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Not at liberty

Asked by Geoff Dunlop

THE cruise control in my 2002 Subaru Liberty has an annoying trait on the highway and descending certain gradients. It feels as if the brake is being tapped or the accelerator stabbed. I complained to the dealer during the warranty period on three occasions and was given three different answers. The first was that the cruise control cable to the accelerator was binding. The second was that it was fixed. The last was that it was caused by engine braking on long downhill runs, ``a normal characteristic for this model''. Do you know if this is a design fault? Would you agree that this is a normal characteristic, as the dealer says?

Answered by CarsGuide

5 May 2005 Carsguide.com.au

WE PUT your questions to Subaru's technical people, who gave this response: ``This is a normal characteristic. It is of a minor nature and we have had only a handful of comments from owners of the thousands of this model that we have sold. The current model has enhancements to ensure only minor sensation of the opening and closing of the throttle when cruise control operates to maintain the set speed, particularly on downhill roads.'' Though the company claims to have had few complaints, it has moved to improve the cruise control on the current model, which should tell you they thought it wasn't up to scratch. Unfortunately, it seems you'll have to put up with it or get the newer model.

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