NHTSA — Suspension: Front: Control Arm: Lower Ball Joint Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,480 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 192007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles


On November 19, 2007 there was a sudden, complete, and catastrophic failure of the front right lower ball joint on my 2002 Acura. The failure occurred while the car was moving at five to ten miles per hour on a side street in South bend, Indiana. When the failure occurred the car came to a sudden stop as a result of the lower ball joint digging into the pavement and the right front steering tire turned sideways. If the failure would have occurred at normal highway speeds or on the interstate, the result would have been the sudden and total loss of control of the car, resulting in death, or serious injury. Acura's response was to ignore the complaint. The Acura web site noted that there were recalls for similar problems in 1996, 1997 and 1998, and that the defective ball joints were replaced under those recalls. I immediately notified Acura by fax the morning of November 20th and by a follow up letter of January 23, 2008. The only response that I received was a telephone message the afternoon of November 20th from a customer service representative and a later phone call basically disclaiming any responsibility for the problem or resulting damages. I have copies of the repair invoice totaling $1,912.52. All of the repairs were necessitated by the failure. The left steering knuckle was replaced as well because it was a sealed unit, and the mechanic could not inspect it and could not assure me that the car would not suffer the same catastrophic failure. I provided Acura with photographs taken by my sons camera phone immediately after the failure and before the car was towed which show the damage, which I could email to you. I retained the failed parts at my home. The failure that occurred at less than 105,000 miles with no warning from a manufacturing or design defect. Acura refused to look inspect my vehicle or the parts or to take any action in response to my complaints. Because no one was injured or killed this time, it wasn't important to Acura.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #2

Dec 202007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,440 miles
My 2002 Acura 3.2tl with 77,440 miles was in for an alignment at a Goodyear gemini store, when they said they would not align it because my lower ball joints where loose by about 1/8 of an inch. So I called the local Acura store service department and they said that it is common. So I asked the service advisor if I should check with parts to see if they have the lower ball joints in stock? he said no I know they have them because we do a lot of replacements of the ball joints. He didn't say it should be a tsb, but if they replace that many failed ball joints maybe it should be a tsb. I take really good care of my car, and I am in the automobile leasing business, so I know some things about cars. I feel it needs to be investigated.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 312005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
Inspection of two front lower ball joints found to be worn out. Vehicle has less than 75,000 miles. In the worst case, the ball joint could separate causing the front suspension to collapse. This would result in an abrupt vehicle deceleration and a sudden loss of power. Also steering controllability would greatly be reduced. The parts are being replaced and the old parts will be retained.

- Newtown, PA, USA

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