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: Automatic Transmission Problems

2002 Acura TL (Page 7 of 9) 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
40,890 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 TL transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Acura TL:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Acura TL Owner Comments (Page 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

Jun 202003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


I own a 2002 Acura 3.2 TL, type S. my transmission has failed twice. The first time it failed, I had just exited the interstate and had my 3 year old in the car with me. I made it off the road safely, but it made me realize how dangerous it would have been for this to occur on the interstate. The first time it failed, the dealership replaced the transmission with a new one. Friday, June 20, 2003 my transmission failed the second time. This time the dealer said that Acura does not have any more new transmissions and they want to give me a remanufactured one. I find this very discomforting that Acura/Honda wants to give me a previously failed transmission. I don't understand why Acura would not have enough new transmissions for their customers. I don't feel I should subject my family to further danger. I feel I have the right to a new part as the car is within the warranty period.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #54

May 222003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
Acura 2002, TL, type S, 26,000 miles, transmission acting up, drop from 5th gear to 2nd, engine reving, slipping, not engaging into right gear, took to dealership twice, where car was bought, in dealer for new "remanufactured" trans. Let's see if this one will work. Lots of people having trans problems with 2001-02 cl and TL. Acura/Honda obviously trying to avoid a recall, until somebody gets hurt.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #53

May 192003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,700 miles
Transmission on 2002 Acura TL type-S slipped from 5th to 2nd gear at highway speeds, causing rapid deceleration and high engine RPM. This could have caused a rear-end collision.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #52

Dec 262002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


Transmission failed after slipping twice. It completely stopped while I was accelerating to highway speed. Acura replaced with re-manufactured transmissions, which according to the dealership is considered new. It seems like this "new" transmission is shifting irregularly after 6,000 miles. Original failure was at 32,000 - make/model: 2002 TL type S.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #51

May 232001

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
Automatic transmission is defective. Slips, jerks, neutrals out when coast down to about 20 mph, then accelerate and there is no response. Dealer say wait until it totally fails or cause an accident then they will install a new transmission. I would like to have my money back.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #50

Mar 202003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Driving in my car and the car "jerked". car was also having a hard time shifting. Eventually the key would not drive or go into reverse. The transmission was dead.

- Hazleton, PA, USA

problem #49

Mar 042003

(reported on)


  • 20,100 miles


While driving at 55 mph there was a loud thump noise and then vehicles speed decreased to 10 mph, as a result the passenger was thrown against the dash and the driver was thrown towards the window.

- North Waltham, MA, USA

problem #48

Feb 182003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,155 miles
Transmission went out completely. Worst experience ever. It gave out while I was on the way to school, so I never made it. School was only 3 miles away too. Though I was aware of the imminent failure thanks to fellow owners, it was nonetheless frightening. I was shaking as I "crawled" to a safe area. If I was on the highway, this failure could of been fatal!

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #47

Feb 192003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,490 miles
Owner of a Acura 3.2tl type S, bought in 8/01. In 6/02 driving on highway vsa light, caution light and ck engine light came on. Car started shifting down and throwing car forward. Brought to dealership sent me home said nothing was wrong. 1/2 hr later car was towed back to dealership for same problem. New transmission put in. 2/03 brought car to dealership for whining noise. Told me a new transmission has to be ordered, told me O.K. to drive until then. A few days later driving on highway, car would not go above 45mph car, car started to shake and would not go into third gear. Thankful I was not in an accident. Car was towed to dealership. A new transmission is being put in again!!!!

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #46

Feb 122003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,380 miles
Transmission slipping gear during normal driving.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #45

Jan 182003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


I was pulling out of a driveway (store) onto a main road at less than 5 miles per hour. Stepped on brake because cars were stopped for red light. Car suddenly accelerated and wouldn't stop, no matter how hard I hit the brakes. I grazed the rear bumper of the car in front of me as I swerved to avoid hitting it. Went into a tree to avoid hitting anything or anyone else. Acura dealer swore it couldn't happen and there was nothing wrong with the car, but I found six other instances of this problem on your web site. Reported it to metuchen, NJ police. This was the second such occurrence, but the dealer convinced me the first was driver error. The consumer believed the accident was related to the transmission recall.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #44

Jan 282003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,500 miles
Today I have experienced what I consider to be more than a defect in my 2002 Acura 3.2 TL-S. prior to today I have delt with numerous minor defects such as a broken sway bar link, leaking transmission seals and brake fittings, paint/trim defects and two defective tires. Today's incident was unacceptable and the only reason I made it home safely tonight was pure luck! on ca-101 in san jose, California during rush-hour I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic traveling at 65 mph surrounded by cars when my front tire locked up sending my car into the lane on my right. As I counter-steered to keep the car from crashing into the cars on my right the car started to lose control and swerve in the other direction due to the fact that it was still stuck in what appeared to be first gear. After completing a 360 degree spin and barely avoiding the huge SUV coming straight at me I was able to gain control and pull off of the freeway where I took a few minutes to calm myself and thank god I was still alive. The car is stuck in one gear right now and will be towed to the dealership in the morning where I am going explain to them that I refuse to drive it until the transmission is replaced with a new one, not repaired. In my opinion this goes beyond a simple warranty extension (which I already purchased - 7Y/100,000) and could have not only cost my life, but the life of others as well.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #43

Oct 112002

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Car will downshift erraticly at times.

- Pacifica, CA, USA

problem #42

Jan 112003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,500 miles
The transmission on my Acura 02 TL-S malfunctioned while I was on the highway. It some how got stuck in the 4th gear.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #41

Dec 162002

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,800 miles
Transmission slipping in and out of gear. Started in the middle of a turn on a windy back road... then it had a hard time getting up a small hill. Problem stopped for 5 minuets then came back in the middle of traffic, I nearly caused 3 accidents. - very dangerious

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #40

Jun 152002

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Transmission started to switch gears will driving.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #39

Jul 032001

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,500 miles
I own a 2002 Acura TL type S, purchased April 24, 2001. I now have approximately 44,600 miles on the vehicle. I have had multiple (2) transmission failures that did not result in any collisions or injuries. However, I feel lucky that no such incidents occured as the car did decelerate rapidly, without warning while traveling at highway speeds. The car also did not accelerate as it should when pulling out into busy intersections. Driving during these episodes of transmission failure was quite frightening. The transmission was replaced at about 8500 miles and about 26000 miles.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #38

Jun 262002


  • miles
Transmission slipping and reported at 14823 dealer said that they did not find a problem, rotors warped at 14823 miles replaced pads and resurfaced rotors, cd player replaced at 14823 miles, squeak in rear suspention due to a leak in the rear right strut at 18933 miles, both front seat backpanels loose, transmission replaced at 20322 miles car was at the dealer for 25 days, vsa and check engine light remained on after transmission replaced. Replaced lock upshift solenoid valved ECU reset, transmission not shifting properly and slips at 23583 miles, door frame peeling at 23583 miles replaced door frame. Cruise control not working at 23700 miles, font suspention or steering column making squeaky noises at 23700 miles.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #37

Oct 152002


  • miles
I called Acura customer service to explain that my transmission was acting up, and they refused to replace it or even acknowledge a problem. The same was true of my local dealership, david mcdavid Acura of austin. Only when I was driving down the highway and my car downshifted from 3rd to 2nd gear, causing me to quickly decelerate, and causing the person behind me to almost hit me, did they replace the transmission. This was even after one tech at king Acura of birmingham felt the transmission problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #36

Dec 092002


  • miles
While traveling on the highway at about 60-70 mph my transmission failed. The car downshifted from 5th gear to 2nd. This cause the vehicle to suddenly stop. Luckily the car behind me had enough time to get out of the way. I have been hearing of this problem with my model. Acura is replacing the transmission, but I hear the replacements are failing also. Acura won't recall the car because they say not enough have the problem. This is highly dangerous and someone will die sooner or later from this. Driving a car that can suddenly stop at highway speeds is a danger to the owner of the car and everyone else on the road. Acura is replacing my transmission but the problem is likely to occur again. This should be stopped. I do not feel safe with these cars on the road. Please contact me if I could be of any assistance. I was one of the lucky one's to walk away from this but someone else won't be.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?