Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2002 Acura MDX (Page 2 of 5)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,412 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Acura MDX transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #64

Mar 152010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles


There has been numerous reports regarding the transmission 2001-2006 Acura MDX. Many have stated that they have replaced transmission at least 2times.then Acura wants to charge 4-5K to replace.there are several complaints listed on forum over 400.I have also been affected by having a faulty transmission as well.S ome owners with very low mileage are affected.. Acura isn't owning up to the problem. How many people must result in a death to report this as a safety recall.

- Oakwood , GA, USA

problem #63

Oct 212010


  • 107,962 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that when she attempted to accelerate, the vehicle would not move and other times, the rpms would increase but the vehicle would still accelerate abnormally slow. The contact also experienced problems when shifting gears. The vehicle was previously repaired by an authorized dealer in 2004 under NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission) and when the vehicle was returned to the contact, the dealer advised that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that because the vehicle was previously repaired under the recall, they could offer no further assistance. The failure mileage was 107,962 and the current mileage was approximately 108,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #62

Aug 202010


  • 98,465 miles
Torque converter shudder or vibration between 35-40 mph.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #61

Oct 262010

MDX 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles


The vehicle stalls whenever you stop moving because the transmission torque converter locks up and does not release.

- Forked River, NJ, USA

problem #60

Jan 052009


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. While driving approximately 45 mph he could hear a rumbling noise coming from under the hood and the vehicle began to decelerate. Once the vehicle decelerated to approximately 25 mph it began to drive as normal. The vehicle was not taken to be examined for the cause of failure but he was informed by an independent mechanic that he needs to replace the transmission. It was not repaired. The failure continues to intermittently recur. The failure mileage was 96,000 and the current mileage was 104,000.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #59

Jul 262010


  • 151,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that the transmission began slipping. The contact was able to locate a recall for the failure (NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000- power train: Automatic transmission) but was advised by the dealer that his vehicle was outside of the mileage limitation of the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage and current mileage was 151,000.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #58

Jun 112010


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated while driving 15 mph, the vehicle would independently slip into second gear causing the vehicle to hesitate. The contact located a NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission) but was advised by the manufacturer that the vehicle was repaired under the recall by the previous owner. The manufacturer offered to cover fifty percent of the repairs. The contact did not believe the vehicle was repaired correctly when repaired under the recall. The failure and current mileages were 82,000.

- West Allenhurst , NJ, USA

problem #57

Jun 012010


  • 52,000 miles
Vehicle shutters on light acceleration. 2002 Acura MDX. Dealer indicates I have a torque converter and pressure switch 4 problem.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #56

May 082010


  • 86,600 miles
2002 Acura MDX: For about 2 month's there seemed to be loss of power during driving. I assumed maybe I was wearing shoes with higher heels and passed it off as not pressing the gas pedal as hard as I thought. 2 weeks ago while driving the vehicle made a loud sound and loss forward motion power, the check engine light came on. We stopped and had the vehicle loaded on a car trailer to the nearest Honda dealer (closer than an Acura dealer). Now we are informed the tranny is needing replaced at 86,600 miles. Listed info on this vehicle by VIN is a 2004 recall of the 2nd gear which was fixed by the prior owner at about 42,000 miles and a search of the internet reveals many people reporting the similar tranny related problems. At this time we are waiting to hear if Acura will help with the repairs estimated at over $4000 but others in online postings have stated they have had no luck with Acura helping- we will see. This is a tremendous safety concern and disservice to consumers. We were lucky there were no other vehicles around at the point that ours went out.

- Walla Walla, WA, USA

problem #55

Apr 022009


  • 113,000 miles
On 4/2/2009 the front end of my 2002 Acura MDX seized while driving 35 mph locking up the front end causing the vehicle to skid 5-7 feet to a halt. It turns out the transmission that was suppose to be fixed per the recall under campaign number 04V176000 was the issue. It was a gear failure that resulted in transmission lockup. As there were no vehicles behind me when this happened an accident did not occur; however, this was an issue that was suppose to be addressed and it appears it wasn't. Acura states the issue was fixed in 2004 and after further investigation, it appears there are dozens of similar testimonials of this exact occurrence on online forums. Acura denied the existence of an issue and I feel this is a public safety concern that requires further action.

- West Islip, NY, USA

problem #54

Feb 162010


  • 131,638 miles


Truck started hesitating on the freeway at 70 mph. Was almost hit from behind when truck made sudden jerk then hesitated.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #53

Jul 182009


  • 135,000 miles
While driving at 65 mph on highway during a vacation, car transmission light came on, starting smelling funny, read manual and it said if this light was on to pull over immediately - severe damage can occur if you keep driving. We pulled over in the middle of nowhere. Fluid had spilled out all over engine. They said that was from it overheating and boiling the fluid out. We sat for a while and let it cool down. The light went off, but we drove around 50 mph on the highway the rest of our trip. The car resumed to work fine. However, we have constantly had issues with it slipping. We took to our mechanic and then to Acura. Both parties at first didn't think anything was wrong, but then both said the transmission needed replacing. Acura would not give any discount, so we ended up going with the transmission repair company because it was only $2200 instead of $4500 by Acura. Was without a car for two weeks. A few months later it began slipping again, so we took back and they repaired again, because this company offered a 12 month warranty. Again, was without a car for two weeks. Now 7 months later, was driving at night on busy road. I was braking coming up to a red light. The light changed, so I switched to push the gas pedal before I was fully stopped and the transmission completely went out and wouldn't engage at all. My car came to a complete stop in the middle of the red light and cars were swerving all around us to avoid hitting us. It was a miracle we weren't hurt. I put down to park, turned off car, and then it began working like nothing was wrong. Went back to transmission repair place and they said that nothing seemed wrong. They took apart twice and finally replaced out 5th gear even though it looked completely fine. They said they heard the whining noise, too, but couldn't find anything wrong. They did replace though and hoped this would fix it. We still hear the whining noise and now don't feel safe driving our family in this vehicle.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #52

Feb 242010


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. While driving 65 mph and changing lanes the transmission down shifted and almost shut the vehicle off. The check engine light illuminated and the D5 light started flashing on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not safe to drive and will be towed to the dealer. There was only routine maintenance performed on the vehicle prior to the failure. The failure mileage was 99,000.

- Englewood Cliff, NJ, USA

problem #51

Dec 172009


  • 90,000 miles
My 2002 Acura MDX has been failing due to a malfunction in there transmission. They will not admit there wrong. Every one with this type of SUV has experience this problem.

- Streamwood, IL, USA

problem #50

Sep 152009


  • 82,000 miles
Transmission issue dealer charged me $4400 and Acura gave me 25% discount to do the repair. This is a known problem and still Acura is not taking full responsibility to fix the issue without any money, most of the owners got 90% discount and now Acura is just giving 25% discount.

- Morrisville, NC, USA

problem #49

Dec 042009


  • 112,000 miles
The check engine light came on 2002 Acura MDX 112000K bought used w no warranty.5days later the car shifts down gear when U lift off the gas allthe time when changing gear on hill its seems to be jamming..took to several auto place to hook to machine. It all shows the same code torque converter. /transmission.

- Oakwood , GA, USA

problem #48

Nov 192009


  • 70,000 miles
2002 Acura MDX with 70,000 miles. Transmission failure which has been reported hundred if not thousands of times to Acura/Honda for the 2001-2003 year transmissions. Transmission is skipping and will not go into gear from 2nd gear to 3rd gear. This is at about 25-30 mph and mostly occurs on slight uphill grades. As I look on and google there are hundreds of reports of this problem. At 22,000 miles my Acura dealer in 2004 placed a lubricant injection fix for this problem. Now at 70,000 miles with minimal use, regular maintenance, and dealer only inspections the transmission is failing. The patch kit did not work. I expect a $40,000 car to last more than 70,000 miles before a major problem. Acura/Honda should issue a full recall to replace the defective transmissions.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #47

Oct 092009


  • 136,406 miles
2002 Acura MDX required a transmission replacement following a rapid deceleration of vehicle on highway. Luckily avoided collision by other vehicles. Codes on diagnostic indicated trans required replacement at 136,000 miles. To keep vehicle safe, I have paid 4,000 ++ dollars to replace. Thankfully accident did not follow with the rapid deceleration.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #46

Sep 212009


  • 63,334 miles
The SUV was driven around 5 miles, and then suddenly would not accelerate in the middle of fast moving traffic. The engine RPM was showing much higher than normal (with high engine noise), but the SUV wasn't moving into higher gear. This sudden slow moving car in middle of fast moving traffic could have caused an accident. Amoco checked the transmission, and said the oil level was fine, but part of the oil was "burnt". the transmission is being rebuilt by aamco. The SUV is 8 years old and low mileage - 63K miles, and well maintained. Transmission oil was replaced 5 months back.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #45

Sep 142009


  • 77,500 miles
A month or so ago I noticed the vehicle wasn't shifting as smoothly as it should. That was followed shortly thereafter by the transmission slipping out of gear briefly. Then, recently, as I was merging into freeway traffic the vehicle wouldn't shift out of a lower gear and I was forced to pull to the shoulder to avoid being hit from behind. I sat there until traffic cleared at which time I was able to slowly continue down the road. The transmission then shifted correctly. I believe this to be a serious safety concern, and in light of all else I have read regarding transmission issues with Acura MDX's, something needs to be done about this.

- Chico, CA, USA

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