pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
115,400 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (9 reports)
2002 Acura MDX transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura MDX Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 042010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


The transmission in my 2002 MDX had 153,000 Kilometers on it when it was replaced in August 2010 at the Vancouver, BC Burrard Acura dealership. The warranty was for 2 years and 40,000 k so it was expired. My costs were $4,452 Canadian.

I had only driven 52,533 Kilometers (33,000 miles) when I had to have it replaced again at the Acura dealership in Cathedral City, Ca. They told me that the one that failed did not have Acura parts. My costs were $7,000 Canadian. ($5,300 American). This 3rd transmission apparently has Acura parts.

I contacted the service manager at Burrard Acura with regard to the poor performance of the second transmission. He said he would check with the specialist they had subcontracted the job to, but didn't offer much hope of compensation. He said he would call me back, but has not.

- gradybc, Vancouver, BC, Canada

problem #8

Jul 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Any vehicles made from Honda or related company are not reliable. I saw and knew five Honda or Acura vehicles have had the same problem. Those vehicle owned by my friends. It is very high percentage in any brand of vehicles.

I will never buy any Honda or related vehicle, and so I recommend others too.

Update from Feb 16, 2015: Called Honda/Acura customer services at 800-382-2238. And I have complained the situation of the vehicle, also on what I have seen other honda vehicles on their transmission problems. Their answer is:

1: The Vehicle has too high mileage. 2: The Vehicle is too old. 3: I am the second owner

So they (Honda/Acura) can not do any kinds "goodwill compensation". But I think the third reason is really off my mind.

Suggestions: Do NOT buy any Honda related vehicles anymore.

- Geoffrey H., San Diego, CA, US

problem #7

Apr 292012

MDX Touring

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

Same as everyone else. Transmission died. Felt like I was hitting a brick wall when driving 20 mph and accelerating. Had to get a new transmission and set me back a lot. Lame.

- andybartels, Little Chute, WI, US

problem #6

Aug 152012

MDX Touring 3.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,089 miles


The transmission of my 2002 Acura MDX was regularly slipping out of gear and severely shuddering under mild driving conditions. This would often require the driver (my wife or I) to pull off the road to get out of traffic. I brought it to an Acura dealer who informed me that there had been a transmission recall back in 2004 that had never been completed on my MDX. The recall stated that the transmission could lock up and cause an accident. After an inspection the service manager told me that the transmission showed no sign of wear and that he had decided to simply install the oil injector kit instead of replacing the transmission. Despite my efforts to convince him that the transmission was failing, he assured me that the oil injector kit would solve the problems. Over the next 8 months I brought the MDX back to the dealership four times stating that the transmission was failing. Each time the service manager explained that the problems were due to various other potential issues (EGR valve, speed sensor) and emphatically stated that the transmission was not a problem. On the last visit the transmission had completely failed and had to be replaced at my cost of $5200.

The recall was not properly completed because if there showed any sign of wear on any of the gears the transmission was to be replaced. The cost is obviously a concern for me but also the fact that, although Honda has stated that they have resolved the safety concern by have a recall, Honda has not properly completed the recall and are failing to recognize that a severe safety problem exists.

- jonathanco, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #5

Dec 232012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Transmission failed on drive back from Las Vegas Dec 22, 2012. This SUV has been babied from the day we bought it new at Metro Acura in Montclair, CA. Never towed anything and never drove off-road. MDX has been meticulously maintained, first under warranty by Acura, then by a local independent Acura/Honda repair shop in Upland, CA. The MDX looks new, and we had anticipated putting another 100,000 miles on it.

Took the car to Metro Acura after finding out about the long history of transmission failures with this model. Service manager said they would only credit us $300 for a $5400 repair. Submitted all of the service history records back to 1992, then wrote a nice letter to Acura headquarters in Torrance, CA asking for Acura to take on significant participation in the repair of the transmission. My wife received a call back this week from Acura refusing to take responsibility for any additional expense for the repair. The woman said because we hadn't purchased another Acura since 1992, and had the car serviced by an independent shop once the factory warranty lapsed, they wouldn't do anything more.

We're in the market for a 2013 luxury car, but will never buy another Acura or Honda product due to the way this transmission repair has been handled.

- rick_kaiser, Alta Loma, CA, US

problem #4

Aug 022012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

Well, I figured I save a lot of hassle and get a top of the line Japanese vehicle. I was extremely happy with my Nissan Maxima (nearly 400,000 km) so I figured I couldn't go wrong with a low mileage Acura MDX.


Stay away from the Acura products. I found out after the fact that they are notorious for having Transmission failures. This vehicle was serviced by the factory since new and at 200k now needs a new Transmission. This is a well know problem with the MDX and they really don't seem to care. The pretend that they do but are really only only after the $$.

The MDX is also a gas guzzler and totally underpowered - STAY AWAY!!

- Cal C., Kelowna, British Columbia, canada

problem #3

Jul 222011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I have a 2002 Acura MDX that has been well cared for with regular maintainence. I started experiencing some gear shifting troubles and within 30 minutes had the vehicle at my local dealership. After conducting a couple of tests and then "flushing" the transmission, they determined that my transmission was "shot" and needed to be replaced. The cost $4000. Unbelievable. The dealership called corporate on our behalf (given our good history with the car) to seek a discount on the cost of the replacement. Well, the $4000 includes that discount. I am in disbelief that this has been a known problem with may make/model and Honda/Acura is actually doing little to nothing about it!! I'm going to call the Honda service line myself on Monday and see what happens. I've been a loyal customer for many years, this may be the end of my loyalty.

- Felicia S., Prospect, KY, US

problem #2

Dec 152010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

i figured for an Acura i shouldnt have a tranny problem. i was told second gear has trouble getting fluid. i was told that i have to replace the tranny and it would cost 3 grand.

- dumsar, Westerly, RI, US

problem #1

Jul 042010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I own a 2002 Acura MDX whose transmission failed. I bought the MDX because I had read that it was a reliable car. Having owned a 1995 Chevy Astro that never had a failed transmission, I was quite surprised that a premium vehicle such as an Acura would have such a serious problem. I found through my research on-line that I was not alone. I found hundreds of posts by people whose transmission failed on their MDX while they were driving on highways. They were lucky that they were not killed. I was lucky that the transmission failed in a parking lot. However, I wonder how many people were seriously injured or killed because of this transmission failure.

Acura/Honda should have recalled the transmission on these vehicles a long time ago, but has only settled the cases on an individual-basis and through a settlement in 2004 that did not cover MDX, but other Honda models. It is highly disturbing that a brand with a reputation for reliability has not remedied this problem in an effective way by recalling these vehicles.

- Diana M., Staten Island, NJ, US

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