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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,576 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.

2003 Acura TL body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 182005

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,151 miles


My car makes a loud clunk when I am backing out of a parking place or driveway and turn the wheel and apply the brakes. I brought the car into the Acura dealer and was told that they were aware of the problem and that it is characteristic of this model and also the MDX that was made that year. I was told there was nothing wrong with my car, however, how do I resell the car with such a noise present? I feel there should be a recall and the problem fixed.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 162003

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
High beams reflect light to vertical objects at the side of the road, such as trees, structure, etc, causing distracting flashes of light, and momentary diversion of driver's attention. Low beams do now seem to go out far enough to give a good view of the darkened road without using high beams. The headlights on 2001 and earlier models were excellent and did/do not present the same problems. I do not know of headlights used on 2002 models were the same as mine. Dealer states problems not correctable in that lights operate as designed by manufacturer. There was a rattle in the front seat belt housing, the center console was hard to open, and the sill plate was loose.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

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