NHTSA — Visibility: Rearview Mirrors/Devices Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 1999-2003 Acura TL has a known & widespread defect with the transmission.

Honda fixed some vehicles with a recall in 2004 by changing the oil cooler return line. To settle a class action lawsuit in 2006, Honda extended the transmission warranty on some of these Acura TL's to 93 months / 109,000 miles.

Now these vehicles are past the warranty limit, so buyer beware.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,715 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.

2000 Acura TL accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2000 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 012016


  • 197,000 miles


The contact owns a 2000 Acura TL. The contact stated that the rearview mirror leaked a toxic substance (over six months ago) over the seat and onto the plastic surrounding the gear shifter. There was an odor in the vehicle and the substance left a burn mark on the contact. The substance also burned a hole through the plastic next to the gear shift and on the leather seat. Acura stated that they would not be responsible because the vehicle was older. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed that the mirror needed to be replaced, but would not do the repair for free. The failure mileage was 197,000.

- Westfield Center, OH, USA

problem #8

Aug 182013

TL 6-cyl

  • 29,500 miles
Yesterday, 8/18/13, our auto darkening rear view mirror leaked a black liquid that melted the plastic console under it. The liquid could not have been on the console for more than 45 minutes as the rear view mirror went from being clear when we arrived to a shopping center, to a distorted view when we were leaving. Searching google, "?2000 Acura TL rear view mirror leak, ?" I found many instances of this happening to others. I also found that the substance is toxic (perhaps as many as 6 compounds including Mercury). In some cases these mirrors have exploded throwing black toxic goo on passengers and the interior. Some have reported getting ill from exposure. Needless to say, I removed the mirror. What I can"?T understand is that these mirrors have not been recalled, not just because the liquid ruins the interior of the car, but it?"S dangerous as a health hazard well. I believe this type mirror was used for many years before and after my car was manufactured. Yes, this is a 13 year old car. We purchased it new and it remains in near perfect condition with under 30,000 miles on it. It now has partially dissolved console.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 152005

TL 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Rear view mirror image distorted, blurred, and not reflective of the actual distance/separation from following vehicles. Also occurred on my 1999 Acura 3.2tl.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 282011


  • 62,121 miles


My car was parked in the sun at which time the automatic rear view mirror proceeded to leak caustic fluid from the photo cell unto the middle of my car's interior console especially all over the gear shifter area. This fluid was corrosive to the point that it melted a hole in the bottom of my rearview mirror and damaged the plastic pieces in the center of the console including the gear indicator and its trim ring. The rearview mirror is now cloudy and somewhat damaged. Some of the fluid got on the back of my hand when I put my car in gear and caused a slight burning sensation until I washed it off. I'm not sure if there's more fluid yet to leak from the damaged mirror the next time the interior of the car gets hot.

- Solon, OH, USA

problem #5

Aug 242009


  • 135,000 miles
2000 Acura 3.2 TL rear view mirror defect. The 2000 Acura 3.2 TL comes equipped with a auto-dimming rearview mirror manufactured by the magna donnelly corporation. This mirror began leaking a dark fluid recently which has been known to be toxic. From my research this appears to be a widespread problem in which mirrors eventually explode and can spray this toxic fluid into the eyes and mouth.

- Eatontown, NJ, USA

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problem #4

Jul 292008


  • 137,812 miles
I have the defective interior rear view mirror as reported by many others. A large clear bubble appeared at the top of the mirror glass and the rest of the mirror is tinted and the vision distorted. After reading many complaints of other owners experiencing this problem I contacted Acura. They informed me that this problem was the fault of the oem equipment manufacturer, magna donnelly. I contacted them and they informed me that they are no longer replacing these defective mirrors. I also learned from research that the fluid that leaks from these mirrors can cause serious health problems. I believe a recall should be in effect to replace these dangerous mirrors.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #3

Jun 262008


  • 160,000 miles


The rearview mirror in my 2000 Acura TL exploded and a black liquid sprayed throughout the interior of my car. It corroded a large hole through my center console (which was replaced by Acura/Honda at no charge), damaged my leather seats and carpet (which Acura/Honda refused to replace, but did perform a thorough cleaning of both...the dealer invoice stated Mercury leak), and also prompted the replacement of my rearview mirror (which was also replaced by Acura/Honda at no charge). Just imagine...if chemicals are toxic enough to corrode a hole through your center console, what effect do those chemicals have on you when inhaled?

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 032006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On a very hot day, I entered my car to discover a black oil substance that melted around my gear shift. Looked in my rear-view mirror and it was very blurry, then looked underneath and saw where the substance came out of the mirror. It also splash on my leather seats. Acura dealership said it was liquid crystal that is used to dim the mirror. He said it would not be covered due to the mileage and year. (maybe if it was 50K miles or less) which didn't make much sense to me. He said normally it will make a brown line at the bottom of the mirror (which mine has).. this lead me to believe this problem is not so uncommon.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #1

May 142005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Oil in rear view mirror exploded and splattered on both front seats of the car. Luckily it happened overnight when I was not driving the car or it could have created a traffic accident. Dealer was not surprised apparently happened in quite a few instances.

- Miami, FL, USA

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