NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2002 Acura MDX (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
126,132 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 1 of 2)

problem #35

Jul 102018


  • 205,000 miles


Takata recall my MDX is having a heat build up between the countershaft and second shaft gears. Its casuing my transmission to lock up and I am very concern

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #34

Jun 062018


  • 229,000 miles
Transmission recall was prev addressed but still has same problem hwy overheating of transmission causing failure extreme jerking scared us bad and could cause accident gears go out slip from overheating as well burns transm fluid recalled previously same exact issue of extreme overheating and at temp gauge not workingoccours while driving in motion

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #33

Nov 302017


  • 179,000 miles
Gear failure, transmission lock up, smoke coming from transmission inside the car. Heat build up from transmission when we do long drive.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #32

Apr 052017


  • miles


Priority Acura gave 2002 MDX back Monday 4/3/17 had problems again with it slippin into neutral and wont move in D5...this time check engine light came on and D5 started blinking and gear shift was not move pass N until james the mechanic shut off vehicle and started it back up.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #31

Mar 042017

MDX 6-cyl

  • 52 miles
My name is [xxx] I purchased a used 2002 Acura MDX from dealer [xxx] at priority Honda hampton va 2/13/2017 ( 757 8381252 ). within the first week of driving this Acura MDX it stalled as I made a turn on lynnhaven pkwy into my job parking lot. There where cars behind me beeping. My first reaction was try reverse it did reverse so I try to put it back in D5 no movement rpms with just run up no check engine light on so then I tried D5, D4, D3,2 no movement the vehicle move when I put it in gear at 1 and it drove me to a parking space and that is when I called Acura priority and had car towed to them and explained that I had purchased the car from priority Honda this was my 6/7 day driving it this happen. So the tow company came and towed it to priority Acura chesapeake ( 757 5231700) unfortunately they could not duplicate the problem and the check engine light wasn't on and car driving back normal and no codes held in the computer for them to check what is going on. Therefore I requested they do a thoroughly check on vehicle which cost me $150 dollars to make sure it wasn't nothing wrong with vehicle. They did a extra check and came back with bushings needed to be replace other than that vehicle was good priority Acura stated. In meantime I called priority Honda where I just purchased the vehicle from not even a week and explained to them what was going on to timothy use car supervisor at priority Honda hampton ( 7578381252) he got the car towed over there no cost to me and gave me a rental for 4 days ?when I was called I was told again I can pick up my vehicle priority Honda hampton mechanic was not able to duplicate my complaint on Acura or diagnosis it due to no check engine light on. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Norfolk, VA, USA

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problem #30

Mar 012017

MDX 6-cyl

  • 125,110 miles
Hello my name is [xxx] I purchased a used 2002 Acura MDX from priority Honda hampton va ( 757 838 1252) the first week I drove the car the transmission shifted downward while I was turning a corner at a busy intersection the car did not cut off however it stop and when I pressed on the gas the RPM will go up but the car would not move I then try to shift to D4 would not move D3 would not move 2 it drove again. I took the car back to priority and explain what happen they sold me a lemon they states my check engine light not on or keeping records of what happen when car act up therefore the car is not doing it all the time and not doing it while in there possession. They sent me home again the next week I was back with same problem they could not diagnose. Sent me home again the next week happen again I they still cant figure out problem this is a very dangerous situation when cars are behind me and can result in a crash can you please reach out to me at 7573723536 or priority Honda hampton va ( 7578381252 [xxx]) to correct this dangerous problem with my vehicle I see others have had this problem. I have any recorded this on my phone and show them car not moving rpms going up the advisor [xxx] states looks like transmission slipping but it wont do for them. My vehicle is currently at priority Honda hampton again. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #29

Jan 022017


  • 220,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura MDX. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle felt as if the brake pedal were depressed quickly and the accelerator pedal were suddenly depressed inadvertently. When depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to move and would suddenly engage and operate normally. The dealer diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was serviced per NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The contact notified the manufacturer of the failure. The failure mileage was 220,000.

- Eagle Point, OR, USA

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

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

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 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

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