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Anyone who is driving the TLX at this point has heard of the transmission issue that is causing Acura to issue a stop sale and eventually a recall. At the same time as Acura is dealing with this issue, Honda is in the midst of a debacle to do with Takata airbags that have killed 2 people and caused serious injuries to 30 others. At a time when Acura is finally getting its legs again with the success of the TLX, Honda/Acura needs to be careful to not let these issues undermine the progress that has been made.

The transmission issue has people thinking their car is in park when it is actually not. Obviously this could lead to some pretty bad situations. The good news about this issue is that it seems to have been caught early before anyone has been hurt. That's what a recall should do. The thing is, Honda has been accused of under-reporting safety data to the NHTSA regarding faulty Takata airbags in their vehicles. If they are lying and under-reporting one thing, why wouldn't they do the same in another instance?

Acura has finally seen some success with sedan sales with the TLX. The transmission issue alone won't kill that progress, but as a part of a wider pattern it could hamper sales for Honda generally. It is a critical time for Honda right now. They can show that they are able to identify and remedy issues quickly and effectively, or they could prove that they are in capable of such feats. Furthermore, any attempt to lie or cover up the whole truth will only tarnish the brand's reputation.

As Car and Driver puts it:

Vexing quality and safety issues—the airbag recall, the problems at the Fit factory in Mexico, etc.—have the potential to undermine this progress. A swift resolution to the Takata and TLX transmission issues and a systemic change to prevent similar issues from slipping through the cracks will do a lot to sustain the momentum that the company is struggling to maintain.
Here's hoping that Honda does the right thing and takes care of these issues properly instead of messing things up and going back on all the progress the company has made.
 

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From what I understand, the same transmission is used in various other vehicles. I haven't heard them halting the sales, so it seems Honda is attempting to avoid an even bigger clusterf$#ck.
 

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The stop sale issue and recall to come is only for the 9 speed (V6) models, so it won't be that many units that are recalled - they have only been selling V6 models for about 2 months now and they are the lower volume vehicle anyway. I'd venture a guess that less than 2,000 cars will need to be recalled, and the cars will probably start going on sale again soon. They will just reprogram the transmission software as part of the PDI process once the update is available. If you have one of these cars, just put your parking brake on before you shift to park and there is no safety issue.

Recalls like this used to go unnoticed until GM started with their huge recalls. Now it's like the media has to drag everyone else down with GM if they have a recall. I don't think this will impact Honda.

I think everyone is a bit unrealistic when a new car comes out. The cars are so packed with technology and little features that it's next to impossible to launch a new model without issues. In the end, I think Honda will still come out on top and have some isolated minor issues. The transmissions in general are the biggest problem with the TLX IMO, and I think Honda made a mistake by going with so many gears. The car would be perfect if they just put a 6 speed auto in it - the car would last forever. These 8 and 9 speeds probably won't make it that long - so many moving parts and it's always shifting - so many wear points. There are other topics about the number of gears, but the extra gears are just for marketing IMO - they don't really improve performance or fuel economy. 6 speed Accord's get very similar fuel consumption to the TLX.
 

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Too bad they aren't taking care of those with faulty transmissions in I4s.
 

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^^ The above contains a fair bit of speculation, personal views, and incorrect information. The V6 PAWS was available for sales from day 1 (I have had mine for over 3 months). Only Acura knows how well it has sold. There has been other speculation that sales of the V6 are higher than the I4.

In addition, there are reports that the problem has been resolved at the factory and that new production cars are already been sold and driven off dealer lots. I would suggest that you not try to speculate how many will need to be inspected or repaired as it serves no useful purpose.
 

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So is the transmission issue just a software thing? Recalls that only require a software update don't seem like a very big deal to me. They are a big deal in the sense that the problem can be severe and dangerous, but as far as being difficult to fix, a software update seems like peanuts. And its also understandable. Computer programs are constantly fixing bugs and updating. If cars use tons of technology, it makers sense that the same would happen to them.
 

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I think everyone is a bit unrealistic when a new car comes out. The cars are so packed with technology and little features that it's next to impossible to launch a new model without issues. In the end, I think Honda will still come out on top and have some isolated minor issues. The transmissions in general are the biggest problem with the TLX IMO, and I think Honda made a mistake by going with so many gears. The car would be perfect if they just put a 6 speed auto in it - the car would last forever. These 8 and 9 speeds probably won't make it that long - so many moving parts and it's always shifting - so many wear points. There are other topics about the number of gears, but the extra gears are just for marketing IMO - they don't really improve performance or fuel economy. 6 speed Accord's get very similar fuel consumption to the TLX.
Couple of comments. Firstly, as a customer who is asked to pay between 35 -50K for a product I expect no quality issues from a new car, period. If you run search for TLX launch you will find some articles that say that Acura delayed TLX release to August, "to go over the car one more time to make sure that everything is perfect". I get that totally as they could not afford anything but great with "the best next Acura" thing. "Going over the car", the way I understand is that every possible test, every quality control had been put in place, executed and then executed again until everything gets a pass. So how come we have been seeing/experiencing transmissions issues to such an extend ? Take DCT or V6 9 speed, we are not talking about trivial complaints but rather questionable engineering and safety risks. How come these were not discovered during product tests ?

Secondly, I totally agree with your comment about the number of gears. Not sure why I need 8 or 9 gears. They are spaced out so close that it is more of annoyance rather than a benefit, IMHO.
 

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It does not matter if you are paying $50K or $150K, perfection is a pipe dream. It comes down to how many defects there will be per thousand units produced. It is an engineering and manufacturing statistic that if you build a thousand vehicles using the same line and process that some will be different. Ideally quality control will catch those that have a flaw. Cars are now so complex that manufactures have to rely on a well design and build process to try produce a near perfect car, with sampling for detailed quality checks. It is impossible and impractical to test every car produced to verify that everything is fine.

The problem with the V6 pawl is unfortunate, but I would not begin to second guess why or where the problem occurred (supplier or plant), and why some cars are affected and not others. What is important at this point is how many are affected and how quickly they will be resolved.

So their next best option is to be able to identify any patterns with defects, determine the cause and to come up with a fix as quickly as possible. They cannot react too fast,, an over reactions, or too slowly.

I disagree about the number of gears. It is a gas saving measure, and everything done to save gas is useful. I would not be concerned if there were 12 gears as long as they are reliable and work smoothly. Even though the gearbox has 9 gears, the last one or two do not come into play below certain speeds. One of the reasons I rejected another car on my list was that it was only offered with a 6-speed AT.
 

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Couple of comments. Firstly, as a customer who is asked to pay between 35 -50K for a product I expect no quality issues from a new car, period. If you run search for TLX launch you will find some articles that say that Acura delayed TLX release to August, "to go over the car one more time to make sure that everything is perfect". I get that totally as they could not afford anything but great with "the best next Acura" thing. "Going over the car", the way I understand is that every possible test, every quality control had been put in place, executed and then executed again until everything gets a pass. So how come we have been seeing/experiencing transmissions issues to such an extend ? Take DCT or V6 9 speed, we are not talking about trivial complaints but rather questionable engineering and safety risks. How come these were not discovered during product tests ?

Secondly, I totally agree with the number of gears. Not sure why I need 8 or 9 gears. They are spaced out so close that it is more of annoyance rather than a benefit, IMHO.
Totally agree: Acura really has to get this solved soon and completely. I agree that if I shell out 35k and above I expect quality. This is why I have always owned Acura and not the German cars anymore. My 07 TL has 183,000 and has been great. I am considering TLX after I hit 200,000, but not with these transmission issues. I also wonder why they decided to go with 9 speed auto. I get that the mph rating is excellent, but as noted, the mileage on 6 speed is pretty close. For the first time in a long time I am looking at other companies.
 

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It does not matter if you are paying $50K or $150K, perfection is a pipe dream. It comes down to how many defects there will be per thousand units produced. It is an engineering and manufacturing statistic that if you build a thousand vehicles using the same line and process that some will be different. Ideally quality control will catch those that have a flaw. Cars are now so complex that manufactures have to rely on a well design and build process to try produce a near perfect car, with sampling for detailed quality checks. It is impossible and impractical to test every car produced to verify that everything is fine.
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Probably I was not clear with my thought....I am not expecting every car or for that fact, any mass produced product to be tested inside out, one by one. That said, I expect that the prototype, alpha and beta products are subject to thorough testing and vigorous quality control. Somebody, somewhere is accountable for a sign off on production readiness for either a product or a component. That's why we have CMMI levels, ISO standards, Six Sigma. etc, etc all focused on quality control. That's why we also see spy shots of new models being test-driven here and there in camouflage. I get the fact that smth may slip during the manufacturing process, whether it is done by robotic arms or humans and one or two cars may end up with a sunroof leak or else. But if you look at the stats for DCT related problems, even on this forum, the number of owners affected by the same issues is alarming and, at least to me, shows a systemic problem with either software or engineering design or both (that torque converter that was supposed to smooth out gear shifting in lower speeds is obviously not working as advertised) rather than just one-off (or two) unfortunate cases.

I just simply feel let down by the manufacturer with regards to the DCT, that's it. I can tolerate other "small things", etc but there is no excuse for releasing a new model with such a questionable component. By my standards, this should had been a show stopper back in the summer time but maybe my expectations are too high and maybe I am over-sensitive.
 

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Probably I was not clear with my thought....I am not expecting every car or for that fact, any mass produced product to be tested inside out, one by one. That said, I expect that the prototype, alpha and beta products are subject to thorough testing and vigorous quality control. Somebody, somewhere is accountable for a sign off on production readiness for either a product or a component. That's why we have CMMI levels, ISO standards, Six Sigma. etc, etc all focused on quality control. That's why we also see spy shots of new models being test-driven here and there in camouflage. I get the fact that smth may slip during the manufacturing process, whether it is done by robotic arms or humans and one or two cars may end up with a sunroof leak or else. But if you look at the stats for DCT related problems, even on this forum, the number of owners affected by the same issues is alarming and, at least to me, shows a systemic problem with either software or engineering design or both (that torque converter that was supposed to smooth out gear shifting in lower speeds is obviously not working as advertised) rather than just one-off (or two) unfortunate cases.

I just simply feel let down by the manufacturer with regards to the DCT, that's it. I can tolerate other "small things", etc but there is no excuse for releasing a new model with such a questionable component. By my standards, this should had been a show stopper back in the summer time but maybe my expectations are too high and maybe I am over-sensitive.
I agree with you about the prove out of the car. I really don't know why they wouldn't notice the jerkiness of the 8 speed at low speeds. Sometimes I think the people testing the car maybe know too much about how it works - they subconsciously nurse the flaws maybe and don't drive the way a normal consumer would.

I have no idea why they don't just pay one of the car magazines to take the car and drive it for a few months. I'm sure the magazines would love it, and they would just have to wait to release a write up after the car is released to avoid any spoilers. Magazine writers always have some good catches with little things that can maybe be fixed. Plus it's just a regular driver. To me it's the same as a computer - ever notice how the most computer illiterate people can do the most damage to a computer? I would apply the same reasoning to a car - the average joe will figure out a way to mess up the car pretty quick! They need to design the car against the regular wear and tear a driver will put on it (within reason of course).
 

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I disagree about the number of gears. It is a gas saving measure, and everything done to save gas is useful. I would not be concerned if there were 12 gears as long as they are reliable and work smoothly. Even though the gearbox has 9 gears, the last one or two do not come into play below certain speeds. One of the reasons I rejected another car on my list was that it was only offered with a 6-speed AT.
It's a matter of preference I guess. I like the longer gears on a 6 speed for acceleration, but that's just preference.

I think there is a saturation point though where it doesn't make sense to add any more gears, and I think the manufacturers are approaching that point with 9-10 gears. I just don't like how it seems to sacrifice long term reliability for a marginal improvement in gas consumption. My last car was a Mercedes with a 7 speed, and after 155,000 km of a lot of city driving (most wear on the transmission) the transmission whined like crazy and shifted very rough, and needed to be replaced. It's a tough situation to be in. At the time it needed a transmission, the value of the car was the same as the new transmission! I just hope they (all the OEM's not just Honda/Acura), can figure this out so they are reliable in the long term so it doesn't become the norm to be replacing transmissions under 200,000 km to save a bit of gas. The gas is going to need to be pretty expensive for it to make sense!
 

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As I understand the transmissions with a damaged Park prawl will need to be replaced. It can't be repaired. acura is not saying how many cars are involved and plans to notify owners in January
 

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I'm looking forward to the software update. I have the 4 cylinder dual clutch and mine is a very early build. Acura issued a software update for the navigation and audio system. The changes seem to be incremental and the system does seem a touch quicker and the lower screen has an improved interface. Much comment has went into the need to process through levels of menus and this is annoying. The good news is that I guess software updates could fix that over time.

The transmission in my car has been fine. Cold does seem to cause a rough shift or two until the car warms up. For giggles I tried the normal setting ( which tends to act more like a normal automatic) and that helped. The dual clutch is still better than other dual clutch set ups that I sampled. I try to remember that dual clutches are for economy and quickness.
 
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