2022 Acura MDX Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, transmission & fuel system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Luxury SUVs are meant to impress and enthrall the consumer. With the 2022 Acura MDX, the automaker claims that it offers “performance for every challenge.” Yet, customers aren’t sure that this SUV can withstand driving out of the driveway without breaking down. Some of the top problems include a glitchy electrical system, a defective fuel system, a malfunctioning powertrain with transmission issues, and terrible steering.

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

Most Common Problems

The most common problems owners of the 2022 Acura MDX are experiencing relate to powertrain issues, particularly problems with transmission. Based on complaints made to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), electrical system problems are also high on the list along with brakes, suspension, and forward collision avoidance issues.

We have focused on the most serious of these.

2022 Acura MDX Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Electrical System

There’s no reason for a luxury model to suffer from electrical system problems, but that’s all the MDX seems to deal with.

One Edmunds review says, “We extended our previous MDX lease so we could wait for this 2022. Three days after getting it home, the car started calling Onstar emergency. We couldn’t stop it. It just kept calling. Police called us, Sirius XM was alerted and it went on all night til next morning when my husband got in it at 5am and drove over an hour to dealer. A week later the infotainment system malfunctioned with warnings and continues to do so and they say they don’t have a fix. Now the AC isn’t working well.”

At this time, Honda has simply sent out Service Bulletin #BTI&10302021901, which asks the dealerships to get more information from customers about a malfunctioning sunshade that is reversing and opening on its own. This is just one more electrical issue that can’t get resolved. For now, it seems that Acura is hoping to create a new experience, with the lights getting brighter and dimmer as time goes on.

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Fuel System Problems

Additionally, there seem to be major issues with the fuel system, leading to trouble on the road. With a defective fuel system, the engine can’t run properly.

Another Edmunds review states, “I have had the car for 5 months and it has been in the shop 6 times for fuel pump issues. The car feels sluggish, which may be related to fuel pump issues. The engine sounds noisy and weak. I usually wait for bugs to be worked out on new or updated models, but since I already had a 2013 Honda Pilot and had really no major problems, I decided to make a leap of faith and purchase this updated model. Big mistake.”

These issues should come as no surprise, especially when looking at the level of incompetency from the automaker. Service Bulletin #BBTS210401 discusses how the lower rear engine cover on some of the vehicles is cracked, sometimes before the SUV leaves the dealership. The level of attention to detail on these cars is just amazing and something that the company should win awards for.

Problems with the Powertrain

In the past, Acura has gotten a bad rap for putting defective transmissions in vehicles, so everyone hoped that the automaker learned from its mistakes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There are a bunch of NHTSA complaints that focus on transmission problems.

For example, a new owner from Illinois states in a complaint that, “Transmission failed right as I drove off the lot. The car initially started to jerk and then was revving to 7000 rpms and would not speed up past 25mph. The car also stopped moving when I put it in reverse.”

He took it back to the lot within the hour. About 3 days later he was told that the transmission had failed in the car. “This was a brand new car and should not have happened.”

Here are examples of other transmission complaints.

An Owner from New York states:

“A transmission error popped up on the car and the vehicle would not accelerate past a few miles per hour. The issue is happening intermittently and the dealer and Acura service claims it’s a random issue. A sign that says brake fault keeps popping up as well and it’s really scary to drive the car. Acura service said it’s normal and working as designed and there is no fix at the moment.”

An Owner from New Jersey states:.

“I purchased the new MDX 2022 on May 27th 2021. On May 31st, while driving on the Interstate 287 at 65mph, the car suddenly stopped accelerating. When I pushed the gas pedal, the engine only revved up but the car continued to slow down. I pulled the car on the shoulder lane, shut the engine off and restarted.

“The problem continued. The dashboard had the warning sign ‘Transmission System Problem. Avoid heavy Acceleration and high speed. See your dealer’. It also showed the sign ‘Emission System problem, power may be reduced. See your dealer’.”

He states that there was no prior warning, and the MDX 2022 was brand new. “The Acura dealer has inspected the car and requested the transmission system change. The car has 1071 miles only and 4 days out of the dealer’s parking lot.”

An Owner from Texas states:

“The vehicle makes noise while shifting from Park to Reverse to Drive. Transmission fluid and oil fluid leaking while I had driven only 450 miles. Had reported the issue to the Service Department. They informed that since the engine is new it will take a while for the transmission gear to quiet it down. They can’t find any leakage for the first two times when I brought the vehicle for them to inspect. Their Service Manager was able to identify the issue and assigned the technician to trace it down. My car is currently in their shop for the third time since I just purchased it on August 19th, 2021.”

It turns out that Honda has faced similar issues before, with a proposed class action lawsuit affecting previous models. The claim was that the automaker knew of acceleration defects and sold vehicles anyway, leaving people in danger. If history repeats itself, it won’t be long before more lawsuits are filed over defective powertrains.

Problems with the Steering

Controlling a vehicle is a fundamental task that most people take for granted. However, MDX drivers know all too well that it can be a major issue.

Another customer posted on Edmunds saying, “Just purchased a 2022 MDX Advance 48 days ago brand new. This car has put me in 2 extremely dangerous situations. The first being power steering went completely out as I was traveling down the freeway at 78mph. Was only slightly able to move steering wheel with quite a bit of force so was able to just get the car pulled onto the shoulder of the road. As I was sitting there, warning light came on that notified me braking systems failure and car could roll. This was the hill assist mode. Taken to dealer ASAP was instructed that they couldn’t find anything. Picked up the car and 2 days later, car goes into collision mitigation mode while I was traveling 50mph with the only car in my sight was behind me. That car had to swerve to avoid backing into me. This incident caused me to have whiplash. The car is back in the shop and have been told that Acura has only seen this one other time. Blah blah blah!!! The real kicker is the part needed hasn’t even been manufactured. So I could wait for months before this is fixed. Researching what my consumer right are at the moment.”

It turns out that Honda is also aware of steering issues. Service Bulletin #BPaS10302021 discusses dealerships talking to customers about the clunking and knocking noise coming from the tie-rod end when hitting a bump or turning the steering wheel. However, the company has no fix in mind for correcting the problem but simply wants feedback from the drivers. It’s nice to feel heard, but sometimes a fix would be better.

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.

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
  • Lisa L

    Thank you all for your posts. I hate this is happening to you. Especially considering the price of this vehicle! I was WAS in love with the looks of it and trying to find a way to make the purchase and feel ok about it. But that is a huge NO for me! Good luck to all with these issues. I can’t believe they get away wth brushing it off that easy after you just spent what you did! That is RUDE DISRESPECTFUL AND SHOWS THEY DO NOT CARE IF YOU GET KILLED IN THE STUPID CAR! I will never buy from Honda or Mazda! This is really poor business on their part. I hope you all share this everywhere you can. Fb, twitter, insta and everyone you know. Other people won’t want to buy from them either.

  • MRC

    Owned 2 4th Gen MDX’s and each one have a different set of issues. First one is 2022 MDX A-Spec which had issues with acceleration and weird vibration in the gas pedal. Acura did not care to look into the issue and simply ruled out saying it’s normal. Since I could drive the car with the vibration in the gas pedal, traded in A-Spec for 2023 MDX Type S Advance hoping that the Type S engine design is different and I’ll not have any weird issues.

    But, I was completely wrong. My 2023 Type S Advance have multiple issues –

    1) high pitch whining noise which triggers at 45mph. This happens only when I slightly press the gas pedal to maintain the speed. Take the foot off the gas pedal and the noise stops. Again, feather the gas pedal, it comes back. My dealer did not even attempt to identify the problem but instead he test drove other type s in the lot which was having similar noise but barely noticeable while it’s pretty loud and annoying in my car. Opened a case with Acura and they took my dealership technicians word and ruled it as a normal characteristic of the car… which is BS! Many other MDX owners are experiencing same issue and Acura is not bothering to look into the issue at all.

    2) Rattle noise from the cluster/HUD part of dashboard. My dealer tried to fix it but it just doesn’t go away.

    Type S Advance is the most expensive and sort of flagship vehicle for Acura. But, Acura decided to screw it up and do nothing about the issues that customers are having and simply saying it’s normal. Seems like Acura knows these issues and yet released a faulty product into the market and bagging the money.

    If Acura doesn’t take these issues into consideration and fix them, this will be my last Acura product and spread the word to my family and friends who are in the market for a new car and make sure they buy a better reliable car other than Acura who pays attention to customer issues and value them.

  • Hk

    2022 MDX w/Advanced package. While driving at a very low rate of speed the windshield suddenly cracked on the curved, passenger side which grew into a larger crack. The impact seemingly did not occur. In other words, nothing actually hit the car. The damage has no blunt impact whatsoever. There’s no abrasion it’s just a smooth surface with the cracks being born from within. Checked my front camera over and over to see if there might have been something I missed, nothing can be seen moving towards my car.

  • Chris P

    My MDX 2023 has the same issue just bought it brand new 1 month ago. And while driving in the freeway braking system failure almost got into a accident. Wish I can return this car.

  • KennTex

    Radio keeps cutting out for expended periods .

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