Friday, April 1, 2016

Long Term Test: 2014 Acura RLX Tech post #5

Update #5
Current Miles: 16,382

In the nearly two and half years that we have had the Acura RLX in our garage, it has seen its fair share of...unforeseen damages. The first time the RLX saw a body shop, the front end of our MDX somehow managed to find the rear end the RLX in an unfortunate incidence of friendly fire. That incident caused quite a significant amount of damage, with the driver's side of the rear bumper pretty much mangled to hell, the trunk lid bent in enough so it could not open, and even some minor frame damage. More recently, the RLX was yet again sent to the body shop when a less than patient driver scraped the car against a wall while backing the car out of a driveway. While not as severe as the first incident, it still caused quite a bit of damage, with giant scrape marks across the passenger side front bumper, minor scrapes on the fender and some minor denting. Both incidents have highlighted how expensive this car is to repair!

The Acura RLX is currently the only car in Acura's lineup that is still entirely assembled in Japan. From my experience with my own car, vehicles that are shipped in from foreign countries and sold in low volumes are generally going to be expensive to repair. There is a reason why the RLX and my S2000 are the most expensive vehicles on our insurance policy! The first accident cost well over $5,000, as the impact from the MDX was apparently hard enough to cause minor structural damage to the RLX, and left the car out of commission for over a week. It also left the car with a strange grinding or crunching noise from the rear of the car at low speeds that has never quite gone away. The second accident was not quite as severe on the damage front, but still ended up costing well over $2,000 to repair. Even though the RLX is essentially a Honda Accord with different skin, I guess body shops will charge a premium for repairing a car with aluminum body panels and a luxury badge.

Thankfully, no other damage has come to the RLX, and mechanically, everything still works perfectly fine. With body and frame damage costing this much to repair, I would hate to imagine how much mechanical or electrical repairs would cost. I have heard that repairing Acura's signature Jewel-Eye(TM) LED headlights cost quite a pretty penny. It seems that Acura may be great at packing technology into their cars for a reasonable price, but when it comes to repairing them, things can get quite pricey.