What kind of problems does an Acura ILX have? In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for an ILX. However, let’s first start with a quick answer.
Acura ILXs have problems with a leaking fuel pump causing loss of power or engine stalling. Furthermore, 2016 models have issues with acceleration when braking and 2013 – 2019 models have problems with separating or corroding driveshafts.
However, we have to say that the Acura ILX is a reliable vehicle that has shown very few severe defects over the years. For example, the transmissions and the engines seem to work perfectly fine, and the same goes for the electrical system. However, there have been some recalls and complaints over the years regarding other aspects of the car. Let’s have a look at those.
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No Transmission Complaints
Before we jump into the luxurious ILX‘s problems, we want to clarify one thing. That’s the fact that the ILX seems to have few troubles with the 8-speed dual-clutch transmission it has been equipped with—various sources online state that the 8-speed DCT is problematic in this car.
However, we did not find any evidence of this. At least not when looking through the customer complaints of all model years on the website of the NHTSA. Instead, we did find that this transmission was problematic in the Acura TLX, not the ILX. The TLX had several recalls for this transmission; the ILX did not because it wasn’t complained about.
Now, let’s move on to the problems the car did have.
1. Failing Or Exploding Airbags
One of the most complained about points of the ILX is its airbags. This is especially the case for the ILX made in 2013 – 2014 and includes the hybrid versions of the car. Owners experienced firsthand that some airbags wouldn’t inflate in case of a crash. Others found out that the airbags could explode without the car being involved in a collision.
Three separate recalls were issued for the airbags, one for the 2013 model year (16V061000) and two for the 2013 – 2014 model year, including the hybrid (19V182000, 19V500000).
However, we do have to mention that this wasn’t the fault of Acura. Instead, these cars were part of a nationwide recall that affected tens of millions of vehicles. That’s because these ILXs were all equipped with faulty Takata airbags.
All these recalls involved the driver’s frontal airbag inflator, which may explode due to propellant degradation after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature, and temperature cycling.
The first recall was supposed to replace this faulty part. However, two new recalls were issued three years later because the replacement parts had the same issue. Overall, this recall was a nationwide mess.
2. Car Accelerates When Braking
One specific problem complained about in the 2016 models of the ILX is sudden unintended acceleration when braking. As the term suggests, owners experience sudden acceleration when traveling at low speeds. For example, owners report driving five mph and accelerating to 25mph with their brakes depressed.
This is not an entirely new problem for Acura (or modern cars in general) since many early models of the MDX have had the same problem. However, what’s frustrating is that Acura has never investigated the issue and that owners have never had suitable solutions.
However, we know that acceleration during braking often occurs when there are problems with the electronic throttle control mechanism. When this system malfunctions, it will temper with the vehicle’s speed. Since this is an electronic system, and many Acura, such as the TLX, have had problems with the electronics, it’s not that far-fetched to consider this the main culprit.
Luckily, only the 2016 model has reported this problem, and therefore it’s probably just best to shy away from it. If the car develops this defect, expect to pay between $500 and $700 to replace the throttle control mechanism. You can read more about the cost of maintaining an Acura in this blog post.
3. Rusting Or Separating Driveshaft
Several model years of the ILX have had problems with the driveshaft. For the 2013 – 2015 model years (and the 2013 hybrid), a recall was issued under number 20V770000. Owners had reported complete failure of the driveshaft and a total loss of power.
As it turns out, the driveshaft of the affected models was rusting to the point that it would fail. The problem was caused by the fact that a protective coating was not appropriately applied during manufacturing. This allowed it to rust prematurely. The solution involved inspecting the left and right driveshaft and replacing them if there were any visible signs of corrosion.
Problems continued with the 2016 – 2019 ILX, which had a recall under number 19V424000. This time, too much grease was applied to the set-ring on the half shaft, which didn’t allow it to engage fully. As a result, the driveshaft would separate from the half shaft, leading to a complete loss of power. Once again, the solution was to inspect and replace the half and/or driveshaft if necessary.
4. Engine Stalling Due To Fuel Pump
Engine stalling seemed to be a well-known problem for the 2019 model year of the ILX. Eventually, a recall was issued under number 21V215000. It turned out that the fuel pump was the problem here. This was not surprising since a faulty fuel pump was the same defect found in many other Acuras and Hondas of this model year.
Honda (the owner of Acura) found that the impeller in the low-pressure fuel pumps was susceptible to swelling. This would reduce the flow of gasoline, which, in turn, decreased power or caused engine stalling. In affected models, the fuel pump assembly was replaced free of charge.
5. Reduced Visibility From Headlights And Potential Fire Hazard
Owners of 2013 – 2014 ILXs complained about reduced visibility after using their cars for a while. A recall was needed, which was issued under recall number 14V323000. The problem was described as follows by Honda:
When a vehicle is parked with the engine running and the low-beam headlights on for an extremely long period of time, the original headlight design may not allow sufficient heat to escape.
Excessive heat buildup in the headlight assembly can cause deformation and melting of plastic components which could affect headlight operation and, eventually, result in a fire.Source
Luckily, the solution was relatively easy, and this was replacing the headlights for designs that were capable of not catching on fire.
6. Door Opens By Itself
In July 2012, Honda recalled slightly over 170,000 vehicles of the 2012 Honda CR-V and the 2013 Acura ILX. It turned out that these cars were equipped with improper door latches, which meant the doors could open while driving (which is what some drivers did experience). The recall was issued under number 12V338000.
As Honda described it, when the manual/power door lock is active, and an interior front door handle is operated simultaneously, the cable that connects the interior door handle to the mechanism of the door latch can become too loose and move out of its original position. This means the door won’t latch properly. Replacing the front door latch assemblies did fix the problem.
7. Incorrect Fuel Gauge Reading
In January of 2019, Acura issued a recall for a little more than 4,000 2014 – 2019 models of the ILX. It turned out these vehicles had a deformed fuel tank that raised the fuel pump’s height. This allowed the fuel level float to stick, which meant the fuel gauge displayed an inaccurate level.
However, what was problematic here was that numerous owners complained about this defect for years without Acura taking action. Recalling 2014 models five years later than needed is far from respectable customer service.
The recalled vehicles were inspected, and if the defect did exist, the fuel tank was replaced free of charge.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!