Skip to main content

Subaru Sudden Acceleration Lawsuit Update - Forester Slams Into A Garage

A new report says a Subaru Forester accelerated without warning and stopped after hitting a garage. Here is the latest update on Subaru’s sudden acceleration lawsuit.

A woman driving a 2017 Subaru Forester says her compact SUV accelerated without warning and would not stop after leaving a car wash. The new report from KWLM radio says 65-year-old Kathy Peterson's Forester careened through back yards and ran through fences before hitting a garage.

Peterson says it was a terrifying experience and has bruises where she hit the steering wheel's bottom because the airbag did not inflate. The woman says she stepped on her 2017 Subaru Forester brakes several times, trying to stop the small SUV as it went through the back yards and fences. The vehicle hit a shed and a garage before coming to a stop.

Subaru Forester, Outback, Legacy sudden acceleration lawsuit

There were reports the 65-year-old woman stepped on the gas and not the brake pedal, but the previous reports were erroneous. The woman learned of Subaru's sudden acceleration lawsuit after the incident and that her 2017 Forester is included in the class-action suit. Peterson says she has made inquiries to see if there's still time to join the lawsuit.

What is the Subaru sudden acceleration lawsuit?

Subaru of America is now in a second class-action lawsuit over the "sudden unintended acceleration" of some 2012-2018 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2015-2019 Subaru Outback wagon, and the 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy sedan.

Subaru Forester, Outback, Legacy sudden acceleration lawsuit

The first case was filed in a New Jersey federal court against Subaru in May. According to a report from Automotive News (by subscription), the second lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court in Southern California on September 4, 2020.

What is the Subaru issue?

According to the court document, the three Subaru models accelerate for no reason, and both plaintiffs claim to have experienced 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.

What is causing the alleged unintended acceleration?

One theory is that the problem stems from electronic throttle control, or a problem with "the throttle position sensor, throttle body assembly, powertrain control module and circuit board allegedly malfunction, and the brake override system doesn't override unintended acceleration."

Attorneys are representing two plaintiffs in the lawsuit from the law firm Morgan and Morgan. Attorneys in the case 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".

Subaru of America said they are unaware of any confirmed incidents involving the alleged unintended acceleration.

Dominick Infante, Director, Corporate Communications, Subaru of America, recently told 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.

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 LikeWhat The New Outback Recall Says About Subaru Quality

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

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Subaru


Rodney Hampton (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 9:13AM

Either through paralyses of the mind and/or hands leads to these accidents. Don’t these autos have a gear shift? Put it in neutral and let the engine roar. When you do come to a stop, shut it off.

andrew meyer (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 12:51PM

In reply to by Rodney Hampton (not verified)

Agreed. Especially regarding the mental paralysis. I think it would be a good idea for all of us to periodically take a moment to reherse what we'd do in this situation, touching gear shift, key, and brakes while doing so. Unless one is in an empty parking lot, I'd suggest doing this with engine off.

Caro (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 2:00PM

In reply to by Rodney Hampton (not verified)

Yes, sadly most drivers would panic and not act fast enough. Shift to neutral or cut power if it ever happens. Most gear selectors are laid out so if you slap it forward, you end up in neutral.

Frank Kushner (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 9:17AM

There was no doubt that Toyota had a rare SUA based on analysis settled out of court as experts were allowed to review secret computer source code - Bakken case I believe. NASA experts were not allowed to analyze source code. In their report they dissed my idea that I had submitted to another car lovers website to win a million dollar prize if cause was proven. I still believe it may be related as well as bad solder joints. Something had to trigger the questionable code inputs. It wasn't the pedal recall although all must be careful the mats don't interfere with pedals. Get those good USA made mats advertised.

Jean (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 10:12AM

Good luck with NHTSA. I had Sudden Unintended Acceleration in my 2006 Toyota Sienna in 2019 and reported it to NHTSA. All I received back from them were some emails dismissing me with one even telling me they were too busy to deal with my report. The cause of this problem will never be found as long as Toyota and Subaru continue to be allowed to do their own inspections on their post SUA vehicles. I wouldn't even trust NHTSA to do post SUA inspections at this point if they were to do them as they have clearly been MIA with this problem for years. Don't make the mistake I made by bringing your post SUA vehicle to dealer. Find a mechanic that will run tests on a post SUA Subaru or Toyota that does not work for Toyota or Subaru, they are out there. Do online search to find them, they exist. No surprise that If you take car to dealer they will only find fault with the driver of the car. Dealer will say it was driver error due to mistaking accelerator for brake pedal or it was because of a floor mat. I know because that is what Toyota did to me even though there was a witness in car with me during SUA that saw with their own eyes that what happened with my van was clearly a very dangerous mechanical malfunction.

Karl (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 10:38AM

I tested my 17 Outback, held the accelerator down and stepped on the brake. The engine cut power - throttle closed - as programmed. That's how I understand it's supposed to work, so something else is wrong.

Leslie (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 1:41PM

I own a 2016 Outback and had trouble with it automatically accelerating while on cruise control. I took it to two different dealers who were unable to find the problem. At least I was able to slow it down by hitting the break pedal.

Karen K (not verified)    February 18, 2021 - 3:33PM

In reply to by Leslie (not verified)

The problem is that you have your adaptive cruise control set at a higher speed while you zone out and play on your phone. The car ahead of you moves, and your car does what you tell it you wanted it to do, and accelerates back to the original speed. If an ASE Certified Technician cannot replicate the problem in your car, there is not a problem in your car.

Chupacabra (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 2:05PM

Virtually all cars brakes are more powerful than the engine - especially in that weak-ass Subaru. These people are likely NOT hitting the brakes, they are mashing the accelerator in their confusion and thinking they are on the brakes.

If this woman was truly hitting the brakes on that Forester, it would have come to a reasonably quick stop - even if the engine was at full throttle.

Scott l (not verified)    February 14, 2021 - 4:02PM

This is ALWAYS driver error. Brakes verse engine brakes win 100% of the time. There's no such thing as unintended acceleration, Only confused drivers.

Jean (not verified)    February 18, 2021 - 2:47PM

In reply to by Scott l (not verified)

Wrong! Toyota has settled over 500 lawsuits with non disclosure agreements with injured victims and family members of people who have died. I survived and live to tell the truth with a witness who was in car with me when it happened. Brakes do not win 100% of time especially if you take a chance and drive a Toyota or Subaru (which Toyota owns part of)

Chupacabra (not verified)    February 18, 2021 - 8:55PM

In reply to by Jean (not verified)

Most of those cases were linked to floor mats binding up the accelerator, or flat out driver error. It's probably cheaper for Toyota to pay off cases even though it's not their fault, than risk a sympathetic jury giving out billions.

Unless you are driving a 700HP race car, the brakes will always overpower the engine. If you are pressing as hard as you can on the brakes, the car WILL stop even at full throttle. There is no way a 180HP Subaru is going to overpower the brakes, it's just not happening. What IS happening is that people panic, hit the gas, and think they are on the brakes.

Karen K (not verified)    February 18, 2021 - 3:31PM

In reply to by Scott l (not verified)

Unfortunately, this is 100% accurate. The lengths drivers who are unequipped to handle the operation of two pedals will go to in order to justify their mistakes never ceases to amaze.

Justin (not verified)    March 5, 2021 - 12:22PM

In reply to by Don (not verified)

Don, I agree! Hundreds! And then the ones who suffered the minor faults. Like trans slip. Definitely a gas mileage loss! The cost of repairs for the malfunction! That many many have experienced.

Justin (not verified)    February 21, 2021 - 11:53AM

Karen, chupo. My brakes did not stop my vehicle when a sua happened with me, nor did I have floor mats. I’m confused on where you get your information on Toyota and Subarus sua. I guess until you experience it, you be in denial! Anyway, two dumb shits like yourselves shouldn’t even be thinking they know anything! Where’s the history and credentials stating you know all? Eh? Tired of lame ass people thinking they know it all!! Your opinions are stretched and should be kept to yourself! Fools stand for a company that will shit on you faster than explosive diarrhea! I’m proof!!

Karen K (not verified)    February 23, 2021 - 11:06AM

In reply to by Justin (not verified)

Justin...the world doesn't owe you anything because you cannot master the operation of two pedals. Guessing you're the same "big boy" from before who isn't able to control a car and wants to take his impedance out on the world. Sorry for your anger and your incompetence; hopefully flinging around your third grade insults made you feel better.

Justin (not verified)    February 23, 2021 - 11:49AM

Yes Karen, I feel better knowing you read my”insults” because your intelligence is your biggest insult!! Haha bye Karen! Don’t reply... cause no one cares!

Karen K (not verified)    February 23, 2021 - 5:29PM

In reply to by Justin (not verified)

I'll reply as often as I want, Justin. I'm also pretty certain you're the one nobody cares about. Especially since you're here (again) screaming about how your inability to drive is somehow the manufacturer's fault. You can insult my intelligence when you learn how word spacing and quotation marks work. Hey! Maybe you can add it your list of things to try and understand, right after these two important pieces: "right pedal makes car go" and "left pedal makes car stop".

BabaFakunle (not verified)    February 24, 2021 - 6:26PM

Justin, can't control his anger. I wonder how would deal with the" unintended acceleration." He needs to master the two pedals and stop lying.

Robert (not verified)    March 4, 2021 - 8:00AM

I agree with you about the panic situation. I have seen several of these on while working on the police force and in every case it was driver error and panic.
One of my colleagues did this with a chevy truck and almost ran over two mechanics, backing out of the bay and hitting the gas. What happens is they think the brakes are not working and they press harder so the car goes like hell. If like others suggested, placing the real brake pedal on and switching to neutral, there would be no problem. Now this was a chevy truck, so i think this happens more than we realize. He paid for the damage and didnt go through his insurance. Toyota also found, i believe, evidence the gas pedal was bent ever so slightly by the driver using so much force

Mike (not verified)    March 8, 2021 - 1:51PM

I need to disagree that the application of brakes can overpower the engine running at full throttle. Power brakes depend on engine vacuum for full effectiveness. There is only enough vacuum stored in the power brake vacuum chamber for 2 or 3 applications with full power assist when engine vacuum is lost. When an engine is running wide open, there no vacuum available to the power brakes making achieving full braking ability with vacuum loss difficult or impossible. A person in a panic condition stabling at the brakes would deplete any vacuum and the ability to overcome the engine power would be in doubt. As stated in the previous comments,the correct action should be to turn off the ignition key or in the case a car with keyless ignition, press hold the start button and shift the automatic transmission to neutral and never park.

Dennis Coy (not verified)    May 5, 2021 - 4:50PM

The Subaru UA is NOT DRIVER error. This has happened to my wife on 4 separate occasions causing accidents on the last 2 occurrences. The most recent one was in a parking lot with a lift gate to exit. She was the 3rd car in line with her foot on the brake waiting for the other 2 cars in front of her to exit; when all of a sudden her Outback took off and hit the car in front of her which in turn pushed that car into the car at the exit gate.

Another one was coming to a stop on an exit ramp off an interstate, and as she was nearing the car ahead of her, again the Outback took off and slammed into the car ahead of her.

These two accidents have caused over $ 7,500 in damages to the other cars, not counting her own car, and raising our insurance rates over the past 4 years.

A third occurrence was in a hospital parking lot when she allowed a mother and daughter to walk in front of her car as she was attempting to park hers. Needless to say the car again accelerated and she nearly hit the mom and daughter.

So the car is at a local Subaru dealership now in the 3rd week and still waiting to hear back from the Japanese technicians supposedly. I am very leery if they can solve the problem and if they do there will always be that inclination as to " did they really fix this" and will be driving with one foot poised over the brake pedal continuously.

Eugene Simmons (not verified)    June 13, 2021 - 3:04PM

I have a 2021 Forester with a minor accelleration issue. Normal idle is about 750 RPM but when I drive and slow down, idle is 1200 RPM (which is the RPM for 35 MPH). When I slow down below 35 MPH and start to let my foot off the brake, the car speeds up. I've checked to make sure the floor mat isn't trapping the accelerator - it isn't- and I'm an old stick shift driver. That means right foot is for the brakes OR the accelerator so I'm not inadvertently hitting the gas. I've contacted my dealer and am waiting to hear back.

Justin (not verified)    June 16, 2021 - 12:31PM

In reply to by Eugene Simmons (not verified)

Eugene, any word on the problem? Know Subaru isn’t wanting you to know about the malfunction. I would take the vehicle to a private mechanic. Subaru lied to me about everything! Denied many claiming they can’t reproduce the error! I would love to contact you. We could speak more about this!

Madeline Figura (not verified)    January 23, 2022 - 3:47PM

I have a 2016 Subaru Legacy Limited 2,51. Was pulling into parking space, I took my foot off the accelerator and pushed the brake and car went full sped into a cement pole. …Dec. 2021