too. Thank God for whoever came up with the “hold button on door for 10 seconds. Has worked every time but it’s just Nnoying when you can’t open it from inside the car. Subaru dealer told me they fixed it first time and a few weeks later, happened again. Second time I brought it back, maintenance guy told me Subaru is aware of the problem but have not done a recall. Maybe they think it’s not important??

1 people found this helpful.
10

We have had the same problem with hatchback on 2019 forester, will try the 6 second method. We also have trouble with bluetooth and phone, works sometimes doesn't work other times, changes my wife's phone settings when she is in car, loved our old subie, starting to hate the new one!

1 people found this helpful.

Bought our 2019 Forester in December 2019. One week later, the hatch would not open. Took it to the dealer and he unhooked the battery cables, then reattached them. That worked. Now almost a year later, it happened again. Just tried the 6-second suggestion and it worked. Thanks.

30

1) Thanks for the hold-the-button-6-seconds tip. Would have been nice if that were in the Owner's Manual (and saved me crawling into a filled rear area to get to the release lever!) 2) The service bulletin link posted upthread has a space in it which prevents it working (after the MC-. Here's the link without the space: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163005-9999.pdf Local dealer knew of this and has the new control module on hand. BTW, the first and only issue we've had with our 2019 Forester which we absolutely love!

2 people found this helpful.

I've also been experiencing the same issue, and the hold-the-button-6-seconds trick had been working for me. Although now I am experiencing an even worse problem. Nothing will open the trunk. It no longer makes any beeping noises, and the key fob or interior car unlock buttons do not help. Any suggestions?

I got my 2020 Subaru Forester Touring (Canada) delivered yesterday and today I notice that (in less than 24 hour), rear door doesn't open fully with fob or insider or outside switch. It just opens about 6 inches and stops. I will take it to dealership I guess but very disappointed to see the problems in less than 24 hr

30

Possibly just needs opening height reset. See the owners manual on how to do this.

1 people found this helpful.
10

Pushed memory button. Really hard to see whether it is in or out but it worked. Can’t imagine why Subaru hasn’t issued a notice to all owners. QB

1 people found this helpful.
10

After a couple of months of owning my 2019Forester Touring, I started having trouble with the tailgate. The 6 second fix no longer works. I brought it to the dealer several times. They tell me nothing’s wrong. The electronic warning monitors on the dash also light up intermittently. A couple of weeks ago, while driving, the car just went dead in the middle of a busy street. I now believe I have an electrical/computer issue, which is also a safety issue. Upon reading the input regarding the issue(s) with the Subaru Forester, I’m calling headquarters. I don’t know that I feel safe driving it!

1 people found this helpful.
20

At 79 years old and recovering from hip replacement it is difficult for me to climb over seat to get stuff out of locked rear gate. Yesterday I couldn’t get to my husband’s walker. Furious and frustrated by this ongoing ongoing problem. Why can’t it be fixed???

2 people found this helpful.
10

Have had the same exact tailgate issue with our 2019 Forester, purchased in May 2019. The first time, I used the manual release lever behind the pop-out panel on the inside of the tailgate. The second time, the dealer said they had to "re-program" it to get it to work. That was 7 weeks ago and now it's back to it's not opening again. I called the service department and they said the height adjustment button may have been pushed. They said I can re-program it by disconnecting both battery terminals, touching them together (away from the battery) for 10 seconds, then re-connecting the battery. Have not tried that yet, but will try Steve's 6-second button hold method first. The dealer never mentioned Steve's method. I just printed the Service bulletin and will use it at the dealership soon. Sheesh ! One of the three IMPORTANT REMINDERS to the Subaru dealerships is to "Always check for any open recalls or campaigns any time a vehicle is in for service". Not thrilled with MY dealership on this. Also not thrilled with the Owner's Manual. There must be 20 or more pages just on operating the tailgate.

1 people found this helpful.
30

2019 Subaru Forester... back hatch "freezes" up... but have noticed it happens within 24-48 hours of it being washed or in a rain storm. Has happened four times very inconveniently over the last 6 months. Then, miraculously, it seems to fix itself. Brought it in to the dealer and they scratch their head and say, "seems to be working now!" Very frustrated with Subaru.

3 people found this helpful.
20

I’ve found the solution is to hold the key fob button down together with the open/close button under the trunk for about 6 seconds. I’ve used this successfully on the few occasions the problem has occurred. BTW, my Forester is a 2019 model manufactured in Japan, so it seems to be a global issue.

2 people found this helpful.

Your Answer:

Forester

Looking for a Used Forester in your area?

CarGurus has 1,459 nationwide Forester listings starting at $2,500.

Postal Code:

Subaru Forester Experts

  • #1
    F_O_R
    Reputation
    12,370
  • #2
    Chris W
    Reputation
    7,050
  • #3
    TheSubaruGuruBoston
    Reputation
    6,030
View All

Find great deals from top-rated dealers

Search

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Outback
20 Great Deals out of 1,225 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota RAV4
121 Great Deals out of 5,394 listings starting at $2,995
Used Honda CR-V
134 Great Deals out of 6,462 listings starting at $3,990
Used Subaru Crosstrek
17 Great Deals out of 498 listings starting at $11,989
Used Mazda CX-5
81 Great Deals out of 4,471 listings starting at $174
Used Toyota 4Runner
26 Great Deals out of 1,207 listings starting at $6,888
Used Subaru Impreza
39 Great Deals out of 938 listings starting at $1,877
Used Subaru Legacy
23 Great Deals out of 460 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota Tacoma
35 Great Deals out of 1,612 listings starting at $1,038
Used Toyota Highlander
54 Great Deals out of 1,912 listings starting at $3,995
Used Ford Escape
135 Great Deals out of 5,536 listings starting at $1,995
Used Subaru Ascent
4 Great Deals out of 253 listings starting at $30,459
Used Nissan Rogue
134 Great Deals out of 6,513 listings starting at $2,995
Used Volkswagen Tiguan
57 Great Deals out of 2,521 listings starting at $5,950

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.