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2018 Acura RDX Problems Include Acceleration Problems, Transmission Jerks, and Excessive Oil Consumption


The Acura RDX is on par with BMWs and Audis in terms of features and driving comfort. However, the 2018 model, while offering good value for money, had some reliability issues. Problems such as unintended acceleration, transmission jerks, and VCM problems are not uncommon.

2018 Acura RDX - Acura Photo

Key points

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2018 Acura RDX has not been the subject of any recalls or investigations, and only 20 complaints have been recorded.
  • Unintended acceleration, hesitation, and transmission issues stand out as the main complaints. Headlight condensation and broken glass sunroof were also reported.
  • Lawsuits filed against the vehicle cover acceleration problems, choppy transmission and loss of power.
  • The 2018 Acura RDX may have a variable cylinder management malfunction, causing excessive oil consumption and possible engine failure.
  • Automotive journalists find the 2018 RDX to have unimpressive interiors, poor fuel economy, and a disappointing driving experience.

Multiple Lawsuits Filed Over 2018 Acura RDX Acceleration and Transmission Issues

Although the 2018 RDX has not been recalled, a few complaints have been filed with the NHTSA. Of the 20 complaints, the most notable are unintentional acceleration, transmission problems and occasional hesitation to accelerate. Other reported problems include headlight condensation and the sunroof opening unexpectedly.

This NHTSA vehicle speed enforcement complaint mentions unintentional acceleration when attempting to park the SUV. According to the complainant, the vehicle accelerated on its own and almost collided with a tree.

Several class action lawsuits have been filed against 2016-2020 Acura RDXs for acceleration issues, transmission jerks, and loss of power. Many owners have complained that these problems occur randomly. “When accelerating slightly from a stoplight, the SUV sometimes stops for a second and then suddenly rocks forward at a lower speed,” one owner shares in his recorded complaint.

Looking through the forums, it’s obvious that transmission problems are quite common on the RDX. For one owner in a 2018 Acura World, his RDX had intermittent transmission problems, and shifting from third to fourth would have felt like being hit by another vehicle.

Additionally, he had issues with the paddle shifters functioning, as he couldn’t shift manually when trying to override the system. This happened four times in the 17 months he owned the vehicle.

2018 Acura RDX - Acura Photo

2018 Acura RDXs May Not Be Immune to Technology Issues and Excessive Oil Consumption

Honda’s variable cylinder management (VCM) technology is cause for concern. According to members of the Acurazine forum, Honda’s VCM system leaves a lot to be desired. Several iterations of VCM technology, namely VCM-I and VCM-II, were made available on the 3.5L V6 to improve fuel economy. VCM-I disabled three cylinders, while VCM-II stopped two or three cylinders.

The 2018 RDX uses the 3.5L V6 but uses Honda’s next-generation VCM-II, which doesn’t mix cylinders and shuts down the entire bank. Like VCM-I.

Second-generation RDXs prior to 2016 had Honda’s older version of VCM-II, which was quite problematic and was known to cause vibrations. Members claim that previous iterations have resulted in numerous problems ranging from drivability problems to unusually high oil consumption and damaged engines. It even resulted in a class-action lawsuit.

By a thread in Acurazina, the 2018 RDX’s VCM system is as good as it gets. However, members still suggest installing a VCM blocker for added peace of mind. That being said, several RDX owners have driven over 100,000 miles and have had no problems with the VCM system.

2018 Acura RDX - Acura Photo

2018 Acura RDX: Still one of the most reliable luxury SUVs on the market, despite some issues

The 2018 Acura RDX is one of the most reassuring compact crossovers you can buy today. And the best option among all the second-generation RDX (2013-2018). especially considering values ​​are as low as $30,000.

Yes, there are problems, but the numbers are too low compared to some of its competitors. Transmission and VCM issues aren’t a huge concern, but they’re definitely worth keeping in mind.

The RDX offers excellent cargo space, reliability, comfort, and value. What more do you need from a compact crossover?

Images: Acura

Frequent questions

By Stephanie Stephan, May 3, 2022

Does the Acura RDX have many problems?

The Acura RDX’s DENSO fuel pump has been recalled and there is a demand for the infotainment screen on 2019-2020 models. Takata airbags were recalled in the years 2007–2016. Squeaky brakes, soy wiring that attracts rodents, and cracked axles also plague the RDX.

How reliable is the 2018 Acura RDX?

JD Power gave the 2018 Acura RDX an “above average” reliability rating of 3.5 out of five. There are no recalls and there are only 20 NHTSA complaints for the year. Most of the RDX’s problems are unique, but more than one owner has complained that the RDX’s soy-covered wiring attracts rodents.


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