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 — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline: Belts And Associated Pulleys 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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,350 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.

2003 Acura TL engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 132003


  • miles


Vehicle's timing belt broke resulting in engine damage. When taken to service dealer for $15,000 mile checkup the dealer did not make the consumer aware of the problem. The car has been repaired since and offer a $22,000 mile check up free of charge. The consumer fells that it is not enough compensation for the anguish possibility that it could have been a serious accident.

- Willingboro, NJ, USA

problem #1

Feb 072003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,700 miles
Timing belt tensioner was defective. The vehicle made a "grinding" sound when driving. The dealer replaced the tensioner. The dealer thought at first, the problem was the A-pipe and replaced it. The second time the dealer thought the problem was the catalytic converter and it was replaced. The third time the timing belt tensioner was replaced, which solved the problem.

- Denville, NJ, USA

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