2019 Subaru Outback sudden acceleration lawsuit
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Sudden Acceleration Update - Outback Slams Through A Garage Door

A new report says a newer Subaru Outback accelerated without warning and crashed through a garage door. Here is the latest update on Subaru's sudden acceleration lawsuit.
Advertisement

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.

2019 Subaru Outback sudden acceleration lawsuit
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.

2019 Subaru Outback sudden acceleration lawsuit

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.

You Might Also Like: 11 Easy Tips To Improve Your New Subaru Or Any Car’s Fuel Mileage

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 USA


Subscribe to Torque News on YouTube.


Follow Torque News on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

Who posed “one theory…”? “ brake override system doesn't override unintended acceleration” Hard to believe that Eyesight crash protection system stays asleep, allowing throttl brake override system doesn't override unintended acceleration e requests for gas to occur, crashing vehicle. Can the vehicle recorder’s data be analyzed? Corp Com guy says local dealer working on it. I’d think higher up regional techs would get involved. Dealers can’t be expected to resolve design issues.
Exactly as Don suggests... Eyesight and the secret data logging the car records should contain a lot of abnormal events and validate the driver's story. That data tells a story, and if Subaru is the only one with access to it, trust will be hard to achieve. Software is fallible and independent failsafe measures must be state of the art and highly verified. I need to know a lot more about how my 2019 Outback works now! Is my brake pedal only requesting that a processor apply my brakes? Are my brakes not able to overpower my engine?
The electronic module tells the car if the accelerator isn't reading up to 15% and adjust where acceleration starts each time you start the Subaru my app with the Bluetooth ODB tells me this it's called handicap or something along those lines it says the accelerator is broken in between certain points as it gets used and then resets where acceleration starts a little bit higher on the pad where electric contact is made.
Same old, same old. No pun intended. UIA ALWAYS occurs more in cars that older people drive. Older people drive Foresters and Outbacks. And Priuses. True, these car have higher reports of UIA. Sometimes 5, 6 and 7 times more! But that is out if 100's of thousands of cars. Ray LaHood, past US secretary of transportation also got confused by this mathematical statistic. Even though mathematically much higher multiple number of cases for a single model, it is mathamatically insignificant. Ray LaHood could not grasp the mathamatical calculations to prove "statistical significance" understood mathematicians. A certain model of car had 15 cases of UIA over 100, 000 cars and another has only 2. Therefore, LaHood concluded over 7x more likely to have UIA if driving that car. But because over 100, 000 cars surveyed, the difference between 2 and 15 is completely meaningless as a %. What does makes by far the biggest and a real significant difference is age. Specifically over 65 yrs of age. People over 65 are 80% more likely to report UIA. Guess what cars they most likely drive?
I have experienced sudden acceleration with my 2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R. Always thought my foot was too big for the brake pedal and gas pedal, which are relatively close to each other. Felt like I was pressing the brake and gas pedals at the same time. Based on other people’s experiences, maybe I’m wrong.
Our Toyota Camry Hybrid did the same thing more than once but we thought it must be an anomaly, until we went online and began digging further. Our Toyota mechanic never told us there was an issue/controversy with UI so we kept up with the routine maintenance…and some of it is very costly with hybrids…only to have to park it after the last incident because we certainly can’t sell it to anyone, and have their blood on our conscience. Its ridiculous! Being behind the wheel during these occurrences was so frightening and now, thousands of dollars are wasted because no one will own up to it.
Why cant people just own up to their mistakes. The car did not accelerate by itself.
I'm calling b.s. for many reasons. 1) The engine does not have the power to propel the car forward if you are applying even a moderate amount of braking, even with the larger 3.6R. You HAVE to let off the brake to get any forward movement. I've purposely done this with a current gen Subaru and the bigger 3.6L engine. 2) If the car had eyesight and is enabled with the crash mitigation. It will NOT let you run into anything, even if your foot is on the gas with the pedal to the floor. I have been in situations where I had to purposely turn this off just to move the car forward. This is a secondary system that is working on addition to your inputs, and it's a system that's independently controlling the ABS system, regardless of what the throttle (any part of it) is doing. The vehicle would need to have eyesight and would need the forward collision mitigation enabled. 3) In the words of everyone's favorite tv doctor, House, everyone lies. A person just crashed their car stupidly in a way where if they told the truth they'd be out $10k, $15k, $20k or whatever, they will question their morality REALLY hard, and most, very much most, will lie through their teeth to not instantly lose $20k on the spot. You would be kind of insane not to. It's not even an ethics thing. It's a risk/reward thing. The reward is a free car. The risk about equal to telling the truth. 4) There's a lot of terrible drivers. Be it a pack of experience, a lack of understanding of the mechanics, poor attention, and odd reaction behaviors. I have a friend who's natural reaction to his car sliding on some loose gravel or snow or ice was too crank the wheel full lock to one side and slam the gas, and then he'd freeze in place holding these inputs...for 20 seconds. He replaced 8 bumpers on one car in like 2 years driving straight into ditches and snow banks. For him, this was nearly involuntary to the sensation of the car sliding and how his brain processed and coped. Even a slight sensation triggered basically a 20 second automatic episode to which he wasn't really aware. I took him rallycrossing for a season just to unbreak his mind. He's a much better driver now, but people do this kind of stuff. I have another friend who can't talk on the phone and drive, not even hands free. He'll drive through stoplights and drive info parked cars doing so. That's how his brain functions. Cars are complex machines, and modern ones are a lot fancier with a lot of visual candy to distract you. There are a lot of bad drivers. 5) Lawsuits like this come up all the time and with a wide variety of brands. What has been historically common was actual defects are extremely rare. The majority of cases, including testing, attempting to repeat with the exact car, and collecting data logs of all sensors which includes throttle position, throttle plate control, air intake, brake application, motion sensors, and all kinds of other metrics, well, they basically find most people are bold faced liers. The car data didn't match what people said happened. The car and components don't repeat the problem and pass testing, news and people move on, and it all goes away until a new person lies to a news station. Are there legitimate cases? Yeah...a few very isolated events.
If these vehicles had a clutch pedal, people wouldn't be able to claim this (whether it's true or not). Just press the clutch in and shut the vehicle off. Problem solved.
Keep in mind if this was a 2015-2018 Outback, It might not have eyesight. It was not standard until about 2019. This particular car might NOT have pre-collision braking.