NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems

2006 Subaru Outback (Page 3 of 4)

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
120,602 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Dec 162013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


Sudden loss of accelerator control in traffic. Cannot rev engine or maintain speed above 600 RPM/5 mph; barely idling. Codes on ECU indicate throttle body positioning sensor failure. Eventually had to replace throttle body to resolve problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #25

Feb 152014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 95,300 miles
While driving down the highway I lost the ability to accelerate forward, meaning my gas pedal stopped working and I began to coast. At the moment I lost the ability to accelerate, my check engine light appeared and my cruise control became disabled. Luckily, I was able to safely pull to the side of the road. After turning on and off the engine several times, I was then able to accelerate again. I then went to O'reilly's to have a diagnostics performed, which resulted in code P2138 (throttle pedal position sensor D-E voltage rationality). This problem continues to occur without warning.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #24

Dec 032013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Same symptom happened twice: Once just after starting from a service area on the interstate, the second on Suburban roads I describe here. During a normal 30 mile Suburban trip, after about 20 miles the vehicle suddenly lost power and the check engine light came on. The engine continued running but the accelerator pedal seemed to have no control over the engine speed or power. After coasting to a stop and turning the engine off for a minute the car started and ran normally, though the check engine light stayed on for a day or so. When we took the vehicle to the dealer after the first incident they were not able to interpret the check engine codes; after the second incident they found a P2138 code -- "accelerator position sensor" failure. They replaced the accelerator assembly and the vehicle seems to be running correctly again. As I understand it the issue is a failure in the accelerator position sensor: There are dual sensors in the assembly and if their readings differ the accelerator pedal is effectively "disconnected" and the driver loses all power. I believe this is a serious safety issue: The failure could just as well have taken place at high speed on the interstate without the possibility of a safe stop, and having the first indication of trouble being "losing all power" is not acceptable.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #23

Dec 092013

Outback 6-cyl

  • 64,860 miles


Vehicle lost throttle response suddenly. Was able to coast at about 20mph off of an interstate to a safe location code check indicated P2138 throttle position sensor fault.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #22

Oct 152013

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the accelerator failed to respond to acceleration attempts. The contact also mentioned that the check engine warning light and the cruise control light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle also erroneously decelerated while the accelerator pedal was being depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated that the accelerator pedal would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 94,000. Updated 12/30/13

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Feb 012013


  • 80,000 miles
Incident initially started in February, went to accelerate after starting car in the am, did not respond, cel and flashing cruise button came on, engine seemed to idle and wouldn't respond to trying to accelerate again. Turned engine off, tried to turn back on, would not start. Repeated process with starting 2-3 times until started again. Cel and flashing cruise remained on for a couple days, took to repair garage and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong on the diagnostic run. This has continued to occur off and on for the last several months. I have taken it to 2 different shops who could never find anything wrong with the car or get it to reproduce when they drove it, and then to dealer 2 weeks ago, they replaced throttle body and did a fuel injector service. Again, this morning, accelerating at 30-40 mph in start/stop traffic, could not accelerate at 30 mph, engine started to rev, pulled over to side, shut off engine, repeated 2 more times, again cel and flashing cruise. These lights are still on but car drove normally. Very frustrated as I cannot get it to reproduce for shop or for dealership because it happens so erratically.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #20

Oct 312013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


Happened twice in one week. All of sudden, accelerator not responsive and lost of power. Check engine light comes on and cruise flashing. After turning on and off or stay off for a night, lights went out themselves. Error code P2138 accelerator position sensor. Check sensor no obvious loose on connector. Press connect on and no issue so far. It seems the connector too close to the floor and easy to kicked or touched by foot. \ car was bought in buffalo West herr Subaru and used in toronto.

- Richmond Hill, NY, USA

problem #19

Oct 262013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
While driving 70mph in the fast lane down the highway I turned cruise control on. As soon as the cruise control was engaged all throttle was lost. While in motion I put the car in neutral then back into drive and nothing happened. The car was decelerating so I pulled off the highway. Once safely on the side of the road I turned the car off for several minutes and then back on. The acceleration capability returned but the check engine light was on. I took the car to a mechanic to read the code which came back as the throttle control sensor. This is a very dangerous defect and should be addressed by Subaru America.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #18

Oct 252013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
I was accelerating to get on the freeway entrance in my Subaru Outback (with my wife and two small children) when I notice a complete loss in throttle response. The car was just barely moving due to the engine idle. Check engine light came on. I drove at that pace to a parking lot to check my options. I had not noted, until now, that this car has no throttle cable and is completely drive-by-wire. I looked at the connection of wire harness to the pedal assembly and did not see any red flags - no corrosion, etc. It appeared to be in good shape. I shut the car off, waited about 30 sec, and restarted it. It then got us home. When I got home tonight, I ran my obd diagnostic tool and got a P2138 error code. This is listed as "throttle/pedal position sensor/switch "D"/"E" voltage correlation" trouble code description. I am going to check into my options tomorrow, but felt this was worth reporting since it appears there are others out there that have experienced this problem as well. There is definitely a safety concern with a failure of this nature as I was traveling at a good rate and in traffic. Luckily, everyone is ok - but my wife and I worry when this will happen again. Thanks.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #17

Sep 272013

Outback 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact was driving 60 mph when the engine light illuminated and he had no accelerator control. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and repair. The dealer replaced the accelerator pedal assembly. The manufacturer was not notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 11/15/13 the dealer replaced the accelerator assembly.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #16

May 022013


  • 104,000 miles


In the 2006 Subaru Outback 3.0 the throttle is controlled electronically. This failed on me while driving at 70 mph down the freeway. The gas peddle stopped responding. I could not accelerate or maintain speed. I had to pull over. After about 1 minute I restarted the car and the throttle started to respond again. My check engine light is now on and the cruise control light is blinking. This is a safety hazard and needs a fix. After reviewing many forums, it doesn't sound like Subaru knows what is causing the issue. But there are some "recommendations".

- Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #15

Dec 222012

Outback 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Subaru Outback. Consumer writes in regards to an accident that was cause by vehicle sudden acceleration. The consumer stated she was backing out of a parking space, with her foot on the brake, when suddenly there was a jerking feeling and the vehicle accelerated, with the engine revving. When she applied the brake more firmly, the vehicle went even faster, and consequently, she hit another vehicle, which was then pushed into another vehicle. Earlier in the month, the consumer and her husband noticed the vehicle would jerk occasionally and the shifting was erratic.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #14

Jan 172013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 76,766 miles
There have been two incidents so far. One was traveling on the freeway at 65mph when the throttle completely stopped responding. The other incident occurred at much lower speeds when turning a corner and the throttle no longer responded. In both cases the car would not accelerate or maintain speed. Pressing on the accelerator did not have any effect at all. In both cases the car would "coast" along at whatever speed the engine idling would move it - roughly 15 mph.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #13

Nov 262012


  • 62,000 miles
2006 Subaru Outback. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration. The consumer stated on the morning of November 26, 2012, whole pulling out of a parking space in a public garage, the vehicle became uncontrollable and smashed into a concrete garage post and then the garage wall. There was significant damage to the car and to areas in the garage. The consumer stated as she started to leave the parking space, the vehicle accelerated backwards and hit a post. Not knowing what caused the problem, she put the vehicle in drive in order to move away from the post. The vehicle instantly accelerated, and her efforts to control it through applying the brake and steering were unsuccessful. The consumer sold the vehicle to the body repair shop for $500 after no longer feeling comfortable driving the vehicle.

- Chevy Chase, MD, USA

problem #12

Jan 202013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I was driving at 60 mph when the accelerator pedal stopped responding. I couldn't accelerate or maintain speed. Had to coast to the shoulder thru traffic. The check engine light was now on and the cruise control light was flashing. The idle was at 2,000 rpms and the accelerator pedal was still not responding. I turned off the engine for about 2 minutes. When I turned it back on, the accelerator was working but the check engine light was still on and the cruise control light was flashing. Read obd code P2138, reset code and check engine light went out. This is a very dangerous condition and should be recalled by Subaru.

- Colonia, NJ, USA

problem #11

Nov 292011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 101,200 miles
I was driving at 55 mph in my 2006 Subaru Outback. When I brake for slowing traffic, the check engine light came on and the cruise control light started to blink. The accelerator pedal became unresponsive and it appeared that the car's engine went into idle mode. I was losing speed and pulled to the shoulder of the road. I shut off my engine and a few minutes later I was able to restart the car. The accelerator pedal seemed to function normally, although the two warning lights were still illuminated. The next day I started the car a couple of times, the accelerator pedal functioned normally and both warning lights were no longer lit. My code reader found an error code of P2138, (unrecognized code), the car operated normally until 12/18/2012. This identical problem recurred and I again read the error code as P2138. This is a potential safety issue. Although both times the accelerator pedal became unresponsive, I was on a road with very few cars and had no difficulty getting safely to the side of the road. The situation could have been more dangerous if I was at freeway speed with traffic around me.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 122012


  • 96,000 miles
I was driving when the accelerator pedal stopped responding. I couldn't accelerate or maintain speed. The check engine light was now on and the cruise control light was flashing. I pulled over and the idle was at 2,000 rpms and the accelerator pedal was still not responding. I turned off the engine for about 5 minutes. When I turned it back on, the accelerator was working but the check engine light was on and the cruise control light was flashing.

- Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #9

Oct 262012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 63,755 miles
My wife was driving the vehicle when the check engine light came on. The cruise light started flashing. The gas pedal was non functioning. She was able to cost to a safe place. When I arrived the car was running. The gas pedal was unresponsive. I shut the car off and took her to work. An hour later I returned to the car and tried to start it. It took several seconds to start, but did. The gas pedal worked. The check engine light was on steady and the cruise control was flashing. I was able to get the car home. Today 10/20/12 the car has no symptoms. This could have been very scary as my wife was driving on the busiest street in Montana during the morning commute.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #8

Aug 102011


  • 45,052 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact was traveling 55 mph when the vehicle decelerated despite the accelerator pedal being depressed. The contact mentioned that the check engine and cruise control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice. Also, the vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who confirmed that the accelerator pedal and sensor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 45,052 and the current mileage was 45,078.

- Jenkintown, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 082012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 44,378 miles
First incident 4/8/12 - after down shifting and beginning to coast downhill at about 25 mph, the engine began revving as if the accelerator was being pressed and depressed slowly, the car did not respond to the accelerator, the check engine light turned on, and the cruise control light began to blink slowly. The car continued to move very slowly so were able to pull over. Turned the engine off for a few seconds and after restarting, the car was responsive but both lights were still on. The dealer diagnosed a lose gas cap. Second incident 4/18/12 - driving in heavy traffic on a highway at about 20 mph, same problem. Turned the engine off while still in traffic and restarted immediately but the problem persisted. Tried to do so several times while in traffic but the problem continued. Was able to get over to the shoulder, turned the engine off, for about 30 seconds. After restarting, the car was responsive again but both lights were still on. The dealer suggested a faulty throttle sensor but could not confirm until the car was checked. The problem code was given as P2138. The car has a manual transmission.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

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