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.

Transmission Failure 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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
148,248 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace with rebuilt transmission (5 reports)
  2. replace transmission (2 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Acura TL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 122012

TL S 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


I wound up getting it fixed, but still had issues for almost a full year!

Worst car experience I've ever had! I also had to spend another $1,200.00 renting cars during that down period!!!!

- , Brown Deer, WI, USA

problem #7

Feb 192011

TL TL 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,102 miles

Thought I bought a durable car. Figured it was a Acura and part of the Honda family. Learned it has transmission problems. Got it repaired. I know Acura has a class action suit on them for transmission failure and they extended the miles warranty for transmission, but mine was out of the range. Here again it is July 2015 and my replaced transmission has failed. From what I 've read, this problem is due to the torque converter, it says that because they do not have a filter in the transmission anymore it clog the transmission tearing it up. Well I will not buy another higher price car again, since this it what you get.

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #6

Jul 092015

TL TL 3.2 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,000 miles

Here we go again, car transmission fails again. Guess the rebuilt didn't get the correct fixes. This time will not be spending the money to fix this. Hoping I can trade in or sell for a grand or two.

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #5

Dec 142012

TL S Type V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,585 miles


2nd time transmission had to be replaced. The one from Acura (replaced at 98k miles) didn't even last 100k miles!!!!

- , Hixson, TN, USA

problem #4

Jul 202013

TL Type S 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,500 miles

Everything about this car, EXCEPT THE TRANSMISSION, has been pretty good. First transmission was replaced in 2006 with 45,000 miles on it. That transmission failed 55,000 miles later. UNACCEPTABLE! It failed quickly; I thank my lucky stars it didn't happen on the freeway as it would have been very dangerous.

I was considering buying a new Acura, but now that I have $3,000 less in my pocket (and Acura would only offer $2,000 for a trade-in), I think I'm going to buy a Lexus.

- , Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 262012

TL Type S 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 182,458 miles

Had transmission replaced due to slippage in my 2002 Acura Tl Type S at 55170mi. under original warranty. Now at 182458mi., warranty over, regular maint.,3rd gear clutch sensor replacement, I'm getting a solenoid code (P0703). My Honda Service Advisor, former Acura mechanic, whom I feel was honest tells me that a solenoid replacement won't fix the problem and that the transmission needs replacement/rebuilding. After reading many many forums on the Acura transmission faults, I'm very displeased with Honda and its product warranty whereas the replacement of a defective mechanism with another is just wrong.

- , Victorville, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 242012

TL W/ Navi 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,343 miles

In order for Acura to fix the issue you need to file a complaint with these 3 organizations.




- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 122011

TL S Type 3.2L Tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

The check engine light came on and the transmission stopped working suddenly. This was the second time the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. I was told to take it to the dealer only who wanted $5000 to fix it. Acura was only going to offer me 30% of the cost of the repairs. After weeks of complaining and not having a car to use, the dealer was able to get me the cost of 1/2 of the bill. So i ended up having the transmission replaced for a second time. It only had 112000 miles. The first time it was replaced was a year after i purchased it in 04. The original transmission got $45k miles and the the 1st rebuilt transmission got about $65k miles. Now I'm on the 3rd transmission that came from the factory rebuilt with the same crappy parts. They only offer a 3 year warranty on it. So when it goes again, I'm pretty much screwed. I never intended on getting rid of my car, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to in about 4 years. What i hate is the fact that there was a class action settlement on the original transmission, but it fails to cover all the replacement transmissions that we are getting. Its not right that someone should have to pay for 3-4 transmissions during the lifetime of a vehicle. I'd like to join a secondary class action lawsuit to address this particular issue. I think that Acura should be responsible for their replacement transmissions for the lifetime of the vehicle for a known reoccurring problem.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

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