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Acura MDX Torque Converter Scam



  • Agreed, has anyone come across any extensive threads similar to this for a Honda Odyssey? I was the victim on my MDX recently but on a recent roadtrip noticed a similar rumbling in the 25-40 mph range on our Odyssey. Took it to a dealer, who just re-flashed the PCM but the reverberation still happens. Because it is so intermittent, I couldn't reproduce it for him on the spot. Of course, it is out of warranty. Honda ought to be ashamed.
  • jcagle24jcagle24 Posts: 3
    My wife and I just purchased a used 2005 MDX with 108k on it and MAN i wish I had stumbled upon this forum beforehand. Not one week after driving this car the same grinding noise in the 20-40 MPH range has started in. We put almost 50 miles on it with the test drive and taking it to our mechanic before purchasing the vehicle, and no noises whatsoever were heard then pertaining to transmission grinding. Another false hint of promise in the vehicle was the fact that my mechanic did a computer reading and no known issues showed up regarding any type of transmission problems. When we were buying the car and checking the carfax the "no recalls" on the vehicle make and model sounded good, but that obviously doesn't mean anything considering that this problem SHOULD BE RECALLED!! I have owned Jeeps and Toyotas, both companies in my experience have been quick to recall their vehicles when it's publically known that there are issues with their cars, why is Honda letting this one slip? Are not enough people complaining? I couldn't believe the amount of posts I found when I googled "Acura MDX transmission problems," we are just frustrated an looking for some advice on what to do about this situation. Bought the vehicle as is, no warranty, but can we try to play the squeaky wheel with Honda and maybe hold them responsible? Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    I was in a similar position last year when I took my 2005 Acura MDX in for the rumbling/grinding/vibrating noise between 30-40 mph 3 months before my warranty expired. I was unaware of all the similar complaints in various online forums. The service tech could not reproduce the noise so they did nothing (even though I think they were well aware of the problem). There had been an official Acura service bulletin issued on the 2004 MDX for this very same problem. Even though you are the second owners, I would open a case file with Honda America and keep pushing the issue up the line. There are several "appeal" processes and I would explore them all. There are hundreds of complaints for this very specific problem. Don't know why a recall has not been issued???? If a recall had been issued, you would not be in this situation. Good luck....Hope this helps.
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    Recalls are only issued for saftey reasons and I mean "any" saftey reason no matter how insignificant. Rumbling and grumbling at certain speeds is not a saftey hazard....just a pain your butt and a big bill. Honda had many issues with there trans in the 98-03 accords...& they did extend the original powertrain warranty 3-36 on the trans to 5yrs-107k to keep their die hard Honda followers happy and buying more cars. But again no recall. They didn't ever do that on the Acura's because i'm sure they just did not want to incurr the huge cost again. They are well aware of the problem...I geuss they just figure if you can buy and drive their Acura...You can afford to have it fixed.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    At last check, there were 15 complaints filed with the NHTSA (National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration) regarding the torque converter issue (vibration/shudder/grinding between 20-50 mph while accelerating). I would encourage everyone who is following this link to take a few minutes and file a complaint. The web site is as follows:

    Also, the NHTSA has issued a "service bulletin" for this exact same problem for all Acura's for model years 2003-2004. To view the service bulletin, go to the following web site:

    Enter NHTSA item# 10022468 in the "quick search" box. Once you get the record, click "get summary" and you will see the exact explanation as follows:

    "Torque converter shudder or vibration between 35-40 mph"

    This is exactly the same problem that is so prevalent with the 2005 and on Acura MDX and Honda Pilots. Do not understand why a service bulletin has not been issued for more recent model years???????
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    edited July 2010
    Thanks KP for that Info...but it would take alot more than 15 complaints to make a multimillion dollar Recall to happen. Unless it was 15 complaints with 5 crashes or fatalities. A Torque converter service bulletin has been issued from Honda since june of 07' and It is definitely a problem...even with the Pilots as Kp has said. But don't hold your breath for a recall. If anyone takes their vehicle to the dealer for repairs...I'm sorry to say but you are getting the same torque converter that you are having problems with, with the same design converter clutch material. My personal suggestion is if your vehicle is out of manufactures warranty...then take it to a reputable Transmission shop and have a "quality" remanned aftermarket converter installed. when remanned properly...not only is a different clutch material but also the clutch clearance is changed from what I understand talking to converter builders. Much better than the orignal, better in the long run and less likely to fail in 30k miles. A converter clutch is slipping 90% of the time and with that creates alot of heat.. Keeping an eye on and Changing the trans fluid, keeping it nice and healthy helps alot to.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    It may take more than 15 complaints to initiate a recall, but it was the 15 complaints that I faxed to Acura/Honda that got them to go from not covering my $2,000 torque coverter replacement to covering 100% even though my vehicle was out of warrenty. At last count, between Honda Pilots and Acura MDXs, I have counted 327 individual complaints in 7 different forums regarding this issue. I wonder if all these vehicle owners had filed complaints with the NHTSA if at least a service bulletin would have been issued thus providing credibility to all those owners who have taken their vehicle in just to have Honda/Acura tell them they could not reproduce the problem -or- that they (the dealer) is unaware of any problems????
  • skelley3skelley3 Posts: 3
    Just completed a complaint to NHTSA on my 2005 Acura MDX - torque converter. Local Acura dealer replaced torque converter in March this year - 67,533 miles on odometer. Car now has 73,400 and problem is re-surfacing. Noise/vibration is becoming louder and more frequent. Will be filing complaint with Honda/Acura also.
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    For those who are interested, you can obtain the actual Acura/Honda Service Bulletin that addresses the Torque Convert issue and the repair instructions given to the Acura/Honda dealers if you Google:

    Acura Service Bulletin 06-003 pdf

    There is also a statement in the document that addresses "out of warranty vehicles" and the the procedure for obtaining a "goodwill consideration" repair. It would appear that Honda/Acura was expecting a significant number of vehicles (both in warranty and out of warranty).

    I have a 2005 Acrua MDX that was one year "out of warranty" and through persistence and documentation from web sites such as this one and also the 15 complaints filed with the NHSTA, I was able to get Honda/Acura to move from not covering my $2,000 repair to covering 100% of my repair. Good luck !
  • kpsmith999kpsmith999 Posts: 46
    Here is the official Honda/Acura Service Bulletin (06-003) dated June 9, 2007 addressing the Shudder/Vibration between 35 to 40 mph for model years 2003 and 2004. Note the "out of warranty" statement providing for "goodwill consideration" for repairs.
  • I have just filed a complaint with NHTSA for my 2004 MDX with growling and vibration from the transmission when going 35-40 mph. It was easy to do and I hope it helps others. Thanks for the info, I will be visiting the dealer this week to find out how they will handle the repairs.
  • UPDATE - Just received call from local ACURA dealer. Said mechanic couldn't recreate noise/vibration. Reminded service advisor that he needed to drive the car while engine was cold since that was when I heard it. Drove car, heard noise, will be replacing torque converter.
  • Just brought my mdx in for same issue (torque converter). I notified the dealer of the service bulletin nd e did follow up this morning with the local district mgr and was informed that they would not extend goodwill consideration for my car because it has 140,000 miles. So the cost to replace the transmission is $4,100. Is there anything else I can do ? This is alot of money to spend and I'm not ready to buy another car.
  • vabbeyvabbey Posts: 10
    I really just want to know how many of you people out there, have been able to accomplish getting a new Torque Converter...or Transmission replaced outside of the powertrain warranty?? I have had my Torque Converter replaced at 60,000 miles...but that was just inside the warranty...and of course its messing up again now at 75,000 miles... and I just want to know of the successes out there?? Because I want to know if I should trade my MDX in before the problem becomes noticable to someone that has never had the problem....or fight to have it fixed.
  • I was 14 months past the warranty and got the torque converter replaced at no charge. I would think with all the issues surrounding T.C.'s and the 15k miles between failures, that your dealer would provide some financial relief in your case.
  • I would shop around and get quotes form reputable transmission shops. Also, a torque converter replacement seems to be half the price of a transmission replacement. I would want to know which one makes the most sense. In my case, I was also told by the district manager that they could not help financially with the cost to replace my torque converter. When I requested that we go to the next appeal step and/or arbitration, Honda/Acura came back and said they would cover the replacement at no cost to me.
  • udeman55udeman55 Posts: 20
    edited August 2010
    I need a torque converter, I have been quoted $2,800 for the repair. I have filed a complaint with Acura and am waiting for a response. I also just filed my complaint with the NHTSA. The individual I spoke with said there is 21 registered complaints at this moment.
  • vabbeyvabbey Posts: 10
    You should get a new converter if its still under warranty... I have already had mine replaced.... should be at no cost to you, and you shouldnt have to file any complaints...Warranty runs out at 60,000 miles... I had mine replaced at 59,000.
    The problem is...they replace it with the same converter you already had...only this time, it will seem like the problem comes back much sooner...not sure if it really is...or if its because we know exactly what to listen for now? Im ready to get rid of mine before it gets too noticable.
  • d2mend2men Posts: 1
    Do you have to take it to the dealer in order to get reimbursement from Honda? What if someone elsae did the work? Thanks
  • yekiot4yekiot4 Posts: 4
    I'm not sure what your symptoms are but my 2001 MDX was making a growling noise at 35 or so from time to time. Acura said it was the torque converter. I replace the rear end oil and the transmission fluid and the noise has gone away. I think it has something to do with the clutches making noise when the fluid gets old. Just an FYI.
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