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NHTSA — Power Train: Manual Transmission Problems Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague 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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,586 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

problem #7

Feb 112005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


Transmission failed in 2002 Acura TL-S. the car would rev when the gas pedal was pushed but the car would not accelerate over 20 mph. Then the car slowed down and would not accelerate at all and was not moving.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #6

Nov 212002

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,099 miles
Transmission disengages when accelerating. Also, transmission falls out of gear causing unexpected loss of power. Dealership adjusted base idle of the engine the first time I took it in for this problem. Transmission total failure at 24000 miles. Replaced transmission and had the same problem three weeks later. Power loss when turning left in the middle of the intersection, barely avoided collision. I do not take my children in this car for fear of power failure.

- Los Alamitos, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 162003


  • miles
I no longer feel safe in the car that I have bought. I bought an Acura TL type S 2002, it only has 29,000 mi on the odometer and already I have changed the transmission once. Just yesterday it has started to exibit the same characteristics as the last transmission that failed. While driving on the highway it shifted to neutral and the engine turned off! while I was on the highway!this is supposed to be the new fixed transmission!! this is unacceptable. If anything happens to me or my family, I dont know what ill do.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 302002

(reported on)


  • miles


I am a nervous wreck while driving my 2002 Acura TL type S on the freeway for fear the transmission will fail. I will not allow my wife to drive the car and I wish I did not have to drive it either. Honda should recall the car or buy it back at low bluebook. Should I or my wife become injured as a result of the transmission failing we will hold Honda liable for all property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering. If you do not feel a recall is warranted, I may sue you as well.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 132002


  • miles
The vehicle showed a up/down shifting into 3rd gear problem. It would slip when trying to shift up. When shifting down to 3rd you would hear a clunk and the vehicle would start to search for a gear. Nlm

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 012002


  • miles
Consumer while driving the vehicle suddenly down shifted to second gear. Consumer took to dealer and they replaced the transmission. Nlm

- Castaic, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 062001

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Check out the following news group on the web for others who are experiencing the same problem: No safety defec tlisted.

- Elkton, MD, USA

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