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:
41,000 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 052016


  • miles


Honda replaced my airbag and I still get the SRS malfunction light. Acura does not want to take this safety issue and is wanting me to replace the safety components at my cost. SRS light is on and I suspect faulty seat belts. But Honda does not warranty seat belts and safety components after 10 years.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 262016


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Acura TL. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the vehicle encountered a pot hole causing the vehicle to jerk violently. As a result, the vehicle veered off the road and flipped over. The air bags did not deploy. The contact's left shoulder strap seat belt was detached from the vehicle leaving behind only the waist strap seat belt as the contact shifted from the driver's seat to the passengers seat during the accident. Furthermore, the contact's head was partially hanging out of the window after the accident. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact sustained a fractured wrist, chest pains, multiple lacerations and a concussion. In addition, the contact's stomach was severely twisted out of shape and the contact vomited and fainted numerous occasions after the accident. The contact required medical attention. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 123,000. The VIN was not available.

- Tehachapi, 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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