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 1 of 4)

problem #71

Jan 162017


  • 137,000 miles


While driving in traffic on I-95 the accelerator stopped responding and I had no control over the speed of the vehicle. After I pulled off the next exit, I had to put the car into neutral in order to bring it to a stop. My check engine light came on as well as the cruise control light. Later, I checked for obd2 codes and came up with "P2138". after researching this issue, it appears that many Subaru owners are having the same problem which appears to be caused by the "pedal travel sensor" part # 36010ag021. That part was redesigned after the 2006 model year. This is a very dangerous problem and I am very fortunate that no one was hurt through this part failure.

- Newtown, CT, USA

problem #70

Jan 032017


  • 145,000 miles
While the vehicle was in operation both in park, and in motion, and while both turning and going straight, the throttle intermittently stopped responding to all input, and the vehicle only ran the engine at over idle rpms (about 2100rpm in neutral). The problem would usually persist through several restarts. Eventually the car would restart at normal idle, and the throttle would be responding again. The vehicle code indicated to my mechanic that the throttle position sensor needed replaced, however after replacing it, the problem has persisted. I have read many accounts of this issue online over the past few years, and any issue regarding vehicle acceleration while driving should be considered a serious problem. Subaru needs to issue a response and acknowledge this problem.

- Taylors, SC, USA

problem #69

Dec 222016


  • 118,341 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. While depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to respond. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 118,341.

- Grand Haven, MI, USA

problem #68

Dec 082016


  • 186,000 miles


Just received "takata recall" letter stating there are now sufficient parts available. At the same time my check engine light came on and cruise light started flashing. I made an appointment for the recall work and to have the car checked out. I googled this and found that a code P2138 is found with this occurrence and it seems to be happening with many of these vehicles. My wife called me on her way home from work and said the car would not accelerate. She pulled off of the highway into a parking lot. I drove to her location. She started the car and gas pedal seemed to be operating as it should. I followed her home and was thankful there were no problems getting back. I will determine whether to drive vehicle or have it towed to dealer for scheduled appt. Next wed.kind of makes sense now because when I drove the car the day before to get gas, there was hesitation when accelerating, which I found unusual, as the car runs great with plenty of power.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #67

Nov 282016


  • 85,000 miles
While driving at highway and city street speeds the check engine light comes on/the cruise control flashes and gas pedal stops working. A code that has shown up is P2138 "throttle/pedal position sensor/switch voltage correlation". very dangerous as I no longer can control the speed of the car. Has happened multiple times.

- Boise, ID, USA

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

Outback 4-cyl

  • 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

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