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 Problems Notes: The 2012 Acura TL is showing an early trend of suspension problems, with owners reporting clunking or grinding sounds.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,473 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.

2012 Acura TL drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 112014


  • 49,416 miles


I have been complaining to Acura about the transmission "tach hunting" and car vibrations since the car was between 1-2 years old. No one could figure out the problem. They did find and repair a leak on the drive shaft that they said might have been the cause of my complaints. That did not fix it and I was told that Honda/Acura transmissions were abrupt in their changes, and tended to favor lower gears, as a method of increasing fuel economy. Progressively the problem has gotten worse and now the Acura dealer is telling me that the problem is the torque converter.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #15

May 122016


  • 65,000 miles
Transmission needing replacement in less than 100K miles. Hard shifting noticed substantially while driving. Car only at only 65K miles.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #14

Oct 152014


  • 29,700 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Acura TL. While the accelerator pedal was gradually depressed, the vehicle hesitated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the cause of the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 29,700.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #13

Mar 012016


  • 60,000 miles


Torque converter failure. Stall when passing at 35-40 mph. Widespread problem.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #12

Mar 112013

TL 6-cyl

  • miles
2012 Acura TL. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle acceleration issues. The consumer experienced a hesitation or lag when trying to accelerate at low speeds and then the vehicle would surged forward in a violent manner. The consumer stated it occurred more often at speeds between 8 to 17 mph.

- Lititz, PA, USA

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problem #11

Dec 012015


  • 40,000 miles
There has to be a recall on 4th generation Acura TL's with the 6 speed auto transmission (mine is a 2012 sh-AWD tech package). My car produces the tachometer jumping approximately 300-500 RPM when cruising in 5th gear around 35-45 mph. The tach jump is so large I actually have looked at it while driving, it's distracting and needs to be fixed, I am willing to bet it's the torque converter. Car is going to Acura dealer on 12/3/2015 for "diagnostic testing:". below is a link to a youtube video which is almost identical to the video on my cell phone that the service manager will see this coming Thursday (around 19 seconds in, the car is in fifth gear and does exactly what mine does). Read the forums, this is a huge problem and Acura is hoping their customers ignore it or just plain don¿T notice it. Https://

- Salisbury, MA, USA

problem #10

Oct 092012


  • miles


Acura TL 2012, driving with light throttle, suffering jerking and shudder. Coasting with little uphill road shows more jerking and shifting hesitation. When engine rev keeps around 1000-1200, can feel the vibration and shaking from gas pedal and dashboard.

- Hooksett, NH, USA

problem #9

Aug 282015


  • 39,000 miles
This is a *well documented* problem with Acura torque converters affecting the 4th generation TL with the 5-speed auto--so much so that a tsb letter was sent out. When leisurely accelerating (light throttle application), the vehicle exhibits a characteristic "low growl" and sort of rhythmically surges forward as power is alternately applied and reduced by the torque converter; this symptom is also visible on the tachometer, as the revs oscillate up and down a couple hundred RPM. On my 2012 TL, this mostly occurs between 1st/2nd gear (this is the 6-speed auto), but also between 2nd/3rd. Based on only cursory searching of owner forums, this is also becoming commonplace on the 2012 models. Failing torque converters in these cases have also led to failures in the transmission itself, a much costlier repair. Here is an example link to a forum page with many examples of the behavior, including links to other forums and videos:

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #8

Feb 212015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Acura TL. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 10 mph, the transmission suddenly failed and the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who diagnosed that the clutch assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- Holden, MA, USA

problem #7

Oct 012013


  • 30,000 miles
After owning my 2012 Acura TL for roughly 2yrs, I've become concerned with the engine workmanship. Acceleration seems to be at a loss between 30-45mph in between gear changes. It's almost as though the transmission doesn't know what to do. You have to either let up on the acceleration or increase your speed to avoid that annoying hesitation. The second problem is what I would describe as lifter/valve noise. The noise occurs when accelerating, intermittently though. Although it is embarrassing driving a vehicle that looks as good as the TL looks and have it sound like an old Chevy when you accelerate, I hate it. I took it to the dealer, they could not replicate the noise, of course. They told me the car was fine. I told them specifically I believed the noise was coming from lifter/valve. They told me it was probably poor gas selection. I explained to them I used the recommended premium octane/chevron. They had no answer. Lastly, my brakes are squealing, I told the Acura mechanic to please check my brake pads, he said they were perfectly fine and should not worry. He said the rotors develop a blue film over time, and the squealing noise is normal. I couldn't believe it, I am supposed to accept that annoying brake noise. This is not what I expected from Acura/Honda, is this bad workmanship or poor materials being used by Acura to keep costs down on manufacturing.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 142014

TL 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


After accelerating from a stop and shifting from first to second gear, the vehicle lost all engine power. The engine did not stall and the RPM's did not drop, but the gas pedal did not respond to input. The vehicle just coasted. After prodding the gas pedal multiple times, it began to respond and I was able to accelerate onto the highway. The issue lasted for about 3-5 seconds. It felt as if the gas pedal was disconnected.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #5

Dec 022013

TL 6-cyl

  • miles
2012 Acura TL. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle acceleration and stalling problems. The consumer stated when accelerating between first and second gear, the vehicle hesitated and lost power and it almost seemed to stall out.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #4

Apr 022012

TL 6-cyl

  • 100 miles
Purchased my new 2012 sh-AWD Acura TL advance in March of 2012. The car had less than 100 miles when purchased and currently has 5K miles (January 2013). The car vibrates when driving at speeds between 40 and 80 mph. It feels like the tires are flat spotted or wheels are out of balance. The wheels and tires have been checked and confirmed by the dealer on 2 separate occasions as ok. The dealer classified this vibration as a "vehicle characteristic." I'm worried it is the sign of a major issue they don't want to deal with.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 102012

TL 6-cyl

  • 250 miles
Turned corner in large center city and hit a construction large pot hole and/or obstruction on the left rear. After completing turn onto a narrow one-way street acceleration increased, brakes did not work, engine could not be turned off, gears could not move. After going through two major intersections without accident I kept pulling on the emergency brake. The car slowly stopped and was then perfectly normal. Could use the brakes, shift, etc. I parked overnight in a garage. Had the car towed to dealer the next day (7/21/12), where it is still unresolved. Dealer said car is ok, but is now being analyzed by Acura corporate engineers. I had three other people who were in the car at the time, including my wife, who will not ever go into this car. The car was only 10 days after purchasing.

- Furlong, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 302012


  • 100 miles
I purchased my 2012 Acura TL tech on 4/30/12 which had 100 miles on the odometer. When accelerating at speeds between 65 mph and 80mph, there appears to be a slight vibration imitating from the gas pedal and drivers side floor. This seems to be mechanical as balancing is not an issue and it feels rhythmic in nature. I have driven on this for 2 months before realizing this cannot be right. Took it to the dealer and they could not find anything, used the cookie cutter scripted "vehicle characteristic." They claim they will contact Acura tech to work through possible solutions. My concerns are when researching it appears this is a trend however no tsb's have been issued at this point. I have seen things such as axle or transmission concerns. I commute very heavily for work and chauffeur my 2 1/2 daughter around with serious safety concerns. I have probed a possible trade for another vehicle however I would have to take a $10K hit which is absolutely unacceptable. Please open a case to research this issue!

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #1

Feb 222012

TL 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
I purchased a new 2012 Acura TL on 2/8/12. Each day I drive 35 miles to and from work on interstate 75 with a posted speed of 70 mph. Within a few days I noticed that when the car reached 70 mph a persistent high frequency vibration came up through the driver's side floor and in particular through the accelerator pedal. By the time I reached work or home my entire right foot and calf was numb and buzzing. It felt as though I had 'fallen asleep" and caused the nerves to be temporarily non-functional. I took the car to the dealer and they told me the tires were out of balance, however, when they checked them they were not. Then they told me that the front right tire had a tear in it and it would have to be replaced. They ordered a new tire and installed it and tried to charge me $399 but thankfully the manager gave it to me a no cost. The car has been to the dealer six times. At the dealer urging I opened a complaint with Honda headquarters. File number B012012-04-1601260. The representative I dealt with was "parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA),5 U.S.C. 552 (B) (6) who can be reached at "parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA),5.U.S.C 522 (B) (6). Three calls were recorded by Honda. One of the senior persons at the dealership confided in me that everyone at Acura knows about this problem and there is no fix."parts of this document have been redacted to protect personally identifiable information pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 522 (B)(6) told me the same. She actually called the vibration a "vehicle characteristic." Vibration at 70 mph is not a good thing and in time it may lead to catastrophic consequences. Both Acura and the dealer refused to buy me out of this vehicle and so last Saturday I traded out to another car at a substantial cost to myself. Updated 07/09/12

- Lexington, KY, USA

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