Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,020 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #20

Apr 052016


  • 125,000 miles


One morning after starting my car I noticed the check engine light was on. As I decided to drive the car down to a local mechanic, I noticed that I had no acceleration power. The car was on, engine was running, but whenever I pushed the gas pedal nothing happened. The car would idle high and coast when put in drive or reverse, but would not accelerate as I pushed the pedal. There have been numerous counts of this happening to people across the country. Luckily I wasn't on the freeway when this happened.

- North Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #19

Mar 082016


  • 140,000 miles
While driving the check engine light suddenly came on and the gas pedal stopped being responsive. Luckily I was able to get to the side of the road and put the vehicle in park. When in park the engine revved to about 2.5K RPM and stayed there. I shut off the vehicle and restarted it and it stayed at that level. After several more tries it eventually started up and ran fine. The check engine light code is P2138 for the throttle position sensor.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #18

Nov 182015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that the vehicle would not accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. In addition, the check engine and the cruise control warning lights remained illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000. The VIN was not available.

- Wareham, MA, USA

problem #17

Jul 112015


  • 129,000 miles


I experienced two issues with the electronic throttle position sensor in my 2006 Subaru Legacy. The first time I was traveling at approx. 35 mph and the RPM's began increasing rapidly. I was in traffic and unable to pull off to the side safely when the engine completely stalled. I sat there thinking that the motor was going to blow up if I attempted to start it again. I called my mechanic and he thought that it could be the throttle position sensor, as he has replaced many of them on Subaru. I was able to start the car and move off to the side of the road to make sure that it was not going to do it again. The car was then taken to the mechanic where he cleaned the sensor and said if I have a problem again then I should replace it. Fast forward 4 months later and I experienced the same problem on a busy street where the car lost power and completely shut down after rpms skyrocketed and I was left with no control. Upon start up, the check engine light came on, obviously triggering a code that says the car is a death trap with a really poorly designed throttle. I plan to have the part replaced immediately, but this could be a serious safety issue for someone not in a position to move to the side of the road, as it just happens randomly with no warning signs.

- Clarkston, WA, USA

problem #16

Jun 022014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I was driving about 40 mph when I realized that I had no control of the pedal/gas. When I looked at the dash board the check engine light was on and the cruise control light was flashing. I had to pull over and when I put the car in park the vehicle revved high. It took about 15 minutes before the car restarted. I was able to drive home. The diagnostic machine indicated that it was the throttle pedal position sensor.code P2138. The throttle body was replaced. I am still having the same issues.

- Frederiksted, VI, USA

problem #15

Dec 162014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I was driving with my son (9) during the evening of 12/16/14 on side roads looking at christmas lights. I was going 15-20 mph. Night was dry and clear. Suddenly, the check engine light came on steady, cruise control light began flashing and I had absolutely no acceleration! I pulled over and put the car in "park". engine revved between 2000-3000 even though I was not pressing anything, just idling in P. turned car off for a min, back on, dash lights still on - ce & cc. Still had no control over the gas pedal but when taken out of P, car got itself up to 15 mph somehow. We were very close to home so coasted home and into the driveway. When shifted to P at home, engine revved again. Next morning I drove it to school, ce & cc light still on but car drove ok. When I drove it again, dash lights were off and it drove fine. Same exact issue happened again on 12/23/14, again at a low speed on a side road, thankfully. Error code on the car is P2138 - throttle position sensor. There is no warning before this happens, car is fine and then suddenly it is not. From what I see online, this has been a common occurrence lately with this car. I am terrified that it will happen while I am in traffic or on the highway and cause a serious accident! please investigate this with Subaru, I see that a lot of people have trouble getting it resolved and I don't have the time or money to pay for something that appears to be a common Subaru defect. Thank you for your time and attention to this serious issue!

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #14

Dec 092014


  • 82,000 miles


I was traveling about 20mph during rush hour traffic. My vehicle lost it's throttle capabilities. This was very dangerous as I could only change lanes at idle speeds. I was nearly rear ended and side swiped. From what I can tell this has been a problem with several years of Legacy/outback models.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #13

Sep 092013


  • 92,000 miles
My 2006 Subaru outback ll bean has been cutting out on me while driving. One incident was on the highway at high speed. The gas pedal went limp and I had to navigate over 2 lanes of traffic to get to the shoulder. Gas pedal was completely unresponsive. Check engine light came on and the cruise control light began flashing. Every time this has happened it was either raining or snowing outside. Took the outback into the dealer and was told they weren't sure what the cause was because they have never seen it before. They suggested replacing the gas pedal assembly, but they were not certain. The same situation happened once when I turned on the cruise control.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #12

Sep 292014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 66,100 miles
While crossing a four-lane road, the accelerator pedal went limp and caused the engine to become unresponsive. The car would not accelerate and barely made it across the lanes of traffic to the median safely. The check engine light illuminated and when placed into park, the engine revved to approximately 2500rpm without my foot being on the pedal. I turned the engine off, and restarted it only to have it rev again on its own to 2500rpm. It took 5-6 attempts to restart it before the engine idled appropriately and the accelerator became responsive again. The check engine light remained on and obd code P2318 was returned when I plugged in a scanner to the port. This is not the first time this event has occurred; it has been random and sporadic for about 8 months now, sometimes occurring as often as 3-4 times per week to going 2 months in between episodes. Speed does not seem to be a factor, it's happened at both freeway and parking lot speeds, in all kinds of weather and at various temperatures, with the cruise control on and with the cruise control off.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #11

Mar 092012

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 63,892 miles
The vehicle stopped responding to throttle pedal input, resulting in having to pull off the road, across lanes of traffic. Engine light comes on and cruise control light flashes. After restarting 3 times the lights go away. Dealer couldn't replicate so would not cover under warranty. This has happened on several occasions since, usually only in summer. Code is P2138 and appears to be a consistent problem with Subaru vehicles.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #10

May 092013


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact was able turn the vehicle off and restart it. The check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where the technician diagnosed that the throttle position sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000. The current mileage was 90,000.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #9

May 072014


  • 107,300 miles
I was driving my well maintained vehicle in the left lane of the highway during rush hour at 65mph when the car suddenly decelerated. Nothing happened when I pressed the gas pedal. The engine continued to run. The check engine light came on. Traffic was very heavy and aggressive. Somehow I managed to get across the lanes and off the road. I turned the car off and waited at least 5 minutes. I turned it back on and the check engine light was still on. I drove it to the dealership (over 20 minutes) without incident. When the car was serviced the check engine light was out, but there was a record of P2138 which is a throttle position sensor error. The technical couldn't find any failure or connection issues. No repairs or replacements were made. After reading numerous accounts of the same dangerous problem, I believe my car is unsafe.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #8

Mar 112014


  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated while the brakes were engaged at a complete stop. The contact was able to restart the vehicle with the illumination of the check engine warning light. The vehicle was taken into a local dealer where the technician diagnosed that the throttle position sensor had failed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 129,000 and the current mileage was 129,000.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #7

Dec 292013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Tapped brake pedal to disable cruise control. No throttle control when resuming manual speed control. Coasted to a stop through multiple lanes of freeway traffic. Engine kept running possibly at raise idle speed when stopped. No loss of power steering or brakes.turned key off. Restarted after maybe less than a minute. Throttle control resumed. Check engine light was on. Drove to multiple locations to get codes read. After 2 or 3 restarts check engine light went out. Found a shop to read codes. Code P2138 in memory. Have removed throttle pedal assembly and tested position sensor resistance values. Some readings may appear to be slightly out of range indicated in service manual. Intend to recheck readings and possibly replace pedal assembly. May also check harness resistance and/or consult dealer. Mileage reported is approximate.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #6

Jun 072013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Driving at 35mph I pressed the gas pedal to accelerate to go up a hill and nothing happened. Steering became very tight. Had to coast to the side of the road. Shut car off and waited then turned back on. Has happened 1 other time since first incident, with no warning or indication. Researched online to find this is a common problem with my vehicle's throttle/pedal position switch. Had I been on a more busy street or on a highway when this occurred, numerous vehicles may have been effected.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 162013


  • 96,000 miles
I was driving in the left lane of the highway during rush hour when the accelerator stopped responding. I would push the gas pedal and nothing would happen. The engine seemed to be running nominally (idling, since the accelerator wasn't working). No unusual sounds, no jerking, nothing. Then the check engine light came on. I managed to get across the lanes of traffic coasting and rolled slowly into a gas station. I turned the car off and turned it back on and everything worked fine again. I finished driving to work without incident. I went after work and had the check engine code read. It was a stored code (no longer actively faulted) of P2138 which is a throttle position sensor error. I've been reading online and this appears to be very common and an ongoing problem for lots of people. It is incredibly dangerous to not be able to control your car randomly in the middle of the road. Hopefully you can help make Subaru fix this safety issue.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #4

Apr 132013

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
After driving for about 30 minutes, the acceleration pedal suddenly became completely unresponsive. I attempted to accelerate by depressing the pedal twice but, to no avail. At this point, I was coasting but, the car was idling at exactly 2K rpms. Luckily, the road I was on wasn't too busy and I was to safely pull off the road, into the grass. After which, killed the engine. I waited about five minutes, started the car, tested my accelerator, and it worked again. So, I waited five more minutes, tested again, and drove home. No other incidents thus far. I'm going to test the throttle position sensor's (and accelerator pedal sensor's) seating, clean the connectors and, if necessary, replace one or both of the sensors.

- Cabot, PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 212012

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,300 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Legacy. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the cruise control and check engine warning lights illuminated. The vehicle would not accelerate and engaged into limp mode. The contact shut the engine off and after restarting the vehicle, the contact was able to drive without failure however, the warning lights continued to illuminate. The failure recurred three times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 72,300. Updated 1/30/13 the consumer stated the vehicle didn't immediately go into limp mode, but it did after a period of 2-10 minutes after the hazard lights illuminated. Updated 01/31/13

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #2

Dec 112012

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 103,800 miles
Vehicle failed to sustain highway speed although pedal was pressed steadily and then variably to regain throttle control. Vehicle stalled on freeway, very dangerous situation. Mechanic test show error code P2138. Replaced accelerator pedal position sensor switch assembly to resolve issue. No prior evidence of failure to provide warning prior to throttle system failure. Cost to repair: $282 P&L, $296.26 with tax.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 072011

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I continuously receive error P2138 on my 2006 Subaru Legacy. This error is associated with throttle/pedal position sensor/switch. This appears to be a common error related to the sensor on the gas pedal or the throttle body for this make and model and other Subaru models around the same time frame. This issue causes the vehicle to loose power/ability of the gas pedal of the vehicle at unknown times. This has happened while driving on the highway at 60+mph, I am lucky no accidents have occurred so far. If I am unable to pull off to the shoulder, I have to stop the car in the middle of the highway or road and turn the car off and try and restart. See links attached as this appears to be a common issue for the past 5 years for other Subaru users."T=1209810"T=150344.

- Denton , TX, USA

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