really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,510 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.

2017 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2017 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jul 212023


  • miles


accelerator dangerously increased and could not slow down. i pressed the ignition button(to kill the engine and was "jamming on the brakes to no avail. to my knowledge subaru has not recalled vehicles for these reasons. no warning lamps or other symptoms. my car traveled approximately 1/4 before it stopped. i took out a tree or trees knocked down a light pole which slowed me down, hit a utility trailer. owner of trailer estimated my speed at 40mph. i was driving approximately 20mph when it violently accelerated. she witnessed my ride.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #21

Mar 042023


  • miles
My vehicle accelerated when I was at a red light. My foot was on the brake. It also accelerated when I was backing out of our driveway. This resulted in a type of -?? lurching-?? motion. The incident at the red light happened once. The incidents while backing out happened 3 times. No warning light were displayed. The vehicle has not been inspected yet. My safety was at risk because it accelerated once when my foot was on the brake and excessively when I was slowly backing up.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #20

Nov 072022

Outback 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving my 2017 Subaru Outback on a trip from New York to Florida. On I-95 in heavy traffic I hit a bump in the road, and at that instant, nearly every warning light on my dash came on, including EyeSight, lane departure, and emergency braking. My adaptive cruise immediately disengaged causing the vehicle to suddenly slow (this incident was at highway speed). The "brake" light was also illuminated. Not knowing what happened, I pulled over on the side of the highway and found that the wire to the electric parking brake on the passenger side had disconnected from the brake module. I tried to plug it back in, but it would not stay. I secured the cable with a hair tie and continued on the trip. Approximately 500 miles later, I hit another bump or pothole, and the same thing happened. I checked under the car again, and discovered that the driver side had failed in the same manner. I secured the cable with another hair tie and was able to complete my trip. When I returned home, I discovered that this is a known issue and there is a Subaru TSB published, 06-63-18R. There is no warranty on this issue, and I was charged nearly $750 to fix a KNOWN PROBLEM caused by a plastic retainer. In my opinion, this issue should be treated as a safety defect and subject to a recall to replace with the newer part. Having all of your vehicle assists suddenly fail at highway speed in heavy traffic is a disconcerting and dangerous event.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #19

Nov 162022


  • miles


Yesterday, I was accelerating at a reasonable rate from a stop. My Outback stopped responding to the accelerator pedal and kicked up to 3500-4000 rpm. My brakes could barely hold the vehicle back and it forced me to slip my transmission in and out of neutral to prevent a crash. I pulled over twice to restart the car, hoping to reset something and address the issue, but it was still present when I pulled into my driveway and stopped the car for the evening. This morning, I started the vehicle and to my surprise, it started normally. I took it to my local mechanic who checked for codes or lights ( and carpets on the accelerator, etc, ) and there were none. He also went under the hood and checked air filters and the entire intake system and found nothing. This is the third time I have experienced this issue. The first time I was making a right hand turn into a parking lot. I restarted the car and the issue went away. The second time it lasted a little longer but also was resolved by restarting the car. This third time, I was also making a right turn, but this time from a parking lot to the road, where I continued to drive. Two attempts at restarting did not resolve and it remained in this out-of-control condition until I turned it off.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #18

Feb 132022


  • miles
On 2/13/22 I started my vehicle to move it back into the garage. Upon putting it into 'Drive' the engine unexpectedly started to ramp up the RPMs accelerating the vehicle forward. Fortunately I had my foot on the break slowing the progression and I was able to switch the gear to 'Neutral'. At that point the engine began to continue to ramp up the RPMs. I tried depressing and releasing the accelerator to see if the engine would respond and decrease the RPMS, it did not. I then switched off the engine to keep it from accelerating/increasing the RPMs. About five minutes after the initial incident I started the vehicle. Immediately upon startup the vehicle RPMs starting to ramp up. I tired depressing and releasing the accelerator to see if the engine would respond and decrease the RPMS, it did not. I then switched off the engine to keep it from accelerating/increasing the RPMs. After another five minutes I started the vehicle again. This time I let the car warmup for a minute before placing it into gear. During this time I did not experience another incident.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #17

Nov 152021


  • miles
1) the car accelerated without any change in my driving. My car is available for inspection. 2) My safety and the car in front of me were at risk since the car was accelerating and removing my foot from the gas didn't reduce the speed. 3&4) I haven't had the car inspected by anyone and it can't be reproduced. 5) There were no warning signs. My car is well maintained and I follow manufacture recommendations for maintenance. The first time it happened was in the morning on my way to work in Phoenix, AZ going the speed limit, when it accelerated and removing my foot from the gas didn't reduce the speed. My first thought was I was going to smash into the car in front of me at full speed. Luckily, my brakes did work and I didn't hit the car that was quickly approaching. The second time it happened, it was early morning in Chandler, AZ, I was going the speed limit and the car accelerated as I was taking the onramp for the freeway. Once again the only way to get the car out of the accelerated mode was to hit the brakes. It has not occurred again within the last 3 weeks.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #16

Nov 152020


  • 46,480 miles


I was in motion and approaching a red light, and as I began to lightly apply my brakes to slow down, my vehicle tried to accelerate (there was also a corresponding rev in the engine). Fortunately, I was able to press on the brake pedal extra hard to bring it to a complete stop.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 192020


  • 5 miles
If it's raining outside sometimes the cruis control will cut out

- Remsen, NY, USA

problem #14

Jan 012020

Outback 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The car accelerates when braking. Only happened twice so far. Don't remember exactly where or what I was doing but for sure needed to slow down & as I braked the car also accelerated at the same time. I don't remember the dates. It's been awhile ago.

- Fernley, NV, USA

problem #13

Dec 062019


  • 32,000 miles
Windshield cracks and instantly spread with minimal impact disabling car speed control and safety systems such as pre-collision braking and lane keep assist.

- Richwood, TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 202019


  • 18,000 miles


Car stalled (4X's at least) when making turns; stalled after passing a car when I returned to my lane with high speed traffic behind me. Have had this problem since we purchased car. Have taken to dealer several times, each time the result was "they couldn't duplicate problem", once they said they adjusted the software to correct problem, result didn't seem to improve.

- Cedar Lake, IN, USA

problem #11

Aug 192019


  • 31,952 miles
Yesterday morning, I stopped my Subaru in order to back into a parking space. The car was in drive and my foot was on the brake. While my foot was still on the brake and I was changing gears from drive to reverse, the engine started accelerating full-throttle. I had to press the brake pedal very hard to prevent the car from going down the hillside behind the parking lot. I put the car back in park with the engine revving full-throttle and turned the ignition off. After this incident the car operated normally ' until today. Today, my car was parked in my driveway in front of my garage. When I started the car everything seemed fine ' until, with my foot on the brake, I attempted to change gears from park to drive. Again the engine immediately and unexpectedly accelerated full-throttle. As I was moving the gear shifter from park to reverse to neutral to drive, I again had to press the brake pedal very hard to prevent the car from backing into my garage door. I immediately called my Subaru dealer but could not reach the service department. After 10-12 rings I got a message instructing me to leave a message for them to call me back since they were currently experiencing heavy call volume due to an increase in recall issues. I called back and got through to someone in the service department and explained the problem to them. They said they were unfamiliar with this problem on Subaru Outbacks.

- Beaver Falls, PA, USA

problem #10

Jul 162019


  • 37,000 miles
Was sitting at a traffic light on a city street, the light turned green and I accelerated through the light and after 100-200 yards, the car accelerated wide-open on its own. I hit one car on the right rear and rear-ended another which stopped the vehicle. All the airbags deployed.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #9

May 122019


  • 9,190 miles
When pulling into a head no prking space, the engine revved and the car sped forward several feet, hitting a rock in the lawn. I put the car in reverse and the same thing happened with car speeding until I could hit the brake.

- Stowe, VT, USA

problem #8

Apr 202019


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2017 Subaru Outback. While pulling into a parking space at a very slow speed, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into a pole and a second vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer and dealer were not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Harmony, PA, USA

problem #7

Sep 222018


  • 14,241 miles
Similar to complain dated 12/09/2016 by someone else. About a year ago I was at a light waiting to turn left, my foot was on the brake when suddenly the engine revved up and I had to switch to neutral to return to idle speed. I notified a Subaru representative on the internet. This month I had 4 occasions that I had similar experience in a shopping mall trying to turn right into a parking space. This Friday I tried to park in my garage after 5 miles drive, and my wife was a passenger, I turned the wheel slightly to the left when the engine revved up from idle of 600 to 2000 RPM and then went to 4000 RPM. I was using the brake and I felt a skid of a tire. Switched to neutral and park and turned off the engine. My wife was scared and would not ride in my car. I have an appointment with my wakefield Subaru dealer on 09/25/18, I did not drive my car since the last episode. My odometer is 14241 miles. I am positive I did not step on the gas, only the brake.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #6

Aug 042018


  • 20,500 miles
The contact owns a 2017 Subaru Outback. While the vehicle was completely stopped, it accelerated independently. The contact mentioned that the brake pedal was depressed, but the vehicle continued to accelerate and crashed into a tree. A police report was filed. The air bags deployed. The driver sustained chest and stomach injuries and the contact sustained wrist injuries, which required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to yark Subaru (6141 central ave, toledo, oh 43615). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,500.

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #5

Feb 132018


  • 7,000 miles
Lease date | 08/25/17 on 01/17/18 after several days of the eye sight system turning on and off, I notice that a piece of foam had fallen in the way of the passenger camera. I notified Subaru of America of this through their website and mike shaw Subaru fixed the issue. Today, after two day of eye sight system turning on and off, I notice that a piece of foam had now fallen in the way of the driver side camera. I have not had this repaired. Both events severely interfere with the cars safety features from operating and, in the case of the first occurrence, the auto braking system did deploy incorrectly at times.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #4

Aug 072017


  • 2,000 miles
While braking at an intersection the car would suddenly accelerate into the intersection. This happens often. I need to concentrate on my foot position every time I hit the brakes to make sure that my foot does not accidentally hit the gas also. For your information, I am 6 feet tall and wear a size 11 1/2 shoe.

- Wildwood, MO, USA

problem #3

Jun 082017


  • 1,000 miles
On 8 June 2017 I had just pulled into a parking spot in front of a medical suite when my leased three month old 2017 Subaru Outback with 1,000 miles suddenly had an unintended acceleration episode jumping the curb and crashing into a brick wall and suite door after displacing a threshold column by two inches. The airbag did not deploy, the "eyesight" function did not stop the vehicle, the seat belt did not restrain me and my chest slammed into the steering wheel, my knees crashed into the dashboard. On 2 June, less than a week earlier, the car had done the same unintended acceleration while backing out of a parking spot, but nothing was hit at that time. After the initial ambulance er visit, plus two more, my physical injuries consisting of aches and pains, bruises, xrays, iv treatment for persistent headache after the accident, are insignificant compared to the mental and emotional damage. Not to mention the economic burden and frustrating situation this leaves me in. I contacted the dealership and sent in pictures of the vehicles and damaged building. They in turn referred my complaint to Subaru of America who was very diligent in performing an investigation and keeping me updated with the procedure. However, almost two months after the accident, Subaru of America claims their results indicate "misapplication of throttle and break" clearly putting the blame on me, without mentioning anything about the first incident, and the lack of response of the safety features of the vehicle during the accident. There are at least 34 reports of similar accidents due to unintended acceleration of Outback vehicles, and at least 70 related to the Subaru forester on carproblemzoo.com since 2000. I now find myself with a beautiful brand new vehicle that I will pay the lease for, but don't feel comfortable driving out of fear that the unintended acceleration will reoccur.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

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