A woman driving a 2019 Subaru Outback says her midsize SUV accelerated suddenly and slammed into her garage door. The new report from CBS AZfamily News3 says Theresa Rawls was sitting in her 2019 Outback waiting for the garage door to open with her foot on the brake. Rawls says the vehicle lurched forward on its own, crashing into their garage. This is not the first report of a Subaru vehicle accelerating without warning.
"I was sitting in my car idling with my foot firmly on the brake. I always push the garage door opener, it's a big steel building, and I wait for the garage door to open fully. And when the garage door was just a third of the way up before I knew what was happening, it shot forward," said Rawls.
photo credit: CBS AZfamily News3
Subaru has two class-action lawsuits pending involving unintended vehicle acceleration. Subaru Report has reported on Subaru of America's class-action cases over the "sudden unintended acceleration" of some 2012-2018 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2015-2019 Subaru Outback midsize SUV, and the 2015-2019 Subaru Legacy sedan.
The first case was filed in a New Jersey federal court against Subaru in May 2020. 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.
Subaru Report also published a story of a 2017 Subaru Forester that, without warning, accelerated and would not stop after leaving a car wash. 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.
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."
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.
Dominick Infante, Director, Corporate Communications, Subaru of America, told CBS AZfamily News3, "We are aware of the incident involving Ms. Rawls and her Subaru at her home, and our local retailer has been working directly with her. Ms. Rawls' vehicle was thoroughly and methodically inspected by trained Subaru technicians who did not find any defects in the vehicle that could have caused the incident she describes. We are not aware of a single confirmed case of unintended acceleration in a Subaru vehicle, ever."
What should customers do if they have experienced sudden and unintended acceleration?
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. Go to their website or call 1-888-327-4236. You can also submit your contact information with an attorney from Morgan and Morgan, and they will give you a free case evaluation.
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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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