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So I'm traveling from Nashville to St. Louis in my 2016 MDX with 52,000 miles. At 100 miles from my destination my transmission shifts to 2nd gear on the interstate. All-SWD problem indicator and emissions problem indicator flashing. I limp at 30 mph to the nearest exit and park. Restart the engine and all the lights continue to flash. I have the car towed to the nearest Acura dealer - 96 miles - $300. The tell me the car is due for a software update. I complain about no notice and they explain that Acura doesn't want to send out a notice because people will make a big deal of it, CNN will call it a recall and hurt the brand. It only affects certain 2016 VIN #'s. I tell them that I should have been notified of an issue and that they have turned their potential publicity problem into my $300 tow problem, kind of a lousy thing to do to a customer. Service adviser said he didn't think I'd have anymore problem. This is my second MDX because, because of what I perceived as a reliable car and honest service. Have real doubts now and am concerned about trip to Florida in 2 weeks. This experience and the stupid button that you have to push each time you get in the car to disable the engine cut-off at every stop has about put me over the top for future Acura models.
 

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No question quality issues in 3rd generation MDX.
Besides my 2014 MDX, I just got a 2017 RDX as well. Rattles in the steering wheel on the new RDX. Was fixed at dealership, they already had a TSB on something loose in the steering column.
The power train seems to go forever and cost of maintenance versus my Lexus is lower so I try to just deal with these annoying things that seem to come up.
But the quality issues on the factory floor continue. And you are correct, Acura does not seem to care, or Honda for that matter as well. I once called Acura after my 5th quality issue in the first year of ownership on my 2014 MDX and the guy at Acura told me to take it up with the dealer and hung up the phone on me.
 

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I complain about no notice and they explain that Acura doesn't want to send out a notice because people will make a big deal of it, CNN will call it a recall and hurt the brand. It only affects certain 2016 VIN #'s.
That's a pretty ridiculous thing for them to say - and do.

Did they apply the update at no cost to you? They should have since the power train is still under warranty. If they covered it then they also should have reimbursed you for the tow to the dealership. Did they reimburse you for that? If not, then pursue that strongly through Acura.

Did the software update, i.e. TSB, indicate that it resolves this specific problem you experienced? If so then you might be able to have some comfort level for your next trip but if it's just a more general update that 'might' fix this, but it's not specifically indicated, then there goes your comfort level for your next trip.

An issue that causes a vehicle to behave like this warrants a recall since it can cause an accident and is potentially dangerous - i.e. it's not just inconvenience or an inefficiency or something benign. You could contact the NTSB on this and report the issue. I've never done that before so don't know the procedure but it seems that it'd be somewhere on their website.
 

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Wait, are you still in your 4/50 b2b warranty? If so, it includes roadside assistance, which is supposed to include a tow to the nearest dealer. Pretty sure this is tsb 15-054.

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dang, this make me worry more and more. my 2016 model is around 40K and i don't know what will happen when i hit 50K. :(
 

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Wait, are you still in your 4/50 b2b warranty? If so, it includes roadside assistance, which is supposed to include a tow to the nearest dealer. Pretty sure this is tsb 15-054.

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OP says 52,000 miles so out of original warranty.

To OP: since this is your second MDX, if you have good relationship with your dealer, see if they will contact Acura re reimbursement for towing, particularly since you are just out of warranty. May do goodwill gesture, ...or may not. But no downside to asking.
 

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dang, this make me worry more and more. my 2016 model is around 40K and i don't know what will happen when i hit 50K. :(
Haha, strong probability it will start and drive just like it does now. There were about 60,000 MDX's sold in North America in 2016, a predictable few will have issues because its a machine and machines fail.
 

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"transmission shifts to 2nd gear on the interstate"

Known problem in a critical component of the vehicle. No matter how many vehicles are potentially affected, it should be a campaign ( voluntary recall ). This isn't a random failure. It's a "feature" of the ongoing issues with the ZF 9HP transmission, some of which Honda has mitigated through improved control software. But it shouldn't be the responsibility of a vehicle owner to check for software updates on their vehicle.

Complain to NHTSA: Safercar.gov

"Haha" trolling is unhelpful. Better hope it doesn't happen to you, off warranty, in the middle of nowhere. Just sayin.
 

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Powertrain warranty separate...

Hey guys, wanted you to know that Acura Powertrain I believe is 6yr/70k FYI.

Rest easy knowing it goes longer than 4yr/50k b2b warranty.
 

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are you still in your 4/50 b2b warranty?
...
OP says 52,000 miles so out of original warranty.
This was a tranny issue so it s/b covered under the 70K mile power train warranty rather than the bumper to bumper.

According to the Warranty manual (for my 2014 - I assume the 2016 is likely the same), towing to the nearest Acura dealer is covered for any of the warranties, which would include the 70K power train one.

I'd definitely pursue a reimbursement for the towing.
 

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Right, the OP's trolling isn't helpful. The OP states he's on his second MDX so presumably at least a couple of years of ownership but never once did he contribute to the forum until his dubious claim that his car downshifted to 2nd gear at highway speeds...plausible but unusual behavior because most forum members are enthusiasts. Then the OP piles on by suggesting Acura has an update to prevent this dangerous occurrence but is electing to withhold the fix from the public to protect their image?? Give me a break! Let's apply some critical thinking skills; a downshift to 2nd gear from 75mph (not sure what redline is in 2nd gear but would guess it's around 25mph?) could cause loss of control resulting in injury or death...I bet that would do some damage to the reputation of Acura! Not to mention the damage to the drivetrain that could result. It's not a known issue, but if in fact this did happen there is no benefit to Acura to not fix it immediately via recall. I'll grant you that the ZF9 could benefit from continued refinement of the shift logic and that auto-stop is maddening, but I'm having a hard time believing the claim by the OP.

The fact remains that right now anyone that owns a 2016 needn't be worried about their transmission exhibiting the same behavior when they reach 50k miles. 1 out of 60,000 is hardly a sample one can draw ANY meaningful conclusions from. Apologies to Irobot2090 for my condescending remark.
 

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^^ My replies were based on the face of the post - I don't know whether it's a legit post or not. The main point is that if this type of issue occurred it'd be covered under warranty and it should include the towing charge.

A vehicle dropping to 2nd gear while cruising along at 70mph would definitely be a dangerous thing that s/b taken seriously by a dealer and manufacturer.

I don't recall seeing a similar issue posted here by anyone else. Maybe the post isn't legit, which would be good for other 2016/2017 owners, but if it is legit, there s/b some recourse for the OP.
 

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ZF has acknowledged an issue with a wiring crimp on some of the 9HP transmissions, that may cause the transmission to abruptly shift into neutral. Dunno if that is the only possible misbehavior. But IIRC the proposed resolution is a software patch rather than fixing the underlying defect, which presumably would require swapping the transmission.
I don't have a source for this notice at the moment, but it shouldn't be hard to find.
Good point on the powertrain warranty.
 

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Right, the OP's trolling isn't helpful. The OP states he's on his second MDX so presumably at least a couple of years of ownership but never once did he contribute to the forum until his dubious claim that his car downshifted to 2nd gear at highway speeds...plausible but unusual behavior because most forum members are enthusiasts. Then the OP piles on by suggesting Acura has an update to prevent this dangerous occurrence but is electing to withhold the fix from the public to protect their image?? Give me a break! Let's apply some critical thinking skills; a downshift to 2nd gear from 75mph (not sure what redline is in 2nd gear but would guess it's around 25mph?) could cause loss of control resulting in injury or death...I bet that would do some damage to the reputation of Acura! Not to mention the damage to the drivetrain that could result. It's not a known issue, but if in fact this did happen there is no benefit to Acura to not fix it immediately via recall. I'll grant you that the ZF9 could benefit from continued refinement of the shift logic and that auto-stop is maddening, but I'm having a hard time believing the claim by the OP.

The fact remains that right now anyone that owns a 2016 needn't be worried about their transmission exhibiting the same behavior when they reach 50k miles. 1 out of 60,000 is hardly a sample one can draw ANY meaningful conclusions from. Apologies to Irobot2090 for my condescending remark.
For the benefit of other 2016 MDX owners, I experienced exactly the same situation when I changed lanes to pass traffic while driving at 75 mph on I-95 N. My MDX had 42,000 miles at the time, November 2018. My wife and I parked in a rest area for about 30 minutes with the engine off. When we restarted, the transmission was no longer locked in low gear so we carefully continued to our destination, about 100 miles away, and delivered the car to an Acura dealer for thorough checkout. No error codes were triggered. All software was up to date before the problem. No fixes were applied and the problem has not re-occurred. The sudden downshift at highway speed could have been a safety disaster. This is my 4th MDX but my only 2016.
 
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