The first few thousand miles of motoring in our 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec long-term test car were problem-free, but that changed after we took it on a spirited drive through the winding hills of southern Indiana. You can read about how it handled a full day of thrashing here, but this story will focus on the dead infotainment system previewed in the headline.
About halfway through the twisty route, every sizable pothole or big bump in the road would cause the infotainment system to black out. A message would appear declaring “MOST NET LOSS,” and it would quickly dip to black after that. The next big pothole would cause it to flicker back on, but it never remained on for any long periods of time after this. In addition to the screen loss, the speakers would make some rather disturbing crackling noises.
This continued throughout the day and for several days beyond that. If the roads I was driving on were flat or devoid of major problems, the infotainment system would generally be fine. It took a major jostling of the car’s bones to cause it to act up, but Michigan provided enough of those to make the problem exceedingly annoying in a hurry. So, to the dealership it went.
After the local dealer looked it over, they said there was a TSB out for this issue, and that they’ve seen it pop up on other RDXs and TLXs already. Turns out, there are a number of wire connectors between the infotainment system and wiring harness that are causing the problems and coming loose. The fix? Newly designed connectors from Acura, plus the wiring harness is ever so slightly freed up to allow for a bit of movement from violent impacts. Doing this (plus using the stronger new connectors) should ensure that the stress on these connectors is never so great as to cause issues again.
The job was completed under warranty and took a full day from diagnosis to the return of the car. We’ve put several hundred miles on the car since the fix, and they’ve been completely trouble-free — it sure was nice to listen to Acura’s excellent ELS audio system again. That said, this issue is one we’ll follow closely to see if Acura’s fix truly is a long-term solution.
We’ll have a deeper dive on how Acura’s TouchPad infotainment system works (now that it’s actually working again) soon, so watch out for that update in the near future.
You will be able to find all other posts on our Long-Term 2021 Acura TLX page.