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:
13,500 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Acura TL:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Acura TL Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 202004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,500 miles


2003 Acura 3.2 TL previously reported sudden downshift from 5th gear to 2nd gear at highway speeds. Vehicle inspected by gettel Acura in sarasota, fl. Told "cannot reproduce problem so Honda/Acura will not authorize any repairs". vehicle is still at dealer, they are attempting to reproduce problem. Have been told by Acura customer care that my vehicle is "outside the VIN number series covered by previous NHTSA investigations" and my vehicle is not a candidate for repair, despite the 7 year, 100K mile extended warranty. Was told "we believe you, but if we cannot reproduce the problem, there is nothing we can do...why should we dump thousands of dollars in parts into your car if we can't find anything wrong?" I explained their liabiliy and the potential safety hazard, as, the vehicle had suddenly downshifted from 5th gear to 2nd, twice in last 5 days. Acura/Honda appears to be stonewalling, and I will have to seek legal counsel in order to compel them to comply with the terms of the extended transmission warranty...before the transmission failure causes an accident or injury to myself or my family. Acura insists the transmission problems were "fixed" before the car was built, so there is no way I could be having the same problems, and I was chastized for quoting information from NHTSA investigation results...they told me "you aren't a mechanic, and trying to get a new transmission because you read something on the web doen't mean your car has a problem". this was courtesy of "robin" at Acura customer care department on 2/24/04.. the dealership called today, stated it was raining, so they couldn't take my car out to run diagnostics..and they'll try again "tomorrow". if they find nothing wrong, they plan on returning the vehicle to me, unrepaired.. I am most certainly scared to get back behind the wheel of this vehicle, due to the two sudden downshifts that nearly caused loss of control of the vehicle.. Acura is not complying with it's agreement with NHTSA.

- St. Pete Beach, FL, USA

Not what you are looking for?