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

2003 Acura TL (Page 7 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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

Apr 242006

TL 6-cyl

  • 17,014 miles

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

With 17,014 miles on my garage kept 2003 Acura 3.2tl type S the transmission failed leaving me stranded on the side of the road at night. The dealer replaced it but I a still having trouble with it shifting improperly I cannot trust my car on a long trip or at night. The dealer will not extend my warranty.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #54

Feb 022006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,542 miles
When accelerating onto the freeway the transmission malfunctioned leaving no power and creating a rapid decel while merging into traffic. Car was towed to the dealer and the transmission was found to be faulty. Further investigation indicates this is a common occurrence on Acura 3.2 TL, but the dealer denies any warranty coverage.

- Saline, MI, USA

problem #53

Jun 052004

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,675 miles
2003 Acura has vibration in lower gears when shifting and a humming noise. The dealer found internal transmission component failure. The transmission and torque converter was replaced.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #52

Nov 112005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Currently own a 2003 Acura 3.2tl with 31,000 miles on it. Transmission problem. Racing at 65 miles an hour without pressing gas pedal.

- Potomac Falls, VA, USA

problem #51

Sep 122005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles
Multiple issues over a 2.5 year period with a new 2003 Acura 3.2 TL type S. I have had a transmission replaced after receiving a safety recall. Secondly, the car has had an idling issue for 2.5 years that was just recently resolved with the replacement of an engine control valve. Third, the A/C was not working properly and the compressor was replaced. Fourth, the idle air control system was bad and had to be replaced. Fifth, and most worrisome, is that I have had white smoke come from under my hood on 3 separate occasions. The Acura dealership has told me they are unable to reproduce the problem and cannot assist me in resolving the issue.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #50

Nov 072005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,500 miles
I had my 2003 Acura TL transmission fail. While traviling at highway speed the car suddenly downshifted very hard. This occured no less than 3 times before getting the vehicle to a place where it could be towed. I see that NHTSA has opened and closed an investigation about these transmission failures. My car was not included in the 7year/100,000 mile extended transmission. The mileage at time of failure was 34500 miles. I called Acura customer service to ask that my car be covered by the extended warranty, and at first was told I would have to purchase an extended warranty because my VIN was not covered under the extended warranty. I stated that I was not going to pay for Acura's problem and asked to be contacted by a supervisior. I was called back by a service rep who told me Acura would grant me the extended warranty, but because I live in Florida I would have to sign a waiver that excludes me for persuing any lemon law violations against Acura for the transmission failure. I have lost faith in the safety of my car, and know of many owners who have had multiple replacement transmissions installed on the same vehicle. Installing a rebuilt transmission does not seem to cure this issue. Acura/Honda needs to address this failure with a widespread recall to fix this problem once and for all.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #49

Oct 222005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,747 miles

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

Transmission failure at 45,747 mi no previous problems transmission was replaced.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #48

Jun 052004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,979 miles
Transmission failed twice. In 06-2004 the first time transmission failed. The consumer could feel that the gear shift did not shift smoothly. The consumer found out that there had been a recall on the transmission. The transmission had been replaced in 7-2004. The second time the transmission failed was on 8-15-05. The dealership replaced the transmission again. The vehicle was still under warranty. When she contacted the manufacturer, they told her that if she did not feel safe she should sell the vehicle.

- Jersey, NJ, USA

problem #47

Jul 112005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Consumer states he has an intermittent shuddering when the transmission shifts. The dealer cannot duplicate the problem. He says Acura knows there is a transmission problem/ they have extended the warranty to 100,000 miles. He has 66,000 miles on the car. He states this problem started happening around 55, 000 miles. Consumer states he is afraid that the problem will get worse and the car will break down while he is far away from home. The vehicle was recall prior to this failure for the transmission overheating. The dealer installed and addition pump to rectify that problem. The consumer believes this problem is related to the recall repairs made.

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #46

May 062005

TL

  • miles
Consumer complaint regarding a defective Acura. The vehicle made a loud roaring sound and all the dashboard warning lights illuminated.** answer required***. the vehicle was taken to the dealer but no problem was found. The oil jet kit had been install previously under recall 04V1700 and the consumer believes this component may have failed again. The consumer believes the entire transmission should be replaced.

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #45

Jan 282005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

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

I started the Acura 3.2tl type S at 6:45am, the Acura had not been started or driven the previous 14 hours. Engaged transmission in reverse, the gear locked up and rapidly accelerated backward and at the same time a fire started in the engine compartment, I managed to stop the Acura after 30 feet where I was on and off my parking area at my house. By the time I had stopped the car flames, smoke & fumes were filling the passenger compartment, I could not get the drivers side door opened, my neighbor noticing the large amount of smoke coming from under the hood rushed to my aid for he could see that I was in the car and I was pushing on the door with my feet in an effiort to escape the burning Acura. I was overcome from the fumes and smoke when he pulled me out of the now the rapidly burning Acura, the flames having advanced to the front seat. He pulled me out with my heavy jacket on fire and the bottom of my pants aflame. He managed to get my jacket off and the flames out on my pants and we managed to get away from the burning Acura then in thirty to fourty seconds the fire had progressed to the rear of the Acura and the gas tank exploded and the whole car was a fireball. I suffered 2nd & 3rd degree burns on my legs. Appletree Acura, fletcher, nc had performed recall (campaign id #: 04V176000) on December 8th, 2004 at 42,000 miles in which they did not replace transmission but performed a revision to the oil cooler return line. The Acura was a total loss.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #44

Dec 282004

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,039 miles
Vehicle hesitated before shifting gear prior to the automatic transmission recall 04V176000 repairs being performed. But after repairs were done the problem became worse. Dealership has been notified. The dealer installed the oil jet kit per the recall. After leaving the dealer, the problem continued and became worse in a few weeks. The dealer was notified, but refused to fix the problem. The vehicle no longer drives in third gear.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #43

Mar 192005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,992 miles
I own a 2003 Acura TL type-S. on several occasions, while merging into highway traffic, I've experienced moments when the transmission wouldn't respond to acceleration (I.e. wouldn't down shift). The car just seem to coast slowly into traffic, causing me to almost get into vehicle accidents. The first transmission I had was replaced due to burnt transmission fluid, I'm just upset that I was allowed to drive a vehicle that had a defective transmission. I had mentioned on several occassions to the dealer where I originally leased the vehicle (Acura of troy), about times when the car just seemed to get stuck in second gear. I was told by dealer that nothing was wrong. However, I feel I no longer can depend on the dealer to give me accurate information. This is a very critical problem and dangerous. I'm afraid for my loved ones and myself when driving this vehicle. I took car into another dealer (Suburban Acura) where they replaced my first transmission under warranty because it was defective, now I'm having even more problems with the second one. I'm starting to get a burning odor from the vehicle now. I've taken the vehicle back in for service but was told nothing was wrong with it. How can someone check a transmission in about 30 minutes or less? I want out of this vehicle for safety reasons. This is not what I paid for, and now I'm driving a vehicle that has reduced performance and a burning odor. Again, I'm afraid for my well-being and those of my family.

- Melvindale, MI, USA

problem #42

Mar 012005

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
'recall campaign' issued for 2003 Acura TL transmission failure. The consumer is upset that the dealer knowingly sold him a vehicle that had a recall and did not disclose the information, however the dealer stated they did not find out about the recall until Nov 2004. The consumer contacted Acura client service and was told the dealer knew about the recall 2 months prior to the consumer purchasing the vehicle. (recall 04V176000). The consumer requested reimbursement for the out of pocket expenses for improvements, interest and payments.

- Chelsea, NY, USA

problem #41

Feb 112005

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving approximately 45 mph transmission locked, causing vehicle to crash into a wall. The cause of why this happened was undetermined.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #40

Mar 012003

TL

  • miles
Within 1 week of taking delivery of the vehicle, the transmission started showing signs of a problem. Recall campaign : 04V176000. While driving in fifth gear the transmission would hesitate and feel like it was hunting between gears causing the vehicle to shutter. The second incident was the same as the first and included the engine revving as the transmission slipped into neutral even though the vehicle was in D5 in automatic mode. The vehicle coasted to the shoulder and stopped. Regardless of what gear the transmission was in no power went to the front wheels. The consumer smelled a burning smell coming from the vehicle. After the transmission was replaced the problem still existed. The transmission was replaced again and the problem still existed.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #39

Feb 182005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2003 acura3.2 TL. The engine accelerates at random and while in park or in gear.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #38

Jan 312005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,414 miles
The transmission on my 2003 Acura TL type S failed at approximately 38000 miles. The transmission was recently serviced pursuant to a notice by Acura. This is the third Acura that I have owned that has had transmission failure. The first vehicle (2002) was replaced within two weeks. The second vehicle had two failures and was eventually replaced with a 2003 model after negotiation with their mediation group. It is very apparent that the transmissions are in fact defective, given the fact that Honda motor co. Ltd did finally issue a recall notice. Based on my personal experience I am very concerned as to the safety of the vehicle, even with another transmission. I also fear for my safety as well as my family?S safety when operating the vehicle. This is amended information provided over the phone.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #37

Feb 012005

TL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
While going through an intersection, pausing to let another vehicle pass. Then, transmission failed. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, and was told that transmission failed.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #36

Jan 112005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
I own a 2003 Acura TL type S. recently I have been having transmission problems. I took the car into the cealership and they told me that I need a recall done. What they did was install an oil jet to lubricate the 2nd gear better.(2nd gear is the supposed cause of failure). After the oil jet was installed the dealership informed me that I would need a transmission replacement. I was outraged. I have to pay out of my pocket because they have a design flaw. On the way home from the dealership the transmission flat out died. The car wouldnt shift gears and I have to drive it home in 2nd gear. I dont know what to do, I am in no financial position to replace the transmission.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

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