really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
121,564 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 #31

May 012013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


While driving at 65 mph, car began to "buck" and lost power. Cruise control light began to flash and check engine light was steady. Happened exactly the same again today, 6/3/2014. Problem was coded as P2138 and accelerator assembly was replaced one year ago. Car will need to go in to mechanic again today. Expect similar problem.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #30

May 302014


  • 133,000 miles
While driving down the road, lost ability to accelerate, throttle failed to respond. This has happened 4 separate times now. Replaced accelerator assembly, but problem still continues without notice. Intermittent problem.

- Rockton, IL, USA

problem #29

Mar 192014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I have experienced this twice in the past 3 months. Both time my car goes to limo mode. The check engine light comes on and the cruise control light flashes. The pedal does not rev the engine. After a number of tries, the pedal will become responsive again. After about 3 restarts once the engine is reving the check engine light and cruise will go out and the car will be normal until it does it again. When I read the code, it's P2138 indicating it's an issue with the 2 reducent sensors on the pedal disagreeing about where the pedal is. This is a very serious defect! call soa and asked to take it to the authorized dealership. Bought the car at West Subaru herr buffalo, live in Canada now.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #28

Apr 062014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 135,310 miles


I was parked in a shopping mall parking lot. When I started the engine and pulled out of the parking space the gas pedal was unresponsive. I just rolled along with no power. The check engine light came on and I rolled into another parking space. I read in the owner's manual that it could be an emission control problem or something to do with the gas cap. I took the gas cap off and re-seated it and when I tried to start the car again on the third try, the check engine light went off and the car had power again and the gas pedal was responsive. I took it to my mechanic and he found the code to be P3128. I was fortunate that this did not happen while I was on the highway or anywhere in busy traffic. I had the entire throttle/pedal assembly replaced at a cost of aprox. $500 and hope that this solves the problem.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #27

Feb 212014

Outback 6-cyl

  • 112,650 miles
I was driving the vehicle at a steady rate of 50mph. Suddenly the cruise control indicator light illuminated and began to flash as well as the check engine indicator light. The vehicle also became unresponsive to the accelerator when pressed or depressed. The vehicle would maintain a speed about 20mph even after coming to a complete stop. After pulling to the side of the road and engaging the hazard lights, I put the car in park. The RPM gauge then skyrockets to 3000-4000 RPM and the engine becomes really loud. I turn the key off and let the car sit for a few minutes. Neglecting to sit for a few minutes results in the same behavior. After starting the car again the cruise control indicator light still flashes and the check engine indicator light remains on. After 3 restarts both indicator lights are off and all seems fine. After taking it to the dealership they told me it is a "bad accelerator and it has been replaced recently". the dealership then reset the code. This has happened over 10 times in the last 3 months and continues to happen on a random basis. Loss of power and control is unsafe and needs to be addressed.

- Centennial, CO, USA

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

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