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.

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NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2003 Acura TL (Page 6 of 9)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,039 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Acura TL Owner Comments (Page 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #75

Jun 242007

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission locked up. I was riding on the interstate highway and the transmission locked. It just would not move and finally kicked into gear with a hard thrust. This went on an off, and I finally coasted, and I was lucky not to be killed. I had the car towed to the Acura dealer, and called the 800 number. They tell me vehicle was not part of recall due to VIN. Acura neede D to include all 2003 in te recall from the other complaints I read. I had 55 thousand miles, and have had all service done with Acura on time. Recall needed to be done, and I wa S waiting for the Acura service team that had the car to get back to me. My complaintwa S consistent with the other complaints I read.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #74

Jun 242007

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Transmission locked up. I was riding on the interstate highway and my transmission locked up on me. It just would not moved and finally kicked into gear with a hard thrust. This went on an off and I finally coasted and I was lucky not to be killed. I had the car towed to the Acura dealer and called the 800 number and they tell me my VIN number was not part of the recall. Acura needs to include all 2003 in the recall from the other complaints I read. I have 55 thousand miles and have had all my service done with Acura on time. Recall needs to be don and I waiting for the Acura service team that has my car to get back to me. My complaint is consistent with the other complaints I read.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #73

Apr 022007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,800 miles
I was driving from ossining, NY to takoma park, md, 260 miles on I95 when at 70 mph smoke started coming out of the exhaust and the engine compartment. The tachometer went up to 7000 rpms. I was using cruise control. I immediately touched the brake pedal to release the cruise control. However, I had no power from the transmission. I was fortunately able to coast to the right side shoulder from the left most lane of the highway and call onstar. Apparently the transmission had blown, and all the transmission fluid was all over the highway and the shoulder where I eventually stopped. The transmission was replaced at no cost to me. However, I was 160 miles from home. This was the second new transmission that has been replaced in this vehicle- once at 77000 miles and now at 10700 miles.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #72

Feb 142007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,753 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Acura TL. On July 1, 2004, the original transmission was overheating. The vehicle hesitated, and made a grinding and clanking noise when shifting gears from park to drive. The mileage was 28,753. The dealer attempted to repair the transmission by inserting a lube kit. The transmission was replaced on January 24, 2007. However, on February 6, 2007, while shifting gears the vehicle was making excessive noises. On February 14, 2007, a rebuilt transmission was installed in the vehicle. The contact stated that the transmission inserted in this vehicle had the same failure. The dealer advised the contact that although there was noise present the vehicle was operating normally. The noises he was currently hearing from this vehicle was normal. The contact stated that he was currently waiting for a regional manager to test drive the vehicle at the end of March 2007. The current mileage was 31,000. Update 4/9

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #71

Mar 052007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,500 miles
Purchased an Acura-certified 2003 3.2tl in January 2007. Had abrupt shifting failure of transmission from 5th to 2nd gear at 35 mph today, 3/5/07, entirely consistent with other reports on this site. My wife has permanent spinal cord damage; and had she been a passenger in the vehicle, would more than likely have been killed by the unexpected jolt.

- Clive, IA, USA

problem #70

Jan 112007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles
I was driving my 2003 Acura TL type S home from work when I noticed the transmission slipping as my engine revolutions went up and the car would not accelerate. I was in heavy traffic at the time and was able to stop the car, but not maneuver without power. It was a dangerous situation as the other vehicles around my car were unaware of my inability to move out of their way. I drifted to the curb and the car would not back up or move. There was no shoulder area and I had to use my hazard lights to keep other cars from hitting my car. After a few minutes I was able to move the car to a safer location.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #69

Dec 212006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

On 21 December 2006, I was driving our 2003 Acura 3.2tl type S with an automatic transmission when the vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly decelerated violently from 50 miles an hour to a full stop. The tires were squealing as if the brakes had been applied. This nearly caused me to be rear ended by the car behind and could have caused a multi-car collision. After the incident, the car had no drive gears available, including reverse. After sitting on the side of the road for approximately 30 minutes, the vehicle could be driven in 1st gear only and I took it directly to the Acura dealer where it still sits.

- Solomons, MD, USA

problem #68

Nov 192006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After having my transmission's serviced in my 2003 Acura 3.2 TL type-S, I began experiencing various electrical problems in my car. I have had the oil jet kit installed and one replacement transmission. I am awaiting my third transmission. Since the work on my transmission various other problems have surfaced. My on-star is claiming I no longer am capable of having remote diagnostics done on my engine. Also, my SRS light has come on as well as my check engine light paired with more sporadic shifting. I am constantly getting the "error code" reading on my radio and I have heard extremely loud echoing in my car when I attempt to make and receive calls via my on star communication service. I am beginning to question the computer system in my vehicle. I am hoping the there can be an investigation of the electrical circuit boards and the powertrain; transmission communication module to find out if there are computer problems directly correlated with the transmission problems. This is beginning to be quite frustrating. Together my girlfriend and I have bought and paid off five vehicles from the Honda motor company and are surprised at the way this issue is being handled.

- Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #67

Nov 192006

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Immediately following the purchase of my new Acura 3.2 TL type-S I began experiencing unusual jerking and shifting while operating my vehicle. I have taken my vehicle to the dealer on numerous occasions to be serviced for this as well as due to the check engine light being on. Initially they stated they could not duplicate my complaint in comparison to other similar vehicles. I have already had the oil jet kit installed, and have also had the transmission replaced once. As I am filing this complaint my vehicle is currently at the dealer awaiting its third transmission. I have purchased three cars manufactured by the Honda motor company and am appalled at the continuous problems, inconvenience and safety issues pertaining to my Acura TL. In addition to the transmission problems we have experienced we have had problems with our radio code after servicing the transmission and the dealer wanted to charge us $140 to enter the code or reset it. Also our on star remote diagnostics appear not to be working; on star is claiming we don't have them when we have utilized this service before. The service attendant and technician I spoke with at the dealer claims they aren't aware of any remote diagnostics being possible, despite the fact I have used this feature before to detect trouble. Being able to use this feature would be great considering all the problems I have experienced. I was driving home from vacation the car began to jerk and it appeared to be shifting and slowing while we were on the interstate fwy. I was fearful that the transmission would go out and that I would have an accident, so I proceeded to pull over and waited for assistance to get my family home safe. My car has now been in the shop for over two weeks. Yesterday I was told that due to a spilled drink in my car that they need $914 dollars to repair a faulty circuit board and replace the center council with the exception of the shift knob before they can get authorization for a third transmission.

- Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #66

Nov 042006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
I have the above vehicle, purchased new on 1/27/2003. At 55000 miles the car was recalled to add a second pump (at least that what I was told) in the transmission. From then on I have had a shuddering problem with my transmission when it up-shifted at low speeds. I was able to finally prove to the Acura dealer that there was something wrong with the transmission after 3 visits to the service department (curry Acura in westchester county, New York). They claimed that the transmission was replaced and that all was well. This was in 9/21/2005. However, after another 20K miles, I am having the same problem at a lesser level and I am sure that the dealer will claim that I am imagining the symptoms because they cannot duplicate them. In addition, I was told that the car will only be covered up to 100K miles. I now have 99K miles.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #65

Mar 162005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Fourth transmission and today started making noises again and my Acura extended care extended warranty expires in 4000 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #64

Jul 132006

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,717 miles
Faulty transmission. Acura recalled vehicle, but my vehicle did not fall under the "VIN" recall.

- Adelanto, CA, USA

problem #63

Aug 162006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,886 miles
On 8/16/06 while driving my 03 Acura 3.2tl at 55 mph I accelerated to app 60 mph to pass a car. My car slammed from 5th gear to 2nd gear resulting in a violent jerk. It was so violent I thought I could have been rammed from behind by another vehicle. No warning lights. App 1 mile later going 45 mph the car violently jerked several more times as it apparently shifted from 4th or 5th gear to 2nd gear or neutral. Again quite violent and no warning lights present so I slowed down and continued on toward home. I traveled 2 more miles at 30 mph and experienced almost 12 more jerks before my warning lights started flashing. I then pulled over and sat for a moment. Then the warning lights stopped flashing and stayed on. I was only a couple of blocks from home so I waited for a break in traffic and pulled back onto the road. My car did not want to accelerate and continued jerking violently in and out of gears until I reached home. My car had previously (a couple of years earlier-July 2004) had a recall to place a oil spray jet on my transmission. I received no notice from Acura about another transmission problem or recall until I had this major problem and took my car in. My husband dealt with the service dept at southern motors Acura in savannah, ga. They replaced the transmission at no expense. My husband told the service mgr that he feared what happened could have caused an accident. He was assured that the people having 3 and 4 transmissions replaced was before Honda engineers figured out the problem and that I should not have another problem. He was told that they would extend my warranty to 100K miles or 7 years (not in writing). Since getting my car back with its "new" transmission, I believe my car has "slipped" out of gear once more but at a much lower speed. I am not confident that this problem has been adequately resolved and am concerned for my safety while driving this vehicle. I feel that Acura is covering up an issue that could cost lives.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #62

Sep 052006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle violently jerked as the automatic transmission shifted gears. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who determined the automatic transmission needed to be replaced. After the initial replacement, the problem persisted and the vehicle was returned to the dealer for further inspection. The dealer determined the automatic transmission needed to be replaced again. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #61

Aug 032006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,903 miles
The car lost power, the engine RPM red lined but the car would not go. It left me stranded in the left lane of a 5 lane highway. I coasted into the center lane. The car would not go. Fortunately the police pulled behind me and turned on their flashers. I turned off the engine, after a few minutes restarted the car and was able to slowly pull the car off the road. I was within a mile of my home and was able to get the car home and had it towed to the dealer. I found websites about 2002 and 2003 Acura TL transmissions failing and being covered under service bulletin 04-020. Almost every entry described the exact problem I had. Acura extended the warranty to 100,000 miles for certain VIN numbers and was replacing the transmission free of charge under warranty. Unfortunately my VIN was not within the required recall. Acura said it was because they fixed the problem. Obviously they did not. The safety issue continues and I suspect you are receiving other complaints.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #60

Jul 312006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,900 miles
Acura claims my 2003 Acura 3.2tl type S is out of the VIN# range that is covered by the extended 7/100K power train warranty to cover the defect in transmissions. I find out that the 03 I purchased a few months ago has had three different transmission replacements by Acura and now needs its fourth. They claim that since its not included in the VIN range of the warranty they won't cover it all and want me to pay $1200. Clearly the service history shows a defect with this car and transmissions. The Acura dealer diagnosed it and agrees I shouldn't have to pay, but the manufacturer doesn't agree. They still won't acknowledge that this vehicle should have been included in the VIN range of the tsb.

- Glenview, IL, USA

problem #59

Jul 112006

(reported on)

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer complaint concerning an Acura 3.2tl auto transmission.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #58

Dec 272005

TL

  • 17,014 miles
2003 Acura 3.2 TL fell out of gear four times while driving on the highway. The consumer's vehicle was not covered under the extended warranty because Acura limited the warranty to certain vins. The consumer had the transmission and torque converter replaced at his expense.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #57

Dec 272005

TL

  • 17,014 miles
2003 Acura 3.2tl type S transmission fell out of gear on the highway at 17,014 miles. The consumer's vehicle was not covered under the extended warranty because Acura limited the warranty to certain vins. The consumer had the transmission and torque converter replaced at his expense.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #56

Jun 142006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,591 miles
Complete transmission failure resulting in disengagement of drive train. Acura help line requested VIN number for car, so I exited vehicle to get the number from the window. Car was in park, however car rolled backwards down hill into path of oncoming vehicle. I was able to run after it and jump in to apply brake just before collision would have occurred. This is similar to the issue under PE02081. Acura is replacing the transmission, and claim that this issue as highlighted in PE02081 has been resolved and that my vehicle is not covered in the extended warranty program. My concern is that Acura know about this potential problem, they have not contacted any owner to alert them of a problem, there is no indication such as engine warning light on the vehicle to indicate transmission overheating they are waiting to get some one killed... thank heavens it wasn't me.

- Oldsmar, FL, USA

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