NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2002 Acura TL (Page 2 of 9)

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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
40,890 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Acura TL Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #155

Jul 012010

TL 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


I owned an Acura TL, 2002, it get its service per owner manual, transmission begun acting strange at lower speeds and when accelerating it gives a jank and then accelerates or after accelerating it goes really slow and then speeds up. Acura knows about the problem and did very little to correct it. They just check the transmission oil supply line and if they see stains, then they replaced it. Many Acura TL owners are facing this same problems, why NHTSA has not forced Acura to replace these faulty transmissions" what can I do to make this happen" please provide guidance. Many thanks for your assistance and support.

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #154

Jun 012010

TL 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
I owned an Acura TL, 2002, it get its service per owner manual, transmission begun acting strange at lower speeds and when accelerating it gives a jank and then accelerates or after accelerating it goes really slow and then speeds up. Acura knows about the problem and did very little to correct it. They just check the transmission oil supply line and if they see stains, then they replaced it. Many Acura TL owners are facing this same problems, why NHTSA has not forced Acura to replace these faulty transmissions" what can I do to make this happen" please provide guidance. Many thanks for your assistance and support.

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #153

Jun 282010


  • 82,500 miles
I own 2002 Acura 3.2 TL, it was serviced all the time at Acura dealerships, currently have about 82,500 miles on odometer. My transmission a few days ago started making harsh shifts in the range 20-40 mph. Today I experienced a critical situation on highway, when pulled in from the ramp at the speed about 60 miles per hour, my car accidentally lowered to RPM lower than 1000 and then after a second accelerated again. I was scared to speed it up again above 60 mph, and went out of highway on next exit. Then I brought the car to dealership right after this event. Technician found that my transmission failed and requires replacement, which going to cost me with work about $6000. This is the first serious issue with my car engine in whole history of use. Strange, dealers of illlinois, Michigan and californioa were telling us all the time that we are very careful customers and keep our car in very good condition. It is truly very clean with only defect in it - transmission. We want to know - what we did wrong?

- Saline, MI, USA

problem #152

May 052010


  • 96,565 miles


Transmission failed - could have caused a major issue if it happened on the highway. Acura knows about the failed transmissions but never did a recall and will not pay to fix.

- Coppell, TX, USA

problem #151

Apr 112010


  • 132,800 miles
2 transmissions have been replaced in 10/2003 and 3/2004 which were covered under warranty. Same problem keeps occurring, trans slips in & out, like its floating, and stepping on the gas and going nowhere. I found that when I pull over, put the car in park, shut it off, then restart after about 10 seconds, the car will drive fine once you pass 45 to 50mph. When you slow down after that, it acts up again. Previous 2 transmission problems where replaced but this problem they said we have to replace the whole transmission.

- Osprey, FL, USA

problem #150

Mar 092010


  • 76,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura 3.2 TL. When the contact applied pressure to the accelerator pedal at approximately 20 mph, the transmission hesitated while shifting between first and second gear. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The failure was contributed to the power train. The technician stated that the vehicle exceeded 15,000 miles and the owner would be responsible for the repair cost. The repair consisted of a transmission flush. The NHTSA campaign id 04V176000 (power train automatic transmission) repair was performed prior to the failure. The oil cooler return line was also repaired per the recall. The failure mileage was 76,500. The current mileage was 78,000.

- Jericho, NY, USA

problem #149

Apr 072007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Acura TL. The contact stated that the automatic transmission slipped out of third gear into second or fourth gear while driving 45 mph. He had to manually shift the vehicle into the correct gear whenever it shifted into third gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that there were no failures. He also stated that after the warranty expired the dealer confirmed that there was a problem with the transmission. The contact was advised that he would be responsible for paying the repair cost. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 95,000. Updated 05/12/10 the consumer stated the vehicle only slips in 3rd gear. Updated 05/14/10. Updated 07/08/10 updated 07/09/10.

- Temple, PA, USA

problem #148

Mar 102010


  • 166,500 miles
I am the first owner of this car (from 3.5 miles on the odo) and my 2002 Acura TL-S has the original defective transmission (according to Acura service department) and started slipping at 75,000 miles about 4 years ago. The Acura service department tested the car during an airbag recall at that time and was not able to replicate the problem even though it was clear to me that the transmission was slipping slightly between 2nd and 3rd gear. Now, 4 years later and at 166,500 miles, the transmission is slipping more noticeably and more frequently (once in about every 3 times). Acura carland of duluth, ga had me take off work early and drive one hour to see them and check out what's going on. Once I drove across town in severe rain and brought it in, they dismissed me within 5 minutes without even testing or driving my car because "it had too many miles." They could have easily told me that over the phone. I commute to work 120 miles roundtrip each day and I felt I didn't get the time and respect that I deserve. I am concerned about my safety because this is my only car and they didn't even tell me if I should replace this right away or if I have enough time to save up for this $4000 repair of a transmission that several Acura service and sales departments have told me had flawed design and parts which were somewhat modified in future transmissions which I feel I am either entitled to even if I have to bear some portion but not all of the cost.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #147

Oct 122009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,654 miles
Automatic transmission failed between 137,000-138,000 miles. Acura alleges power train upgrade was installed. Independent transmission repair dealer stated the transmission did not have required upgrade.

- Molalla, OR, USA

problem #146

Jan 152010


  • miles
I have a serious problem with Acura's lack of concern over their horrible transmissions for the Acura TL 2002 model. My car will randomly be in gear and not accelerate, right in the middle of traffic.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #145

Feb 102010


  • 125,000 miles


Transmission started slipping between 2 and 3 gear contacted Acura dealer they told me that they can't help me because my car was out of warranty and I have to pay full price to get fixed. Really unhappy with Acura. Always was a Acura person until now when I bought Acura TL 2002 one year ago. Have 125000 on it and never had any idea that transmission will go out. I was reading and notice even after dealer changing transmission they still go out.

- Gig Harbor , WA, USA

problem #144

Dec 232009


  • 64,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura 3.2tl. The contact stated that there was difficulty shifting gears and at times, it would become stuck in gear. He noticed that the problem occurred intermittently and slowly became more frequent. He took the vehicle to a repair shop and was informed that the automatic transmission needed to be replaced; the mechanic advised him to take the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer confirmed that the transmission needed to be replaced but that it was outside the warranty. The dealer offered to pay 80% of the repair costs. The vehicle was being repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 64,600. The failure mileage was approximately 64,500.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #143

Jun 122009


  • 61,523 miles
It is scheming and underlying of american Honda motor co., Inc. Acura automobile division; being aware that a higher than normal number of automatic transmissions were having problems beyond a certain mileage, and a non-action to have a full recall on all make/models to the effected vehicles is certainly underlying leaving Acura owners with the bill while the company collects profits for it's defective engineering and design with it's transmission. Knowing that there is a recall in 2004 Acura did not and has not followed up with the transmission during services and maintenance, nor does it say anywhere that they have.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #142

May 212009


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura TL. The vehicle was purchased without a warranty on February 25, 2009. While driving 40 mph on the highway, the vehicle began shaking and then stalled. The vehicle lost power and shut off. During the shaking, the check engine light blinked on the instrument panel. The shaking occurred when accelerating. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic because it was unable to be driven or restarted. The mechanic stated that the cylinders were misfiring or either the engine or transmission failed. The vehicle is still unable to be driven. The current and failure mileages were 110,000.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #141

Oct 222008

(reported on)

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Acura TL has recurring transmission problems. The consumer stated the engine light came on several times, but the dealer chose to ignore the problem.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #140

Aug 032008


  • 109,845 miles
Occasional automatic transmission slippage, slow to downshift upon brisk acceleration when entering freeway.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #139

Apr 112008

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura 3.2tl. A few days prior to the failure date, the vehicle's transmission began to slip. On April 11, 2008, the contact's wife attempted to accelerate from a stop and the vehicle began to buck violently. The check engine light illuminated as well. The vehicle was pulled over and the vehicle was towed to a local shop. A diagnostic was performed and the failure was identified as the transmission. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 132,000.

- Labaon, NJ, USA

problem #138

Oct 112007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Transmission is starting to go out. Very hard shifts into 2nd gear, the car will jerk while down shifting around 40mph. Now the D5 light is blinking. Flatirons Acura took my car for a 6mile drive and then handed me the keys back and said to drive it until it fails. Every time my family is riding in that car our lives are at stake.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #137

Oct 242007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,188 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Acura 3.2tl. While driving at an unknown speed, the gear shifted into neutral. The contact almost crashed into another vehicle. She received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission). She took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that it was repaired incorrectly before, therefore, they would replace the transmission for free. The dealer kept the vehicle for four weeks, but did not make any repairs because the parts were taking a long time to order. They would not return the contact's phone calls. The dealer still has possession of the vehicle. She notified the manufacturer, but they would not call her back as well. The powertrain was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 82,188.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #136

May 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This is my third transmission on my 2002 Acura 3.2 TL-S. everytime, I had a problem with my transmission, Acura always give me hard time to admit the problem. And now, my transmission starts giving me the same issue as before again. When slowing down the car, from 65 mph to 45 mph or 45 mph to 25 mph, the gear will not engage properly. The car will be in neutral state and wait until the car realize what gear it should be before it put into gear. Scarsdale Acura, valley stream Acura, smithtown Acura, and paragon Acura do not admit the problem and inform me that there is nothing wrong with the transmission, since the check engine light is not lighted and the D5 light is not blinking. Westchester Acura admits the problem and they changed my transmission twice, but their service is horrible, so I do not want to bring my car back to them for my current problem. I have tried calling Acura, and I was told that there is nothing they can do, since they cannot see the actually and they cannot control what the dealer can do. I am at the point that I could get help and do not know what to do; in the mean time, I am at risk of my life by driving the cat with the defective transmission.

- Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

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