really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,298 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 022016


  • 150,000 miles


While driving engine light and cruise lights come on and vehicle will not accelerate. I almost got rearended because of it. It set a code #P2138. It is very dangerous and there should be a recall on it.

- Walton, WV, USA

problem #13

Jan 072016


  • 100,000 miles
Vehicle wiring for rear wiper is faulty and damaged. Have seen the same thing on other outbacks and Legacy wagons. Dangerous because this car is supposed to be optimal for all-weather driving. Hard to see out back in heavy rain.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

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 #9

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 #8

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 #7

Feb 202014

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Rear window defroster ceased functioning. The problem was due to broken wire in a wiring harness that passes through a rubber accordion boot between the car body and the tail-gate (near the right-hand tailgate hinge). The left hand tail-gate boot was removed and a previously repaired wire was also found ( this is a previously owned car). Research at an online forum for Subaru owners showed that many other owners of 2005 and 2006 Subaru have experienced similar failures due to broken wires in this wiring harness. I suspect that it is an under-reported problem. I believe that Subaru should be asked to issue a safety recall notice.

- South Berwick, ME, USA

problem #6

Mar 172007

Legacy 4-cyl

  • 9,388 miles
Hello, I had bought a 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT limited and I live in the hills of western MA, so my car saw 2 winters. Coming back from boston, MA 14 miles from home (out of 135 miles) as I was entering charlmônt I slowed down to 30 mph. As I approached a corner with a car coming in my lane. I thought if I went into his lane best case scenario I could make it. But we clipped back bumpers and when I put my brakes on the car started going faster at that time I just said there was puddle with ice underneath. But now with the recall about the brake lines in certain states being recalled, that makes since because when I slammed onto my brakes the car started to go faster not slowing down. I contacted about the accident [xxx] vp of Subaru of America or soa. All he kept on doing was denying about this and offering $500 if I bought a new Subaru and now with the recall of the brakes it makes sense and even the recall he won't replace my vehicle in closing I would like to say that my Subaru was a lemon and at the time of accident they were looking for a car like mine to swap it out with. [xxx] ps: I bet that never will I fill information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clarksburg, MA, USA

problem #5

Mar 192007


  • 9,388 miles
Hello in March 2007 while driving back from boston, MA I was 14 miles from home when a car came around a corner in my lane I looked to my right and there was a telephone pole, so I had to go in to his lane I thought I had it made but we clipped back bumpers so I had slam on the brakes and when I did the car seemed to go faster and now with recall I wonder if my brakes weren't working. Also none (zero) of the 6 air bags deployed and I thought that was odd and the seatbelt gave me all my injuries broken ribs, thumb and a burst fracture of my L2 vertabrae.the last injury was crushed lt foot from the tire and alloy she'll came through the fire wall the other factor was the dealership were I bought my car was trying to find another car for my car because it had so many problems I contacted soa talked many times to [xxx] and the most they would do was give me an extra $500 if I bought a new Subaru. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clarksburg, MA, USA

problem #4

May 112011


  • 85,000 miles


While traveling at approximately 55mph, my Legacy's throttle became unresponsive, the check engine light came on, and the cruise light began to flash. I was able to safely coast off the road and a subsequent code check revealed a code 2138 (throttle position sensor). In the ensuing months I replaced the tps, which didn't help, then reseated the connection on the throttle itself, which worked for about six months. The problem has recently recurred and seems to be a common problem.

- Norton, VA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Dec 232012


  • 133,000 miles
I was driving with my 6 month pregnant wife. No indication of impending problem. Suddenly the at oil temp indicator lighted up and split second I loss engine power with steering became stiff. Good thing I was not in the freeway yet and was able to safely pull over with residual momentum. This could be worse if I am passing thru my daily commute of using the bridge or if it happened in the freeway because I do not have total control of the car brought the car to the dealer to diagnose the er-hc error in the dash and was advised that the issue was due to melted wiring harness connecting all the computer systems. Their only reason is that it has been driven for 133K miles that's why we saw the issue. I think this is a reliability/safety issue that needs to be taken into consideration.

- Hayward, 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. www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/24906-code-P2138-throttle-position-sensor.html forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php"T=1209810 legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/P2138-and-warrantyi-61407.html?P=2370840 legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/P2138-throttle-pedal-position-sensor-switch-150344.html"T=150344.

- Denton , TX, USA

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