Subaru Forester, Legacy, Outback Unintended Acceleration Investigation

Has your Subaru suddenly accelerated for no reason—even when you were pressing on the brake? Is your vehicle a 2012-2018 Subaru Forester, 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy, or 2015-2019 Subaru Outback?

Drivers of these vehicles have been reporting incidents of unintended acceleration. In some accounts, they were not able to stop the car at all or heard the engine revving up in a frightening way.

We’re investigating to see if a class action is needed.

A Frightening Problem

Complaints appear on various websites, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Carcomplaints.com, and Carproblemzoo.com:

2018 Forester: “…After backing part way out of the garage when I put the car in gear it shot forward and I was unable to stop the vehicle until it hit the back garage wall. When the vehicle was then put into reverse it shot backwards, also…. Damage was done to the front end of the vehicle, the garage wall and the inside utility room and hallway.”

2019 Outback: “Slowly pulling straight into parking spot at grocery store. Applied brake when car suddenly accelerated. I was able to control steering, but brakes would not work. Steered car into empty parking spot in front of me then turned hard right…. Subaru hit a pick up truck that was reversing out of a diagonal parking spot. The car didn’t stop upon impact, instead both right side wheels climbed up the side of truck at an angle….”

2017 Forester: “While parking the car in a parking lot going at 10 mph, the car suddenly accelerated at top speed went over a curb and hit a tree. The car then went in reverse at full speed in a circle approximately six times until the key could finally be removed.”

In some of the incidents, the drivers report that when the incident resulted in a collision, the airbags or seatbelts did not deploy properly.

So far, Subaru has not offered a fix for the problem or issued a recall. Dealers can’t reproduce the problem and say there’s nothing wrong.

One Lawsuit Already Filed

Carcomplaints.com reports that at least one lawsuit has already been filed, alleging that the vehicles all suffer from the same problem. One theory is that the problem stems from electronic throttle control, or a problem with “the throttle position sensor, throttle body assembly, powertrain control module and circuit board allegedly malfunction, and the brake override system doesn’t override unintended acceleration.”

Similar Problems with Other Vehicles

Unintended acceleration reports were made on 1998-99 Audi A6 sedans, and on 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys, Solaras, and Lexus ES 300s.

The earliest instances of unintended acceleration, in the 1980s, were dismissed as probably due to driver error. But with automotive electronic systems governing more and more functions, and becoming more and more complicated, vehicles are coming under closer scrutiny. The problem is clearly potentially dangerous.

Have You Experienced This Problem?

If you’ve experienced unintended acceleration with one of these vehicles, fill out the form on this page and let us know what happened.

Article Type: Investigation
Topic: Automobile
No case events.
Tags: Defective Automobile, Sudden Acceleration