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Discussion Starter #1
Power Steering Failure... No Repair

At 6000 miles my power steering disappeared. Called dealer who said "We can take you in two weeks". Drove to dealer next day, left MDX and got a loaner. A few days go by, no call from dealer. I call today "the rack and pinion steering has seals in the rack the failed on the right side and power steering fluid just pours out. We tried to order a new rack, but Honda parts has taken them out of distribution because there is a problem. Don't know what to tell you."

Can I drive the car without PS fluid without doing long term damage to the car. PS disappeared on way home from 400 mile trip, so I put about 300 miles without PS. If its safe to drive, I'd like to get my car back until the solve the problem. Drives OK at highway and city speeds, terrible in parking lots.

Has anybody heard about "new rack not available from Honda parts because of problem"?

:3:
 

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A "problem" could be that it's on national backorder. Right now, brake pads for the current generation CL/TL are on national backorder. Now that's a big problem.

But, you can drive a car without power steering if your arms can take it. It would be bad for the pump if there's NO fluid in the system though.

Rob
 

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cwj123 said:
At 6000 miles my power steering disappeared. Called dealer who said "We can take you in two weeks". Drove to dealer next day, left MDX and got a loaner. A few days go by, no call from dealer. I call today "the rack and pinion steering has seals in the rack the failed on the right side and power steering fluid just pours out. We tried to order a new rack, but Honda parts has taken them out of distribution because there is a problem. Don't know what to tell you."

Can I drive the car without PS fluid without doing long term damage to the car. PS disappeared on way home from 400 mile trip, so I put about 300 miles without PS. If its safe to drive, I'd like to get my car back until the solve the problem. Drives OK at highway and city speeds, terrible in parking lots.

Has anybody heard about "new rack not available from Honda parts because of problem"?

:3:
I wouldn't drive it. All you need is for it to seize on you. I am not clear exactly what's wrong, but if it's steering I would not touch it until it's fixed.
 

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National Backorder?

Correct me if I'm wrong. But the term "National Backorder" implies that no such part exists in the United States? How can this be possible? Are these parts in Japan or Canada? Are they behind in manufacturing the parts? I'm trying to fathom what possible excuse a company can have to have an inventory system so inept? Somebody help me understand???

:confused: :8:
 

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TheRobSJ said:
A "problem" could be that it's on national backorder. Right now, brake pads for the current generation CL/TL are on national backorder. Now that's a big problem.

But, you can drive a car without power steering if your arms can take it. It would be bad for the pump if there's NO fluid in the system though.

Rob
I agree, you can drive a car when the power steering goes out, until you can get it to a shop. But I am not convinced it is that wise to keep driving it before it gets fixed. Is the pump disconnected now? Will it burn up if no fluid? Too many unanswered questions here.
 

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Gee.

At what point does the lemon law 'kick in' in your state?

22 days? 30 days?

I'd say not having steering is a material defect, eh?

I WOULD NOT UNDER ANDY CIRCUMSTANCES DRIVE IT. Acura could hold you responsible for further damage EVEN IF THE DEALER TOLD YOU OK! You could have an accident.

I am sure a faxed note Acura corporate informing them that you will file a lemon claim on day ____ (one day past the limit) might get some attention...

I mean, they do have Fed Ex from both Canada and Japan...

Ard
 

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Yep, national backorder...

From what the parts manager told me. There were something like 380 sets or cases of those brake pads getting distributed...but somehow got "lost." I don't know if that means they fell out of a truck, burned, stolen, or whatever. I just know that we don't have them for a problem we see 1 or 2 of a day. It's TSB 01-017. And unlike the transmissions, Honda actually corrected the problem with the brakes by switching from crappy Findlex to the better Nissin brakes on the '03 CL/TL.

Yes you can drive without power steering no problem. It'll kill your arms, but hey, it's a good workout especially with a big front weight biased vehicle. However, if the system is dry, it could conceivably burn/seize the pump. If there's fluid in the system, but just leaking, sure drive it, just don't run it empty. And keep it filled ONLY with the Honda P/S fluid. If it's just gushing out, then don't bother. The emergency fix would be to just cut the belt off so the pump doesn't run and live with no power steering.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Talked to dealer service rep today who says that they can see inventory of part at distribution center and it says that they have the part, but part is being withheld for some unexplained reason. One week in shop, no part, no tentative repair date. I'm driving a two-door Civic. :mad:
 

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cwj123 said:
Talked to dealer service rep today who says that they can see inventory of part at distribution center and it says that they have the part, but part is being withheld for some unexplained reason. One week in shop, no part, no tentative repair date. I'm driving a two-door Civic. :mad:
Well, there is plenty for you to do to speed it up. And to get a loaner that is closer to the passenger capacity of an 'X.

Must not be a big problem for you though...
 

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I'm just guessing...

But in talking to my relative who works for Nissan he did say that sometimes when a "critical" component is discovered to have a defect they stop shipments of any that are in the parts warehouses.

It is kind of like when they "ground" military planes after a crash. They want to be sure than no other units will have the same defect.

Anyhow, this is just my guess, but it seems possible that something like this is affecting the steering rack supply.

Oh,and you DO NOT want to drive this sucker, unlike in the olden days when you could get a stripper with no P/S that would have a nice torque multpying steering box, without P/S on todays FWD vehicles you'd need forearms like King Kong to park...

Hope they get it fixed ASAP, though you know Civics are vastly more refined these days ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm Not Happy

OK, Pray that your power steering doesn't go south. This is getting worse and worse. And I'm getting more and more disappointed with Acura.

No word from dealer so I call and call today, getting answering machine. I finally ask that my service rep be paged,which they do but cannot find her. I ask for the service manager and don't get through either. I call my salesman and tell him that I must hear from service before end of day.

Hour and half later I get a call and I'm told they now have a delivery date for my part... September 30! My new $40,000 MDX with less than 6000 miles will be down for 35 days!

I suggested that they take a part off a car they have in inventory, even a used car. They said "we don't know if that will effect your warrenty". I said "Find out!". I suggested that the car is being built daily in Canada, get someone to fedex the part overnight. I also asked for an MDX loaner. They have two used on the lot, but one is almost 20k and the other is almost 30k and they don't want them to roll over. They should take the loss, not me.

I called Acura Client Services and someone "opened an incident report, someone will contact you in 2 to 3 business days" With the upcoming weekend, thats 4 to 5 more days before I even talk to a human being.

I'm baffled, I can't for anything believe that it takes 30 days to get any part to anywhere in the world today. Time to research the Delaware lemon law I guess. :3:
 

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Re: I'm Not Happy

cwj123 said:
...MDX with less than 6000 miles will be down for 35 days!
I would politely suggest that they figure out something better than three weeks+, or else you will have to take drastic action.

I would hope they are smart enough to realize that they could either pay for a month of lease, pay for your monthly loan, or some equally large goodie package...
 

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Re: I'm Not Happy

cwj123 said:


I called Acura Client Services and someone "opened an incident report, someone will contact you in 2 to 3 business days" With the upcoming weekend, thats 4 to 5 more days before I even talk to a human being.

I'm baffled, I can't for anything believe that it takes 30 days to get any part to anywhere in the world today. Time to research the Delaware lemon law I guess. :3:
Sorry to say, but others might learn: As soon as you start getting the BS of "we don't know, may be on back order, yada, yada" it is time to call Client Services. Now it could be days to get a response.

Folks, you MUST understand the dealer IS NOT ACURA!!! They are an independent third party who is supplying service under a contract with Acura. Yell at them all you want, Acura holds the gold.

I'd bet that Acura (the folks who will be stuck with a lemon claim) doesn't know about the situation yet!

I'd call Client Services and ask to speak with Eric Thomas. He is one of the case managers in Torrance, CA (remember, it is early here...). See if you can get them moving instead of stewing all weekend..

Point out that if you are driving an MDX you may not make a lemon claim- but if you are stuck paying for a car you cannot drive......

Ard
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Terrible Customer Service

Both dealer and company have offered the worst of customer service. Dealer called yesterday to say that they have the part. (Now this is the part that they could not get until 9/30) and car would be ready yesterday. I specifically and politely asked if the service rep would call me at end-of-day to arrange for car swap... or to give me an update if car was not ready. I received no call.

By the way, Client Service had called them after my complaint and had authorized the dealer to offer me an accessory (no, not a Nav!) for my pain. I have nearly everything I want already, but realized a burlwood knob would be nice. Perhaps it will sooth my pain.

In any case I received no call yesterday as promised.

Today I received no call.

Client Services, with whom I logged an incident on Friday, had told me that they would call in two to three business days (a customer service technique used to weed out the 80% of the problems that just go away in two days). They also did not call today. I called them and asked to talk to my case manager. They would not connect me to case manager. He was on a call, but they talked to him (why can't I?) and he said he had learned nothing about my case. I asked if that meant I was not going to get to talk to him. They went round and round and I reminded them that they promised a call by day three and I really needed to talk to case manager. Phone boy said he'd leave my message, but was unable to reassure me of call.

Good news, the case manager did return my call. He said that he called the dealer and my car was repaired AND RELEASED TO THE CUSTOMER! I am the customer and I am still driving a Civic loaner and have no idea where the car is. By the way, I asked why I was told part was unavailable until 9/30 and asked what the cause of part failure was and he was unable to answer either question.

I got the name of the rep at the dealer who reported my car being released. I called her and she also confirmed that my car was fixed and released to customer. I pointed out that I was the customer and she realized we have a problem. She said she'd call me back.

She called me back to tell me that car is done, but maybe they hadn't installed the knob. She wasn't sure because car wasn't on lot. She eventually determined that car had been sent to detailer. I told her that I wish I had been kept informed, as promised, and that I would have driven down tonight to pick up my car (dirty and all). She said Acura policy insists that cars be returned clean, I politely suggested several Acura service policies were probably violated already and a dirty car would have been just fine.

I asked why the part was reported to be unavailable and why it failed in the first place and she could not tell me. She could not tell me if my 7500 mile service had been completed. If I called tomorrow morning I could find out what was done and arrange for delivery of my car.

To the folks at Acura: If new car is disabled, dealer must say "bring it in tomorrow", not "we can't see you for two weeks"

To the folks at Acura: When serious service problem is encountered service rep should call customer with status update.

To the folks at Acura: When calling, service rep should tell the truth.

To the folks at Acura: If customer specifically asks, "will you please call me at the end of day with an update" and service rep agrees, then rep MUST call!

To the folks at Acura: If client services says someone from client services will call... then they MUST call!

To the folks at Acura: If new $40k Acura is expected to be down for four weeks, dealer should provide comprable loaner, not a two-door civic.

My ranting my give you the impression that I am unreasonable, hot headed and rude. This is not the case and I have addressed all Acura and dealer employees in the most polite terms. But I am so angry my eyes are bleeding.

Good news is that I get my car tomorrow. I hope that my power steering pump is not also damaged and hope that this new part will last more than 6 months.
 

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Re: Terrible Customer Service

Not a bit!

Not that long ago I had a complete customer service nightmere meltdown. Short version: I e-customer service system that an airline had installed was just like one that I worked on for company that let me go, so when ticket agent acted like I did something wrong I went semi-nuclear...

Every friggin' company should relize that when they screw-up they have already blown once chance for customer satisfaction and they damn well better try very hard to make everything else perfect...

cwj123 said:
...My ranting my give you the impression that I am unreasonable, hot headed and rude. This is not the case and I have addressed all Acura and dealer employees in the most polite terms. But I am so angry my eyes are bleeding.

...
 

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Re: Terrible Customer Service

cwj123 said:

Good news is that I ****THINK*****get my car tomorrow.
Good luck.

Only thing slightly unreasonable was that they would KNOW what caused the power steering pump failure. And even if they knew, they wouldn't tell...

Hey, I'm impressed they gave you anything. I'd have gone for a luggage box myself....

Ard
 

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Ard, I just don't understand you. Why would you think that if the dealer knew the root cause of the problem, that they wouldn't tell you? Is it because of your past experiences, or just your curmudgeonly ways?
 

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TheRobSJ

Just curious why an Acura mechanic would never own one??? Have you encountered that many problems that would steer you away or is it the foreign/domestic issue. I see you drive a Chevy but you also have a Honda.:confused:
 

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My experiences with American Honda are the same. They simply don't seem to get it and worse, don't seem to care.

I would think that with a vehicle like the MDX they should target the likes of Lexus. Alas, I fear that they are content to offer Acura as an upscale Honda and settle for "near luxury", thus avoiding direct comparison with the likes of Lexus.

Such a shame:

Lexus, Infinity, BMW, Mercedes
-gap-
Acura
-gap-
Toyota, Honda, etc.

Not sure where to put companies like Volvo, Subaru, etc. -- don't have enough experience or I would have listed them.

Interesting though ... American Honda is increasingly upscaling the top of the line Honda products [e.g. 03 Accord, 03 Pilot]. As they do this, they decrease gap between Honda and Acura. Wonder where this will take them? Honda may start to take business away from Acura. With the Pilot, I think that may already be happening. With the 03 Accord EX V6, Honda may nick the TL market. Why compete with yourself when there are so many other targets out there??
 

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hondacuraworld said:
Ard, I just don't understand you. Why would you think that if the dealer knew the root cause of the problem, that they wouldn't tell you? Is it because of your past experiences, or just your curmudgeonly ways?
Must just be my sunny, positive outlook... :D


The term "dealer" is bandied about as if it is one guy.

I'd believe that the mechanic might know a reason (something other that 'the seal failed' which is pretty obvious), but would he have a detailed discussion with the service writer/advisor? And the service writer usually edits stuff for public consumption. So the question, would the "dealer" tell you- is more of a "would the organization be able to get this information to you".

I guess your question is, 'if the one guy you are talking to knows the root cause, would he tell you?'

My suspicion is that unless there is a repeated failure mode, mechanics and service advisors usually don't know what causes the failure (ROOT cause), and when they do it is usually a design or mfg defect (since it is common) and I BELIEVE there is a natural tendancy for "the dealer" to keep this to themselves.

How many dealers are discussing the fact that "the internals whatever (clutch, plate, spring, planetary gear...) on the CL transmission fails, and that is what likely caused your transmission to fail"

I've found that unless you make it clear as to what you want, and demonstrate you have the capability to understand, the information you get will be limited (this is ANY car dealer). You also need to be reasonable and polite, otherwise who wants to help, eh?

Ard
 
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