What's wrong with Robin Hogue's Acura TLX? And why won't Acura cover her warranty repairs?
Q: Two years ago, I bought a 2018 Acura TLX from an Acura dealership located in northwestern Indiana. Unfortunately, since purchasing this vehicle, I have encountered a couple of mechanical issues. The most recent is a sudden break of a connecting rod.
It happened while I was driving to the airport. I heard a loud sound and discovered that the RPMs had fallen to zero and that the car was rapidly losing acceleration.
I was towed to my dealership. A representative said Acura would cover my repairs under my warranty. The dealership gave me a loaner car. But a few days later, the dealership called and reversed its position. They said it would cost $10,222 to repair the vehicle. A representative told me to immediately return the loaner vehicle because Acura would stop paying for it. I did.
I'm now left with a monthly payment on an undrivable Acura, with a valid powertrain warranty. The repairs that were once guaranteed are now my responsibility. Is there anything you can do? -- Robin Hogue, Chesterton, Ind.
A: What a mess. Acura should have honored your warranty and repaired your car. Instead, it looks like it had no idea what to do and then left you holding a bag of bolts.
Your pre-owned Acura came with a limited powertrain warranty of seven years or 100,000 miles. But there were some critical exclusions, all of which it spells out in its warranty booklet.
I see that you appealed your case to the dealership and directly to the manufacturer, with limited success. They insisted that your damage wasn't covered under the warranty. But why?
I contacted Acura to find out. The company claims the damage was caused by what it termed "misuse/abuse." And it turns out there's an exclusion for that in your warranty. ("Additional limitations include, but are not limited to, circumstances such as misuse, abuse, noncompliance with warranty policies, lack of proper maintenance and acts of Nature.")
I don't know how you can abuse an Acura until you break a connecting rod in the engine. I'm a consumer advocate, not an automotive reporter.
Acura says you took your case to nonbinding arbitration, which found in its favor. Unfortunately, the only option you have now is to take Acura to court. If you were driving the car normally before it broke, you should have no problem winning.
© 2021 Christopher Elliott