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New Subaru Lawsuit Claims Forester And Outback SUVs Can Suddenly Accelerate

Subaru is hit with a new lawsuit claiming some Forester and Outback models accelerate without warning. See if your vehicle is on the list.

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A new class-action lawsuit against Subaru claims certain Forester, Outback, and Legacy models suddenly accelerate without warning. The lawsuit claims Subaru hid the defect and has known about the problem in these models since 2011. The lawsuit was filed this week in New Jersey federal court against Subaru of America. The Subaru Forester and Outback are the brand’s top-selling models in North America.

Danny and Sandra Weston, Martin and Margaret Greenwald, Kathleen Sears, and Toni Buchetto Perretta filed the class-action suit and are being represented by Russel Paul, an attorney with Berger Montague PC in Philadelphia, PA. The lawsuit says 2012-2018 Subaru Forester, 2015-2019 Subaru Outback, and 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy model year vehicles can accelerate without warning often when the driver uses the brake pedal.

Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, suddenly accelerate without warning

A number of 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 carcomplaints and carproblemzoo websites about the Forester and Outback models.

The plaintiffs claim when they take their cars to the Subaru dealer, they are told they cannot find any issue with the vehicles and the car’s computer indicates everything is working and there is nothing they can do to fix it. 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.

Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, suddenly accelerate without warning

Other recent lawsuits against Subaru of America claim certain Forester compact SUV and Outback wagon, the brand’s most popular models, along with some Crosstrek subcompact SUV windshields are spontaneously breaking for no apparent reason. The lawsuit now includes many 2020 models. The class-action was filed last year and is still in litigation.

What should Forester, Outback, and Legacy owners do?

If you own a 2012-2018 Subaru Forester, 2015-2019 Subaru Outback, or 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy and have experienced sudden and unintended acceleration, 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 Berger Montague PC will be in touch to review your case further.

Have you experienced sudden and unintended acceleration with your Subaru Forester or Outback?

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Nick (not verified)    May 15, 2020 - 9:50PM

I have 2 2015 Outbacks and 2 2018 Outbacks
I personally know of 2 other outback owners who have 2015’s. I know of an owner of 2018 Legacy.
In all the years we have driven them along with people I know have NEVER had a problem with acceleration or windshield problems.

Theresa Rawls (not verified)    July 18, 2021 - 9:52PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

I'm so glad that others have not had the terrifying effect of sudden acceleration. 2 days ago, while waiting in my suburu with brake on while waiting for garage door to open, it suddenly accelerated the car through garage door, refrigerator, freezer, 700 pd safe until it could go no more. Brake on made no difference. Acceleration marks were evident in gravel and dirt. Even took down steel buildings I beam. Just because you know no one who has experienced this phenomena, doesnt mean it hasn't happened. One of the most terrifying experiences I've had. Hopefully Suburu stands behind its product by taking responsibility.

Kkaye (not verified)    January 3, 2023 - 10:13PM

In reply to by Nick (not verified)

My 2018 Forrester took off and jumped the curb as I was parking lucky I already had my foot on the brake or I would have went into the car that was parked across the sidewalk It scared my sister and I so bad I was just shaking and I have small feet and I have to pick them up and put them on the break I always have my foot on the break when I pull into a parking place I am scared to death to drive my car and it only has 33 thousand miles and no I didn't miss the break have been driving years and never had a problem like this one

Mary Beron (not verified)    May 15, 2020 - 9:50PM

My 2006 Outback accelerated without warning
when it was new. It happened 4 times, then it stopped happening. Nobody would believe me.

Kevin Knoop (not verified)    May 16, 2020 - 9:35AM

Questions, Were the vehicles in question stopped and at idle when the event occurred, or were they at speed?
What is meant by sudden acceleration, is it like the gas pedal suddenly went to the floor, or more like a noticeable creep?
Are there multiple floor mats stacked up under the accelerator pedal?
Are any of the complaintants two foot drivers?
Our 2016 Outback exhibits a slight bump up in the idle speed when stopped, in gear. This is the idle up feature which compensates for loads on the engine such as A/C, power steering input, and lights.

Kenny Lester (not verified)    May 16, 2020 - 2:53PM

I worked at Subaru for 15 1/2 years. There was a girl who wrecked a outback in the plant and claimed that it accelerated on it’s own. I believe that it happens that is one crooked company

John Aiken (not verified)    May 16, 2020 - 3:12PM

Do the people experiencing the problem: ues any device, hand free phone,: what age are they?: do they use two feet to operate the foot controls?: how often do they drive?: when does the "problem " occur, highway, parking, driveway, stop and go? Toyota was investigated for this and no problem was found with the cars. We have had five Subaru's since 2009 in the family, no problem. 2009, 2009, 2012, 2017, 2020. One legacy rest outback.

Ed (not verified)    May 16, 2020 - 4:20PM

My 2009 Forester doesn't accelerate when this happens, but the brake pedal becomes very "hard" after the cruise control has been on for an extended time, requiring extreme pressure or pumping to get it to disengage, and for the car to slow down. This only occurs when the cruise control is on. It doesn't surprise me that Subaru would have a problem like this.

Mark (not verified)    May 16, 2020 - 9:23PM

Driver has their foot on the gas but thinks it's on the brake. Car doesn't slow down so the driver presses harder and it speeds up. Nobody that has had this happen will even consider that possibility. Most instances are in new cars, rented cars or borrowed cars because the driver is not as familiar with the vehicle. Happens more often than you think.

Buffy Mullenix (not verified)    May 17, 2020 - 1:17AM

We own two 2019 Outbacks. Mine has cut power to the accelerator while turning left across traffic more than a handful of times in the last 16 months of ownership. My stereo and nav go haywire. My husband's had to have a full windshield replacement out of pocket last year. He heard a snap and then it spread across while he was driving. We love our cars, but something needs to be done about the crappy windshields and the lack of power/acceleration and apparently for those who are having them accelerate out of the blue.

Deb (not verified)    May 17, 2020 - 2:04AM

Funny. My 2016 Outback has done this on multiple occasions and I’ve complained to the dealer. It seems to happen when the AC is in use and when I am stopped with my foot on the brake. It actually feels like I’m being pushed! Once I thought the guy behind me had tapped my bumper. There is a definite acceleration and I have to apply additional pressure to the brakes it’s definitely a problem.

Robyn Marrufo (not verified)    May 17, 2020 - 7:54AM

Now 9 Subarus in our family. 5 Outbacks, 1 Forester, 3 Legacy. Absolutely zero issues. 2008 outback saved my life in head on collision. Walked away from encounter with F350 van. That frame was a beast! Could this be an issue: certainly possible. Probable; no!

Frank (not verified)    May 17, 2020 - 8:10AM

We bought out Outback new in 2016. 4 cylinder. So far driven 50k miles and never had any issues.
Honestly it is the best car we have owned.

B. Gillman Peek (not verified)    May 20, 2020 - 9:39AM

following an accident I bought the Outback...on a trip back from the Cleveland Clinic to Mi highway , the car was traveling faster than thought. I had to slow it down. it was a weird, fighting feeling.I think Suburu needs to know when their Point of sale-Glassman Automotive of Southfield MI sells a car that is supposed to have been checked , less than 10 hiurs battery failed. tire pressure checked and the tires were not, CD player broke within same 8 hours & on the road from Ohio the windshield wipers were so old they crumbled and it was sleet. . And numerous other issues. I will never buy anything from them and heard that from many people , I met after purchase. I have had a Lexus for many years and their corporate responds to customers issues.

Angela D. (not verified)    June 28, 2020 - 12:44PM

I just bought a Subaru Forester with 82,000 a month ago. Already had to replace the windsheild which was not the first time because the windsheild on it was not the original. Also key gets stuck in ignition and clicking notices when I take sharo turns which I read is usually a symptom of a bad axle. Bought a Subaru because I heard they were great. Not too convinced so far.

Catherine Therrell (not verified)    September 17, 2020 - 8:40AM

In reply to by Angela D. (not verified)

The key getting stuck is a known problem with the Outbacks as well. Mine did this at 36,500 miles. Was just out of warranty of course. They gave me a discount coupon to fix when I showed all of the online reports of the issue. Should have been a recall on this. It eventually gets so bad that you can't get the key out at all.

RONALD PRIESTLEY (not verified)    November 28, 2020 - 4:24PM

We have a Subaru Tribeca 2012. The accelerator stayed at full speed and would not decelerate after it was used at top speed when overtaking. Only solution was to switch off ignition (avoid switching to steer wheel lock) and pull onto ,fortunately placed , hard shoulder. Problem went away after switching off. Mechanical check revealed no problem However I no longer trust this car not to kill me.

Joyce Stelmack (not verified)    February 24, 2021 - 12:46AM

Just drove into a glass building. Was parking my 2020 Subaru Forester - foot on brake. Did hit curb of parking spot. Car then accelerated on its own and smashed into glass building. thank God. no one was hurt.

Theresa Rawls (not verified)    July 18, 2021 - 9:59PM

In reply to by Joyce Stelmack (not verified)

You're not alone! Just happened to me 2 days ago. Foot on brake while waiting for garage door to go up. Car suddenly plows into garage through door and side of building. Took a frige, freezer and 700bl pd safe to bring car to a stop.