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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my '22 Advance MDX for about 5 weeks now, ~ 1500 mi. I had just pulled up to my garage, put it in reverse to line the car up and the steering went out. I understand it's electric steering on this car, but the amount of force needed to move the wheel was more than I've ever experienced on any car. Then probably every warning on the vehicle came up one after another to say that each system had been disabled; rear wheel drive, lane keeping, collision avoidance, etc etc, probably 8 to 10 warnings. I turned the car off and then back on several times, cycled through all the gears but it made no difference.

I had it towed to Jim Hudson Acura (Augusta, Ga.) this morning and they looked at it but they could not find a cure and said they have to consult with the regional Acura organization. To me it smells like a software problem given that all the other systems went south, but we'll see. If they cannot find a specific cause and just resort to resetting or reloading the system software i'm going to be very reticent to drive the car again. What if it failed as I was going into a curve and the steering can't be turned fast enough to avoid an oncoming car?

I'll report back when I know more.
 

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Sounds like an Electrical issue to me.
 

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Sounds like an Electrical issue to me.
Agreed. I don't follow the logic of it being software related. If it was a bug, all MDXs running that particular firmware would experience it. It would likely also be transient in nature (i.e. reset the computer and the vehicle runs fine until certain conditions are met). I'd be willing to bet there's a short somewhere or a faulty circuit somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agreed. I don't follow the logic of it being software related. If it was a bug, all MDXs running that particular firmware would experience it. It would likely also be transient in nature (i.e. reset the computer and the vehicle runs fine until certain conditions are met). I'd be willing to bet there's a short somewhere or a faulty circuit somewhere.
My thinking is that such an electrical fault that can take down all the systems, including steering would imply a very bad design with no sense of fault tolerance, "especially" steering at speed. Complex software could, as you say fall into a trap due to certain conditions that have never been considered or tested for. I didn't mention it, but the fault happened as soon as I shifted into reverse, so that could have been the final condition, who knows. Could be an electrical fault I guess.

Stay tuned :)
 

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It can be as simple as an open or short on a wire that feeds multiple circuits hence the cascading effect. Maybe a mouse or rat ate through some wires - it happens. I wouldn't rule out software either if it encountered some weird sequence of conditions but I haven't seen anyone else post here about a similar issue, which is good. Please post back here to let us know the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I'll let everybody know for sure. My biggest concern is that that the steering could go out on a single point failure which I hope would not be possible. I don't know a lot about how car systems are designed but I know a little about flight control systems where redundancy is built in that allows one or even two failures to occur without failing. This could include both hardware and software failures.

The fact that it failed when I was stopped was obviously not unsafe, but if this can happen while driving then it's a serious issue.
 

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The good news is that if you've ever driven a car without power steering you'll notice that the absolute hardest time is at slow / no speed. While moving the power steering doesn't generally do a "ton"... so I wouldn't expect your experience stopped to translate to while moving. I owned an old RX-7 with manual steering that was a nightmare in parking lots but an absolute joy once moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I think you're right. I had to back the car out of a curved driveway for the tow truck and it was a bit easier.

I did some more research and apparently electric steering has been around for quite a while on Acuras (and many more brands I suspect) and there's a module that controls it called the EPS (Electric Power Steering) module and many have failed over the years on older Acuras, so maybe that's all it is. It's just odd that it failed the moment I shifted into reverse and also that the techs could not diagnose it. More to come...
 

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My biggest concern is that that the steering could go out on a single point failure which I hope would not be possible.
Every vehicle I've ever owned has had a single point of failure in the power steering boost system. For vehicles with hydraulic boost something as simple as a failed hose or broken fan belt will stop the boost.

It's not catastrophic if the power boost fails - it just makes it harder to steer but still possible. The biggest annoyance is at low speeds and at higher speeds less boost is needed, like poster Brian_tii stated.

This is different than something like the steering linkage itself failing, which causes no steering at all, which would be a catastrophic failure, and I don't know enough about the electric steering systems to know if a failure in the electrical system for it can cause symptoms other than loss of boost.

From your description it sounds like it was just the boost that failed.
 

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I've had my '22 Advance MDX for about 5 weeks now, ~ 1500 mi. I had just pulled up to my garage, put it in reverse to line the car up and the steering went out. I understand it's electric steering on this car, but the amount of force needed to move the wheel was more than I've ever experienced on any car. Then probably every warning on the vehicle came up one after another to say that each system had been disabled; rear wheel drive, lane keeping, collision avoidance, etc etc, probably 8 to 10 warnings. I turned the car off and then back on several times, cycled through all the gears but it made no difference.

I had it towed to Jim Hudson Acura (Augusta, Ga.) this morning and they looked at it but they could not find a cure and said they have to consult with the regional Acura organization. To me it smells like a software problem given that all the other systems went south, but we'll see. If they cannot find a specific cause and just resort to resetting or reloading the system software i'm going to be very reticent to drive the car again. What if it failed as I was going into a curve and the steering can't be turned fast enough to avoid an oncoming car?

I'll report back when I know more.
Wonder if it is the belt or electric motor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The only thing I can think of on a traditional car that has redundancy is the brakes, ala the master cylinder with two reservoirs that has served us well.

I got a call back from the shop and they believe that it's the EPS module (electronic power steering) but are waiting back from the regional experts on why all of the other warning messages came up. I'm still a bit skeptical as to why it just happened to fail when I shifted into reverse, but we'll see what happens after the repair, hopefully nothing.

Now the concern will be with how long it takes to get the part. The dealership is telling me that they don't have any loaner cars because people are waiting for parts on their vehicles.
 

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Aren't the new cars drive by wire and steering? Eg there is no actual mechanical linkage between steering wheel, throttle, and brake pedal. Instead you are sending a signal only through a wire that is it.
Most of these systems have redundancy in place and if all else fails a base program to rely on for emergency stopping,etc. I think it is rare for the entire system to go down and all the backups in place.
 

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Aren't the new cars drive by wire and steering? Eg there is no actual mechanical linkage between steering wheel, throttle, and brake pedal. Instead you are sending a signal only through a wire that is it.
Most of these systems have redundancy in place and if all else fails a base program to rely on for emergency stopping,etc. I think it is rare for the entire system to go down and all the backups in place.
I think Infiniti is the only one trying steer by wire and it’s universally hated. I expect it to go away soon, likely with the next redesign of the Q60.

Throttle by wire is and has been common 15+ years. At this point I’d say every car has this. There is no mechanical backup in most cases, but they have multiple pedal position sensors that must agree or the engine is simply kept at idle. Very mature technology.

A few cars, especially hybrids / electric, are doing brake by wire. These are typically backed up by a mechanical linkage if the brake is pushed far enough from what I can tell.
 

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The MDX has a rack-and-pinion steering linkage with electric assist, which means it has a mechanical linkage to the wheels. Even if the EPS fails, you will always be able to turn the wheels.
I believe the only production passenger cars with steer-by-wire are the Infiniti Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe, and those still have a mechanical linkage that is engaged via clutch when there is any fault in the steering system.
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Aren't the new cars drive by wire and steering? Eg there is no actual mechanical linkage between steering wheel, throttle, and brake pedal. Instead you are sending a signal only through a wire that is it.
What 'Jefferson88' said - as of this point in time I don't think there are any purely steer by wire production vehicles available. Things are headed that way but not there yet. On the MDX it's the 'boost' that switched from hydraulic to an electric motor, but the steering shaft is still mechanically connected all the way through. Having the motor allows for more efficient power since it can be shut off at freeway speeds with the wheels straight when boost isn't needed, unlike a belt driven hydraulic unit that's always drawing power even when not needed, and the electric motor allows it to do some input to the steering allowing for things like the sports/comfort mode differences as well as lane keeping assist and the like.
 

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The MDX has a rack-and-pinion steering linkage with electric assist, which means it has a mechanical linkage to the wheels. Even if the EPS fails, you will always be able to turn the wheels.
I believe the only production passenger cars with steer-by-wire are the Infiniti Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe, and those still have a mechanical linkage that is engaged via clutch when there is any fault in the steering system. View attachment 117989
Wow!!! That Acura press kit is 76 pages!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, it's been four months since I last posted and my car has been in the shop the entire time. The shop ordered the part which is the whole rack/pinion assembly which I believe also includes the power steering motor. It took three months to get the part and it's still in the shop. Once they installed the rack they then had to order a fuse and now something about the engine harness. At one point they couldn't start the car and had to have the regional rep look at it.

So I bought the 2022 Advance, had it two months and now it's going on month 5 that I've been waiting. At about a month into the waiting I asked Acura to just give me a new car and they said they might but could not do anything until the repair was completed. At two months I asked them to either give me a new car or refund my money. Crickets, so at 3 months they had still not even received the part (apparently I was #7 in a waiting list and they kept giving an ETA and then missing it) and they still would not override their process so I filed a lemon law complaint.

Now that got their attention and they called immediately. Up until that point my case manager would rarely return a phone call and would not email me back. They asked if I'd accept a cash settlement to keep the car and I said no. After they missed their 20 day window to reply with an offer I told them I was going to file for state arbitration and they finally called to say they would buy the car back. Unfortunately the new case manager said it takes around a month to get a 3rd party team to meet me at the dealership with a check, but there it is.

It's been a long stressful journey and although I liked the car, and the dealer, my experience with Acura NA (Torrance, Ca.) has been a disaster in terms of communication and cooperation. I bought the car partially because of Acura's reputation for reliability and my belief that it's a premium car company that would stand behind their customers. For me, neither was true and this will be my last buying experience with an Acura.
 

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Well, it's been four months since I last posted and my car has been in the shop the entire time. The shop ordered the part which is the whole rack/pinion assembly which I believe also includes the power steering motor. It took three months to get the part and it's still in the shop. Once they installed the rack they then had to order a fuse and now something about the engine harness. At one point they couldn't start the car and had to have the regional rep look at it.

So I bought the 2022 Advance, had it two months and now it's going on month 5 that I've been waiting. At about a month into the waiting I asked Acura to just give me a new car and they said they might but could not do anything until the repair was completed. At two months I asked them to either give me a new car or refund my money. Crickets, so at 3 months they had still not even received the part (apparently I was #7 in a waiting list and they kept giving an ETA and then missing it) and they still would not override their process so I filed a lemon law complaint.

Now that got their attention and they called immediately. Up until that point my case manager would rarely return a phone call and would not email me back. They asked if I'd accept a cash settlement to keep the car and I said no. After they missed their 20 day window to reply with an offer I told them I was going to file for state arbitration and they finally called to say they would buy the car back. Unfortunately the new case manager said it takes around a month to get a 3rd party team to meet me at the dealership with a check, but there it is.

It's been a long stressful journey and although I liked the car, and the dealer, my experience with Acura NA (Torrance, Ca.) has been a disaster in terms of communication and cooperation. I bought the car partially because of Acura's reputation for reliability and my belief that it's a premium car company that would stand behind their customers. For me, neither was true and this will be my last buying experience with an Acura.
What a disaster! So sorry to hear about this. Seems Acura has a long way to go on the customer service front. Do you know what you'll replace it with?
 

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Well, it's been four months since I last posted and my car has been in the shop the entire time. The shop ordered the part which is the whole rack/pinion assembly which I believe also includes the power steering motor. It took three months to get the part and it's still in the shop. Once they installed the rack they then had to order a fuse and now something about the engine harness. At one point they couldn't start the car and had to have the regional rep look at it.

So I bought the 2022 Advance, had it two months and now it's going on month 5 that I've been waiting. At about a month into the waiting I asked Acura to just give me a new car and they said they might but could not do anything until the repair was completed. At two months I asked them to either give me a new car or refund my money. Crickets, so at 3 months they had still not even received the part (apparently I was #7 in a waiting list and they kept giving an ETA and then missing it) and they still would not override their process so I filed a lemon law complaint.

Now that got their attention and they called immediately. Up until that point my case manager would rarely return a phone call and would not email me back. They asked if I'd accept a cash settlement to keep the car and I said no. After they missed their 20 day window to reply with an offer I told them I was going to file for state arbitration and they finally called to say they would buy the car back. Unfortunately the new case manager said it takes around a month to get a 3rd party team to meet me at the dealership with a check, but there it is.

It's been a long stressful journey and although I liked the car, and the dealer, my experience with Acura NA (Torrance, Ca.) has been a disaster in terms of communication and cooperation. I bought the car partially because of Acura's reputation for reliability and my belief that it's a premium car company that would stand behind their customers. For me, neither was true and this will be my last buying experience with an Acura.
This is the cold hard truth that no one want's to hear but you said it perfectly. Acura use to be known for reliability but have had so many issues, every generation has had transmission failures, literally. I thought Acura was luxury too but someone once said it's not true luxury, it's premium but not luxury. Now that I think about it, it seems true as Acura is the lower end in terms of pricing/quality for it to be luxury. Which car are you going to replace it with?

Lexus is coming out with a new redesign this year I believe.
 
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