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. Notes: The 2002 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, subframe rust, & problems with the airbag system (SRS). We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.

The SRS warning light likes to come on due to a defective seat belt sensor -- typically the driver's side. This sensor is covered under Honda's lifetime seat belt warranty, but some dealers charge a $100+ "diagnostic fee" or tell customers the entire SRS unit ($800) is bad.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,859 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.

2002 Honda Accord drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Dec 092010


  • 107,000 miles


Transmission needed to be replaced. While driving car the D4 light flashed and then the check engine light came on, a short time prior to that it seemed it was shifted harder than normal. Took it to Honda dealership and was told the tranny was gone. Looking online for some information on this problem I found that hundreds have had the same happen to them for this year and model, I think there should have been a recall on this. The Honda dealership did give us 20% off $2900.because we purchased the car there but I believe we should have been informed about this defect earlier.

- Olyphant, PA, USA

problem #21

Dec 062010


  • 88,000 miles
2002 Honda Accord transmission has failed at only 88000 miles.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #20

Nov 262010


  • 70,000 miles
On thanksgiving, I was driving my wife and two small children to dinner. I stepped on the accelerator to move onto a busy main road. The car went at first, then revved the RPM and was unable to catch the gear. My car was essentially paralyzed, half sideways with cars having slam to a stop(they expected the car pulling into traffic to be moving-so did I).they eventually would go around creating more problems for other travellers. I let the car idle and eventually heard the gear catch so I was able to drive the car. Since then the transmission has been slipping. I have read numerous complaints re: This same problem. Apparently, Honda is aware of the the transmission/torque converter problem but is not issuing a recall because it has not been deemed a safety issue. I believe it is due to the cost of the repair and they would rather stick the higher repair bill to their customers or let them risk their safety. The speed limits on our local roads avg between 45-55 mph. I believe it is a significant safety risk to have a car that might not accelerate past 15mph. As a healthcare provider who deals with rehabilitation, I can tell you I have seen significant injuries, paralysis and death due to accidents at lower speeds. I have since been hesitant to drive my car as I fear getting hung out for someone to crash into my vehicle. I ask you to view this website it chronicles over 475 complaints. The 2002-2003 show a significant problem with this transmission. If there are that many complaints in one online site, there are surely 20-50X more out there who are currently dealing with this problem(or will be soon) and are at risk. I do not know what has to happen to force Honda to issue a recall, however I implore you to be proactive dealing with this before someone does get injured. Thank you for your time and attention.

- Naples , FL, USA

problem #19

Oct 302010


  • 61,000 miles


Vehicle's transmission began to fail causing the vehicle to shift hard and harshly which caused the vehicle to lurch dangerously forward causing a sudden loss of control. Failure of this vehicle's transmission is common, widespread and a known defect by Honda motor company. The failure of this vehicle's transmission puts the driver and public at immediate peril for a crash involving possible serious injury or death. This vehicle's transmission defect condition leaves the vehicle's driver and any passengers in the vehicle highly vulnerable, at the time of failure, in an extremely dangerous and uncontrollable position within an untrustworthy unreliable vehicle subject to the ominous perils of the road at the time of failure. The NHTSA must issue an immediate recall mandating Honda motor company repair and/or replace the defective transmission at Honda motor company's expense. At a minimum the NHTSA's recall should require Honda motor company to provide an extension of the vehicle's warranty requiring Honda motor company to repair and/or replace the dangerously defective transmission in this vehicle and reimbursement to vehicle owners costs for repair and/or replacement of the defective transmission. Request is made to the NHTSA for immediate action.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #18

Aug 162010


  • 65,000 miles
At 65000 miles the transmission started slipping in 1st and 2nd gears. I started researching this on the internet because I felt that a reliable automobile like a Honda Accord shouldn't have a transmission go at such low millage. There were several hundred people that have the same year model Honda Accord with the same automatic transmission that have had the exact same problem at low millage. Honda of America knows that this is a defect in their product and refuse to do anything about it. It is not at all fair to their customers. I would like to see them step up to the plate and help us with this issue. I called them and the person I talked to was very rude and told me that it wasn't their problem and would not help in any way.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #17

Oct 062010


  • 104,000 miles
Honda has a transmission design flaw in their early 2000 Honda Accord. I own a 2002 Accord with 105,000 miles that requires a new transmission. I was surprised because this brand is known to be reliable. Upon researching Honda transmission problems online, I found several articles and multiple consumer complaints regarding Honda transmission failure. Honda did recall transmissions in certain models from 2003 and 2004. America Honda knows they have a problem and they declined to assist me with the repair because my 2002 Accord was not one of the recall models. I am now stuck with $3,000 repair bill for a new transmission. This is unfair, particularly since I bought the car brand new, purchased the extended warranty (which ended after 7 yrs.), and maintained my car regularly. Honda needs to be held responsible.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #16

Jul 112007


  • 53,000 miles


The transmission in my 2002 Honda Accord started to slip and shift very hard in the summer of 2007 with only about 53000 miles on it. It's causing me to drive somewhat erratically because it jumps into gear when I try to accelerate. I've drained and refilled the transmission fluid but haven't tried any repairs on it due to how much it would cost.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 112010


  • 103,000 miles
2002 Honda Accord ex, 100,000 miles. Maintenance light came on and almost immediately the vehicle began to shake at speeds of 40 mph or lower. Mechanic said total transmission failure.

- Yukon, OK, USA

problem #14

Jul 202010


  • 145,600 miles
I parked my auto in a business parking lot, removed ignition key and exited vehicle. I was called to reception minutes later to be told that my vehilcle had rolled back hitting another vehicle which was occupied and parked.

- Perris, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 132007


  • 65,000 miles
Transmission stall and slip occurs most often from stopped to moving or slowed down to acceleration. Can occur in intersections when turning and the car just stops while the engine revs. Generally when going from stopped to moving the engine revs and then the car jerks. Started happening at 65,000 miles on the odometer.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #12

Jul 092010


  • 91,636 miles


Driving down road at 37mph transmission disengaged and engine started to rev high. Lost all forward motion in vehicle. The transmission will continue to disengage when it heats up. I took it to Honda dealer and they told me that the clutch had burned out. I found online that the transmissions may fail due to lack of thread-locking compound on nut for low clutch.

- Santa Clara, UT, USA

problem #11

Nov 112009


  • miles
Transmission slipping and smoking, this has caused a hardship for our family due to the fact that this is our main mode of transportation. My wife is afraid to even drive the car and refuses to place our son in the car.

- Naashville, TN, USA

problem #10

Nov 092009


  • miles
In February, 2004 I purchased my pre-owned 2002 Honda Accord LX 4dr sedan at my credit union's event. It had only 14,000 miles on it at time of purchase. I thought I was getting a super great deal on a" used" Honda with low mileage! I have since used it for my job locally, on the road 5 days a week. I have kept up the maintenance from minor oil changes and fluid/filter changes to major tune ups, all at the local Honda dealership. Since that time I would put between 16 to 18,000 miles per year on the car. Two years later, by August of '06, I felt that the car was not pulling its weight properly and took it in for a check up. They said that there was nothing they could find; but keep a log of when and where it occurs throughout the day and bring it back in 2-4 wks and they would check it again. I did this, brought them my log, they looked at the car again and said it needed a new transmission (this was at 53,000 miles). Fortunately, it was under extended Honda care warranty, and I paid only a $50 deductible. For the last 3 years, I put approximately 18,000 miles per year on it again. This past October I just had them replace the timing belt, a large ticket item! now, a month later the car has been driving with a slight lurching as I begin to move from a stop or as I decelerate to brake. I took the car in and low and behold, they tell me the transmission is out! again! this is ridiculous. I have friends with Honda at 250,000 miles and never lost their tranny! what can I do? this is a huge expense; one I never suspected I would have to replace again before reselling or trading it in.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 012009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. In January of 2008, the contact noticed that the engine and traction control lights illuminated on the instrument panel. He turned off the vehicle in order for the lights to reset. He took to the vehicle to the repair shop and the mechanic diagnosed the issue as beginning symptoms of transmission failure. The dealer confirmed the diagnosis and stated that the transmission will need to be replaced. The repair cost for a new transmission was estimated at $2,800. The failure mileage was 58,000 and current mileage was 68,000.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #8

Dec 262008


  • 90,634 miles
When we drive on a highway at about 70mph, the check engine light on. After we check, the worker said it's about a transmission sensor problem and we can replace it after out weekend trip. But on the way back, the light is on again and the speed decreased from 70 mph to about 30-40 mph. If we add more oil, the engine will rotate at 4000-5000turn with great noise. So we have to drive at 30-40 mph speed. It's very dangerous because the car behind us have to turn left and passed us away because we let our urgent lights on. We don't know how to treat this problem. We think Honda should recall these cars because it may induce incidents and dearth. Could you please help to let Honda recall the transmission because it's really dangerous for drivers and passengers. I couldn't understand why Honda produce such cars and after incidents they refuse to help owner and don't want O recall them. I will never buy Honda cars and more and more people dislike Honda for their bad reputation. It's such a bad company.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 142008


  • 139,000 miles
The D4 light started blinking in my 2002 Honda Accord ex, not allowing my car to upshift properly on the highway leaving me having to drive slow on a highway with speeding cars. I know Honda has had numerous complaints about the transmissions in their 2002 Accord models and refuses to recall. This is certainly a safety issue¿ or does Honda just want to wait until people die because their car stopped dead on a highway due to a faulty transmission?

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #6

Mar 122008


  • 85,951 miles
My transmission slips and jerks going into 1st and second gear. It also jerks when I come to a complete stop and jerks out of 1st gear. The car eventually wouldn't accel when I pressed on the gas and would only go 20 mph. I took it to a Honda dealer and they said I needed a new transmission so I took it to another car shop who replaced the solenoids which seemed to help a little. I have been driving it for a while now but it is still not 100% and recently has been getting worse and is really slipping or jerking into gear everytime I drive it.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #5

Aug 122008


  • 89,000 miles
2002 Honda Accord transmission failure. Had to pay to get transmission rebuilt. Extremely expensive. Only had 89,000 miles on car.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #4

Jul 282008


  • miles
I purchased a Honda Accord 2002 in April 2003 the transmission was replaced by dealership in November 2003 when I took in for maintenance due to a noise the dealer reported to the reverse gears are slipping and I think this is rather have two transmission failures in one vehicle are there recalls on this model or reports of such problems noted anywhere?

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #3

Jul 142008


  • 58,920 miles
Normal driving, car transmission gives jerk when comes to stop, Honda has given no help, simple no. It occurs everytime the car slow down and sometimes the engine stops working.

- San Franscisco, CA, USA

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