2020 Acura TLX Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Suspension and electrical system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

With several luxury brands to choose from, owners have trouble deciding what car to drive, but the 2020 Acura TLX continues to be a favorite. With “performance at its core,” this car has built up a lot of expectations. However, it is disappointing for drivers when they deal with the faulty suspension and glitchy electrical system.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Acura TLX

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Electrical System

Problems with the Suspension

Behind the wheel of a premium vehicle, the road ahead should be nothing short of enjoyable and peaceful. Yet, customers find themselves in store for a rough ride with the TLX.

One Edmunds review says, “I have a TLX AWD 3.5L 2020 vehicle with 225 miles. The car has an odd rumbling/vibration in the steering wheel and sometimes throughout the entire vehicle. The issue occurs at all speeds, regardless of road conditions. The only consistent issue seems to be changing velocity…changing speed or direction. This trait is extremely annoying and if a smooth ride is important to you, this is not the car you’re looking for. I have asked the dealer and he assures me this is normal. If Acura considers this normal automotive engineering they are in the wrong business.”

Sadly, the entire vehicle meets sub-par standards. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V215000 states that over 628,000 vehicles have a low-pressure fuel pump that fails prematurely. If this occurs while driving, the engine can stall and possibly cause an accident. It’s difficult to see where the “performance” factor comes into play if the car itself can’t even move. Maybe it’s time for the automaker to strip this car back down to its core to fix the problem.

Problems with the Electrical System

In 2020, there were plenty of advanced electronic features that were put in new cars. However, the Acura failed on every front to provide technology that actually works the way it should.

Another Edmunds review says, “The 2020 sound system is a DISGRACE. Although the specs say that it is an ELS system is sounds like the cheapest sound system you can buy. I took it to the dealer who determined that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT, although the manager himself acknowledged that the system sounds awful, tinny, scratchy, etc. I wrote a letter to corporate ACURA, hoping that they intervene.”

Acura isn’t ashamed to discuss problems, even issuing Service Bulletin #B20-013, which states that the navigation display starts to distort after using it for an hour or more. Plus, the time to travel and distance stops updating or the icon is shown in the wrong location. Additionally, the touch screen can stop displaying. If a customer thinks they will find their way behind the wheel of the TLX, they are sadly mistaken. Ultimately, Acura models were previously included in a class action lawsuit that claimed they tried to hide electrical defects to the air bags and seatbelt control units. Are these problems still occurring or has Acura suddenly decided to become transparent? Looking at what is being posted to the internet, it would be safe to assume that troubles are still lurking below the surface – maybe even down to the core.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Acura pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 26, 2022
While traveling on highway, parking brake intermittently activated several times and parking brake malfunction alarm flashed on dashboard. This caused the vehicle to brake unexpectedly while driving through a construction zone on highway 45. Fortunately, we were very close to the acura dealership where the vehicle was purchased and managed to drive the vehicle to the service department. The parking brake alarm continued to display on dashboard even after turning off the vehicle and starting it again. The emissions alarm also flashed intermittently on the dashboard. After researching on several tlx forums, we found similar incidents dating back to 2015 tlx vehicles. There is also an issue when trying to start the vehicle. Sometimes the engine does not turn over and the dashboard displays error messages or goes completely black. Dealer is unable to fix this issue. Vehicle has been in for repairs a number of times with no resolution. We are not sure if the starting issue is related to the parking brake issue. There seems to be major issues with the electrical/software/firmware.
DateAug 15, 2022
After coming to a stop at a red light, the vehicle engine turned off as designed with auto start stop. When the light turned green, the vehicle temporarily restarted when I released the brake pedal, but immediately stalled and would not restart. This is a major safety concern as I was on a four lane road with traffic all around and I was unable to move. I had place the vehicle into park, turn off the ignition fully, and attempt to restart the car. It eventually restarted, but it took nearly 90 seconds. This is a danger to myself, and to the traffic around me as I was fully stopped on a road with 40 mph limits and a lot of traffic.
DateJul 15, 2022
Tire size: 225/50r18 95h while parked I noticed the tire tread pealing off face of tire (the part that touches the road surface) and exposing the under layers of tire rubber and internal tread shapes almost like outside and inside tread layers separated not sure if from road hazard or the two layers separated on their own?
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJan 11, 2022
My car has started to jerk. I called the dealership where I got it from and they told me that if it didn't jerk in there possession there is nothing they could do. It's a 2020 and it has a little over 28k miles on it. There are 2 open recalls on my vehicle, but my specific vin isn't affected. I don't know what else to do .
CategoryPower Train
DateSep 01, 2021
Vehicle will suddenly shift into neutral while driving and won't shift into drive until the vehicle is turned off and restarted
CategoryService Brakes, Structure:body
DateJul 16, 2021
After approx. 15,000 miles on the odometer applying the brakes at highway speed to slow the car down the steering wheel shakes, went to the dealership they said the front brake rotors are warped. Also when traveling at highway speed around 70 mph with strong wind the hood of the car shakes as if it is not latched, stopped vehicle and checked that the hood is properly latched and it was, I am concerned that one time the hood will come unlatched as I am driving. Dealer said that was a normal like other acura tlx of the same year.
DateJun 30, 2021
Car loses power on inclines. Stepping on gas and car decreases speed.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJun 08, 2021
Two times in three weeks with the auto idle stop active the car failed to restart on a green light. Following all the prompts in the car it takes over a minute to re start the car while blocking traffic.
DateJun 06, 2021
I was driving around 30miles/hr and the engines shut off unexpectedly. I was stuck in the middle of a highway and the engine didn't turn back on. The dashboard showed total failure. The car was one year old with 11k miles. I just had it serviced by the dealer.
CategorySuspension, Wheels
DateAug 10, 2020
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 acura tlx. The contact stated that while her husband was driving it felt as if the tire was about to deflate. He checked the tire and found no issues with the vehicle. He continued to drive and the driver's side front wheel detached from the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the park avenue acura dealer located at 247 west passaic st, maywood, nj 07607, (201)-587-0029, where it was suggested that someone possibly had tampered with the vehicle. The technician offered re-install the wheel however, the contact declined the offer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 830.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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