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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a new 2019 MDX (base). A blind-spot detection system was on my "must-have" list and I was prepared to negotiate for the tech package model, but my dealer assured me that they could install just the BDS as a standalone item. Come to find out (on the installation date, no less), the BDS is an aftermarket part. They assured me that they install 1-2 of these systems per week and that the part is customized for Acura models, so it's not some generic part. Nonetheless, I have been less than thrilled with it so far. It does work, but it seems like it's overly-sensitive at times, particularly on the driver's side. It will occasionally false alarm on Jersey walls and on vehicles two lanes over (in other words, I'm in the far right lane of a three lane highway and it's picking up vehicles in the far left). I'm planning on contacting the dealer about it, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this system as the materials for the unit seem to indicate a lot of dealers are pedaling it as an alternative to the Tech package.

The only documentation I have is for a system called Brandmotion RDBS-1400, although it appears to just a photo-copied manual -- all of my research seems to indicate that I have the newer model, RDBS-1500 which is basically the same part, albeit with upgraded logic.

I'd like to have the option to turn it off or at least make some adjustments to the sensitivity. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be all ears. If no one knows anything about it, at least this thread may serve as a warning to other MDX customers who are considering this or a similar unit.
 

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but my dealer assured me
I don't have the answer for you but that was the first red flag - I never inherently trust what a car (or any) salesperson says and verify anything they say and this needs to include the addition of any options/features and confirmation of whether it's really 'factory' versus 'aftermarket' and the reality is that aftermarket for many items is simply inferior to factory sue to it being a more generic, rather than specialized for the particular model, 'one size fits all' approach in an add-on way.

A family member once (a long time ago) ordered a Nissan and wanted a/c so the salesperson stated it would have the a/c and the family member 'assumed' it would be factory a/c but in reality it was an aftermarket a/c which the family member only discovered after the a/c broke and the manufacturer dealership wouldn't work on it. This a/c eventually turned out to be almost the only thing on the vehicle that failed but it failed several times.

I was actually surprised to see that blind spot monitoring isn't a standard feature now - it seems that it'd be base by now since even the base MDX is equipped with many features. I have it (factory one) on my 2014 tech and I think it works really well.

A feature like this that doesn't work right is useless because false alarms end up equating to no alarms since you'll just ignore it but have annoyance in addition to the lack of the feature. Take it back to where you got it and have them check on it because there well may be some sensitivity adjustments that can be done. If they can't make it work right insist they remove it and refund your money for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to go hunting for the ECU for this thing. Sure enough, they propped it up under the dash, no mounting tape or zip ties or screws or anything. It's just left to rattle around under there, which probably explains why I was noticing a bunch of rattles over the weekend. And to make matters worse, they broke trim clips under each part I had to remove to get to it. So, clearly these guys are less than professional. I did secure the box and checked the model number - it is indeed the older part, RDBS-1400.... so they must have just used old stock. Fortunately, it looks like it can be defeated just by pulling out the plug they have sitting in the ODB-2 port (no, there's not even a passthrough FFS...).

Now I wonder.... if they do such a craptastic job just mounting the ECU, I wonder if they used the vehicle-specific brackets (sold separately from the kit itself) or just rigged it up with generic parts. I don't know that I can really tell without ripping the back bumper off.

I contacted the selling dealer. I won't use their name until I understand how they're going to handle this. But I'll report back here in case anyone is interested.
 

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I don't have the answer for you but that was the first red flag - I never inherently trust what a car (or any) salesperson says and verify anything they say and this needs to include the addition of any options/features and confirmation of whether it's really 'factory' versus 'aftermarket' and the reality is that aftermarket for many items is simply inferior to factory sue to it being a more generic, rather than specialized for the particular model, 'one size fits all' approach in an add-on way.
Oh, lesson learned, I assure you. I am typically not so trusting, but given that Honda/Acura has such a wide array of dealer-installed accessories -- some far more complicated than this -- I just assumed that Honda relented and made this specific option available to throw the dealers a bone. As you said, everybody and their brother puts these systems on as standard equipment nowadays, it's a wonder that Honda wouldn't on their flagship brand.

I'm guessing this will turn into a battle, but I agree that the only really satisfactory resolution at this point will be to rip it out, replace my A-pillars with undrilled ones and allow me to supervise their work. Then I'll need to be compensated for my time and for the cost of the kit.
 
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