2023 Acura MDX Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, powertrain, fuel system, and brake issues are the cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The flagship of the Acura lineup, the 2023 Acura MDX is the second model year of the fourth generation. The automaker describes it as “the most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history.” But owners are complaining that safety systems of the luxury SUV fail, brakes malfunction, and some fuel tanks leak.  

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

Most Common Problems

Originally launched in 2001, the Acura is now in its fourth generation. After skipping the 2021 model, the automaker relaunched the functional luxury SUV in 2022 in a new, fourth-generation design. Not much has changed between the 2022 and 2023 models in terms of performance, appearance, or features.

But, while the 2022 model came with 3 years of AcuraLink services that include security features, this is optional with the 2023 model. The 2022 model has a standard 2-year or 24,000 mile maintenance program, this is not available with the 2023 model.

Comparing the complaints about the 2022 and 2023 models, there are lots of similarities too. While the problems cited are not all the same, the electrical system, powertrain, and brakes are attracting the most complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Other components and systems 2023 owners are finding include forward collision avoidance and the fuel/propulsion system.

There are no recalls for either vehicle.

Additionally, there are complaints on other platforms too, including Edmunds. These relate to the many different issues including the quality of the car, the noises it makes, and fuel-related issues. One notable comment is from an MDX owner who usually drives a BMW X3 M40. By comparison, the MDX “just felt and rode like cheap plastic.”

2023 Acura MDX Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Service Brakes
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Safety System

Complaints to the NHTSA include issues relating to safety systems going offline or failing. One owner who reports a “safety systems failure,” describes experiencing multiple problems. For example, the all-wheel-drive lane-keeping adaptive cruise automatic emergency brake tailgate doesn’t open. He estimates it has failed 8-10 times, twice in one week. In other words, the problem keeps recurring. According to the dealer, it’s a cable and plug problem. But, after getting the vehicle back from the dealer, it happened again.

The complaint states that the owner doesn’t feel safe when driving the MDX. So far, he says, it’s only happened while driving on local roads. But, if it happens on a highway, there “might be a big difference.”

An owner from Pennsylvania reports getting alerts for all the safety systems going offline. The complaint states that the AWD (all-wheel drive) wasn’t working either. The car would turn off when the ignition was pushed on. The tailgate would also go “haywire. When opening it just went up and down and halfway. I had to push it closed,” then, after several restarts, both issues went away, “for now.”

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Fuel Problems

Problems relating to fuel are varied and include fuel leaks and issues with fuel economy. In an NHTSA complaint, a 2023 MDX owner describes a fuel leak from the gas tank. This, the complaint states, was caused by a retainer clip for the engine supply fuel line that was not installed during assembly of the SUV. As a result, the MDX wouldn’t start and there was excessive fuel leakage from the top of the gas tank.

A four-star comment on Edmunds describes the 2023 Acura MDX as “an impressive luxury SUV.” But it berates its fuel economy. “Despite its impressive performance, the MDX’s fuel economy is not as efficient as some of its competitors. It has an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which may not be ideal for those who prioritize fuel efficiency.”

Problems with Brakes

Brakes are another issue, just as they are with the 2022 model. A complaint to the NHTSA from a 2023 Acura MDX owner states that “while driving at various speeds, the brake pedal was spongy whenever depressed.” When pushing down on the brake pedal, it would go down to the floorboard. There was no warning light illuminated, but because of the failure, the MDX had to be towed to the dealer 3 times.

“The brake reservoir and brake reservoir cap were replaced under warranty. However, the failure persisted.” The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but the MDX was not repaired. The failure mileage was about 3,000.

Noise Problems

There are lots of comments on Edmunds that refer to noise – and not just one kind of noise.

One owner who awards the vehicle 1 star states that the 2023 MDX Type S has a “loud engine, and not a good loud. It sounds like the engine has no oil in it and everything’s just rubbing together.” There are other problems too, including windshield wipers that are so low on the shield they don’t stay warm, “so driving in snow and ice becomes hazardous as the wipers constantly freeze up if not in use.”

Another noise issue is wind noise. “At the beginning we did not hear it, and as we drove more the noise was getting louder and louder. I don’t recommend (it). My 2016 MDX I traded is better and more quiet than the 2023 model. This was a big mistake and I regret it big time.” This owner also awarded the SUV just 1 star!

Yet another Edmunds comment refers to noise and other issues. Giving the MDX 2 stars, it states, “I traded in my 2016 Volvo XC 90 for the 2023 MDX. What a mistake. The ride is clunky. It feels like going from driving a sports car to driving a truck. The turn radius is poor, the car accelerates sometimes when my foot is not even on the gas pedal. There are weird noises that sound like something fell off and is rolling around. Super disappointed. This will be my last Acura.”

Another 1-star owner describes several odd noises including a “high pitch whining noise which triggers at 45mph.” Then there’s a “rattle noise from the cluster/HUD part of (the) dashboard. My dealer tried to fix it but it just doesn’t go away.”

What to do if Your 2023 Acura MDX is a Lemon?

If your 2023 Acura MDX has recurring problems that affect its value and use, there’s a chance that it might be a lemon. Lemberg Law will be happy to assess your problems free of charge. We have many years of experience handling lemon law cases, and if we think your claim has merit, we can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. The law says that Honda, the manufacturer of Acura, must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases. This means it won’t cost you anything.

Call our Helpline now or fill out a contact form and we’ll see what we can do to help 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

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