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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Acura MDX:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Dec 222016


  • 131,000 miles


My car was repaired in 2004 due to a recall.the issue has accured again and the Acura dealer wants to charge me $7000 to fix the transmission again.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #27

Oct 182016


  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. When the contact shifted the vehicle into park and removed the keys from the ignition, it began to roll independently. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle. The air bags deployed. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission interlock failed. The approximate failure mileage was 171,000.

- Holly Springs, NC, USA

problem #26

Sep 202016


  • miles
All the recalls have been taken care of but it still has the transmission issue. I have seen many complaints about this and Acura does agree that there a known issue and won't anything to rectify the issue. Me and a lot of other owners are considering a class action suit to force Acura to rectify the issue that is well known in these transmissions. When you call the dealer they know exactly what the issue is but want to put in a rebuilt transmission and charge between $2500 to $3800. This is ridiculous if the issue is known why not fix it and the loyal customers happy.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #25

Aug 112016


  • 153,000 miles


Transmission occasionally bumps when backing, turning, and changing from one direction to another. There have been times, at different speeds, when there would be a sound as is the vehicle is crossing stop bumps. This has happened on smooth roads while accelerating, maintaining a speed, and decelerating. The transmission stared slipping in 5th gear, and is now beginning to slip in 4th gear.

- Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #24

May 152015


  • 161,810 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission seized and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who confirmed the failure and stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. However, while driving various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle jerked before moving forward. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The failure mileage was 161,810. The VIN was unavailable.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #23

Jan 152016


  • 220,113 miles
Takaya recall, I'm having transmission issues while I'm driving on the highway the vehicle seems to slow down and then picks up speed I have trouble switching gears when I try to reverse there's no movement the all of the sudden the vehicle will do our hard jerk reverse motion and stars going in reverse. Passages air bag read a code of airbag malfunction. Torque control, gears getting stuck flashing D5 light after going over 40.

- Far Rockaway, NY, USA

problem #22

Dec 142015


  • 122,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. While operating the vehicle, the transmission suddenly malfunctioned and the vehicle would not drive forward or accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact indicated that the transmission was previously replaced for the same failure at 59,000 miles. The failure mileage was 122,000. Updated 04/26/16

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #21

Aug 102015


  • 156,000 miles
Drove vehicle on the highway and noticed a vibration in the front end. Also noticed when driving vehicle in the morning a vibration that felt like driving over rubble strips. Talked to my daughter (primary driver) and she said the vibration has been occurring for a couple of months, but not consistently. Did some research and took vehicle to a transmission mechanic. Need a new transmission. Bought this Acura in 2006 as a certified vehicle from dealer with 43K miles. Torque converter was replaced in 2009 at 90K miles. Need a new transmission at 156K. I expected more from a Honda vehicle.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #20

Jul 082015


  • 163,200 miles
The keys can be removed while car is not in park so it rolled and bumped into another car. I checked the recall and it is not included in their recall. My car is 2002 Acura MDX and the year they have recall is 2003 version.

- San Jose , CA, USA

problem #19

Mar 122015


  • 142,875 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 60 mph, both front wheels seized and the steering wheel required force in order to maneuver the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission seized. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 142,875.

- Peshastin, WA, USA

problem #18

Jul 082014

MDX 6-cyl

  • 147,777 miles


Upon exiting off the freeway and accelerating onto a busy 3 lane street, my vehicle engine began revving and had no power. It acted like it had been shifted to neutral. I shifted to a lower gear and it caught and allowed me to get enough power to coast to a parking spot off the busy street that had no shoulder to pull a non working vehicle to. I was nearly rear ended because of the loss of power so suddenly. I was fortunate that I had just got off the freeway or it could have been much worse. I read on line that the 2001 and 2002 Acura MDX has had a common problem with transmission failure. At a quote for repair of $5,400 this is a major issue as I am a full time student. Of greater concern is the safety issue that I could have been rear ended and caused a major accident. The dealer offered $500 off as concession that there is a "known" problem with the 2001 and 2002 transmissions. Prior to the transmission failing, I was only offered $2,000 as trade in value towards a new vehicle.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #17

May 282014


  • 30,672 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that the steering was extremely rough and the service engine sensor illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the torque converter and clutch solenoid was defective and needed to be replaced. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,672.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #16

Jun 072014

MDX 6-cyl

  • 174,850 miles
My wife was driving West bound on hwy 50 just West of pollock pines ca. I was in the passenger seat. The vehicle abruptly downshifted to low gear and spun out of control. We glanced off the center medium with minimal damage to the vehicle. My wife and I were very shook up. I switched spots with her and moved the car off the freeway. We drove the vehicle the rest of the way home (10 miles) using back roads not going over 20 mph. We contacted niello Acura of sacramento and they told us to bring the car to them and they would see what they can do for us. They told me I would have to pay $5,500 for a new transmission and they would not take care of this as a safety issue. If this happens to someone else, they might not be as lucky as we were. I was told there was a recall for this issue (the transmission downshifting unexpectedly). I asked the Acura dealer about this and they told me the vehicle had already had the fix installed in 2004. If this is a common problem with this vehicle, other people could be effected or even injured. Over the past year the check engine light came on a couple times but within a day or two it would go out. Now the light is on. The codes that Acura told me are P700 and P730.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 132013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
Driving on the freeway, transmission disengaged and engine revved up to red line. Car had no power and lost speed. Close call with other vehicles, including semi trucks. Had to pull into far right lane and was only able to go around 30 mph since the car continued to rev and the transmission engaged and disengaged. Engine light came on and D5 light on dash started flashing. Took it to a mechanic who said transmission needs to be replaced. In investigating, this appears to be a common problem with this model year. Car is worth $6500 in good shape, but with this issue, it is now only worth $2000.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #14

Aug 032013


  • 195,239 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated while traveling various speeds, the vehicle jerked. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the transmission needed be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage 195,239.

- Lyns, MA, USA

problem #13

Mar 032013

MDX 6-cyl

  • 171,235 miles
Driving back home from las vegas, nv about 150 miles away (Utah) the A/T light came on. Looked it up online it stated auto/transmission oil temp is high.decided to pull over and let it cool down at the nearest gas station. Decided it was ok since the temp in Utah went down this was around 2 pm. About 10 min later when we got back onto highway the A/T light came on again. Then the car started to smoke from the engine bay. We pulled over took a look at it realized no puncture to the lines and figured the pressure build up from tranny spat out from where you usually pour fluids in. We tried getting off hwy for safety and ended up middle on no where. Then we waited til 5 pm and as the weather cooled down we started the drive again. The engine was fine the transmission wouldn't let me push it pass 3 1/2 RPM so we drove about 50-70 mph. We reached Colorado then spent the night. The next day it started to snow, the transmission decided to stop responding it will go into gears but it will stall and go but it wouldn't let me go past 2 RPM. Check engine light came on then we decided to take the car to autozone. The O2 test stated: Low tranny oil, torque control solenoid sensor, and electrical sensor. Then we had the car tow to nearby transmission shop they ran some diagnostics and said the gears are slipping and the whole transmission needs to be rebuilt. Total cost in rebuilt $4100 out the door. Car in on 3/4/13 car was done on 3/19/13.

- Cottage Grove , MN, USA

problem #12

Dec 232012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed on the drive back to los angeles from las vegas.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 032012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I was driving and there was smoke coming out of the engine compartment. I stopped and had the car towed to an Acura dealer.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #10

Sep 012012


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle started to shake violently. The contact maneuvered the vehicle to the shoulder and left it parked. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who referred him to the dealer. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Riverside , CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 192012

MDX 6-cyl

  • 112,300 miles
On my way to home from work, I noticed that my Acura MDX makes grinding and shuddering sound when increasing speed after a stop or from slow speed. While going on state highway at 50/mhp speed, the front wheels locked up. The car dragged on the road for about 25 feet and came to a complete stop in the driving lane as I could not steer the vehicle on to the shoulder due to locked front wheels. The lady behind me driving at the same speed was able to just stop her SUV within six inches of the back of my vehicle. It scary and frightening experience for both of as my vehicle completely stopped in driving lane in about 5 to 7 second from 50/mph to a complete stop. My vehicle could not be pushed over to the side of the road due to locked front wheels. This was a near death experience I had for the first time in my life. I was searching on internet to see if others had similar problem. I was amazed to find hundreds of comments about this problem from the owners of MDX for model years that range from 2002 to 2010. They appear to have the same transmission problem where the second gear just freezes. I am wondering why the sha has not investigated this problem and found faults with Honda's lack of willingness to correct this problem. Some of the comments on internet says that this happened to them on highways..

- Marriottsville, MD, USA

Read the next 8 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?