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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
147,796 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 Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 212015


  • 155,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. While driving at various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle failed to accelerate. The check engine warning indicator illuminated. The driver had to coast the vehicle to the shoulder and turn the ignition to the off potion and back on in order for the vehicle to operate normally. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 155,000.

- Mount Horeb, WI, USA

problem #9

Dec 072015


  • 138,000 miles
While driving at speed - city street 45mph -- lost ability to throttle. No throttle, engine, or acceleration response when pressing gas pedal. Check engine and cruise lights blinking. After pulling over, turned off engine. Upon restarting after a minute, throttle capability returned. This has happened twice, unexpectedly.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #8

Oct 022015


  • 175,000 miles
I recently had P2138.. one time. No throttle response, stopped on a hill on a 2 lane road, on a curve, in big sur.. not good. Rolled backwards down hill after the ones behind had all passed me. Turned off car, waited for 10 minutes, then it fixed itself after a restart. Jiggled the pedal connector and it has been gone for the last 2 weeks while waiting for my mechanic to have room in his schedule to replace my throttle pedal (which has a pedal position sensor), two days from now.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 152013

Outback 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Boots crack and you must replace entire drive shaft. Left front drive shaft was just replaced @100,000 miles as the boot cracked on the other side as well. Think this is a design flaw as drive shaft sits over the top of the catalytic converter with no shield to block the heat.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #6

Jul 112014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My 2006 Subaru Outback has had a code P2138 issue for over two months now. In many cases I am in the car with my 4 year old son and end up being in danger for no reason. Loosing 99% of power while going to school or to the store. All attempts to fix this issue have not worked and the car itself is thought of as a death trap in our house. Subaru disregards the code and offers no fix. Please issue a recall. Lives are at risk.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

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problem #5

Jun 302014


  • 138,000 miles
The first incident with this car was me putting the transmission into park after stopping at a gas station and the rpms suddenly shot up to 2000. After filling the tank, I tried to start it but it wouldn't turn over. I let it sit for a moment and then tried again and it started with now the "check engine light" on and "cruise" flashing. The lights self-corrected later that day before I could have the code read. The next incident I was in a left hand turn lane with a green arrow. The check engine light and cruise came on and I suddenly lost the use of the gas pedal. It was completely limp. No matter how hard I pressed on it the car just moved along at idle speed, less than 5 mph. I barely made it through the intersection before I lost the green arrow. I pulled over, put it in park, the rpms went to 2000, then I turned it off. Tried starting it again and it wouldn't turn over. Tried it a second time and it fired right up and the gas pedal functioned properly. The check engine light and cruise were on again. I took it to an auto parts store to have the code read and it came up with P2138, an issue with the throttle position sensor. These incidents occurred twice more before I was able to get a proper diagnosis from a mechanic and they occurred anywhere from one to two weeks apart. This is a potentially very dangerous issue with these cars and should be addressed by a recall by Subaru.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 042014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 133,000 miles


Subaru Outback began to exhibit "ghost walking" while driving straight during a winter storm. Rear end attempted to race the front end, and could not regain control. This "ghost walking" is well discussed in the online form at Car eventually made it to the edge of the road where it then proceeded to roll 3 times. The experience was not the normally sliding on ice. The rear end seemed to have a mind of its own.

- Pine Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152013

Outback 5-cyl

  • 73,956 miles
Four times in one month prior the above date, this vehicle stopped running in traffic. It would not restart. Most importantly, the automatic transmission could not be taken out of gear and put into park!! in addition, the emergency brake failed to properly keep the vehicle from rolling in traffic. The most recent time this happened, the driver was in heavy traffic on a hill and the emergency brake again did not properly hold the vehicle. The driver had to open her door, exit the vehicle in order to physically stop it from rolling downhill in traffic and was nearly ran over by a passing semi trailer truck. This is a well maintained vehicle, often through the dealer it was purchased from. During this time, the vehicle was towed twice to the dealer. They diagnosed the problem as being caused by electronic computer parts malfunction. After these expensive and possibly unnecessary repairs the problem still persisted. The vehicle continued to stop for no reason in traffic and would not restart. Each time this happened, the vehicle could not be taken out of gear and put into park!! I know of no other vehicle where this type of problem has happened. After the latest breakdown, upon inspection, the dealer located a section of wire loom that had worn bare and possibly had caused a short in the electrical system. This worn spot in the wire loom may have tripped up the logic in the vehicle computer and been the reason the driver could not put the vehicle in park after breaking down in traffic. If this electrical wire loom caused this "malfunction", it would put anyone in this vehicle in a position where there is great potential for serious injury, or death. This problem should be looked into by your department in order to make sure this does not happen again to someone else.

- Muskego, Wisconsin, WI, USA

problem #2

Dec 152007


  • 10,000 miles
Straight line driving on flat concrete highway, rear end of vehicle may start to wander when road is slippery. This occurs generally over 25mph, when all other vehicles are able to travel at a higher rate of speed than the 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0R is able to. Cars will pass while I am white knuckled, concerned the rear end is going to break loose and cause complete control failure. I have found other instances of this issue from other Subaru drivers, and this is being referred to as "ghost walking" - this is a very good description as this is what it feels like. Essentially, the all wheel drive system feels like it is sending too much power to the rear end, under even/constant speed, and causing the rear to break loose. Or, there is a alignment geometry problem. Very unsettling and very unexpected for a highly regarded all wheel drive system. I have had several all wheel drive systems and none have done this in the same conditions. Very hard to recreate for dealership or manufacture, as it requires precise road conditions. Just so happens it is precisely the road conditions that most people might buy a Subaru (in mn or co). Very dangerous.

- Parker , CO, USA

problem #1

Dec 052011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 518,000 miles
First occurrence 12/5/11. I was driving through a parking lot and check engine light came on as I lost the ability accelerate. I coasted to a parking space, shut my car off and was waiting for a tow truck. After and hour I turned my car back on and all seemed fine. I took it straight to the dealership where they found problem P2138, accelerator pedal assembly problem. They replaced the accelerator pedal. All seemed to be working fine. Second occurrence 1/21/12. I was driving along a side road, check engine light came on as I once again lost the ability to accelerate. Shut the car off, sat for a few minutes and turned it back on. I was able to drive but the check engine light was still on. I got my car home and hooked up the diagnostic computer to it and got the same P2138 code. I readjusted the wires connecting the accelerator and check engine light went off. My concern is that this problem is going to occur when I am driving on the highway. Obviously the replacement of the accelerator pedal is not the solution to this problem.

- Denver, CO, USA

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