NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2006 Acura MDX

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2006 Acura MDX, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA15001 »

  2. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE14016 »

  3. Ignition Interlock Failure - Rollaway NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12026

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition
    Electrical System:Ignition:Switch

    Summary: On December 10, 2012, Honda Motor Company submitted a defect information report to NHTSA regarding ignition interlocks in approximately 576,117 model year MY) 2003 through 2004 Honda Pilot and Odyssey vehicles that are the subject of this investigation and 231,044 MY 2003 through 2006 Acura MDX vehicles (Recall No. 12V-573).Honda's report states that a design change to the ignition switch used in the recalled vehicles reduced the range of rotation for the ignition switch from 160 degrees in earlier designs to 125 degrees without a corresponding change to the ignition interlock blocking mechanism.The result was that excessive rotational force could damage a lever that would allow the driver to remove the ignition key that was in a position other than the Park position, which may allow the vehicle to roll away.ODI identified 176 complaints related to the alleged defect, including 48 roll away crashes.Threeof the incidents resulted in the following injuries to pedestrians:1) a broken foot and torn Achilles tendon; 2) a fractured fibula and crush injuries to a shin area; and 3) an incident requiring unspecified treatment at a hospital emergency room.This investigation is closed.The VOQs associated with this investigation are: 10486515, 10486393, 10486100, 10485010, 10482229, 10482091, 10481169, 10481105, 10481079, 10481027, 10480804, 10480648, 10480099, 10480009, 10479934, 10479695, 10479561, 10479517, 10479494, 10479484, 10479437, 10479421, 10479409, 10479343, 10478916, 10478876, 10478857, 10478845, 10478784, 10478776, 10478720, 10476767, 10473167, 10465590, 10463995, 10457825, 10452596, 10451185, 10448593, 10446962, 10440841, 10440040, 10439061, 10439033, 10438611, 10425909, 10403299, 10397920, 10395833, 10395298, 10379673, 10374724, 10365751, 10363501, 10361325, 10358480, 10355331, 10354680, 10354669, 10354390, 10353281, 10351899, 10351489, 10351240, 10349716, 10349612, 10348987, 10348955, 10348725, 10348579, 10348564, 10348429, 10348389, 10348268, 10348254, 10331474, 10325334, 10276072, 10179464.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE12026 »

  4. Vehicle Stability Assist Malfunction NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA13002

    Component(s): Electronic Stability Control

    Summary: On March 14, 2013, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) submitted a Defect Information Report to NHTSA identifying a defect in the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system in approximately 183,576 model year (MY) 2005 Honda Pilot, Acura RL and MY 2005-2006 Acura MDX vehicles (NHTSA Recall No 13V-092).The population and failure counts provided pertain only to the MY 2005 Honda Pilots that were the subject of this investigation.Honda's recall addresses two conditions in the VSA system that could result in inappropriate brake activation.The first condition is related to a manufacturing concern with a capacitor in the VSA electronic control unit (ECU) circuit board.According to Honda, VSA systems with damaged capacitors may apply a small amount of braking force for a fraction of a second, when the brake pedal is not applied by the driver.If the driver does apply the brake pedal during a malfunction, the VSA system may employ the brake assist feature rapidly increasing braking force independent of the amount of pressure the driver applies to the brake pedal (releasing the brake pedal would end the brake assist activation in such events).The second condition applied to a portion of the MY 2005 Pilot vehicles manufactured at the Alabama assembly plant that may havebeen assembled without tightening one of the VSA system electrical ground connector fasteners to the proper torque.According to Honda, an improperly torqued fastener can result in increased electrical resistance in the VSA system, causing an incorrect signal to be sent to the VSA ECU, which may result in inappropriate braking while driving with no pedal application by the driver.The owners of all affected vehicles will be contacted by mail and asked to take their vehicle to a Honda or Acura dealer who will install a partial wiring harness containing a capacitor for the VSA modulator and, if necessary, inspect and tighten the affected electrical ground fastener.All work will be performed at no charge to the owner.ODI identified 106 incidents of inappropriate brake activation by the VSA system that appear to be related to the defect conditions addressed by Honda's recall.While many of the incidents reported experiencing significant unexpected braking while driving, none resulted in crashes or injuries.ODI reviewed a VOQ reporting a crash resulting in two fatalities that allegedly may have been related to the VSA conditions investigated in PE12-028 and EA13-002 (VOQ 10492170).After interviewing thecomplainant and reviewing evidence regarding the crash (e.g., police report and witness statements), ODI did not find sufficient evidence to determine that the crash was related to the VSA system.Regarding the 25 incidents of brake activations of short duration due to a yaw rate sensor malfunction, complainants indicate that typically the events are very brief and that the puling effect is mild.This investigation is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA13002 »

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