NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2004 Acura TL (Page 1 of 2)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,180 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.

2004 Acura TL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Acura TL Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Apr 082014

TL 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


My son purchased a new 2004 Acura TL from the elk grove ca dealership with money he saved while in the navy. He has had the car and maintained it through the end of last year but has been aware for awhile that the transmission is in need of replacing. There was a NHTSA recall (04V176000) April 15, 2004 for power train transmissions like the automatic transmission in my son's car and motor trend magazine posted that it potentially 1,000,796. We believe that our son's car has the same problem, whether or not the VIN was in the exact lot selected for the official recall. When my son got out of the navy, he moved around quite a bit while finishing his bachelor's degree and did not receive any information regarding this matter from Acura and did not hear about it otherwise. We have taken the car to the fremont, ca Acura dealership but they are refusing to acknowledge any culpability or replace the transmission, though there are obvious, well-known, historical transmission issues with Acura. Refusal is, of course, the first line of defense in corporate America, but we hate to see his hard earned money ($30K+) spent on what was supposed to be a high-performing, luxury vehicle.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #23

Dec 142012

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura TL. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to a mechanic for routine maintenance and he was informed that there was a transmission leak on both sides of the mount. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who inspected the failure and advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 04/30/13 the dealer discovered the leak was coming from both side of the differential and the axle was loose. Updated 05/20/13

- Seattle , WA, USA

problem #22

Aug 092010

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura TL. The contact stated that dashboard crack under the passenger side air bag. The contact stated the passenger side air bag had become exposed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the dashboard was not covered under warranty. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 125,000....updated 12/03/12 updated 12/06/2012

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #21

Apr 082011


  • 109,500 miles


Driving highway speed, and the transmission failed. Engine was revving, but there was no response at the wheels. The car is now with a transmission specialist where I have been to, D it will require a complete rebuild of the failed transmission system.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #20

Dec 142010

TL 6-cyl

  • 103,500 miles
Sudden loss of power to the wheels while driving. When I pressed on the accelerator the engine rpms would increase but the car would not move forward or speed up. This first happened while driving down a residential street. Had I been making a left turn with on-coming traffic it could have been dangerous. This appeared to be caused by a slipping transmission. It occurred unexpectedly when the transmission and engine were warm (after driving several miles). I later found that after the car had cooled, the transmission would behave normally until it got warm again. First they said my transmission fluid needed to be changed. They did that and said the car was running normally again. I left the dealership and had the same loss of power within a few miles. I let the car cool down and then returned to the dealer. They then diagnosed it as transmission failure. I had the transmission replaced with a factory rebuilt transmission at the dealership at my expense. My warranty had expired 3,000 miles earlier.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Letter to the administrator from re problems with his 2004 Acura TL the consumer stated his vehicle recently started sputtering during acceleration at low speeds. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer and was later informed the transmission needed to be replaced. The consumer later discovered a recall had been issued for the 2nd gear. The consumer inquired about having the work performed under the recall. However, the dealer stated the recall had already been performed previously. The consumer stated when he purchased the vehicle, it had 30,394 miles on it and if the recall was performed prior to him purchasing the vehicle, it wasn't done properly.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #18

Jun 272010


  • 60,000 miles


At six years and 60K miles, the automatic transmission on my 2004 TL had to be rebuilt at a cost of $3,200. The car was out of warranty and Acura would not extend the warranty. I am very disappointed. I expected greater longevity from this transmission.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 262009


  • 83,886 miles
While driving home from a doctors visit, my 2004 Acura 3.2tl would not shift into 2nd gear, the engine would rev up but the car would not move, RPM's would just jump up and down like it was stuck in neutral. I shut the car off, turned it back on and it worked fine for another two miles before acting up again. I took the car to harper Acura of knoxville and they suggested I get a power flush of the transmission and that would most likely solve the problem, so I agreed. Later that day I picked up the car, (richard, service manager) said they flushed the system, added some type of gel additive to lock in whatever was lose inside the transmission and that the more I drove it the better it will be. Well I took it home, drove it around and it kept acting up, I didn't think anything of it and kept driving per richards suggestion. Car still slips out of second gear going up hills or at traffic light. I'm having to shut the car off in the middle of traffic and then re-start and drive off, but I'm afraid if I keep driving like this, transmission will completely fail. According to NHTSA there is a recall on the power transmission for this year and model car however according to Acura, it doesn't apply to my VIN number even though the car was manufactured in 2004. Acura corporate office wont explain why my transmission is not recalled, however others are and their from the same year, model and manufacturing plant. Now I have to figure out how take my two year old daughter to school every morning and risk her safety as well as mine in a car with faulty transmission that Acura doesn't want to take any responsibility for. My car only has 83,000 miles on it.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #16

Jun 262009


  • 66,755 miles
I was satisfied with this car until recently. Presently having a problem with front end vibration. Changed and balanced tires, plus alignment. Problem still continues. Returned car to dealer for recheck and was informed that the vibration is my transmission going bad. Approx. 66000 miles on the car. If this is the case something needs to be done.

- Miami Gardens, FL, USA

problem #15

May 042009


  • 98,000 miles
2004 Acura 3.2tl- transmission slipped while I was driving the car on the highway.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #14

Sep 142008


  • miles


2004 Acura TL-transmission failure- well this has not happened to my car as of yet but I can feel the slipping of the transmission and im positive it will go out at anytime, and from what it states in your list Acura has an acknowledgement that this is happening on 2004-2005 TL's transmission. As it states in the review it could cause a crash if it locks up which could be fatal or non-fatal. I would like to know why this isn't a recall since so many have been affected by this issue and if its possible to get them to because its involving my safety as well as others if it occurred while driving. Thanks, william osborne

- West Valley, UT, USA

problem #13

Oct 022008


  • 73,000 miles
Transmission shudder at 35-50 M.P.H while transmission is shifting through gears.

- Gardiner, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 052008


  • 122,500 miles
Sudden transmission failure, without any warning or previous noise. Similar symptoms of a previous recall, but Honda insists it does not affect my VIN.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 262008

TL 6-cyl

  • 66,501 miles
As I was driving on interstate 8 West bound on cruise control about 65mph. I get a smell of oil burning, as I look at my dash I see the RPM at 4K. So I turn off my cruise control as I step on the gas, nothing happens. So I continue to roll and pull over. When I open my hood alot of oil on my engine.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #10

Aug 312007

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Acura 3.2tl. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle lost power. The contact attempted to accelerate, but the vehicle failed to move. The dealer performed an oil change on the vehicle the day prior to the failure and they stated that everything looked fine. When a tow truck was called, the vehicle would shift into drive, but not into reverse. The vehicle would then only drive in reverse regardless of the gear. The dealer stated that the vehicle needed a new transmission. The current and failure mileages were 90,000. Updated 01/07/08. Acura agreed to cover a portion of the consumers rental expenses. Updated 12/12/07

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Apr 242007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Acura TL customer states that he was not happy with the service received and the work was not done correctly* the consumer took his vehicle to have the recall performed regarding the transmission, however when he received his vehicle back, it was in worse shape than when he brought in. The seats were covered with footprints and dirt, the windshield had a layer of greasy smoke film on the inside, the wiring was dangling beneath the glove compartment and the brake light wouldn't turn off for several minutes.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 012004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
Vibration at 50-55 mph. Sometimes worse than others. Can make car feel unstable. Changing tires did not help.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #7

Oct 152004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 458 miles
Vibration leading to a shudder in the front end of a 2004 Acura TL. Vibration starts at 1500 RPM up through 2000 RPM at 45 mph through 60 mph. Vibration and shudder is intermittent in nature and can be quite severe causing you to slow down. Car has been back to the dealer 3 times since I purchased it in October 2004. They have aligned the motor mounts, balanced the tires, adjusted the solenoid on the transmission and adjusted a heat shield. Still have the problem. Spoke with Acura client service and was told this is a driving characteristic of the car but their engineers are working on it. They assigned a case # to it B01-2004-11-1100593, my case managers name is ed. At present they have no fix for the problem and I don't feel they know what the problem is. I have noticed many postings on the internet from other Acura TL owners having the same problem.

- Cortland, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 102004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Have owned the car less than 1 week, and upon delivery of the car noticed a high-pitched whine at about 35 to 40 mph. The whine continues up through higher speeds, and continues throughout deceleration down to about 15 to 20 mph. Took into the service department who contacted Acura usa about the problem. They isolated the whine coming from the transmission, and they are sending a new (?) transmission as a replacement. I feel that this is terrible that the car was not diagnosed with a problem and then allowed to be sold with a transmission defect. I want nothing short of a total replacement.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 042004

TL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 675 miles
Recently purchased an accura 2004 TL.car currently has 600 miles.noticed a vibrations between the speeds of 45 to 55 mph.took the car back to dealer(rick case) twice to have the wheels rebalanced.did not remove the vibration.the third time back to the dealer I was told that Acura is aware of the problem and that all TL's have this issue.I called Honda.they said there is nothing they intend to do regarding the problem and that the vibration is normal for the 2004's as it goes into 5th gear.

- Davie, FL, USA

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