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:
87,250 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 162016


  • 66,000 miles


Rust through condition on right sub-frame supporting engine, transmission, right front suspension. Air conditioning condenser drain tube drips condensation/water directly onto this area of the sub-frame causing severe corrosion and eventually part failure leaving engine, transmission, right front suspension without proper alignment and support that can happen at any speed. Acura denounced any knowledge of this problem. Left side of same part is not effected at all. Internet search has discovered numerous instances of this problem. Tsb has been issued for 1999-2002 Honda Accord cars with this same problem. But manufacture's solution was to move the location of the drain tube in future model years of the car. I paid an independent repair shop $2,600 to replace the rear sub-frame section. The dealership wanted to replace both front and rear sub-frames but the front section was not effected and did not require replacement. The repair shot I took my car to to have the work done praised the car for being spotless underneath except for the effected area. Problem was discovered on August 16, 2016.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #3

Mar 042016


  • 161,000 miles
Power steering pressure hose leaking and power steering pump leak. Years 2004-27 have been recalled for this; 2003should be, as well. Right engine mount and rear engine mounts cracked or broken.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #2

Dec 082010

TL 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Power steering pump leaked and failed at 54,000 miles, steering became difficult, replaced by dealer under warranty. Power steering pump leaking and squealing at 122,000 miles. Contacted Acura and they are requiring $1700 to repair the failure. Dealer added steering fluid and noise decrease temporarily. Steering starting to get stiff, February 16, 2011.

- Westampton, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 102006

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Steering failed - steering wheel would turn freely without affecting the front wheels. Occurred in a parking lot so the driver was able to stop the vehicle before hitting anything. A serious problem.

- League City, TX, USA

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