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Discussion Starter #1
The transmission in my 2002 MDX needs to be replaced after only 2,616 miles. Needless to say, I am very disappointed and frustrated by this entire experience. I am waiting on response from Acura Client Services, but want to contact someone who can help me restore confidence in Acura.

I am planning to write a letter to Acura, but does anyone know of any contacts that could assist? I would appreciate any guidance.

Thanks
 

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What is your issue? Isn't it going to be replaced for free under warranty? What more are you looking to get?
 

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Transmission replace??? Wow, this is the first time I heard that Honda/Acura has problem on its transmission with a total new car. I heard many issues with Toyota's, just not HONDA/Acura.

Anyhow, with this little milages, I believe it covered under the warranty, unless you did some modification on the car. :eek:
 

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Rich K said:
The transmission in my 2002 MDX needs to be replaced after only 2,616 miles. Needless to say, I am very disappointed and frustrated by this entire experience. I am waiting on response from Acura Client Services, but want to contact someone who can help me restore confidence in Acura.

I am planning to write a letter to Acura, but does anyone know of any contacts that could assist? I would appreciate any guidance.

Thanks
Well, you still have a good 47,000 + miles to go before your warranty expires. That should be plenty of time to reclaim your ocnfidence in Acura. These things happen on the best of vehicles, as unfortunate it may be. How quickly they handle your claim, and ensure you have adequate transportation will say a lot about the dealer and manufacturer.
I wish you the best, and let us know how you are treated.
 

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Rich, do you know if they will be replacing with a new or rebuilt transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is going to be replaced under warranty and the Dealer has indicated "New" although several other threads on this site indicate that "Remanufactured" may actually be the truth. I will have to verify.

I am looking for the vehicle to be replaced or, at a minimum, have the warranty extended for a long time. That may help restore some of that faith in a $40K automobile. With the reputation, I expected that roadside failure would be the last thing I needed to worry about. In addition to the worry, I would think that having the trans replaced would reduce my resale value, no? I will keep you posted on Acura's response.
 

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Rich K said:
It is going to be replaced under warranty and the Dealer has indicated "New" although several other threads on this site indicate that "Remanufactured" may actually be the truth. I will have to verify.

I am looking for the vehicle to be replaced or, at a minimum, have the warranty extended for a long time. That may help restore some of that faith in a $40K automobile. With the reputation, I expected that roadside failure would be the last thing I needed to worry about. In addition to the worry, I would think that having the trans replaced would reduce my resale value, no? I will keep you posted on Acura's response.
Why would it reduce the resale value? Are you going to make a big point that your transmission was replaced after purchase to prospective buyer?
You make the service records available to the prospective buyer, and based on their assessment you get an offer. I would not advertise the fact, and the info is there if they want to research it.
There is no reason to believe your replacement tranny will not give good service life. Afterall, it was a new one that failed, how much worse can it get?
 

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Rich,

Check the lemon laws in your state. If your car has been out of service for over 30 days, and it is less than one year old, many states call for replacement with a new vehicle. A friend of mine got it in Ohio - her BMW (325i) had a problem with its transmission (!) within 3K miles (!) (so similar, ah!) - finally she got a new vehicle, though not without a lot of arm twisting. Oh, did I mention that she is an attorney? That helped a LOT.
 

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i feel sorry for you, rich :(

I had the same problem with my Acura TL 2000. they replaiced the transmission with remanufactured one, and what bothers my again - i suspect there is a problem coming back :mad: i didn't know that those new hondas/acuras are so bad quality :3:

let us know how it ended.
 

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Rich,

Sorry to hear about your transmission. What is the reason for the replacement? I have a 2002 with 1300 miles on it, it is currently at the dealer I have a low growling noise and a vibration on the steering wheel when moderately accelerating. Dealer thinks it could be a bad engine mount but not sure. I was curious if we were experiencing the same or another if I had a different pre-mature
problem.



Jon
 

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Totally clueless responses?

I really get a kick out of folks that wonder why it is you're tweaked.... quite astounding.

Somehow some seem to think that your $40k buys you 50,000 miles- thats it.

Others wonder why you would question dealer repairs... automatically if Acura does it, it is 'good as new'.

And of course the "remanufactured MUST be JUST as good as new" afterall, it isn't 'rebuilt' or 'refurbished', but is 'remanufactured'.

You've got every right to be concerned. You'll need to fight to make sure you get new parts. You'll need to make sure they do the job properly, using all factory procedures.

If you have a service manual, you'll know what needs to be done and be able to check the invoice to ensure they parts and procedures that ARE required in the manual WERE actually done.

Of course, you're not driving the same car you paid for...but hey, that's not an issue- you should be thankful they are providing a loaner at all

I'd ask to set up a meeting at with the regionaly Acura rep. (District Manager). Keep in mind the dealer IS NOT Acura. Acura corp will try to deflect you to the dealer, and the dealer will blame corp on all decisions. Ask Acura Consumer Affairs the name of the district manager, and speak with him.

Unless asked, if the dealer gives you a clean bill of health there is no need to tell any buyer. However, you may want to use the argument that if they replace the trans with a remanufactured unit, it will clearly result in a 'diminished value' to you, since it will impact resale value. Perhaps they will pay you for the diminished value if they insist on using used parts in a new car?

Good luck. Keep detailed notes of EVER discussion, and EVER person you speak to. Require everything in writing from the dealer on the computer printout.

Ard
 

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Rich,

Sorry to say I am in the same boat as you, I need a new transmission after only 1300 miles. I am awaiting more info from my local service manager on next steps. They have been pretty good so far and I want to work with them on a resolution. However my feelings are the same as yours and I have all my communications documented. One of the selling points of the X is reliability and durability, I want to have confidence in the vehicle today and for a long time in the future. I would be happy to share with you any contacts I make as this develops.

Frustrated in NYC

Jon
 

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Re: Totally clueless responses?

ardvarkus said:
I really get a kick out of folks that wonder why it is you're tweaked.... quite astounding.

Somehow some seem to think that your $40k buys you 50,000 miles- thats it.

Others wonder why you would question dealer repairs... automatically if Acura does it, it is 'good as new'.

And of course the "remanufactured MUST be JUST as good as new" afterall, it isn't 'rebuilt' or 'refurbished', but is 'remanufactured'.

You've got every right to be concerned. You'll need to fight to make sure you get new parts. You'l
l need to make sure they do the job properly, using all factory procedures.

If you have a service manual, you'll know what needs to be done and be able to check the invoice to ensure they parts and procedures that ARE required in the manual WERE actually done.

Of course, you're not driving the same car you paid for...but hey, that's not an issue- you should be thankful they are providing a loaner at all

I'd ask to set up a meeting at with the regionaly Acura rep. (District Manager). Keep in mind the dealer IS NOT Acura. Acura corp will try to deflect you to the dealer, and the dealer will blame corp on all decisions. Ask Acura Consumer Affairs the name of the district manager, and speak with him.

Unless asked, if the dealer gives you a clean bill of health there is no need to tell any buyer. However, you may want to use the argument that if they replace the trans with a remanufactured unit, it will clearly result in a 'diminished value' to you, since it will impact resale value. Perhaps they will pay you for the diminished value if they insist on using used parts in a new car?

Good luck. Keep detailed notes of EVER discussion, and EVER person you speak to. Require everything in writing from the dealer on the computer printout.

Ard
Ard,
A couple of points for my own clarification. First of all, I am not surprised he is tweaked, I would be, I am sure anyone would be, but where do we go from here is the real question.

1) The subject of new, rebuilt, and remanufactured keeps coming up every time a major component failure is reported on here.
How does one really know what they are getting as a replacement, regardless of what the dealer/rep. says we are getting. They already have procedures in place for major system failures, and it is unlikely they will modify them on a case by case basis.

2) It may sound cold, but in reality what is the warranty for if not to replace any component that fails regardless of whether it has 1 or 49,999 miles on it.

3) The service manual is only going to help if the owner is technically versed enough to understand if repairs are being made to specific components, but in this case it would not make too much difference since the entire assembly is being replaced. And who is going to be able to stand there and watch if all procedures are being followed by the mechanic? After all, it's not like we are paying him by the hour out of our own pocket to do the job. That's a sad commentary, but true none the less.

I think there is some over reaction every time this comes up. If small components (wiper motors, window motors, relays, etc. ) were being replaced every several weeks I would really question the quality of assembly and parts being used by Acura.
But if one transmission fails in the car's lifetime early on, I am not sure it is all that catastrophic considering the complexity of the mechanism. Excusable? No, not all! But we are not talking about something on the scale of brakes faliing, or steering linkages snapping off, which are a lot less complex but much more critical.

A better question might be, of all the Acura MDXs produced since start of production, how many have had transmissions, transfer assemblies, or rear differentials replaced under factory warranty. I would like to see those figures to put this into perspective.
 

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Re: Re: Totally clueless responses?

DaleB said:

A better question might be, of all the Acura MDXs produced since start of production, how many have had transmissions, transfer assemblies, or rear differentials replaced under factory warranty. I would like to see those figures to put this into perspective.
Dale-

What is this site turning into? A cheering section for Acura Corporate, or for the marque? "Speak no evil about the MDX, afterall we own one and it would be a personal admission of failure"?

It matters not one whit to Rich K that MDXs as a group MIGHT be very reliable, or that transmission failures are rare. To him it is a 100% failure frequency.

(I'm reminded when a doc has to inform the patient they he has an exceedingly rare disease, and emphasizes how rare it is. WHo cares?)

Just to clarify:

If is quite easy to find out if you get new or remanufactured: just look at the part number. Call a dealer, or Tim, and get the PN for a new assembly and the PN for a remanned unit. Simple. (All manufactures have different numbers for new vs remanned so they can keep track of inventory.)

I believe that it is a reasonable expectation that you'll get 'like for like' in a warranty replacement. 2600 miles is closer to "new" than "remanufactured". (Sure, a reman might only have 2600 also, but no way of knowing.)

I agree, we don't need to get into the merits of new versus remanned.... if I recalll perhaps 20 or 30 posts to a few threads, over the last year or so... :)

Regarding the general tone: This is simply NOT an over reaction. Rick is right to be pissed, and to be wary of Acura's response.. Of course, anybody who posts along the lines of "aha, somebody else's car failed- I am so upset the MDX is so unreliable" is a moron and should be ignored... if it is their car, sure it is unreliable.. But if it is not your car, what are you complaining about? As I think you were intimating, all these posts are simple anecdotal, and cannot be used to draw conclusions on occurance frequencies...

What worries me is not the new part, or the other parts on the car, but rather what the repair might do to the overall reliability. The dealer IS NOT the same as a factory built car.


On the service manual:

The service manual would tell anyone that:

The ATF cooler MUST be flushed
A NEW 'set ring' is required on the intermediate and drive shafts
A new oring is required for the transfer assembly
New lock washers are required on the shift connection
A wheel alignment is required

You don't need to be technically competent, just literate. Then, when you receive the paperwork you can check to make sure all the parts that should have been replaced are on the paperwork. I'd agree you can't watch, just check after the fact. (Personally, I'd not 'warn them' that I am looking for this, otherwise the parts might appear on the invoice despite never having been in the dealers stockroom...)

(Of course, the dealer will claim that "oh, that doesn't need to be done". If he does, ask for it in writing from the factory.)

The more technically astute would see that the entire front suspension is opened up to get at the trans, and it is not a trivial task. (There are 72 individial steps in "Transmission Installation", and perhaps a hundred specific torque values to set.)

I'd also reiterate my contention that Acura Corporate and the Acura Dealer are simply independent businesses, and that the end user would do well to be involved with BOTH entities (personally, via direct meeting) on such a significant repair. If the service manager knows you will be a total asshole, and you know what buttons to press and you know what it takes to do the job right, you'll be more likely to get the best job. (Sure, you might get it anyway, but this tactic increases the odds.)

Anyway, I always thought this is not an Acura website, it is for owners. We don't need to defend Acura. Let's not get upset defending the vehcile for the benefit of bozos lurking from the MB or BMW sites.


Ard

PS Of course, one could just drop off the car, take the loaner, pick up the car 5 days later, and marvel at the wonderful vacuum and wash they did - and drive off into the sunset. Ignorance really is bliss.
 

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Interesting dialog betw DaleB and Ard. I find myself agreeing with you both. I've given answers from both perspectives when posts like this come up re: a "major" failure (engine, tranny, etc). Especially on a low-mileage car.

I think everyone realizes that it's a major disappointment (and that might be understating it) and that a new owner of a new car (regardless of price) reasonably expects it will be functional. Sure, maybe a few glitches outta the gate ("defects per 100 vehicles" in JDPower speak, or "sample defects" in CR speak) but those presumably would be minor. Squeaky this, blown that sorta stuff.

I think the customer's expectation re: warranty is to fix/replace stuff that breaks, but there's an inherent belief that the defect/breakage will manifest itself a bit farther down the road than the dealership's driveway. Especially for a major drivetrain component.

Part of my own perspective, which has changed during my time on the site, is driven not just by what the customer expects & deserves, but also recognizing what is possible, probable and likely insofar as Acura's response.

Somewhere between what the customer wants and what Acura offers to do (initially) is a reasonable outcome.

The customer loses faith -- early on -- in Acura because of a major systems failure. He wants a new car, damn it. I very likely would be the same.

Acura says "we'll fix it under warranty; that's what the warranty is for; pick it up in 3 weeks".

Meanwhile, no wheels (or a loaner that isn't as good as the X) yet you're still licking stamps for the envelope containing the payment coupon and a check.

I think most recently I've been advocating asking for certain compensation (diminished value typically not among it) but expecting something in between nothing and what you ask for:

Go ahead and ask for a new car. You probably won't get it.

Go ahead and ask for a new tranny (instead of remanufactured). You might get it, but probably not.

Go ahead and ask for a comparable loaner. You might get it.

Go ahead and ask for a free extended warranty to restore your faith. You'll probably get it.

Go ahead and ask for some free accessories. You might get it.

It can never hurt to ask.

Certainly, how you ask makes a difference. "I want a new car goddammit" or "I don't care about corporate policy and standards I want a new tranny and $ for diminished value" is different than a more measured "I sure don't have much faith in your flagship car after a major failure so early out of the gate, not to mention that $600 I'm paying to Honda Finance while it's up on a lift. Make me feel better and give me some tangible assurance about a dealer-installed remanned unit..."

I agree wholeheartedly with having the knowledge about what is supposed to occur during the repair, and ensuring via the service order (at the very least) that all the parts are on there. We've seen some service orders missing totally basic stuff like the washers for VTM changes. Tough to check the 72 torque values and peek over the shoulder of the tech doing the work, unfortunately. And while the dealer is not a factory built car, in this case it could be argued that it'd be virtually impossible for the dealer to be much worse. Well, unless you're working with BellTeck's old dealer.

My $.02. Clear as mud.
 

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My contention is that knowledge can be painful, especially when there is no way for you to be satisfied that everything was done according to the manual.
Yes, you can convince the service manager/mechanic that you know what needs to be done, and read them their rights and it may help. It is certainly worth a shot to add in your own expertise and let them know they better not do a shoddy job.
I also have serious doubts that you will ever know the true pedigree of that tranny they put in there. You can get all the part numbers you want, they will replace it with whatever their procedure tells them to. Maybe Tim could jump into this fray and let us know if this is a reasonable expectation, I don't think it is, and would love to be corrected on this point.
I do think the suggestions made by TheWorm are more than reasonable requests and should certainly be pursued.
I am hardly on the dealer of manufacturer's side, I am simply stating the reality of the situation and the reality is that they have an obligation to meet warranty requirements, and no more, unless you can persuade them to go beyond. And hope they do, because I don't think you will be able to verify as much as you would like.
It may sound like I am an advocate for the 'other side' but in fact I am only presenting the other side, not REpresenting it. You have to be realisitic about what can be done vs. what you would like to have done.

Ard, I can tell you have a lot of experience and knowledge and went through your own hell with failed transmissions before, I am not trying to nullify any of your advice which is certainly sound, but I am not convinced the end results will be as conclusive as we would all like. But I like the idea throwing in everything, and hopefully something will stick.
 

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DaleB said:
Maybe Tim could jump into this fray and let us know if this is a reasonable expectation, I don't think it is, and would love to be corrected on this point.
I've learned my lessons about getting involved in threads like this to a degree, mostly because they are charged with emotion, and I'm not saying that it shouldn't be. But any input that I could offer at this point from my 14 years in automotive employment would be based solely on scenarios that should happen as I personally see them (both as the dealer and as a customer), which may or may not be the same as how you see it.

Originally posted by ardvarkus
If the service manager knows you will be a total asshole, and you know what buttons to press and you know what it takes to do the job right, you'll be more likely to get the best job. (Sure, you might get it anyway, but this tactic increases the odds.)

All I am going to say regarding this is that if that is true, you're doing business with the wrong people. If people dealt with me in this fashion on a regular basis, I'd go get a relaxing job like driving a cab in the city. Sounds like a pretty miserable way to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks to everyone for the comments and advise. I will keep you posted on any developments.

to Jmesseri - My symptoms were a little different, in that the trans didn't seem to engage at all - my max speed was under 20 MPH. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this as well.
 
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