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 1 of 6)

problem #102

Sep 072016


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. While driving various speeds, a clunking sound emitted from the front passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician stated that the drain for the air conditioner leaked onto the subframe and caused it to become rusted and fractured. The technician also stated that the vehicle was unsafe to drive and the part was unable to be replaced. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to respond between second and third gears without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission slipped; however, a repair was not provided. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #101

Sep 062016


  • 90,000 miles
The automatic transmission slips and jerks when shifting gears--it is worse when I stop, the engine idles, and then severely jerks when I accelerate, but the jerking motion also happens going up inclines. It is so bad, it has caused broken motor mounts. I have no doubt that the transmission is eventually going to fail, which could be hazardous while driving. Though I take good care of my car, I thought that maybe it was just older and the transmission was naturally failing, but doing some research, I found this to be a common problem with Honda's transmissions in general, but particularly with the '02 Accord. It has been happening since 2013, but I will put today's date as it still is happening. I feel like this issue is so prevalent among Honda owners that Honda really should do right by their customers and recall the transmission.

- Ashland, KY, USA

problem #100

Oct 192015


  • 154,000 miles
I took my Accord to tempe Honda for a transmission service. Two days later, as I was driving on the highway, I noticed the check engine light on and the transmission was slipping and jerking as it shifted. The code came back as a torque converter control failure. I replaced the tcc solenoid pack and the linear solenoid pack. I was informed later by tempe Honda that my transmission was failing and it needed to be replaced at my cost. I found out that Honda has issues with this transmission through several model years and they have not recalled them. I cannot drive the car anymore. Honda wants $5000 to replace it.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #99

Feb 182011


  • 73,500 miles


I have a 2002 Accord with the 3.0 V6. I was the second owner. When the car had about 72,000 miles on it, the transmission started slipping. It began slipping before the car went into 1st gear, then going into 2nd gear. It is dangerous when starting from a stop light in a busy intersection. I brought it to the local dealership and they estimated it to cost around $5,000. I didn't have that amount of money, nor did I trust the local Honda dealership. So, I brought to a transmission shop, and ended up spending $3,016 to fix it. Why can't Honda put a recall of these transmissions? I have gone many websites including, to find, this is a huge problem for thousands of Honda customers. I drove only Honda's for many years. This will probable be the last one. Ps, also my black paint is pealing off, and it is very embarrassing driving this car.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #98

Mar 272015


  • 101,000 miles
Transmission starting slipping between gears and jerking under moderate acceleration.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #97

Apr 062005

Accord 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Automatic transmission flares upon acceleration between 1st to 2nd gear/2nd to 3rd gear. Odbii codes P0730, P0740. This is my second transmission. The first transmission was replaced under a settlement agreement, however the same issues are arising yet again.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #96

Nov 012014


  • 78,000 miles


Car having transmission problem on first gear slipping off going to higher gear. Sometimes running 40-45 on the road experienced dis engaging from gear and engine goes on high revolution. Dangerous for cars that is following behind you.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #95

Jan 012004


  • 80,000 miles
As soon as the car hit 80000 the gears change very ruff from 1st to 2nd and the car will jump like the transmission is slipping but car is still going and still does that with now over 290,000 miles. Upon taking it to the dealer they say nothing is wrong with it. We purchased the car new in 2002.

- Pauline, SC, USA

problem #94

Jan 012010


  • 140,000 miles
This vehicle, like many other Honda of this era, has the 1-2 gear shifting issue. It shifts very hard from first to second and even downshifting seems to be getting harder. The issue has been going on for a very long time, and at 200,000 miles, the car is to the point that I try to drive it only in second until the lower two gears are no longer needed. We've already replaced a mainshaft ($380), which could be related to the incident (slamming into gear over and over again). There is a 3-4 second lag changing directly into second gear. There is also a lag during normal operation. It's almost as if there's a gap in between 1 and 2 where the car almost appears to be in neutral for a moment of time. If triggered just right, applying extra throttle after the transmission has already started trying to shift (which isn't noticeable as the process initiates), the engine speed will rise as if in neutral and then will slam into gear. I actually had wheel spin at one point. This erratic behavior could cause an accident, as the vehicle will take off on me. If accelerating and the car is in 2nd, the car will not have much power, so then I will gradually give it more gas, only to have it downshift and then take off (wheels chirp and everything). If I let go of the gas it will slam into second and lurch a second time, which when braking is very annoying and severely affects the braking distance. I actually almost hit somebody this past week because of a very similar incident. This incident could cause an accident by losing control of the vehicle, especially in an environment with low traction (I live in Chicago, we only have a few months of optimal driving conditions). Besides that fact, Honda knows about the issue, and should have recalled this transmission years ago. Hondas used to be great, but this is really hurting their reputation with us.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #93

Aug 012014


  • 77,000 miles
Transmission jerks violently coming to a stop causing the vehicle to brake improperly. From a dead stop to normal speed, vehicle transmission slips from 1st to 2nd gear causing vehicle to slow unexpectedly and cars behind to slam on their brakes. NHTSA needs to conduct an investigation and work with Honda to issue a recall. This is a safety issue!

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #92

Jul 072014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 132,024 miles


Pulling away from an intersection (stop sign) vehicle hesitated due to transmission slippage causing vehicle to slow down and impede traffic in the intersection. This has happened on several occasions at both intersections and highway on-ramps.

- Baldwin, MD, USA

problem #91

May 292012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Vehicle lurked into on coming traffic causing vehicles to slam on brakes and a near miss on interstate 10. 3 or four vehicles had to go to the median, entering on-ramp headed West on I10. Not the first occasion this situation has happened.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #90

Apr 012008

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased this vehicle, a 2002 Honda Accord ex V-6, in 2008 with 45,000 miles. I began to notice hesitation when changing gears, and a hard jerk that would occur while first gear changes to second gear. I took it to the local Honda dealership, and they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. Six years later at 130,000 miles, my vehicle still does the same thing while driving. I have talked with other Honda owners, same model, and they all have had the same problem. I don't understand why this issue has not been recognized yet. It is not only unsafe, but unfair to not provide owners with some type of resolution. Don't even get me started on the clearcoat that has also worn off.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #89

Oct 132009


  • 97,696 miles
In 2009, car was jolting forward when stopping. Took car to Honda. They replaced the transmission. Now 4 years later, transmission has to be replaced again (only 33,000 miles later). Car is stalling while driving it and not switching gears properly. Seems like Honda replaced my original transmission with a used, inferior, recalled or damaged transmission. Spoke to Honda and they will not help me. They said the warranty has expired. (3 yrs or 36,000 miles).

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #88

Jan 132014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I have Honda Accord 2002 which has been regularly serviced by Honda dealers. I recently got my 120K service done and spend about $1000 on service and parts. At that time everything was diagnosed ok. After couple of months driving the engine light came on. I went to the dealer and was told that my car needs transmission replacement with a cost of $4000 upward. I researched on the web and came to know that the 2002 Accord have transmission issues. A recall was done in 2004 for transmission. I didn't receive any recall notice from Honda in 2004. Since Honda knows about the issue I think Honda should be liable to pay for the cost of fixing the transmission. Could anyone let me know what is my rights in this situation considering it is a known issue and Honda did nothing about it. It is a potential safety hazard since faulty transmission can lock the engine resulting in crash. Please advise.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #87

Mar 012013


  • 86,000 miles
I have a 2002 Honda Accord ex and the car jerks into gear, even going from 1st to 2nd gear. I am always worried taking off from a stop light because the car doesn't get into gear right away or take off smoothly.

- Norwood Park, IL, USA

problem #86

Dec 132011


  • 113,000 miles
My vehicle has been shifting very inconsistently with large amounts of shaking in between 1st and 2nd gears and 2nd and 3rd gears. There are high revolutions in between gears and hesitation before shifts. There is also rattling around 1600 R.P.M. all problems relate to the transmission in this vehicle and transmission failure is impending. I do consider this a danger and it seems to be a regular occurrence with this vehicle and model. I do think there should be a recall considered with this transmission.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #85

Sep 142013


  • 136,900 miles
The transmission has been reported as failing due to codes P0705 and P0706. My local Honda dealership stated it would cost $4800 to replace the transmission. This is apparently a long standing issue with these models.

- Sterrett, AL, USA

problem #84

Jul 152011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Coming to a yield, was clear, accelerated vehicle in D4, vehicle did not move, rpms 2000, 30 sec later gear engage, spinning front tires, road was not clear at this time, had to apply emergency brake along with pedal brake to keep from hitting another vehicle. This was not a safe situation. This vehicle lurches forward when stopping, shifting hard. Not safe to drive.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #83

Aug 102013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
The subframe that supports the engine/transaxle and the front suspension is rusting through on the right side. This can result in a catastrophic failure during operation of the vehicle, and appears to be a very common defect in this generation of Accord. Most mechanics attribute the cause of the defect to the location of the airconditioner drain tube that drips condensation onto the subframe while it is running.

- Harper Woods, MI, USA

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