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NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2005 Acura MDX (Page 1 of 3)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,825 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Acura MDX transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Jun 012011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Acura MDX. The contact stated the vehicle required excessive force in order to shift gears. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the gear shift cable was lubricated; however, the failure recurred a few months later. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, where the contact was informed that the gear shift cable was covered with rust and the failure was a design flaw. The vehicle was not repaired twice. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and provided little financial assistance with the repairs. The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 11/01/11 updated 11/30/11

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #42

Jul 192011


  • miles
I have a 2005 Acura MDX 140K miles. I have had transmission problems for the past year or so. Yesterday I was driving on the freeway in southern California when the transmission started slipping. I would press on the gas and there would be hesitation. Seemed to have a mind of it's own. RPM's would go up but the car would keep speed. Had to get it towed from orange county to san diego.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #41

Jan 022009


  • 54,000 miles
Hello, I am a very frustrated Acura MDX owner. I hd purchased 2005 Acura MDX brand new. I usd the SUV for 3 years when I started hearing a "vibration" or "judder"noise while cruising between 20-45 miles per hour. In December 2010, I received a recall and was very happy that the issue will be resolved. I took the recall notice sent by Honda Motors and went to the alhambra, ca Acura dealership. The dealership updated the PCM A/T software. The cause in the work order was mentioned as product update - pm update for lock-up clutch function. Software update S/B# 09-037. I got it update within 3 hours and finally felt happy that my SUV will be running fine. To my utter dismay, I found the same problem still exists. It is very frustrating and feel very nervous while driving with my family. I even get scared to drive thesuv in case it will stop on freeway. NHTSA is a governing body to help such situation. I am pretty sure, this issue has been reported before in NHTSA web site. I earnestly request NHTSA to take this serious and possible life threatening matter with Acura and make them accountable and responsible [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #40

Nov 112010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 122,190 miles


My transmission failed. I drive an average of 80 miles to and from work. Most of it was highway driving. I would notice some hesitation at low speeds in about 50,000 miles but would go away. At approximately 100,000 miles the problems started getting more noticeable.the time leading to the eventual failure of my transmission was a shudder during low speeds between 20 to 40 miles per hour. Then hesitation during acceleration and then eventual slippage of the gears which almost cost me an accident because it happened when I was driving in the highway. Luckily I was able to exit right away and avert any difficulties getting help at the side of the road. I brought it to a dealership which recommended the replacement of the transmission.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #39

Feb 222011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 54,400 miles
Transmission rough and noisy starting on 35 mph. It needs a torque converter and transmission replaced. These car is become dangers to drive, you don't know what to expect any moment. This should be a recall due to many many other owners having the same issue. I just call Acura customer support and them sad that I have to pay for an estimate ($200-300) and then ($3000) for work which should be done, because warranty is expired. Is this some kind of catch for the customers right after the warranty period" it is too many complains on 55,000 to 80,000 miles for that car. Is this something that Honda invented to collect more money from the customers" I personally cannot trust Honda anymore. This is ridiculous, a specially if you compare the price on this car, which is already overpriced based on the fake reliability. That issue must be recalled by Honda immediately, if they want to keep good name and not follow the Toyota, with their problem. I was thinking I am buying god car, but I purchase nothing but the trouble.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #38

Jan 282011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 89,800 miles
We took our 2005 MDX (89K miles) for the torque converter recall about a month ago. After they "fixed it" we noticed it was still shuttering. So, we took it back to them and they removed the transmission, replaced a few other things and the shutter went away. That was 3 weeks ago. Today, I was driving and noticed the D5 light started blinking. In reviewing other internet posts, it can mean the transmission is going out or a switch is overheating/failing. I'm not experiencing any other problems so he said that it is probably the switch and that sometimes that happens when a transmission is removed and put back in. So, I took it into the Acura dealership today and they are currently looking into it. On the phone, I said "it wouldn't cost anything to get the switch replaced...right"" he went on to say well if you don't have the extended warranty, then yes. I'm going to fight this one for sure...they had to pull the transmission because of the torque converter recall....I'm sure that is what is causing's just a coincidence that 3 weeks after they worked on the transmission that now it the D5 light is blinking" I don't think so.

- Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #37

Jan 192011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


2005 MDX. Within one year of purchase, a high pitched ringing was identified to the Acura dealer. Sound was dismissed as normal. For the next four years the sound recurred on acceleration and uphill driving. At 64,000 miles the ringing sound was diagnosed by the dealer to be a failing torque converter. Torque converter was replaced by the dealer (warranty). One year later, the transmission began making a rumbling sound while accelerating between twenty and thirty five miles/hour. Also, the ringing noise re-emerged. Car was taken to dealer. Dealer informed us that there is a recall on our MDX regarding the rumbling problem--told it is an electronic problem requiring a one hour fix. (though at this time I can find no information about this supposed recall). The MDX was given to dealer for fix. After the first day, dealer informed us that the fix had not solved the problem, and they would try again (at the direction of Acura technical support) the next day. Again, the dealer informed us that the problem was not fixed. Dealer's mechanic has told us it is the transmission that is faulty, but unfortunately Acura technical support is refusing that diagnosis. The car is now going on its fourth day in the dealership and we have been told by the service adviser that Acura is unwilling to address the problem beyond the electronic adjustment. We have been advised by them to drive the car until the problem gets worse, then bring it back. The problem, prior to dropping the car off at the dealer this last time, occurred almost constantly while accelerating slowly between 20 and 30 mph, at times feeling as if the car may stall. It has yet to pose a safety hazard, but has completely eroded our confidence in the vehicle's ability to take extended trips. Fear of breakdown keeps our trips limited to twenty miles or less. We have spoken to a lawyer and will file lawsuit if Acura does not address this obvious and unacceptable flaw.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #36

Jul 012008

MDX 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
My 2005 Acura MDX has encountered problems where the car suddenly stops when the brake is applied and fails to accelerate smoothly (the car lurches during acceleration). This usually occurs at slower speeds (<30mph). This has occurred on numerous occasions. Acura service has been unable to diagnose the problem despite our pleas to find the problem. Sometimes the problem is ameliorated when the ignition is turned off and restarted, similar to a computer reboot. The most recent incident, today, did not rectify itself when the car was restarted. This situation is dangerous as the car is susceptible to rear-end and other collision when the car "locks up" during acceleration or braking.

- Old Bethpage, NY, USA

problem #35

Dec 142010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Transmission was vibrating between 30 and 45 mph. Received letter confirming a computer update was necessary to correct failure. Dealership updated transmission. Still have minor issues with modification. The vibration was not apparent in 4th gear driving, only when driven in overdrive. Honda should redesign and recall.

- White Bear Lake, MN, USA

problem #34

Nov 262010


  • 71,454 miles
Torque converter slipped - failure of transmission - Acura MDX 2005

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #33

Aug 012010


  • 102,000 miles


Car is making a grinding noise at approximately 30 to 40 M/H. I had the timing belt changed and was told this noise is a transmission problem that is common to Acura Mdxs between 02S to 06S. I have justified the cost of Acura because of their longevity and am very upset over the repair cost of $4000. Why hasn't Acura been forced to stand behind this defect when it seems to be so common when I investigated on the internet.

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

problem #32

Nov 292010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Transmission problems on Acura MDX.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #31

Nov 202010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Just purchased a pre-owned 2005 Acura MDX on Nov 3, 2010 with 67,500 miles. After 3 weeks of driving the vehicle, I started experiencing the same problem as many owners have reported - engine / transmission makes shuddering noise when accelerating between 30 - 45 mph. The same noise occurs when the vehicle down-shifts or cruise at the same speed. The odometer was at approximately 68,000 miles when the noise started to surface. It's been only about 6 days since the problem started and the noise is becoming more frequent. Seems to be a common problem reported by many Acura MDX owners, but after doing some research online I did not find a permanent solution. Seems that Acura / Honda manufacturer chooses to not be accountable and remains silent in offering a real solution or recalling the faulty components - very disappointing from a long time customer of Honda products.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #30

Nov 072009

MDX 6-cyl

  • 63,827 miles
At 30 -45 miles per hour, get a rumbling noise.. took to dealership and had to have torque converter changed.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #29

Jul 012010


  • 70,000 miles
I purchased the car pre-owned from the original owner. I have all their service records and all service was done at the Acura dealership. Within a month of purchasing the car at around 70K I noticed a grinding or growling noise when accelerating at low speeds between 25-40mph. Within a month it started to happen almost every time I accelerate. About a month after that around 73K miles I noticed that I have a vibration when accelerating at low speeds. I haven?T taken it to the dealership as of yet because my old Honda dealership I no longer trust, and the Acura dealership near me has extremely terrible reviews. I have had my mechanic look at it when this first started to happen and he believed it could be the torque converter. I owned a 2000 Honda Accord before this and Honda eventually extended the transmission warranty to cover bad torque converters. Honda/Acura is aware of this issue and they are not being responsible.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #28

Mar 102010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Had to replace the torque converter on my 2005 Acura MDX. Seems to be a problem just by searching the internet. Now I hear a groaning noise in the rear as I accelerate and turn the wheel at low speed.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #27

Aug 282010


  • 70,000 miles
My 2005 Acura MDX is making a shudder or grinding sound between 25 and 40 mph while accelerating. I have found that this is a common issue and is related to a faulty torque converter. NHTSA has issued a "service bulletin" for this exact same problem for all Acura's for model years 2003-2004. This bulletin has not been issued for 2005. All should be recalled and corrected at Acura expense. NHTSA item# ch.cfm 10022468 "torque converter shudder or vibration between 35-40 mph".

- Millstone Township, NJ, USA

problem #26

Sep 072010


  • 89,370 miles
2005 Acura MDX. A shuddering noise is heard between 35 and 45 miles per hour and the engine speed increases by a few hundred RPM. Most often occurs while holding this speed on a slight incline or level. Torque converter was replaced at 78,209 miles on 11/18/2009. This temporarily resolved the issue, but the problem recurred and the torque converter was again replaced at 89,370 miles. This failure rate is excessive.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #25

Mar 012010


  • 100,000 miles
2005 Acura MDX torque converter jutter at speeds of 25-40 mph.

- Cary, IL, USA

problem #24

Jan 142010


  • 47 miles
Not sure what equipment it is, but I have trouble accelerating in my MDX. I thought it was normal until I drove my sister's rl. I couldn't believe the difference. Whenever I am driving, especially when accelerating I have to floor the car to get it to move it seems. Its especially problematic when I am getting on a highway and trying to merge into traffic. I have to actually put my seat further so my entire foot can now be on the gas to get it to accelerate or make it seem like it is. Took it in to a dealership (thank god for extended warranty) and don't know what they did, but it helped only for a short time. The problem was back in less than weeks and its so hard to get to a dealership because they are not in my town and I have to get someone to take it for me. I have been reading others having the same problem and now see its the torque. Is there a permanent fix for this.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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