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 4 of 5)

10.0

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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Mar 102007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

1st incident: We were going up a hill with car full of children when my 2002 Acura MDX slowed down considerably and the RPM revved up to 4-5,000. It continued to do this as trucks and cars started to pile behind me. I finally reached an exit and pulled over. After parking, I could not reverse, it would not move. After waiting an hour for the tow truck, we decided to test the car around the parking lot.. it started driving like nothing was wrong, and reversed again. So we took our chances and drove carefully home. The car didn't act up after that but we started a case with Acura/Honda after realizing there was a mass transmission recall. They said my VIN was not under the recall warranty and they could not help. 2 days later: We assumed the hill must have been too much for the car, but it was ok to drive on flat roads. While driving under normal conditions at 35 mph, the car jerked violently and continued to until I pulled to the side of the road. After a phone call to assess what might have happened, it was suggested the transmission was acting up. I cautiously drove the car home with my young daughter in tow. After researching the Acura transmission recall, I got a case going again with Honda. They suggested I take the car in for a diagnostic. I did just that and faxed in the tech comments. Based on the comments, they concluded that they will not help because I had too many miles (98K) and my car was "poorly maintained". however I contested how it was poorly maintained and they could not give me an answer. I bought the car 6 months ago at 95K and performed its regular oil change and transmission fluid. They recommended I had to replace my cv boots and brakes, but I don't see how that would affect the transmission. They quoted me at $5000 and would see to any discounts. After much research, it is apparent that there are definitely manufacturer defects in these transmissions, but Acura and Honda has made it clear to me they are not willing to help.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 092007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,950 miles
I feel very afraid to drive my 2002 Acura MDX, with 100K miles, as it has come out of gear when I am turning across two lanes of traffic to continue through the median onto the highway. I am very fortunate that a semi truck was not coming at me at a high speed when my vehicle failed to accelerate. I have four children in the MDX with me at all times, as I am a stay at home mother and home school my oldest at age 7. this failure is not a result of abuse, or negligent service. The Acura guidelines for transmission service have been maintained according to the manual and were done so at Acura service centers by the previous owner. The transmission was checked and fluids flushed and changed lastly at 80K miles and we were told by Acura service (in January) that our next service for this would be due at 120K miles. This transmission defect is abundantly evident in hundreds of write-ins on several web forums. Someone is going to be seriously injured or worse when this failure occurs at the right moment. We want to trust Acura to take care of its customers, to respect their safety, take care of its new customers and future customers, please help to make this the outcome we will come to know and enjoy. Acura has agreed to discount a total of $900 from the otherwise $4909 transmission replacement. That is all they are offering as of now, but we are not satisfied with this offer and are appealing this decision. A new, updated transmission must replace the existing faulty one in order for these vehicles to be safely driven. Thank you!

- New Glarus, WI, USA

problem #22

Feb 082007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,200 miles
Regular driving of Acura MDX. Car transmission slipping between 20-40 mph. Dealer inspected problem and attributed problem to the 3rd gear. Dealer reports recall is only involving 2nd gear therefore I have to pay for transmission repair rebuild.

- Melrose Park, IL, USA

problem #21

Jun 012006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission hard downshift from 3rd to 2nd gear. Fluid jet kit (recall action) has been completed. Dealer states this is not covered and transmission replacement is necessary. Have seen literally hundreds of other similar complaints on Acura message boards.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #20

Oct 272006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,500 miles
Transmission failed on freeway.

- Portola Valley, CA, USA

problem #19

Jul 022006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Acura claimed to fix my transmission, as per the recalls that were made on 2001-2002 Acura MDX's. they obviously did not fix what they needed to. Yesterday as I was driving I noticed that the transmission would shift to different gears on its own!! for example I would be in D5 a drive gear. Sometimes it would shift itself to neutral, and sometimes to D4,3. this is extremely dangerous as it can cause accidents if this were to happen at inopportune times. I just got off the phone with Acura and they said that they fixed what was necessary to be fixed when I brought the car in 1-2 years ago. This is unacceptable and I feel that the NHTSA should be doing something about this potentially fatal issue with this car. I was told to wait for a manager to come back in this Wednesday July 5th. My Acura dealership is located in roslyn, NY; called rallye Acura. This car is a P.O.S., and I would like to know if there are any class action lawsuits against Acura for this car. I have found out that there are numerous design flaws in the 2001-2002 MDX transmissions. Please help to force Acura to resolve this issue as they are not being cooperative nor careful, which I feel is outrageous due to the dangerous nature of this transmission issue. Also, I do not want a "refurbished or rebuilt" transmission which I have been informed is what they are doing. Obviously whatever they are doing is not working.

- Oakland Gardens, NY, USA

problem #18

Jun 012006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

From third gear into fourth gear, the transmission slips, it disengages like if it's in neutral for just a few seconds, and then goes into the next gear with a jerk. Now it seems like that it's always jerking. About a year or two ago, I had a much less noticeable loss of power incident with the vehicle with the check engine light coming on. The dealer cleared the warning light and advised that there was no problems. On 06/16/06 I brought the vehicle to the dealer to replace the transmission fluid, but that did not resolve the problem. They advised I would need a new transmission.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #17

May 312006

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,600 miles
Transmission failure at 64,600 miles.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 152006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
My MDX has 85K miles on it, and the tranny started the infamous going into neutral at 30-40 mph on an intermittent basis...I've done all the various oil sending unit and egr valve fixes but started having the above problem about 7K ago, but when I took it to the dealer they gave the old hmmm, if we can't repeat it, we really can't replace it.... then, the engine light came on. I made an appt with the dealer (pleasanton Acura), they gave me a $69 a day rental and said they would check it out. They did, and confirmed the engine code was tied to the defective transmission. I only had the standard warranty (50K, 4 yr). I received a call back the same day saying Acura has agreed to pay for the transmission, but I would have to pay for the labor...$1,100. I think Acura should have to announce and support a total recall. I never thought I would spend $1,100 on a transmission for a 2002 Acura MDX with an out the door price of ~$47,000 - unbelievable! I posted the above on the acuramdx.org website after doing a google search on MDX transmissions and finding hundreds of complaints from car owners across the United States, all having the same transmission problems on 2002 MDX. Apparently, Acura extended the transmission warranty on their 2002 TL's with the same transmission problem but for some reason have avoided addressing the MDX with a formal recall or extended warranty even though they know and the public all know the transmission was a defective design and really poses a safety risk for hundreds of MDX owners and others that might be affected when the MDX transmission fails to allow the vehicle to accelerate when merging onto a highway with a semi-truck that doesn't know you're having a transmission failure which causes your transmission to slip and lose engine drive power. This is one blatant safety issue that Acura should do the right thing and extend the warranty and replace these defective MDX 2002 transmissions.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 032006

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Driving at approx. 40 mpg. During acceleration the car did not respond and then lurched forward. The second time the car did not respond during acceleration going up a hill and I started to lose momentum. Engine light finally came on after approx 10 seconds. I was stuck on the road without being able to move the vehicle off the road. Dealer concluded that it was transmission failure. No help in subsidizing fix as vehicle was out of warranty.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #14

Feb 132006

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2002 Acura MDX automatic transmission failure occurred at 77K miles. Symptoms included up-shift hesitation between 2-3 drive gears, hard and jerky transmission changes in both drive and reverse. The symptoms started to get progressively worse and more frequent. I took this MDX to a local aaa-approved, independent auto repair shop for a diagnosis. The shop's repair technician and a transmissions specialist test drove the MDX and experienced the same type of symptoms. They returned and reported that the transmission was indeed failing. I had the MDX towed to the Acura dealership where the vehicle was purchased. The dealership's service department confirmed that the transmission was failing and it had to be replaced completely. The transmission was replaced with a rebuilt unit by the Acura service department. A historical note: Back in the fall of 2004, I received notice of a MDX transmission recall from Acura. Shortly upon receiving this notice I did take this MDX to an Acura dealership service department and had the transmission recall service done.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 042005

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
: the contact stated the transmission is failing on the vehicle. There is an NHTSA recall, #04V176000 concerning the power train: Automatic transmission; however the recall did not correct the problem. The vehicle's transmission was not failing at the time of the recall. The dealership determined the recall repair should consist of installing an oil jet kit. The recall was performed on August 12, 2004. The mileage on the vehicle at this time was 64,111. In August 2005, the contact noticed the transmission slipping upon acceleration into second gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealership. The dealership determined there was not a problem with the vehicle's transmission. The problem became progressively worse. In January 2006, the dealership confirmed the transmission wa sreplaced at contact's expense. A safety concern existed as acknowledged by Honda when the recall repairs were made. The repairs have not prevented transmission failure. Therefore, creating a safety hazard.

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #12

Jun 262005

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2002 Acura MDX about 35-40 mph when the car locked up like the brakes were slammed on. Car was immobile and could not be pushed off the roadway until the arrival of a tow truck. Dealer now has the car and says it was transmission failure. Symtoms are the same as discribed as failures in a recall of this vehicle. Recall work was done about 5000 miles ago in which an oiling device was installed to correct the problem. Failure occured anyway after the correction. My contention is that the required inspection of the gears was not performed correctly and the "fix" was performed instead. The dealer says I may be liable for 4500 dollars to replace the defective transmission because it has 101000 miles on it and they only warrenty it to 100000. If the problem was recognized at 96000 when the recall work was done, I wouldn't be in this predicament- thanks

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 292005

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,999 miles
After accelerating the car locked up and he skidded 3 or 4 feet. Has a clicking noise from the transmission. Now the car won't shift gears or go over 10 mph; had it looked at and was told by manufacturer that it was not covered in the recall. Did get other opinions on the transmission problem, and was told that the first person that looked at it was incorrect in their diagnosis.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #10

Jan 122005

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,306 miles
On January 12, 2005 while traveling on I-5 at approximately 60 mph the transmission in my 2002 Acura MDX locked up. Hinshaw's Acura concluded the failure caused damage to the half shaft, vtec pressure switch, oil filter housing, intermediate shaft, and right outside driveshaft. Hinshaw's Acura concluded all of these items required replacement to restore my MDX to normal. They gave me a repair estimate of several thousands of dollars. I informed them that I have always complied with all of the scheduled Acura recommended maintenance items on my MDX during the warranty period and afterwards. In fact, the most recent 60K maintenance was performed at hinshaw's Acura on November 22, 2004. I also informed them that my maintenance records were available for their review from both Acura of seattle and bellevue Acura. For the record, I have been the sole owner and driver of this vehicle since it was new. It has never been off road, abused, or been involved in an accident. The local Acura representative refused to acknowledge the failure or consider reimbursement for any damages. After I filed a complaint with Acura customer relations, they agreed to only pay half of the repair costs. The injustice in this whole experience stems from the fact that this vehicle was recalled by Acura (NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000) for exactly the same problem that caused the damages and endangered my life and that of other drivers near me. I have rigorously followed the recommended maintenance schedule as defined in my Acura ownership manual. If this problem would have been properly resolved at the time I returned my MDX to the dealer during the recall, this malfunction would have never occurred.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #9

Nov 232004

MDX

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When the consumer applied the accelerator pedal, the vehicle suddenly hesitated, it then firmly jerked into acceleration.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 012004

MDX

  • miles
The vehicle had a transmission defective. Campaign id number : 04V176000. Honda was unable to remedy the transmission defect. The vehicle transmission caused the vehicle to lurch forward.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012003

MDX

  • miles
Consumer stated transmission was slipping. However, consumer had this problem for the last 2 years. Consumer took the vehicle to dealer several times, bu tproblem recurred.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 022004

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
NHTSA recall 04V176000 concerning automatic transmission. After having the oil cooler return lines revised vehicle vibrated/jerked, and the transmission locked up. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #5

Jul 142004

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,400 miles
The transmission slips upon acceleration, when shifting, it snaps. The vehicle was taken to the dealer stated the failure mode is not consistent and not related to the recall. The recall date is April 13, 2004. The dealer's diagnosis showed failure of the 3rd, 4th and reverse gears. The dealer repaired the vehicle under the provisions of the vehicle's extended warranty.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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