2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Is Hit With Another Lawsuit- Owners Say EyeSight Is Dangerous

A new lawsuit had been filed against Subaru. 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek, and other models are included. See why owners say the automaker's EyeSight safety technology is dangerous.
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Subaru of America is hit with a new class action involving 2013-2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other models equipped with the brand's EyeSight driver assist technology. The new Subaru lawsuit was recently filed in the district court of New Jersey.

Attorneys Berger Montague PC and Capstone Law APC represent Laura and James Sampson, Anthony Ventura and Joanne Fulgieri Ventura, Elizabeth Wheatley, and Shirley Reinhard. The plaintiffs claim Subaru's EyeSight includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane-keep assist technology is dangerous.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Torque News has reported the advantages of the Subaru EyeSight safety technology and its many benefits. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other models a 'Superior' rating in front crash prevention when equipped with EyeSight driver assist technology.

The new lawsuit against Subaru claims the automaker failed to warn customers about the automatic emergency braking system, which allegedly has defects with software calibration from multiple control modules. The plaintiffs say the brakes activate when there are no objects in front or behind the vehicle.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Other complaints say the Japanese automaker's automatic emergency braking fails to engage when objects are in front of the 2013-2021 Subaru models equipped with EyeSight. The lawsuit alleges this is caused by errors between the transmission, brakes, and cameras located at the top of the windshield.

The new Subaru class-action lawsuit says the EyeSight's lane keep assist feature is also defective. It alleges errors in the system "correct the vehicle's steering when the driver is trying to change lanes, is driving on the road with construction barriers, or if the road has multiple lines due to construction."

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

The lawsuit documents many owners who claim the lane keep assist system will shut down entirely until the vehicle is restarted, preventing the cars from providing owners were promised in the automaker's advertising. The lawsuit also alleges the lane-keep system jerks the steering wheel and "even steers the vehicle into other vehicles."

The lawsuit alleges that the lane-keep assist problems are due to poor software calibration from the power steering control module and other modules.

The 2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, and other models now come standard with EyeSight driver assist technology. The plaintiffs allege the problems make the safety technology useless and dangerous and that Subaru increases its profits by inflating the prices of its most popular models. Torque News will bring updates on the new Subaru lawsuit as they become available.

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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. Check out 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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Comments

The capabilities mentioned in the article all work perfectly in my Outback. Have driven cross country and to date have had absolutely no issues. Yes, the steering wheel does jerk a little when changing lanes without signaling, but I assume that’s just a reminder to use signals, which I sometimes need.
Likewise. For me it works better than claimed in the owners manual.
My 2020 Outback functions PERFECTLY. Yes, if the driver attempts to change lanes without engaging the turning signal, the lane assist will engage and attempt to correct what the software perceives as drift. This is exactly what it is supposed to do. The amount of force exerted by the system is easily overcome with the most modest amount of counter-force from the driver. Of course, if you signal your lane change, as reasonable and intelligent drivers are expected to do, the lane assist does not engage at all. As for the emergency braking, this also functions exactly as intended. At no point has Subaru ever claimed that the driver should stop paying attention. The plaintiffs apparently want a self-driving car. Sorry, but the Jetsons are still just a cartoon.
I have a 2016 Outback with Eyesight. I have not had any problems. The steering gently nudges me back into the lane. The emergency braking has never activated. Adaptive cruise control is great.
These people simply don't know how the system works and most likely won't keep their windshield clean. Laziness is is the key factor here. I know manynpeoe with these features and we had 2 and never an issue. The battery is the main problem.
@John Burke, thibk about it... a system that relies on continuous maintenance to keep it operating safely is inherently dangerous. There are numerous instances were Subaru's Engineers have needlessly created unsafe conditions where a simple risk assessment exercise would have pointed them in the right direction. 1 example is the SRS Airbag sensors in the passenger seat. These things are notoriously troublesome. They fail and the Engineers decided the default state should be disabled which makes no sense. They should default to the safely device being left on. I have no doubt that some of these eyesight modules/software aren't calibrated properly and are responding to glare or shadows on the windshield. I had a Ford edge slam the breaks on when I was passing a car on a 4 lane. Software detected that car on the right and didn't like it for some reason. Luckily there was no Ice on the road or that absolutely wouldn't have ended well. Point is this technology is all new and it isn't perfect. Many manufacturers are screwing it up in their own ways. Subaru is trailing in technology rather severely compared to their competitors and has been for decades.
The entire car is "...a system that relies on continuous maintenance to keep it operating safely..." If you do not understand this, you should not be driving.
The default state of the passenger side airbag is off unless it senses that a person of a certain weight is in the seat, in which case it turns on. That's how it works in all modern cars, because if the airbag deploys and the person in the passenger seat is under a certain size/weight, it can be more dangerous than it not deploying at all.
Not always true. I drive a 2019 Ascent and keep it immaculately clean. I was once driving down a highway road when the eyesight system malfunctioned and automatically slammed on the brakes. It happened in a 50mph zone and I was almost rear-ended by traffic behind me. The vehicle came to a complete stop in the middle of the highway and I could not move. I had to shut off the vehicle and restart it to clear the malfunction. When I took the vehicle to the Subaru service center, the technicians could not find anything wrong with the system. This incident scared the heck out of me. The truth is technology is great when it works, however it can be a problem when it doesn't. Assuming all incidents are user-error is short-sighted on your behalf. I'll refer you to the issues with Boeing 737 MAX for more evidence of technology failing.
This is completely incorrect. I have had a system and it doesn't matter if the windshield is clean or not. Either way the system should be deactivated and is extremely poor engineering. The test scenarios they run the algorithms through should account for debris on the window. Their system is so bad I deactivate it everytime I enter the vehicle.
How do you deactivate it. I can’t stand it. I want to sell my 2021 Outback! Ugh
Most of the time it's been spot on for me, however within a week of getting the car I discovered that on certain turns if oncoming traffic is going at the exact right speed/time the car will emergency brake. Today I had cruise control on and the car left of me drifted into my lane while I was passed on the right... the car ping-ponged back and forth while I clutched the steering wheel to prevent the oversteer from crashing where usually I would just hug the right line and slow down.
Don't be too quick to judge. My car is impeccable and I was almost killed on the freeway this morning when my cars ABS system engaged at 70 mph and a car slammed in to the back of me. Thank goodness it wasn't a semi and I was alone.
I am not a fan of the technology. My 2019 Forester kicked off several times with nothing in front of me. Scared me to death each time.
My 06 WRX was amazing. Never had any issues. My 2015 Forester is Garbage somewhere in-between there Subaru's engineering went downhill and they started fudging their internal quality standards. The result. Lots of class action lawsuits and recalls. Steer clear of Subaru's.
I have a 2017 Outback 3.6R Touring and I do love it but I can agree with some of the issues in the suit. The system just seems to be inconsistent. Just the other day the automatic braking completely locked up the brakes as I was approaching a car in front of me that was turning but I was nowhere near going to make contact with it. The blind spot detection system turns off and on every ten minutes also. I need to have the sensors looked at but the car has not been in an accident or bumped. This appears to be a common issue after doing some reading on the forum. I think with some better implementation all of the systems could be excellent, they're just not there yet.
"Just the other day the automatic braking completely locked up the brakes as I was approaching a car in front of me that was turning but I was nowhere near going to make contact with it." This happens to me consistently, whether the car ahead is exiting the freeway or into a gas station. The red blinking & loud beeping are very startling. I was at least 25ft away and not driving with excessive speed when this happened. I believe in this case the system is too sensitive and needs some sort of adjustment. Straight forward breaking in stop-n-go traffic works great and has saved me a couple of times...
Ive had it trigger from a car in front of me turning... startling the first time maybe but after that all you have to do is hit the gas when it beeps and cuts throttle to override it. It doenst usually hit the brakes unless i am too close and that's on me.
I have a 2015 Outback with Eyesight and it has probably saved my life more times than I know. It just goes to show that with access to a hungry lawyer (or should I say liar), you can bring a lawsuit for anything or absolutely nothing at all.
Saved your life more times than you know? You sound like a horrible driver.
Go ahead and be critical if you want to but if you were there I am today you would think differently with what happened to me and the Subaru I hope you never have to experience any injury from this car
Sounds like a bunch of babies to me. Yeah it jerks to the right in a turn and like to ride to close to the right side of the lane for my taste. I like to ride closer to the driver's side lane. It sounds like these people want the car to drive itself, it doesn't and they never said it did. As a matter of fact t the said the opposite. If it's steering you away while changing lanes you don't have your signal on. At best this technology is an extra set of eyes to alert you to what you should already be seeing as an alert driver.
While lane assist and steering seem fine on my 2020 Outback, I have terrible problems with braking. For instance, when a car ahead of me is exiting the freeway, the collision braking will severely kick in even when there is no chance of running into the exiting vehicle in front of me. I very much worry about someone rear ending me during these situations as it decreases the speed quickly from 75 down to 55 mph. This also happens at low speeds when a car in front of me is turning into a parking lot. It seems this system is way too sensitive.
Eyesight has saved my ass a few times, by detecting deer on dark country roads here in Michigan. The cameras were able to detect the deer BEFORE I was and start automatic breaking. 34k on my 2019 Forester Sport, aside from the annoying power lift gate recall, zero other issues.
Agreed. I traded my 2009 Outback for a '21 and I am having no issues with these features, and enjoying them. Also, the manual(s) state clearly that you as the driver are ultimately responsible for the behavior of the vehicles, and your input will overide these systems.
I think some people have unrealistic expectations or even think Eyesight is like Tesla's Autopilot. They are never happy.
Some of the mentioned issues are similar to our 2021 Tesla but camera mounted on both sides definitely helps. It does get confused with multiple lines on the road, gets confused when car in front is exiting the freeway however, each software upgrade during the last 4 months has significantly improved many of these issues. I guess Subaru's customers have higher expectations? They have always been bitchy in my opinion.
Let me add to my above comments. Eyesight has worked well for me on my 207 OB Limited. However, I do not expect it to replace me as a driver in any situation. However, I would have expected by 2022 it would have improved significantly. It has not.
That is why it's called driver Assist. Some folks should never switch off their judgment abilities and stop to look for easy money from lawsuits. I have Subaru Legacy 2017 with eyesight and noticed that if you don't have turn signal to switch lanes - it will try to correct you, but it is easy to overpower it (so use the turn signal!), in construction lanes you need to pay attention because new markings over old markings can be confusing enough in any situation. Eyesight is not an artificial intelligence, at least for now. I enjoy this Subaru Eyesight technology and don't have problems with it if to use wisely.
Wisely, wisely, now that's something that less and less people are capable of exhibiting while doing things, then call a lawyer whilst confusing themselves.

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