Does every 2004-2008 Acura TL have cracks in the dashboard? It certainly feels that way. Regardless of your climate or if you’ve garage-kept your sedan, hairline cracks and deep gaps are a common complaint from owners.
The number one reason dashboards typically crack is exposure to the sun. The extreme heat can dry out the plastic, causing it to shrink and eventually crack. Meanwhile, UV light can break down the chemical bonds of polymers in the dashboard’s plastic.
But every car is exposed to the sun, so why is the 3rd generation TL any different? All signs point to defective materials or a mistake during manufacturing.
Beyond Cosmetics, is a Cracked Dashboard Dangerous?
Dashboard cracks are ugly as hell, but they also pose a real risk in relation to airbags.
“Dashboard began cracking about a year ago, I read that a large number of owners were having the same problem. No one knew why. Last week my air bag light came on and stays on while in operation. I looked into this situation and I find there is a large group of owner with the same concerns.
One area of concern is the cracks will interfere with the deployment of the airbag. Either by triggering the airbag warning light or snagging the airbag on its way out.
Another concern is what happens if the airbag does deploy? Those plastic shards might become dangerous projectiles, turning a bad day into a terrible one.
Kiss Your Resale Value Goodbye
In a 2018 lawsuit against GM, the plaintiffs argue that authomaker’s “merely cosmetic” defense is a bunch of BS.
“General Motors allegedly tells consumers the damage is merely cosmetic, but the plaintiffs claim in addition to safety hazards, the damaged dashboards and instrument panels cause a loss of value of the vehicles.”
While no lawsuit has been filed against Acura, there is a Facebook Group of owners sharing their stories and complaints.