Notes: The 2002 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, subframe rust, & problems with the airbag system (SRS). We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.

The SRS warning light likes to come on due to a defective seat belt sensor -- typically the driver's side. This sensor is covered under Honda's lifetime seat belt warranty, but some dealers charge a $100+ "diagnostic fee" or tell customers the entire SRS unit ($800) is bad.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,465 miles
Total Complaints:
71 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. surface needs preparation and then be repainted (32 reports)
  2. not sure (25 reports)
  3. repaint (14 reports)
2002 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Sep 042012

Accord LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


Paint started to fade in spots and then spread with the clear coat flaking and pealing and then the red paint fading quickly on the roof and rear trunk lid mostly and some ares on the hood and tops of the rear side panels.

- , Fleming Island, FL, USA

problem #50

Feb 012013

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Paint is peeling on the roof of my car. It start as slight discoloration then spread.

- , Unionville, CT, USA

problem #49

Jun 012010

Accord SE 2.3L 4-cyl Vtec Ulev

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I take really good care of my car and it look absolutely terrible. When I heard that other people were having the same problem it made me irritated that Honda hasn't issued a recall and provided me with a free paint job.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #48

Sep 122013

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,016 miles


I was told by my local HONDA dealer that it was caused by too much time in the sun HUH?? how many people NEVER TAKE THEIR CAR IN THE SUN?

I have had every imaginable car and never ran into this problem-HONDA should stand behind their cars and fix this problem immediately

- , Spokane, WA, USA

problem #47

Sep 102013

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,225 miles

I purchased the car as it was just what I wanted-I took it to the Honda Dealership Autonation Honda service department and was told the whole car had to be repainted

- , Spokane, WA, USA

problem #46

Dec 012009

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Car paint started peeling years ago ... peeling and flaking off. It started with a crackly white surface and just festered and grew to the disgusting embarrassing mess it is today. The top of the car near the back window and the back trunk are the worst spots. This started in at least 2009, perhaps earlier. I just ignored the problem hoping it would go away (call me naive, but I've never experienced anything like it).

- , Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #45

Feb 022010

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


click to see larger images

paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving

The car is perfect for except for the horrible paint job! It is a wonderful car and I have no other complaint . Please fix this for me so I don't need to start shouting to the world that you are not kind to old ladies.

My son-in-law said since I brought this to his attention that he has seen many, many Honda's with the same problem.

What happened to your customer service and why has there never been a re-call over this issue???????????


- , Frederick, MD, USA

problem #44

Oct 092008

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I have a 2002 Honda Accord Coupe. I bought the car in 2005. In 2008 I started to notice paint and coat dissolving little by little. I take very good care of my car. I do not over-wash it, I wash bird poop off immediately. Also, it was garage stored all the time. However, the car started too look like a disaster. Honda didn't want to do anything about it. Excuses, excuses, no surprise.

If anyone else is having this problem please say so. Honda is more interested in saving money on primer and cheap paint. But money doesn't grow on trees especially for the working class. So when I pay $22, 000 for my car, the least they can do is spend a tad more for the paint.

- , Treasure Island, FL, USA

problem #43

Jan 012010

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

We loved Hondas so much we decided to purchase our second one in 2005. We decided on a 2002 Accord Se. To this day, I haven't had not one issue with this car. Except the paint. We noticed white spots starting to appear on the hood, and the trunk. The white blotches became larger very quickly. Looks like someone buffed out or erased the black paint. Recently I was leaving a training class with a coworker, and as we walked to our cars, we noticed we both had Honda Accords with the same exact paint issue. Like twin cars! After that I became angry having a feeling this is a known issue. I was correct, after seeing hundreds of complaints online. Yet nothing is being done. I immediately contacted Honda. Of course they told me there is no known issues and no recalls so they can't help me. Also suggested I go to a Honda dealership who may be able to give me a discount but they didn't think so. Wow Honda, really? Thanks for taking responsibility and taking care of a KNOWN problem that your customers (who have spent alot of money on your cars) have. RECALL and pay for paint issues that are because of the paint / clear coat you have chosen to use. Its NOT due to after, regular wear and tear, or because the car is old. Those are the excuses you give your customers!

- , Tampa, FL, US

problem #42

Jan 012010

Accord SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

I have a black 2002 Honda Accord SE and I first noticed the paint chipping off above the windshield area, then the roof and now different smaller areas throughout the car.It looks awful and there should be a recall!

- , Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #41

May 042012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles


Honda is advertised as a great reliable car. This is a defect caused by the quality of the paint job . I have older cars with perfect paint jobs. Honda should fix this problem, it is there mistake, I have seen many cars with the same problem. If they wont stand up and do the right thing I beg everyone to never buy a honda product, If this is not fixed by them I will never consider buying another product from there company. I thought a car company of this size should be forced to fix this problem. My 2000 chevolet truck looks practically brand new as far as the paint is concerned. Honda should be ashamed of the way they are avoiding this problem.

- , Clinton, SC, US

problem #40

Jan 012010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

paint looks like lots of other hondas - dark colored hondas that I see - can't be just me, how about some help.

- , Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #39

Aug 012005

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


- , San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #38

Jan 262008

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

As an ASE Certified Technician who also repairs weapon systems for the Abrams Battle Tank, I can assure you I know how to properly maintain an automobile and systems such as Body Coatings are a no brainer. I have owned a 1992 Honda Accord EX 4 cylinder since it had only 7,000 miles on it and only recently sold it in 2007 to a friend with ORIGINAL paint and the ONLY damage to the paint was where I bumped the front fender and it started cracking and peeling off, which is normal and expected. I bought this Honda brand new, fully loaded with EVERY bell and whistle, and actually picked it out as it was being offloaded from the truck and still had body protective wrapping all over it. I know with current technology and body coating science that this type of behavior from a car I treated MUCH better than my 1992 is neither normal nor expected. I ALMOST had this car painted, but luckily my wife, who normally NEVER finds info like this on the 'net, found this systematic complaint for this model. Very few models other than accord were complained about. Could this be due to the fact that the Accord is the best selling model? Don't know. All I know is that I am about to post as much as I can about this and find ALL the people I can in my greater area to start an awareness campaign so all new Honda Accord prospects can be made aware of this potential problem that VERY LIKELY will plague them in the NEAR future. Thanks for giving me an initial platform.

- , Killeen, TX, USA

problem #37

Dec 312010

Accord SE 4v

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

had my accord for many years and it's working fine except for the cheap paint is coming off. It looks horrible and cheap. It's the clear coat that comes off and I don't want to spend the money to paint it. So disappointed!

- , Edison, NJ, USA

problem #36

Nov 012011

Accord LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have had my Honda for 10 years, and recently the paint started going bad. I see the same thing on all Honda cars that I run across. Obviously, there was a problem with all the cars with the same problem. Honda refuses to address the problem, saying stuff like conditions, bird poop, etc. Problem is bad paint and application. This problem needs to fixed right away. I will never buy another Honda, if this is not fixed.

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #35

Jan 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

As much as cars cost, the paint on it should last the entire life of the car!

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #34

Jan 052012

Accord SE 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

My 2002 Honda Accord SE has been a pretty good car for me. I take honorable care of my car. It has only had just the maintenance things done for it. A recall for an air bag that got taken care of. I wash and wax with good products and even made sure I wash and wax the proper way. It is also in the garage through the winter. Some Honda owners do not have the luxury of a garage. Shouldn't it be

So, when I started seeing grayish circular spots on the roof I was upset. Of course, they were small at first, but now they are the size of a desert dish and a couple on both doors. If this keeps up, the car will definitely look old and will bring a considerably lesser amount if I want to sell out right or trade in.

I called Honda and asked what could be done, but I was told nothing. I had a Plymouth Acclaim that a similar thing happened to the paint. Plymouth was decent about it and sent me a recall to get the paint fixed.

What am a to do?

I just thought that Honda was a decent and dependable car manufacturer .

- , Warren, OH, US

problem #33

Sep 012010

Accord Sedan 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

click to see larger images

paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving paint and clearcoat dissolving

I owned a 2002 Honda Accord EX Sedan in a dark metallic green color. The car spent the first five years of its life in a garage and I handed it down to my son. My son took loving care of the vehicle, polishing it with wax twice a summer. About two years ago I noticed that the paint was starting to peel off and by now there are clearly large patches that will be failing soon. The paint starts to get a whitish-gray sort of dull look and then it's gone. I took the photos attached and printed them out enclosed in a letter of complaint to Honda. I mentioned that this is one of five Hondas that I've owned over the years. Honda called me in response to the letter saying that the car is too old, out of warranty and there's nothing that can be done. I commented that my son's 1994 Honda looked better than this one and for that matter, I've never seen anything like this on any of the other Honda paint jobs that I've ever owned, BUT I did see similarly colored Honda vehicles in mall parking lots and passing on the road that did have the same issue. Honda said that they've had no complaints about this and won't provide any kind of assistance. The car is going to need a complete paint job. I've never ever seen this poor of a condition in how paint holds up to the elements, but this is horrible. I also mentioned that I would expect that of a car designed and manufactured in the US to have that problem but never Honda. It has certainly taken the sheen off of the Honda company as far as I'm concerned. Very disappointed.

- , Highland, IN, USA

problem #32

Nov 022010

Accord SE 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Paint is peeling off the trunk of my car, looks like shifting continents, makes the car look old and uncared for. No rust yet, just aesthetically unappealing. I see this all the time on Hondas from the 1990's and 2000's, have not noticed it on any other brand. Just curious how many people have this problem and if there is anything people have done other than having the car repainted.

- , Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

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