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We are the original owners of a 1999 Acura RL. It has less than 134,000 Miles on it. It has been babied. Always well maintained mechanically and cosmetically. Recently a "Scheduled Maintenance" light lit up. Then the "Engine Light to the left of the "Scheduled Maintenance" light lit up. According to the owner's manual, there could be serious engine damage and to drive to Acura Dealer immediately. We took the car into Ron Tonkin Acura, where we bought the car and where most of the servicing has been done. They did a diagnostic check and found that the car needs a new transmission. I asked if the old one could be fixed. I was told by our service advisor that Acura Electronic Automatic Transmissions cannot be fixed and that the entire transmission would have to be replaced. With parts and labor, about $4,500.00. This for a top of the line model (in 1999) with under 134,000 Miles. Apparently Acura sold us a new car with a defective transmission. I called "Acura Client Care" and spoke with a woman named Deane. After being put on hold for a long time, she gets back on the phone and tells me that Acura will do NOTHING to help us because of the age of the car and the fact that it was out of warranty. I have since done some searching on the internet and have found that this is a common problem in Acuras, which are supposed to be a "premium brand". The cost of this new transmission is more than the car is now worth. Acura won't help. So all there is left to do is warn other people: Before you plunk down 50K on a new Acura, check out all of the problems people have had with their transmissions. If you do buy one, put on lots of miles while the car is still under warranty. After the warranty is expired, Acura doesn't give a sh*t.
- Philip N.,