NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems

2006 Subaru Outback (Page 1 of 4)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


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 1 of 4)

problem #66

Oct 012016


  • 80,000 miles


Driving in busy traffic on freeway, highways, and streets, cruise and engine lights came on, no response when applying gas pedal, car coasted into slow cruise, eventually down to about 15 mph. Again, no response to applying gas pedal. That happened sporadically. Had near fatal accidents a couple times then it stopped and two or three weeks later throttle turned on revving up to 500 in idle, over 300 when driving. Trying to stop at intersections, brake malfunctioned, nearly hit several people trying to get home. Engine racing out of control. This stopped briefly, drove errand, and withno foot on gas pedal, car was speeding up on highway uphill and still accelerating at 78 mph. Brakes did not work consistently, jumped a curb, when trying to pull over and turn off engine. Had to have car towed. Repair of throttle senior $365 at local dealership in portland, or. I asked them to review all the documentation I found here and elsewhere showing this was a known problem and they ignored me entirely. This was very dangerous and scary. I feel Subaru should pay this repair. It easily could have killed me and others here, and others in the future. Park your Subaru if this happens and you cannot afford repair. File a complaint with Subaru. Don't do what I did out of desperation and drive it, because it could really could kill you. Find another way to get to work. Trucks on roadways cannot avoid you if no engine power with no notice and nowhere safe to pull off, which happened to me.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #65

Oct 032016


  • 191,000 miles
While driving at highway and city street speeds the check engine light comes on/the cruise control flashes and car goes limp, gas pedal stops working. A code that has shown up is P2138.very dangerous. When I put the car in neutral the engine revs to a constant 3,000 RPM. It has happened to me on 3 occasions.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #64

Nov 032016


  • 1,552,223 miles
While traveling on the freeway the check engine light came on, as well as a blinking cruise control light. The car would not respond topressure on the gas pedal and I was unable to accelerate. I coasted to the shoulder of the road and turned the engine off. After starting the engine again, I was able to drive off the freeway and went straight to my mechanic. The diagnosis was trouble code P2138 faulty throttle position sensor in the gas pedal leading to no acceleration. The gas pedal assembly was replaced.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #63

Oct 142016


  • 152,500 miles


On three occasions within a two week period I was driving on city streets and the car would not accelerate when the gas pedal was depressed. On these occasions I was starting from a red light or just after I had braked for something, depressed the gas pedal and the speed did not change. The check engine light came on, the cruise control light flashed and the car went into limp mode. I limped to the side of the road and turned the engine off. On the first try to restart the car it would not turn over. After waiting and trying again the car turned over and the gas pedal would work. The check engine light and the flashing cruise control light remained on and went off after starting the car a couple/few times. I went to my mechanic to check the car and he found P2138 three times in the history. This happened once when entering a traffic circle and twice while crossing intersections, very dangerous! info on this site and a Subaru Outback forum shows this to be a problem many have experienced. I called the manufacturer.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #62

May 052016


  • 141,000 miles
Was driving to work and stopped at a light. Light turned green and I released the brake pedal, car started faster than normal with no pressure on the gas pedal. I pressed the gas pedal repeatedly but it did not respond. I pulled over and put the car in neutral and the engine started reving high light the pedal was stuck. I tried pressing the cancel button on the cruise control, thinking that it might have gotten stuck but that didn't work so I put it in park and turned it off. Tried turning it back on once and it didn't turn over. Tried it again and it turned on, but this time the check engine light was on, and the cruise control indicator was blinking. Could have been much worse if this was on the highway and it got stuck at a high speed, or if I was trying to turn onto a busy road and couldn't accelerate.

- Blue Ash, OH, USA

problem #61

Apr 042016


  • 93,000 miles
Throttle failure. While driving throttle completely fails. No acceleration, car will only move at automatic idle speed. Cruise control light flashes, check engine light on. Extremely dangerous -- very lucky it didn't happen in an intersection or while passing another car. Turns out to be common for this model -- and mine has only 93,000 miles. I am attaching a sample from an online complaint site. This requires a recall.

- Washington, CT, USA

problem #60

Mar 262016


  • 3 miles


Accelerator randomly stops working. Once you stop the vehicle and wait about 10-15 seconds then restart I seems to work fine. Also check engine and cruise lights flash when this occurs. So far this has only happened right after starting the vehicle while leaving a driveway or parking lot so at slow speeds. If this happens on a 6 lane freeway system, it could be very dangerous!!!!!!!

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #59

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 #58

Jan 272016


  • 95,000 miles
Loss of power, no acceleration while driving at highway speeds. Trouble code P2138 faulty throttle position sensor in the gas pedal leading to no acceleration. This happened while driving on the freeway at highway speeds (70 mph or so). Suddenly there was no power when pushing the gas pedal and we had to make it to the shoulder on a busy freeway with no acceleration what so ever. This should be a recall! people can die with loss of power and acceleration on the freeway, or being stuck on a blind curve on a mountain road. Very dangerous situation with this system!

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #57

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 #56

Nov 012015


  • 182,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. While driving at 70 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle lost power, the cruise control deactivated, and the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the throttle position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 182,000.

- Baxter, TN, USA

problem #55

Oct 112015


  • 48,500 miles
While driving my Subaru yesterday, I suddenly lost the ability to accelerate. The car speed dropped to 10 mph. I pulled off the road and restarted car twice. Barely enough acceleration to get car to 18 mph. The check engine light remained on and the cruise light blinked continously. Took car to dealer today. Error code is P2138. Dealer cannot find what is wrong with car. I am concerned about going onto highways and having this happen.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #54

Sep 302015


  • 115,000 miles
I was driving when suddenly my car would not go forward more than a few mph, the check engine light came on and the cruise control was flashing. Thankfully I was only doing about 30 miles an hour in town. I pulled over, turned my car off, turned it back on and it wouldn't start. I started it for a 2nd time and it started and I drove home. I took it to my Subaru only mechanic of 17 years (I'm on my 4th subie) who thought the error code of P2138 was odd. He told me to let him know if it happened again....and it did a few days later so I took it back in. My mechanic called Subaru and found out this was not an uncommon problem. I've only had it back a day so I'm not sure if the problem has been fixed. I certainly hope it has as I'm terrified of the thought of this happening on the highway doing 70 mph on my way to work in horrible traffic. After getting on the internet, this long-time Subaru lover is surprised and disappointed that Subaru hasn't done a recall on this problem. This is a very dangerous issue that needs to be addressed.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #53

Sep 282015


  • 95,480 miles
I was driving with my 10 month old in the car when it suddenly began to deccelerate. I pressed on the gas pedal and got no response. The check engine and cruise control lights began flashing at this time as well. Fortunately I was on a rural road (speed limit 40 mph) and was able to limp along to a pull off. I turned the engine off and let it sit for 5 minutes. When I turned the car back on I was able to drive again. The check engine light was on when I initially started the car but turned off when I began driving again. The same event occurred 4 days later when I was taking my 4 year old to preschool. I turned off a 25 mph street into his school when the check engine light came on and the gas pedal quit working. I should note that when the gas pedal "quits working" the car will not let me go above 15 mph. Once again, I was able to turn the car off and when I started it back up the gas pedal worked again. I took the vehicle to a local mechanic who replaced the accelerator pedal and sensor. Fortunately I was on rural roads when both of these events happened, but this would have been terrifying if I was on a busy road or freeway, especially with 2 small children in the car.

- Winthrop, WA, USA

problem #52

Sep 252015


  • 53,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate and when I got onto the exit ramp, the vehicle gas pedal stopped working and the check engine light came on along with flashing cruise control light. I coasted into a dealership with hazard lights on at about 10mph. Diagnosis was a faulty accelerator pedal sensor. This could have been very dangerous if I was in heavy traffic or still on the interstate. Car only has 53,000 miles on it.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #51

Aug 202015


  • 95,000 miles
I was driving at approximately 55, miles per hour the eng went to ide speed, the check eng light came on. I drifted off the side of the road, the throttle was unresponsive. Read the code out and it was for throttle pedal position sensor. It has happened twice since, this could be dangerous if in major traffic such as on a freeway. It could cause a crash. This seems to be an issue with Subaru, I have researched it and many people report this in forums on the internet.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #50

Jul 282015


  • 124,356 miles
When driving on the highway at 75mph the engine light and cruise control light came on and the accelerator became unresponsive. After pulling over and restarting the car it worked fine. This has happened 7 times so far and after reading many posts on Outback forums it seems that this is a very common and dangerous problem that needs to be figured out by Subaru.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #49

Jun 152015


  • 75,000 miles
Sudden loss of acceleration while driving; connection between gas pedal and engine control is faulty. Forces driver to coast to a stop and turn off car. No ability to use gas to get out of the way faster.

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #48

Jun 072015


  • 118,724 miles
Was driving at approx 55 mph when all of a sudden check engine light came on, cruise light was flashing, and sport light was flashing, car slowed down to 10 mph and could not go any faster. It was revved up to redline and there was no response with the gas pedal. I was only 2 miles from my destination, so I limped it there and shut it off. I had it scanned with a code scanner and code "P2138" (throttle position sensor) came up. After much research I found it usually is related to gas pedal assy. It has not yet happened since clearing the code and making sure the plug on the pedal was tight.

- Dayton, ME, USA

problem #47

Mar 172015

Outback 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
I was stopped at a traffic light, when the light changed I attempted to give the car gas to begin moving and there was no power in the pedal. All the lights on the instrument panel were on and the radio was playing. I had some power and was able to move out of the flow of oncoming traffic. I parked but did not turn the car off. I turned on my hazards and tried the pedal again. Nothing! I turned the car off and restarted the engine. At this point the check engine light came on and the cruise control light began flashing. I attempted and this time there was power in the pedal. The check engine light remained on and the cruise control light is flashing. I have dropped the car off at my mechanic. This was scary with traffic bearing down on me at rush hour and no where to go initially. I am just very thankful I was not traveling at a high rate of speed when this occurred.

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

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