2023 Acura RDX Problems and Top Issues – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Shattering rear windshields, forward collision avoidance, and structure-related issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

While the 2022 model was refreshed, the 2023 Acura RDX remains unchanged. It has, though, been updated with a new, complimentary, peace-of-mind Maintenance Minder package and other premium services. This, says Honda, makes it the most “performance-focused and technologically sophisticated 5-passenger SUV in Acura history.” But complaints from owners tell a different story that highlights safety issues, exploding rear windshields, and displeasure about the Maintenance Minder offering.  

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Acura RDX

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) are varied. They are listed as forward collision avoidance, powertrain, structure, and visibility/wiper issues, which sometimes belies the real reason for complaints.

For instance, while there are currently two complaints listed as being related to the structure of the vehicle, one relates to a shattered rear hatch window, and the other to a malfunctioning liftgate. Similarly, while the windshield complaint is also listed as being a visibility issue, another is filed as being an unknown or other problem.

Additionally, there is a complaint that differential service is being charged for by dealers despite the new complimentary Maintenance Minder package.

There is also a recall that affects the 2023 Acura RDX. Issued on June 15, 2023, NHTSA Campaign Number 23V430000 states that there might be unintended vehicle movement from brake fluid leaks. If this happens, or if there is an unexpected increase in brake pedal travel, the risk of a crash or injury can increase.

The issue, which involves 2023 Acura RDX, Acura Integra, Civic, and 2022 Honda Accord vehicles, is due to a possible leak in a ball valve in the vehicle stability assist (VSA) modulator. Dealers will replace the modulator free of charge. However, owner notification letters had not yet been mailed at the time of writing this post. So, there is no feedback yet in terms of the efficacy of the recall repair.

2023 Acura RDX Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance
Power Train
Unknown Or Other

Rear Windows that Shatter

The first complaint came from an owner in Texas who had owned the vehicle for only about five weeks. He states that “the rear hatch window on my 2023 RDX spontaneously shattered while it was sitting in my garage. After I discovered it, I searched for a cause and found nothing.” As a result, he did some online research and discovered similar complaints about rear windshield glass exploding in previous model years. “The photos of the previous rear hatch window explosions matched exactly what my RDX looked like.” He also discovered an Acura Service Bulletin, 22-014.

The complaint goes on to say that “it was the rear hatch window (aka, rear windshield glass) which failed. The vehicle is now with the dealer. Inspection would have to be done quickly as I have made a warranty claim to have it repaired. Safety could have been an issue had I been in the vehicle.”

An owner from Florida states in an NHTSA complaint that while backing up in his driveway the rear glass of his 2023 RDX shattered. This was only two months after he had bought the vehicle. “As I was backing up in my driveway and looking through the side and back mirrors, I heard a loud noise. And when I looked back into my car I saw my rear glass was blown away like it exploded or something similar.”

History of RDX Rear Windshields Shattering

Shattering rear windshields are nothing new as you can see from our post about problems and top complaints that relate to the 2022 Acura RDX. On June 10, 2022, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (AHM) issued Service Bulletin 22-014 titled Rear Windshield Glass Shattering. It states that 2019 RDX and 2020 models have experienced rear windshield glass shattering or breaking with no external impact.

It also states that the cause may be “Incorrect specification for the rear defroster grid.” The solution, which it indicates may be a warranty claim, is for dealerships to inspect and replace the rear windshield glass. The inspection and repair procedures are specified.

There are three notifications in the form of manufacturer communications on file with the NHTSA for the 2022 and 2023 Acura RDX. These were filed on February 21, March 10, and March 28, 2023. All three state that AHM is “searching for certain 2022-2023 RDXs with a client complaint of rear windshield shattering. To better understand the cause of this condition, AHM would like to collect specific information from the vehicle prior to you attempting a repair of any kind.”

The most recent notification states in red that the “message is solely directed to Acura dealership personnel; please handle it accordingly.” It also states that to “better understand” the cause of back windshields shattering, AHM wants specific information from affected vehicles before the dealerships attempt repairs.

As “a gesture of appreciation,” they are providing referring technicians with Visa gift cards.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

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Liftgate Problems

The owner of an RDX from New York was sitting on the edge of his van with the liftgate fully open while taking off his spikes after golfing. “I inadvertently triggered the fob in my pocket when I leaned forward, causing the liftgate to close. At first, I did not realize it was closing on me, but (I) jumped up and it caught me on my upper back. I avoided serious injury.”

When he took the vehicle to the dealership, he discovered that the issue “appears to be common to all makes of Acura with liftgates. Serious pressure has to be put on the liftgate in order for it to stop.”

Because page 177 of his manual states that “if the liftgate detects resistance it will reverse itself,” they tested it at the dealership. They discovered that “a great amount of pressure has to be used for it to stop and reverse. This is a serious defect and needs correction before someone gets seriously injured. The service advisor almost hurt her arm trying to get the liftgate to stop. It is not only my vehicle. The sensors do not react appropriately.”

This owner believes that all Acura RDX models should be recalled and the liftgate issue corrected immediately.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Problems

In an incident that could easily have resulted in a collision, the Forward Collision Assist system engaged suddenly, without warning. At the time, the owner was driving at about 70 mph and was overtaking another vehicle. The RDX “started beeping” and the Forward Collision Assist system engaged “abruptly.” This resulted in the brakes applying “independently without warning.”

Luckily, the driver was able to avoid a collision.

Problems with Differential Cover

Honda maintains that the new, complimentary Acura Maintenance Package adds peace of mind and lowers the cost of ownership for RDX customers. It offers vehicle owners two years or 24,000 miles of cover relating to “select factory-scheduled maintenance, as indicated by RDX’s Maintenance Minder system.” You can download a copy of Maintenance Minder from Acura.com, but it doesn’t state what the new complimentary package covers.

Nevertheless, the owner of a new Acura RDX with 10,771 miles is angry because his wife was charged $315 by the local Acura dealer for “differential service” because “subcode 6” displayed on the Maintenance Minder. “I believe this is a scam or any differential service should be under warranty. I pursued the complaint with Honda extensively on the phone and just now was called back by Honda and told that (it) is regular maintenance and is not covered by the new car warranty. No car that I have ever owned needed differential service after 5 months – this is a scam.”

There is considerable discussion online about how often differential service should be undertaken and how much owners are being charged. But there is no consensus. Prices quoted range from about $150 to an estimated $550.

The differential service entails having the differential fluid removed and then replaced. It does appear to be part of the factory-scheduled “regular maintenance” required.

According to Acura’s Maintenance Schedule, a differential service should be done at 7,500 miles and then every 15,000 – but only if you regularly drive in mountainous areas at very low speeds or tow trailers! Otherwise, the Maintenance Minder will tell you via a code, when to have the service done.

What to do if your 2023 RDX is a lemon?

There certainly are some issues that recur with Acura RDX models, but do they recur with your vehicle? If they do, you might believe that your 2023 RDX is a lemon. If so, 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 must pay your legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.

Call our Helpline now or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to 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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