2021 Acura RDX Problems and Top Issues – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine & Glass issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Launched in 2007, the Acura RDX is a compact luxury crossover SUV that is produced by Honda’s luxury vehicle division. The first two generations were built on the same platform Honda uses for its CR-V and Civic passenger cars. But, according to Acura, the third-generation RDX launched in 2019, is built on its own platform.

A Honda media release circulated when the first third-generation model was launched in mid-2019, says “New generation Acura shatters sales records.” It explains how this new generation car is built on “authentic Precision Crafted Performance brand values.” And it boasts that the RDX team’s ultimate goal is to make the best RDX ever.

If complaints to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are any indication, this claim cannot be substantiated. This was the 13th year of the RDX and not the luckiest. In fact, with 157 complaints covering a total of 219 problems, the result displays the most NHTSA grievances ever for the RDX!

The 2020 model shows reduced complaints, just 90 covering 131 problems. This is because some complainants have several problems that they include in one complaint.

Lemberg Law wrote about both these models in articles that cover issues that may qualify a car as a lemon. Read more about 2019 Acura RDX problems here, and 2020 issues here. But what about the 2021 Acura RDX?

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Acura RDX

Since December 2020, there have been a total of 21 complaints to NHTSA about the 2021 model. These cover a total of 27 problems covering a variety of components and systems.

The most common problems relate to the engine of the RDX followed by sunroof and windshield issues that result in shattered or imploding glass. In addition to these, there are 2 complaints each about the powertrain, forward-collision avoidance, suspension, and the structure of the vehicle. There is also 1 complaint each about the electrical system, the service brakes, vehicle speed control, and the car’s wheels.

We’re going to look at a few of the most common problems.

2021 Acura RDX Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags
Fuel/propulsion System

Engine Problems

While there are no reported accidents as a result of any of the 6 engine problems, several complainants say it was close. They all report engine malfunctions that result in a lack of power. Most also say that turning the engine off and restarting it seems to solve the problem.

One complaint says that the vehicle had to be towed to the dealership. “But of course, they said they never heard of this happening before.”

Another complaint says that after a sudden loss of power, their car was “almost hit from behind.” He says it was a “life-threatening event for my wife and I, several moments of sheer panic.”

Other complaints are very similar, with the engine losing power and decreasing speed for no reason. One driver who was able to pull over, shut off the car, and restart says that the problem seemed to go away. But: “This is a very dangerous situation and I have read other people reporting similar incidents.”

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Problems with the Sunroof & Windshield

A total of 4 complaints focus on sunroof problems. Another 2 categorized under Visibility, are related to windshields cracking or shattering.

All the sunroof problems are categorized as Unknown or Other. A couple of complaints report sunroofs imploding or exploding while others talk about flexing of the glass. Loud popping sounds seem to be the common factor.

One complaint says the “loud cracking/popping sounds” from the sunroof happen when they drive over uneven pavements, especially when it is cold. Reporting the issue to Acura and the dealership has achieved nothing even though the complainant has seen similar complaints on an Acura owners’ blog.

Yet another complaint that reports the “moonroof” imploded, says that the dealership admits this has happened with multiple vehicles. When the complaint was made in October 2021, they were waiting for the part, which had been back ordered because of the high number of similar complaints.

There are 2 windshield issues, one that cracked and another that shattered. Neither one was repaired, but Acura was notified in both instances.

Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

There are 2 complaints about forward-collision avoidance problems, both of which reportedly nearly caused crashes.

The first complaint describes an incident in May 2021 when at least 3 cars were traveling on a freeway more than 100 yards apart. The braking feature activated in the middle car.

“If there had been a car behind us we would have rear-ended and potentially (had) a multi-car pile-up.” The dealership told the owner everything was calibrated correctly. He wasn’t happy, so he set up a case number with Acura.

If the car behind had been any closer, it might have rear-ended them and caused a multi-car pile up.

“They haven’t replied or returned my repeated phone calls. I have asked for a supervisor to call and that hasn’t happened either.”

While he didn’t report injuries, the car owner states that both he and his wife were “sore” the day after the incident after flying forward with seat belts engaged.

The complaint about the second incident, three months later, tells how the collision mitigation braking system malfunctioned with cruise control set at 55 mph. With no cars around the car, the driver says that his car stopped abruptly “in a whiplash manner.” Similar incidents happened twice after that first one.

What to do if if your 2021 Acura RDX is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If you have recurring issues with your Acura RDX you may have bought a lemon. Whether you are certain you have got a lemon, or aren’t sure, call the Lemberg Law Helpline and we will assess your issues.

We specialize in handling lemon law cases and can negotiate buybacks, cash settlements, and trade-ins for you. A replacement vehicle is sometimes also an option. If you have got a lemon, the law specifies that Acura must pay your legal bills.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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