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 Slipping

2002 Acura TL

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Acura dealer. 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
70,061 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (7 reports)
2002 Acura TL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 242008

TL S Type V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,766 miles


Transmission started slipping not long after we bought it. Selling dealership insisted there were no problems. Took it to another dealership who diagnosed the problems and replaced the transmission before it was out of warranty at 100k miles.

- , Hixson, TN, USA

problem #6

Apr 082005

TL S Type 3.2L Tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

I purchased a pre-certified used Acura from the dealer on Dec 11, 2004. Little did i realize at the time a recall on the transmission was made on the vehicle on Nov 10, 2004. I purchased the vehicle a month after the problem was originally reported. I was unaware of the significance until March 2011. One year after the purchase, the transmission went and i took it in to be fixed. They gave me a rebuilt transmission from the factory and it was covered under the warranty. This was the 1st replacement on the car. Little did i know, that that rebuilt transmission would also be faulty as it too went in 2011. The dealer sold me a lemon knowing that there was transmission issues. In 2006 was the class action lawsuit on this problem, but it fails to address rebuilt transmissions from the manufacture. I believe there is an opportunity to settle a second class action lawsuit on the rebuilt transmissions that they are providing.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #5

Jan 102011

TL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Absolutely disappointed in Acura. I had so much trust in them, but I can honestly say that I will probably never buy another Acura again. We bought the car in March of 2010 with 69,000 miles. Yes, I bought an old used car, but you don't expect a transmission to fail after only 73,000 miles. (Come on now. Even a Ford will outlast that, no offense.) Not to mention, the car already had the transmission replaced at least once, AND only 13,000 miles prior.* (If I would have known that one fact, I wouldn't have even bought the car.) Okay, now does that scream "LEMON" or what? What car needs a new transmission after 13,000 miles? Any car that needs a new transmission after those few miles should not be driven, let alone on the market.

The "good" side of the story was that Acura of Temecula worked with us and dropped the price from $5000 to $1800, but that was still $1800. There is an extended 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty on the transmission, but I do not want to have to deal with this car anymore. Sad to say, I am going to pass this problem on to some unlucky soul out there. A "new" transmission was supposedly put in, but for all I know, they pulled out the defective part and just replaced that. And then they said that there were a few motor mounts that were broken and needed to be replaced. For all I know, they broke them trying to pull out the transmission. Sorry, didn't give them the extra $500 to fix those.

Then after the car came back to us, the idle control on the car had to be replaced. There is a lot of these instances after a transmission has been replaced on these TLs. Watch out!

* I didn't know this until the mechanic at the dealer informed us. So the prior owner got the transmission replaced and sold it to us right after the warranty expired. So the cycle continues...

- , Banning, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 062009

TL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


Would like to get this car fixed but don't have the money to fix it! If I knew how to get it fixed for cheap or get a goodwill incentive for it to be fixed I would! I never had this happen to any of my cars ever before, pisses me off the damn thing just sits for 6 months now and it still sits.

- , Waterloo, IA, USA

problem #3

Jul 312008

TL TLS 3.2L Tl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Before purchasing our '02 Acura TLS 6/21/07, we asked if the car we were interested in was manufactured in the USA. We were told that it was and a printout was provided. On 7/31/08 we experienced the transmission slipping. We called the AutoCenter and provided our VIN number to learn the car was manufactured in Canada, not USA as we were previously told! Further research found transmissions with that year and model is a common problem and extended warranties were available for cars under 100,000 miles; we were at 72,000 miles. Our "Canadian" model did not qualify us for "any" warranty work! The dealership gave us an "I can't help you" attitude. We had to "tow" our car to an "authorized" dealership where we also were told the computer support system also needed replaced. End result, we would be out over $3600 due to it not being manufactured in the USA.

NOTE: My husband made a call to the local AutoCenter and to other Acura dealerships to find out what our best recourse would be. I also made a personal visit to the AutoCenter and had a conversation with the president. He promised he would get back to me. As of this date, NO REPLY! Our family has had a history of purchasing vehicles through their dealership for decades. With what we have gone through, we will never do business with them again for the way we were treated and misrepresented by their staff.

We learned the transmission of that particular year and model could go out more than once. We did not want to go through this again! The Acura was used as a trade-in; we only got $7,000.



- , East Wenatchee, WA, USA

problem #2

Jul 042007

TL S Type 3.2L 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,962 miles

I had purchased the 02 Acura TL type S and was initially impressed with the car. One week after purchase I noticed that the transmission would slip and flare at times. I complained to the dealership and had my transmission replaced. Of course they drove my car to the nearest Acura dealer (there and back) total of almost 500 kms. First, I was never informed about this "Well Known" transmission problem, and when I complained the service manager stated "you can't condemn every vehicle." The liar who sold the car to me slipped at first and said that the car had an extended manufacturer warranty and then later denied having said so. This transmission lasted about 10000kms and was subsequently replaced two more times. That's three transmissions in one year; it would have cost me close to $15000 if it was not for the (Court Imposed) extended warranty. This warranty runs about in about a year so I am getting rid of this car.

- , London, ON, Canada

problem #1

Jun 242004

(reported on)

TL S Series

  • 47,700 miles

bought this used car 9 months ago,, I love it, but was very disappointed to discover my transmission starting slipping 1 week ago today.. Called dealership and ask to have it checked out... Only slipped intermittently. 3 days later was told they had to order new transmission. they had my car for 8 days total... When I picked up my car I ask, is this a common problem with this type transmission.. His response was they have replaced hundreds.... Ask why I wasn't notified of this before I bought my car...... Well he said they only found out this year... Well this year is already 6 months old... He said the 2000,2001 2002,and early 2003 have had this problem.. Some type of computer chip in transmission... I am only grateful that my car was still under warranty when this occurred... I still love my car, but just not happy with dealerships handling of known issue's with there cars and not informing the consumers....

- , Tobaccoville, NC, USA

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