really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,445 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 Acura MDX drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Jan 122004

MDX 6-cyl

  • 34,264 miles


I purchased the 2002 MDX on 12, January 2004. At that time I questioned the hard shifting from first into second. It would lurch, shudder, and jump from standing still to first gear, all the way through the gears. I was worried that the transmission would be damaged as well as other parts. On 27 July, 2004 the transmission began to rock front and back, with loud grinding and metal to metal sound. The dealer explained there was a recall on the at and an oil jet cooler was needed. Over the next 7 years I had my MDX serviced at the dealership. Each time I would complain about the noise at speeds between 20-30 and 35-45. Again I was told nothing could be done. The engine broke the side motor mount, again I was told that nothing could be done. Finally on 6 July 2011 while driving 75 on interstate 71, my transmission revved into the red area on the gauge, atf was blowing out the back and covered the back window. I pulled over and the transmission seized on the spot. The MDX was towed to the dealership were I was told the oil jet cooler had a drain nut, that came out, thus releasing the atf. The drain plug and atf was replaced, but again I was told there was nothing could be done as the defect was a part and not covered. The shop manager told me that the shock and spring was rusted and leaking fluid. I was told that both motor, the timing belt, the shifter cable and connection, outer tire rod, boots needed to be replaced. I searched the internet for 5 minutes and discovered thousands of complaints related to the transmission. I confirmed the recalls on the shocks coils transmission, and multitude of other components. I had the timing belt, every belt, water pump, and motor mounts replace at another dealership in town. This is a dangerous problem. As long as there are 2002 MDX's on the road and Honda Acura ignore or deny the problem. The risk of death is great.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #7

Nov 302011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2001 Acura MDX with 80K miles. I am in the process of replacing my transmission as it is showing signs of transmission lockage. While I was driving on the highway, I noticed the truck just seemed to make a really hard brake, like someone was pumping the brakes with a lot of pressure. I took it to Acura and they denied any goodwill repair! this will most likely be my last Honda/Acura as I have lost faith in them and their reputation. Would this have happened during rush hour, I am sure I would have gotten in an accident or worse killed. I believe if I drove it any longer the transmission would have completely locked up and other components like the axles, mounts, etc...would have been disabled.

- Burtonsville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jul 282011

MDX 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Purchased new, a 2002 Acura MDX. First transmission replaced 2 months shy of 7 year extended warranty at approx. 47,000 miles. Transmission warranty ended with the expiration of the 7 year warranty (2 months). The car would shudder, seize, rendering it a safety issue. Next transmission failure at 87,000 miles. Same symptoms, shudders, gear slippage, seizing, again rendering the car undrivable. The car is currently back in with so. Bay Acura in torrance, California, receiving the third transmission. These same symptoms have been reported by several hundred customers and I don't understand what would constitute a recall. I only searched for like complaints for an hour so I am quite confident I could locate several thousand. This same transmission failure has been reported in the NY times. Six thousand dollars is an excessive amount so I am working on a class action suit with other owners as the car is unsafe as a family vehicle. Also had the car tested extensively at other transmission facilities.

- Palos Verdes Estates, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 262011


  • 134,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The vehicle was repaired by the previous owner under NHTSA recall campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission) for the same failure. The contact stated that the check engine warning light illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer advised that the torque converter failed in the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage and the current mileage was 134,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #4

Sep 012011


  • 130,127 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that when driving in second or third gears, the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal grinding noise with a vibrating sensation. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but the manager advised that due to the mileage and the year of the vehicle, they would not be able to repair the vehicle under the warranty. The contact stated that the vehicle had been taken to the dealer four times for the same exact transmission failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised that there were no recalls and they were unable to honor the warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,127.

- New Haven, CT, USA

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problem #3

Jul 042010


  • 130,000 miles
I own a 2002 Acura MDX with 130K miles. The transmission failed while I was in vacation 2 hours from my home. The car was towed to the local dealer and I was charged $4700 to have the transmission replaced. After doing some research on-line, I found that transmission failure on Acura Mdxs is a common problem. It is unacceptable that a premium car such as an Acura should have such a high incidence of transmission failure. Acura should have recalled these vehicles given that the transmission could fail while one is driving leading to increased probability of a serious accident.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 162010


  • 93,000 miles
I took the vehicle to the dealer B/C the vehicle was slowing down on the freeway and this noise that comes from the rear of the vehicle. After they inspected it they couldn't find the problem, so they had me take a service tech with me for a test ride. He told me that the torque converter needs to be replaced.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #1

Jun 132005


  • 46,000 miles
2002 MDX transmission needed to be replaced.** answer required***. the sway bars cracked six months after purchasing the vehicle, the supplemental restraint light illuminated and it took 4 months to get it fixed.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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