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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,857 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 TL miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 292017


  • 182,000 miles


Violent shifting - purchased this vehicle from engles auto in sumner - same day drove this vehicle on the freeway and an hour into the road trip the vehicle began to suddenly apply the brakes. Following this it began shifting violently up or down. Found out there was a recall on the transmission and after talking with Acura was told the problem was already addressed. Took the vehicle to a transmission shop and was told I needed to have the transmission rebuilt ($2500-$3000 estimate) immediately told car dealership I wanted to return the vehicle and get a refund and all I got from them was the run around.

- Orting, WA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012014


  • 73,000 miles
Takata recall I was in a car accident in June of 2014. I was pulling away from a stop sign. As I was driving a Suburban (believe) turned in front of me. Tried to get out of the way but didn't quite make it. I hit the side or back of his vehicle. I felt like I hit a brick wall with my face. That was my face hitting the air bag.I was on the service road leaving the mall. I don't think the date I wrote in on this form is correct. I'm not sure of the day.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #3

Oct 132008


  • 44,285 miles
My wife went out to use our 2002 Acura TL today after it sitting for a few days. The car is parked under a carport either at our home or office. She discovered that there was some kind of unremovable hardened liquid leakage around the shift lever that had ate away at the plastic parts around the shift lever and caused spotting on the leather. The rear view mirror didn't seem to have anything dripping at the time I looked but I could see there was an oval in the center of the mirror that when you pressed it, you could see there was liquid inside. I found a website searching for "Acura rear view mirror leaking" and now see this is a somewhat common problem. I also notice that apparently: 1. the mirror manufacturer (not Acura) will replace the mirror without charge but not including the labor 2. Acura seems to want to avoid any responsibility for this which I feel is wrong! 3. the damage to the car is permanent unless the plastic pieces are replaced and the leather is either cleaned or replaced. The plastic seems to be eaten away like the liquid was a solvent. The spots on the leather are not able to be cleaned (I haven't tried myself yet) according to what I've read. 4. the liquid that leaked is obviously not good for your health and as one person noted, got sick and confirmed the hazardous chemicals in the liquid.

- North Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 262002


  • miles
Transmission slipping and reported at 14823 dealer said that they did not find a problem, rotors warped at 14823 miles replaced pads and resurfaced rotors, cd player replaced at 14823 miles, squeak in rear suspention due to a leak in the rear right strut at 18933 miles, both front seat backpanels loose, transmission replaced at 20322 miles car was at the dealer for 25 days, vsa and check engine light remained on after transmission replaced. Replaced lock upshift solenoid valved ECU reset, transmission not shifting properly and slips at 23583 miles, door frame peeling at 23583 miles replaced door frame. Cruise control not working at 23700 miles, font suspention or steering column making squeaky noises at 23700 miles.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 312002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While traveling on the highway, the vehicle shutdown without prior warning. The dealership is aware of the problem. The consumer states that the driving performance was sluggish and provided little to no acceleration. The RPM indicator would race to 3000K+rpms whenever the accelerator was pressed. The auto began to hesitate and lurch violently. Shortlty after, the check engine and the tcs lights illuminated on the dashboard and the gear indicator (which was on D5 at the time) began to blink.

- Columbia, MD, USA

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