Laguna Hills, CA – April 9, 2019 – American Honda Motor Company is recalling certain 2014-2019 Acura MDX and 2017-2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid vehicles. Moisture could enter the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, potentially resulting in non-operational taillights and tailgate lights. As many as 322,897 vehicles may be affected.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this problem, if moisture leaks into the tailgate lid lights, it could possibly lead to loss of function for both these lights and the inner taillights. Brake lights and headlights are not affected. Should this happen, the vehicle would be less visible to other motorists on the road, particularly at night, increasing the chance of an accident or crash.
Timeline of Events
Honda first received complaints of exterior light failures between February and September 2014, subsequently launching an investigation. The automaker, discovering that the failure resulted from moisture entering the tailgate lid lights through a deformed gasket, decided to apply adhesives to provide better sealing and also to change the gasket to a more robust material. Since the number of original claims was minimal, Honda continued to monitor the situation.
As complaints increased, however, Honda relaunched the investigation December 2015 to January 2016. Another design improvement to increase moisture resistance was initiated. Since the number of claims did not significantly drop after this action, Honda reopened the investigation March March 2017 to May 2018. The automaker began collecting parts from the field to understand the scope of the taillight failure and to determine possible repair solutions.
The addition of tailgate lid lights featuring deformation-resistant gaskets began on the assembly line Oct. 23, 2018 as a process quality improvement effort.
Honda ultimately determined that a defect related to motor vehicle safety existed, and decided to conduct a recall March 21, 2019. As of March 21, Honda had received 4,414 warranty claims, 17 field reports and no evidence of crashes or injuries related to this issue.
The recall will begin April 29, 2019. Honda will notify Acura owners, and dealers will modify the tailgate lid lights and install updated gaskets and a wiring sub-harness, or will replace both tailgate lid lights if necessary. The repairs will be performed free of charge.
Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is M49. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V256000.