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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.

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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Photo credit: Subaru USA


R. Lukas (not verified)    May 2, 2021 - 10:46AM

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.

Karen L Mullin (not verified)    May 6, 2021 - 2:18PM

In reply to by R. Lukas (not verified)

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.

Ethan (not verified)    February 4, 2022 - 10:32AM

In reply to by Karen L Mullin (not verified)

Speak for yourself, but mine seems to be dramatically worse than yours. I’ve had several instances of a 20-30 degree correction into an exit lane that I didn’t signal to be in.

It looses the line on the right and flings itself wherever it needs to be in order to read that line again.

You have to understand that the line on the right side disappears on every. single. exit.

So, you might say, only use these features while you’re in the left lane. Well, in the left lane it will read the guardrail or wall is in the lane when you’re in a sweeping right turn and just brake HARD as to mitigate the phantom hazard.

If I signal a lane change, it still corrects my lane departure occasionally.

Cruise control will be following a vehicle, and turn off without a beep( plus not turn back on again) and fail to register there is a vehicle in front me me anymore until I restart my vehicle.

I never drive like I have a self driving car. I drive like my car has features that I paid for, and those features, while protecting me in many occasions, may also harm me or my family when it begins to malfunction. When you bring it to the dealership and they tell you it’s all correctly calibrated, what else can you do except sue?

Katie (not verified)    October 31, 2022 - 12:24AM

In reply to by Ethan (not verified)

You could, and it’s not rocket science, just turn off the Eyesight and lane assist feature. Two buttons- mine are located right behind the interior dome lights. Maybe read your manual (if you know how to) and you’ll find them, I’m sure. Or you could sue for not being able to understand the manual.- what else could you do? Or get a different vehicle. You’re here to tell the tale of how awful it is, therefore I’m sure you are able trade in for a different vehicle.

Michael Dodd (not verified)    June 23, 2022 - 12:16AM

In reply to by R. Lukas (not verified)

Mine does not work at all, in fact, while driving home from vacation today it veered me across the center line into oncoming traffic and I had to wrestle the steering wheel to get back into my own lane. I'll be filing suit soon.

Ray (not verified)    February 19, 2023 - 12:31AM

In reply to by Michael Dodd (not verified)

Mine tried throwing me into a ditch and within a few minutes crossed the center lines directly into a oncoming car and like you had to wrestle it back, absolutely dangerous and in fact I’ve had more close calls in the few months owning this car than 45 years of driving! What’s interesting is mine is a 2022 Australian model so it’s not limited to the US and the dealer tells me everything is fine.

Frank Needham (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 7:18AM

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.

John Burke (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 10:14PM

In reply to by Frank Needham (not verified)

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.

Chris (not verified)    May 4, 2021 - 6:53AM

In reply to by John Burke (not verified)

@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.

Al (not verified)    October 19, 2021 - 10:38AM

In reply to by Chris (not verified)

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.

Barney Stinson (not verified)    May 4, 2021 - 10:22AM

In reply to by John Burke (not verified)

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.

TJ (not verified)    May 5, 2021 - 10:30AM

In reply to by John Burke (not verified)

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.

Serena Pape (not verified)    October 11, 2021 - 2:16PM

In reply to by John Burke (not verified)

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.

Betsey (not verified)    December 1, 2021 - 12:38AM

In reply to by John Burke (not verified)

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.

Keith R (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 7:06PM

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.

Chris Beddoe (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 7:20PM

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.

Carl Sausage (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 8:17PM

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.

R. Match (not verified)    May 4, 2021 - 10:27AM

In reply to by Carl Sausage (not verified)

"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...

Dana Francey (not verified)    May 4, 2021 - 1:36PM

In reply to by R. Match (not verified)

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.

Ken (not verified)    February 27, 2023 - 6:58PM

In reply to by Carl Sausage (not verified)

Maybe check and see if the windshield is the correct one for the car. After an accident, there was a crack in my daughter's windshield. After replacing the windshield, my service tech mentioned that the subaru correct windshield they had to not install was different, and managed by subaru. All of a sudden my daughter's system is working much better and it doesn't turn off and on at all anymore like it used to. It used to have shade areas near the visors, which was the techs best guess as to why it was suddenly working so much better. 2018 impreza.

jr (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 9:02PM

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.

Paxton (not verified)    June 29, 2021 - 3:54PM

In reply to by jr (not verified)

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

Richard (not verified)    May 3, 2021 - 9:48PM

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.