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A New Second Lawsuit Now Claims Subaru Forester And Outback Can Suddenly Accelerate

There is now a second sudden acceleration lawsuit concerning newer Subaru Forester, Outback, and Legacy models. What should customers do if they have experienced sudden and unintended acceleration?

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Subaru of America is now in a second class-action lawsuit over the "sudden unintended acceleration" of some Forester, Outback, and Legacy models. The first case was filed in a New Jersey federal court against Subaru in May. According to a report from Automotive News (by subscription), this second lawsuit is filed with the U.S. District Court in Southern California on September 4, 2020.

Attorneys are representing two plaintiffs in the lawsuit from the law firm Morgan and Morgan. The vehicles affected by the alleged defects are the 2012-2018 Subaru Forester compact SUV, the 2015-2019 Subaru Outback wagon, and the 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy sedan.

2012-2018 Forester, 2015-2019 Outback, and 2015-2019 Legacy models

In the second case, attorneys said, "Despite receiving hundreds of complaints about sudden acceleration defects, we allege that Subaru failed to disclose and potentially even concealed the defect from consumers and has yet to recall their 2012-2018 Forester, 2015-2019 Outback, and 2015-2019 Legacy models".

According to the court document, the three Subaru models accelerate for no reason, and both plaintiffs claim to have experienced an unintended acceleration in their vehicles. The Subaru Forester, Outback, and Legacy models share the same 2.5-liter Boxer engine in the model years that allegedly have the same sudden acceleration issues.

2012-2018 Forester, 2015-2019 Outback, and 2015-2019 Legacy models

The report says the Subaru models have a computer software flaw preventing the electronic throttle control system from operating correctly. The lawsuit also claims the automaker's brake override system is "faulty and does not work as intended."

Dominick Infante, Director, Corporate Communications, Subaru of America, said in an email to Automotive News, "We believe that drivers are pressing the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal by mistake. If an owner is experiencing a problem, we recommend that the vehicle is taken to an authorized Subaru retailer immediately."

Several complaints have been reported with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about speed control issues with some Outback and Forester models. There have also been numerous speed control complaints on Car Complaints and Car Problem Zoo websites about the Forester and Outback models. Subaru said the company is unaware of any confirmed incidents involving the alleged unintended acceleration.

What should customers do if they have experienced sudden and unintended acceleration?

Suppose you own a 2012-2018 Subaru Forester, 2015-2019 Subaru Outback, or 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy and have experienced sudden and unintended acceleration. In that case, you can file a complaint with the NHTSA by going to their website or call 1-888-327-4236. Or you can submit your contact information, and an attorney from Morgan and Morgan will give you a free case evaluation.

You Might Also Like: It's ironic, but Subaru recently announced a new miss-acceleration device for 2020 Crosstrek and Impreza models. See how it helps if you accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake pedal.

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Al (not verified)    September 16, 2020 - 1:43PM

If my car suddenly accelerates I don't think I'll have time to contact someone about it. What do I do in the moment???

Karen K (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 6:24AM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

Well since about 99.99999% of "unintended acceleration" is due to driver error, just keep your cell phone out of your face, focus on actually driving a car, and you should be just fine :)

Miss X (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 7:22PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

1st stay calm and control your emotions while softly pressing brake pedal to reduce your speed. Pull over when safe to do so and then document speed mileage and actions of vehicle. Report documented items to any and all entities ...i.e. Subaru . Traffic and Highway safety. ...Thats what to do when it happens.

Tim Lame (not verified)    September 18, 2020 - 12:58AM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

Put the car in neutral and brake till your at a complete stop, the car will rev till you turn off the car but at lease you won't die or crash.

ProDigit (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 6:11AM

Our outback does jolt forward, when using the accelerator normally.
Much like the ford fusion we had, there's nothing gentle about starting from a stop.
And i get it, if your car has a dry clutch, it goes a little less smooth, but they very easily could lower the fly wheel weight, and make it idle a bit leaner, so it won't jolt so much.

David Hass (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 8:57AM

I bought a 2016 Certified Used Subaru Outback Limited in April of 2019. I have had ZERO issues with it of any kind— including sudden acceleration issues. I’m a proud Subaru owner and pleased as punch with my purchase!

Kyle (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 10:46AM

It's real. After periods of hard driving in my then brand new 2016 Outback, the car would launch itself forward while sitting at a red light (think, autobahn style driving, coming off highway). Important to note, the problem was only repeatable by the dealer after I told them to floor it to 100 mph a few times & brake hard), & it only happened while sitting with car in gear & foot on brake immediately afterwards. CVT transmission was replaced under warranty and it never happened again (going on 3+ years now). Still love my Outback.

Anthony Sperduti (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 11:20AM

I found out that dome of these problems when my daughter drives is she wears 5 inch heels and the heel prevents the the foot from going all way down and then she had no braking

Suryam Miryalaguda (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 12:13PM

I think this is the issue or non-issue with eyesight ... When the car infront moves to next lane, it auto accelerate when you use cruise

Beth A Wilkins (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 12:48PM

Is it accelerating when they have the cruise control on? If I am following a car with my cruise on, it is keeping me back the required safe car length distance by slowing my speed. When I change lanes and no cars are in front of me, it speeds back up to my cruise control speed. It does obviously accelerate but that is whatbit is supposed to do. I love my 2015 Forrester.

Driving Is Fun (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 6:39PM

"Defect" is probably caused by EyeSight. Have had 2 newer Subarus with no EyeSight and have had no problems. My only problem is that they sometimes don't accelerate, but I've actually discovered that it was my own error after taking them to the dealer for inspection.

Maybe Phillips (not verified)    September 18, 2020 - 6:18AM

My used 2011 Ford did this when I first got it. I heard the floor mat excuse, the "oh you must of hit the wrong pedal" excuse. But I put a short youtube video up, showing me moving the pedal with 1 finger while in park and the car staying revved up like it was on cruise control. From reading old forums and the failed Ford lawsuit I doubt I am the only one with this problem. I think people focus too much on the dbw throttle body vs. The sensor in the gas pedal itself. I took the gas pedal apart wiped the sensor off, now it works fine. Hopefully when it fails again I'm going slow. Also to note the sensor in the ford pedal kind of looked like a gas tank level sensor, which is also faulty in my car. I bet a lot of these cars when they get older they are going to have issues with acceleration. And it wasn't an obvious problem either, sometimes it would drive normal, other times I let off the gas it wouldn't stop accelerating or I would accelerate like a normal person and it would be like the car floored wide open by itself. Even more dangerous because my car doesn't have the brake override as far as I know. Sorry for the long post but I hope this helps someone and proves the non believers wrong.

Veronica Cowling (not verified)    October 7, 2020 - 3:55PM

We purchased a 2020 Subaru Forester in June. On September 14th I was pulling into a parking spot, foot on the brake and moving the gear shift lever into park. The car revved loudly, shot forward up over the curb, across the lawn, tore out about thirty feet of fencing, knocked down a small tree, lurched right over a flower bed, across the driveway, fishtailing the whole time and up over another curb where it suddenly stopped. Very frightening. The dealership says there is nothing wrong with the car and it must be something I did. We do not want the car back and would like a total refund and acknowledgement that the fault lies with the car. I don't know how likely that will be.

Linda Betts (not verified)    October 11, 2020 - 2:03PM

In reply to by Veronica Cowling (not verified)

The same thing happen to me. I was pulling into a parking spot and applied brake, then let up a little on brake to coast into parking spot. The engine over revved and accelerated and crashed into a brick wall and handicap ramp. All airbags deployed front and back. I pressed as hard as I could to try and stop the car, including using both feet to try and stop car. Absolutely no response from braking system.

Rusty Knobs (not verified)    December 6, 2020 - 12:22AM

In reply to by Linda Betts (not verified)

I can help. I too experienced sudden acceleration in my 2014 forester. I believe this is a malfunction of a part that I’m working on identifying. I would like to discuss the reason. This is real, the suvs do accelerate on their own. Is there any way to contact you?

Rusty Knobs (not verified)    December 6, 2020 - 12:27AM

I’ve wrote the writer of this article. Don’t know how to get a hold of him. I would like anyone who has experienced this too, please get a hold of me in any way. These cars are dangerous! More light needs to be brought to this subject!

Nosubaruforme (not verified)    June 4, 2021 - 4:44PM

In reply to by Rusty Knobs (not verified)

This happened to me in October 2020 pulling up to park in a shopping Center. Subaru Forrester 2013. Terrible noise, jumped the curve, crashed into the building. ARE WE GOING TO LET SUBARU GET AWAY WITH THIS? Garage fixed the car; I never drove it again; sold it as soon as it was fixed. Driving a Honda now... never driving a Subaru again.

Rusty Knobs (not verified)    June 5, 2021 - 12:56PM

In reply to by Nosubaruforme (not verified)

Nosubaruforme Any contact info? I personally am not letting Subaru lie about this major malfunction! I’ve been looking to contact all these people on here to get some help with putting a NHSTa letter about how they too fail to bring this to light! Even the writer ignores me. Shameful

Duckmaster (not verified)    December 28, 2020 - 5:13PM

First,throttle cable the smart way to accerate!THE TCM is a risky way to GUARANTEE fuel /air mixture into your throttle body period, if it malfunctions hang on A stupid way to increase fuel ,You are rolling the dice, that's all!!

Kenneth Babits (not verified)    March 27, 2021 - 12:15PM

My 2018 Subaru Foresters brakes locked up in my. driveway.It did unlock the next day and I brought it to Subaru,who said the brake light switch was defective and it was replaced.Four months later the brakes locked up again.Subaru could not find anything wrong.I am very anxious about this situation and bringing the Forester to another Subaru dealer on Wednesday for a second opinion.Has anyone else had this problem?

Frances Caulfield (not verified)    September 15, 2021 - 8:08PM

Two weeks ago I had an awful accident with my 2014 Subaru Forester. I was driving slowly into my driveway when suddenly the car took off and veered to the left hitting the front side of the house causing extensive damage to the house. It was so scary and it happened so fast, no time to react. The car had to be written off because of too much damage. Neither Subaru nor my insurance company were interested in diagnosing the cause of the unintended acceleration. Thank God i did not suffer any injuries,