2014 Acura MDX Recall: Honda Has High Hopes For Its New SUV, But A Recall For Potential Driveshaft Problems Doesn’t Help

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Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (TYO:7267) has high hopes that its new Acura MDX sport utility vehicle will snatch market share from competitors, especially Toyota’s Lexus division.

But just three days after the Acura MDX was named a finalist for the 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year, the U.S. traffic safety agency announced Friday that Honda would recall 19,197 of the all-wheel-drive vehicles to check whether bolts that attach the driveshaft to the automatic transmission are as tight as they should be.

“If the drive shaft detaches while driving it could cause excessive noise and possibly damage the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday. The recall affects the SUVs made between May 6 and Oct. 14. The recall is voluntary, and Honda has instructed its service centers to inspect, and if necessary, apply the proper torque to the bolts. The vehicle is produced at Honda’s Lincoln, Ala., plant. 

Acura MDX recall graphic These four bolts are the focus of the 2014 Acura MDX recall. Some might not be tight enough.

A near-complete concept of the MDX appeared at the Detroit auto show in January. In April, the completed version showed up at the New York car expo and the vehicle went on sale in the U.S. on June 2. Honda has sold 46,502 MDXes in the first eleven months of the year, though that includes 2013 models. Sales of the MDX are up 1.6 percent over the same period last year, according to Honda’s sales figures.

The Lexus RX from Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203), which directly competes with the MDX and enjoys the largest share of the midsize luxury SUV segment in the U.S., has seen sales grow nearly 10 percent to 90,751 units in the same period of time.

Recalls are particularly painful when they occur in the current model year of a newly designed vehicle. Last month, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) recalled almost 60,000 2014 Chevy Malibus in North America for electrical issues.

On Tuesday, the Acura MDX was named a 2014 Truck/SUV of the year finalist along with the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee from Chrysler Group LLC. 

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