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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Power Train Problems Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague Notes: The 1999-2003 Acura TL has a known & widespread defect with the transmission.

Honda fixed some vehicles with a recall in 2004 by changing the oil cooler return line. To settle a class action lawsuit in 2006, Honda extended the transmission warranty on some of these Acura TL's to 93 months / 109,000 miles.

Now these vehicles are past the warranty limit, so buyer beware.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,057 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.

2001 Acura TL drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 112016


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Acura TL. While driving 72 mph without warning, the vehicle failed to shift gears. The vehicle was taken to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Coral Springs, CO, USA

problem #11

Nov 262015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura TL. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle failed to shift from first to second gear as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure and the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #10

Nov 012012

TL 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
While driving my 2001, the tranny was not shifting. Scared my wife silly. Had less than 50000 miles and had taken the car to Acura for this issue.they installed some kind of cooler device related to tranny issue. $3000 later for a tranny repair at a reputable independent garage and Acura refused to foot the bill. No more Acura for me and my family.hit them where it hurts- in the pocket book!

- Toronto, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 302013


  • 200,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Acura TL. The contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph the transmission jerked violently and failed to shift into second gear. The rpms began to increase with the illumination of the tcs and engine warning indicators. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train) however, the secondary gear did not exhibit discoloration and the dealer refused to repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was O 200,000.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 182013

TL 6-cyl

  • 82,373 miles
I live in toledo Ohio bought this car in Michigan was on my way home when my cars wheels locked up scared me too death jerked back and forth in gear check engine lite came on tcs lite came on and D5 lite was blinking this car only had 82,000 miles I can not believe the government closes its eyes too all these complaints someone is going to get seriously hurt we need to sue Acura for crap transmissions I mean come on and then for them to take advantage of hard working americans who trust Honda is not rite at all someone is getting paid off is the only reason this issue hasnt been resolved and for the dealer not to do anything but want to give you another junk garbage transmission and charge you 3500 for the same problem to happen again is ridiculous we all need to file a lawsuit for this and they need to upgrade the transmissions to make them better and for the safety administration to turn a blind eye for a car that could lock up and kill someone and not fine or make Acura eat the cost for there screw up shame on you.

- Toledo, OH, USA

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problem #7

Apr 122013

TL 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura TL. The contact stated that the vehicle would sporadically lose engine power. The contact stated that the vehicle would start normally but as the transmission became hotter, the failure would occur. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact was not provided with the reason that the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure and the current mileage was 155,000.

- Upper Malboro, MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 222013

TL 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


I was exactly halfway through a 350 mile road trip, driving uphill along a busy interstate in the left lane when, without warning, my 2001 Acura 3.2 TL began losing speed despite continued throttle acceleration. The engine RPM's were climbing as if the transmission were in neutral. Luckily, I was able to roll to right shoulder and come to a safe stop. My transmission shut down completely. The reverse and all drive gears behaved as neutral. I was left with only park and neutral. I opened the hood and smelled something burning. When I checked the transmission fluid it was black and smoking. Just 3 hours earlier when I checked all my fluids before leaving, I noticed the transmission fluid was the normal shiny red. I was given no warning signs, no symptoms of shifting problems, and no console indication that my transmission was running hotter than normal. I understand that there was a recall on my year make and model, and that my transmission was included in that recall. Why didn't Acura fix this problem? my vehicle has only 103,000 mi; this shouldn't have happened.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 072013


  • miles
I spoke to a gentleman from the NHTSA on 2/6/13 who informed me that the recall pertaining to the 2001 Acura TL transmission, 2nd to 3rd gear slippage that can result in transmission lockup and crash, is still valid through April of 2014, with no mileage restrictions and is to be replaced at the full cost of the manufacturer (NHTSA recall I.D. 04V176, Acura recall I.D. P39). In an attempt to have a productive conversation with an Acura client relations representative on 2/19/13, in hopes of having the transmission replaced as the vehicles transmission is deteriorating rapidly, I was told that the gentleman who I spoke with from the NHTSA was incorrect in the information he provided and that the recall has already expired. I would like the NHTSA to please contact myself and Acura client relations, in writing, explaining that the recall pertaining to the 2001 Acura TL transmission is still valid so that I may take the necessary steps in having the transmission replaced asap and avoid having a major incident as I fear for mine and my family's safety.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #4

Jan 072013


  • 80,316 miles
My complaint is toward Acura relations and devan Acura of norwalk, ct regarding a serious transmission problem. My transmission has been diagnosed with having a hard shift/slippage from 2nd to 3rd gear, which is part of recall, I.D. 48580. This type of problem can result in transmission lockup, which could result in a crash. A case manager from Acura relations explained over the phone that if problem is recall related, the cost of repairs would be covered. Unfortunately, even though devan Acura of norwalk has determined that a hard shift/slippage from 2nd to 3rd gear exists, they never asked me what I felt comfortable doing, which my answer would be to replace the transmission, as it pertains to the recall, especially as promised by Acura relations. Devan Acura of norwalk performed a transmission fluid flush to try and resolve the problem, which did not improve the drivability of the vehicle, as a hard shift/slippage still exists. Please note that I paid for this vehicle brand new, in full, from devan Acura of norwalk and do not appreciate feeling as though Acura relations and devan Acura of norwalk has shown a lack of concern towards mine and my family's safety, as they chose not to further assist in this matter and I fear for my family's safety driving this vehicle and would like it repaired as promised by Acura relations (case number will be provided upon request).

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #3

Aug 222011


  • 109,000 miles
The transmission in my car is slipping at 2nd gear, as a result of which the RPM goes high but it doesn't match the speed of the road. The transmission as per the recall was fixed in the year 2004, but the problem arose again and its hard for me to drive. The estimated cost of the transmission is 5K as per the dealer & the same has been reported to the Acura customer care department but I haven't heard anything from their side. I would be highly gratified to see a positive response from your side.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 012010


  • miles
Transmission failure: I bought this car at 25K miles in Sept "04". recall took place Apr. "04". I was never told by the dealer, that a "recall" was made on the tranny for 7/100K. ( it was more important that they put the sale of the car over the safety of me and my child )I found out on the day my tranny went out on Aug. "10" and they said I would have to pay $3,700 for the repair due to the warranty has expired. I was coming off the freeway at 65 mph when I exited and slowed down to approx. 35 mph, the car went "crazy" it was bucking and jumping and thrusting us forward in a jerking motion. I am female and had my toddler with me, I was scared, it was a strange behavior for a car, it felt like I was being hit from behind by another car. I couldn't shake the idea that we just got off the freeway. Had this car done this while on the freeway!! my thoughts are we would of been badly hurt along with others. It was a matter of seconds that changed my outcome, along with the "guardian angles". I am terrified to drive this car. I am unemployed and gave the dealer all the $$ I had. I have read on your NHTSA web site, of people having to replace up to three times. The design problem is not resolved, from the results, it is not resolved, yet these cars are on the roads and every other day someone's tranny is going out as well as them experiencing near injury conditions. I just don't understand!!! when "tylenol" was recalled...they removed the product from the shelf to ensure the safety of the public. Why isn't this being done here as well. Give us blue book value at the time of tranny failure and scrap these cars. Because they are unable to come up with a reliable tranny fix in their design flaw, give us blue book value so we can drive a car that is more safe.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 202003


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura 3.2tl. The contact stated that the vehicle would not pull and began slipping gears. The dealer stated that the transmission was defective and they replaced it under warranty. On a separate occasion, the gears slipped again and the vehicle hesitated. The vehicle was no longer under warranty and the transmission was replaced at the owner's expense. The failure mileage was less than 9,000 and current mileage was over 200,000.

- Dublin, GA, USA

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