Mitsubishi recalls 80,000 vehicles for CVT issues

When you want a vehicle to accelerate, it's rarely beneficial for that acceleration to arrive later than anticipated.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Mitsubishi gave the Outlander Sport an aesthetic refresh for the 2016 model year, but its innards are the same as before.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) are interesting beasts. They lack the complication of modern, multi-gear units, but that doesn't mean they're immune to issues. Mitsubishi learned that this week, as it's recalled more than 80,000 cars for CVT troubles.

Mitsubishi is recalling 82,436 vehicles in the US, including the 2016 Lancer, 2016 Outlander and 2015-2016 Outlander Sport. The issue is related to software in the transmission control module. In certain scenarios, the CVT may produce a delay between depressing the gas pedal and the vehicle accelerating forward.

While that might not seem like the biggest problem in the world, it's important to note that a lack of acceleration could contribute to a crash. Let's say you need to blast through an intersection because someone approaching a stop sign doesn't seem intent on stopping. A hesitation in that scenario could end up bad for all parties involved.

Thankfully, it's not a difficult fix. Mitsubishi has already sent out notifications to owners. Once those owners get to the dealer, its technicians will reprogram the CVT's control module for free, which should take about an hour. After that, the transmission should produce acceleration as the automaker intended.

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