The U.S News and World Report ranked the Acura MDX as the third highest-selling luxury SUV in the country. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the 2016 MDX has been a popular choice for consumers. From the outside looking in the 2016 Acura MDX appears to be the perfect, highly functional, and family-friendly vehicle. Acura has even labeled the MDX as the “Premium Performance SUV”.
Don’t be fooled. The 2016 MDX problems are plentiful. According to consumer reviews on Edmunds, the 2016 MDX has acceleration issues, transmission problems and many owners have experienced persistent engine stalling. On CarComplaints, a website that provides a platform for consumer's voices to be heard, there are more than 230 complaints made against the 2016 MDX regarding its transmission system and poor acceleration. These defective aspects have compromised Acura's reputation for producing reliable vehicles. Consumers no longer trust the MDX brand.
2016 MDX Luxury SUV Description
This seven-passenger midsize SUV can comfortably accommodate the whole family. Yet, it’s luxurious enough to impress your neighbors and compete with the other luxury vehicles in your job’s parking lot. Many people are drawn to the MDX because of its updated active safety features such as the Pedestrian Sensing Mitigation and the Road Departure Mitigation all of which are included in the AcuraWatch program.
The 2016 MDX is designed with a V6 engine that has great fuel economy. Adaptive cruise control, all-wheel drive, and luxuriant leather seats are all aspects that make the 2016 MDX attractive. The average cost of a used 2016 MDX is $20,000 -$25,000 depending on the mileage and condition of the vehicle.
Is the 2016 MDX The Best Luxury SUV On the Market?
While the 2016 MDX may seem to excel in every category, its laundry list of problems isn’t the only thing that should scare away potential buyers. The truth is that there are other viable options than this crossover. The 2016 MDX doesn’t compare to its competitors such as the BMW X5 and the Audi Q5. If you’re willing to pay for a luxury vehicle it may be worthwhile to invest in an SUV that offers stronger engine performance and that is much more reliable.
The MDX isn’t the ideal option for a driver who enjoys traveling and wandering off onto rougher terrain. Despite its all-wheel-drive system enhanced traction feature, the 2016 MDX isn't equipped for off-road excursions or challenging terrains. Acura advertises the 2016 MDX as having advanced safety features that make this SUV the ideal family car. However, consumers have claimed that the backup sensors are spotty and the camera distorts images which can potentially cause an accident.
Over the last few years, Honda which manufactures the MDX models has been hit with several class-action lawsuits regarding the Acura MDX models from 2016-2020. When it comes to reliability and performance, the 2016 MDX isn’t the best SUV on the market. However, many drivers settle for this SUV because it provides a dose of luxury at a reasonable price.
2016 MDX Transmission Problems
Several of the MDX models have serious transmission problems that have made driving the vehicle unsafe. Some drivers have experienced erratic shifting patterns such as an increased acceleration sensation when driving downhill or the transmission slipping out of gears. For others, the transmission runs rough when driving at lower speeds or they feel a surge of hesitation during slight acceleration from a stop.
During weak or slow acceleration drivers would quickly switch into fourth gear which would help the transmission function properly. The problem would end up occurring again. The majority weren’t able to find a solution and were forced to bring their vehicle in to be serviced by an Acura dealer.
Driving a 2016 MDX with transmission problems can be dangerous. There have been several cases in which the vehicle begin flashing a transmission error code failure and drivers were forced to coast to stop while in traffic.
The 2016 MDX was designed with an upgraded transmission from its predecessors. It uses a ZF 9 automatic transmission which is supposed to be one of the best performing gearboxes in the automotive world. However, the way it was programmed in the 2016 MDX has made this one of the worst transmission upgrades in the history of the Acura MDX.
When it comes to transmission issues in the 2016 MDX, most dealerships have a hard time diagnosing the problem. Several owners have revealed that Acura dealers claim that there is no problem with the transmission and have refused to make any repairs if the vehicle isn’t under any warranty. Recently, the manufacturer suggested that updating the software in the transmission control model and the powertrain software should permanently resolve transmission issues.
MDX Engine Stalling Problems
Engine stalling is another problem faced by numerous 2016 MDX owners. When the engine stalls, the vehicle fails to accelerate when you put your feet on the gas pedal. In many cases, the engine will stall and then completely shut down.
In 2019, the automaker announced that engine stalling is likely caused by faulty fuel pumps that don’t perform well in high temperatures. Over 400,000 MDXs and TLX models were recalled because the sodium particles used in gasoline were interfering with the materials in the fuel pump.
When operated in high-ambient temperatures this interrupted the flow of gasoline which resulted in poor acceleration ultimately causing the engine to stall. A Honda spokesman revealed that this issue mostly affected MDX owners in southern states during the summer months.
The sodium particles can destroy the fuel pump. Honda Motors replaced the fuel pumps in the vehicles that showed signs of excessive wear. If your fuel pump is in good condition and the engine is stalling, the automakers recommend having the software that regulates the fuel pump updated.
Idle Air Bypass System
Engine stalling and erratic idle speed can also be caused by problems with the idle air bypass system. The idle air bypass system is made up of the air control valve, vacuum lines, the throttle body, and the intake manifold.
The idle air bypass system allows enough air to flow into the engine with the throttle body closed. A soiled or failed idle air bypass system significantly reduces the engine’s performance. The MDX models ranging from 2002-2016 are affected by a faulty idle air bypass system.
MDX Electrical Problems
The 2016 Acura MDX is known for having its fair share of electrical problems. Some owners have complained about having trouble with the MDX’s driver seat. Several owners have reported that the driver seat fails to adjust after some time and begins to make a whining noise when you try to adjust the height. This has led to the driver’s seat falling off the track.
After replacing the seal the problem persisted. The dealership tried reinstalling the seat on the track properly but this only remedied the situation for a couple of weeks. Installing a new motor resolved the problem with the seat somewhat. Some drivers continue to experience issues with adjusting the seat.
Some have said that the driver's seat goes back and forth constantly. According to one report, the seat began going up and down on its own while the driver was operating the vehicle. Unfortunately, the dealership was unable to identify the problem.
Faulty Safety System
There have also been NHTSA complaints about the quality of the Collision Mitigation Braking System. The front braking system in the Collision Mitigation braking doesn't fully engage to avoid or reduce the impact of a collision. This safety feature needs to be closely evaluated to assess its capabilities of avoiding collisions with all kinds of objects.
The Lane Keep Assist sometimes misreads the intersections and can jerk the wheel onto a side street. This is very unsafe. If you’re experiencing a similar problem with the adaptive safety features you should have your vehicle serviced immediately.
Diagnosing a problem within your vehicle’s electrical system can be complex. An electrical inspection should be performed. An electrical system inspection involves finding any potential safety risks and checking for overloaded equipment or circuits.
Faulty Engine Control Module or Powertrain Control Module
A failed engine control module or powertrain control module may be at the root of your MDX’s engine and acceleration problems. The ECM and the PCM are the same components. It directs and regulates the MDX drivetrain. A faulty ECM or PCM can cause poor shifting between gears, the engine will run roughly and it throws off the fuel to air ratio.
2016 MDX Class- Action Lawsuit
Last year, a major class-action lawsuit was filed against Acura for the MDX and RDX SUVs due to persistent dangerous acceleration problems. According to Acura, this class-action suit specifically applies to the 2016-2020 MDX models.
The lawsuit also names miscommunication malfunctions between the software and computers that control the engines, transmissions, and throttles. All of the MDX owners who have joined the class-action lawsuit have claimed that the vehicles “pose an immediate safety threat” because of the mechanical defects that cause the engine to stall out while driving at high speeds. Some of the vehicles have shut down and when restarted it functions normally.
This class-action lawsuit was organized after numerous owners made complaints online and submitted them to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The lawsuit alleges that Honda became aware of these dangerous defects when people started bringing their car in to be serviced by Acura dealers for these problems. However, the lawsuit claims that Honda attempted to conceal the defects although they could have caused death or serious injury.
If the class-action lawsuit is successful, Honda would be forced to issue a full recall and finally provide a solution to this problem. Individuals who own the MDX 2016-2020 could also be compensated for auto repairs, loss of value of their SUV, and car rental costs.
2016 MDX Safety NHTSA Recalls
There have been three safety recalls issued for the 2016 MDX which include:
Gas Tank Assembly
2015-2016 Acura MDX models were recalled for a faulty gas tank assembly. The vehicles that were affected by this defect had fuel tanks that were designed with insufficient welds which can separate which allows fuel to leak out the tank. A fuel leak near the ignition source could cause a fire. The Acura dealership will be replacing the fuel tank in the affected vehicles free of charge.
Replace Gasket Seals On Tail Lights
The tailgate lid on the lights required updating. The current lid allows moisture to penetrate which will ultimately cause your tail lights to stop working and reduce visibility. This is a major safety problem. Under this recall, owners would be able to have updated gasket seals installed. The wiring sub-harness on the taillights and lids would also be modified to ensure that taillights are protected from outside elements.
Fuel Pump Replacement or Reprogramming
As previously mentioned the 2016 MDX was recalled because of substances in the gasoline damaging the materials used in manufacturing the fuel pump. This situation was remedied by having damaged fuel pumps replaced and the fuel pump software programmed.
Is Your MDX A Lemon?
Is your 2016 Acura MDX a lemon? While Acura is known for producing top of the line luxury vehicles sometimes they miss the mark. If your 2016 Acura MDX has been subjected to several repairs due to excessive safety defects in the first few months of ownership then it might be classified as a lemon.
If more than four attempts have been made to repair a problem that impairs the driver’s safety by the manufacturer and the issue persists, your car may qualify as a lemon under the law. Also, the car has to have been inoperable for at least thirty days under warranty while the repairs were being performed. What happens if your 2016 MDX is considered a lemon?
While the lemon laws vary for each state, in most cases you’ll be entitled to compensation for the money you spent on car rentals and tow expenses. Or you can choose to be refunded the vehicle’s purchase price if you had to get rid of the vehicle. The manufacturer would be responsible for paying all the legal fees. Lemon laws can help protect the investment you have made.
Is your 2016 MDX worth repairing? If you have been experiencing several problems with the transmission or the engine due to acceleration issues you should consider getting rid of the vehicle. Cash Car Buyers purchases all used vehicles in any condition.