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:
101,500 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 1 of 4)

problem #71

Jul 092009

Accord 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles


The clear coat turned white and flaked off making the car ugly. I am about to have it repainted, after replacing a faulty transmission and engine.

- Jim R., Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, US

problem #70

Sep 012013

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

Would understand if I lived in a highly industrious area and the car was exposed to harsh chemicals/acid rain but not the case. The car's finish was always kept in good condition. No harsh chemicals to clean it and soft clothes to wipe her down. The car was polished every fall and spring and treated with kid gloves.

So why did the paint/glaze start to have a "peeled" look to it back a few years ago and has continued to get worse.? I registered with Honda and they had no "recalls". The color green is my favorite - its a beauty with ivory interior and looks classic and try to find this deep sparklie green in cars today - you can't. For some reason we have more black cars then anything or white cars or beige cars but no green cars.

Anyway had mechanics look and its not something I did or didn't do-this happened to many cars around this year (2002) and is something with the paint or glazing process.

If you look around, you'll see this on Toyota. Honda, even GM cars and to fix will cost $1000 or higher unless you go to Mayco or Earl Sheib.

That's it for this complaint :)

- cargal, Westfield, NJ, US

problem #69

Jan 042016

Accord EX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,458 miles

Terrible paint job on babied (less than 10,000 miles driven annually) vehicle.

- goodmerci, Moreno Valley, CA, US

problem #68

Nov 012011

Accord LX 4-2.3l_fi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,086 miles


I bought this Honda brand new, and it is in excellent working condition, except for he fact that it looks like it has the mange. A friend of mine bought her Honda Accord at the same dealer at the same time as I did, and she has the same exact problem. My car is green, hers is black. We are both embarrassed to drive around in them, because they look like junk cars, and they are not. For the fact that a Honda is supposed to have a longevity, these look as though they have not been taken care. My car is now 14 years old it only has 77,880 miles on it. If it didn't look like it had the mange it would not look like a 14 year old car. The interior is fabric, and is in pristine condition. I think Honda should do something about it. This is not a good advertisement for their product, where this is not the fault of the owner. It has been housed in New England, but not exposed to extreme heat, or near the salt water air. My friend got an estimate of at the lowest would be 2500.00. I do not have the means to have it fixed. Because of its age, according to my insurance company, the trade in value is 3600.00, but if a dealer looked at the exterior I doubt if they would give me that much as a trade in.

- Neile G., Stoughton, MA, US

problem #67

Oct 012014

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,250 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

My car, when all one color... is a nice looking (as my Son's friend put it, sexy) car, but then the clear coat started failing. Now it's like I'm driving a beater. Then... This guy hits my front end. The hood and bumper, so I get it fixed, beautiful job, but it just makes the rest of it look worse. The hood was doing the best and just starting to fail, which makes me feel like the original hood was done with better paint. Look at the trunk lid, looks like crap. wtf? So, because of the situation, getting a decent paint job cost an arm and a leg and your first born. HONDA, shame on you.

- thewongwoman, Concord, CA, US

problem #66

Jan 122015

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,000 miles

Just looks really bad. Faded paint down the center of my car

- Teresa K., Brunswick, US

problem #65

Aug 102010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Was unaware that Honda extended the paint warranty. The paint and coat on my car is wearing off. Was never notified of recall.

- David M., Rahway, US

problem #64

Mar 012013

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I have had Honda's all of my life! I am on my 6th Honda and I have never had a paint problem until now. My 2002 Honda Accord paint is peeling. My brother still has my 1998 Honda Civic and his paint is perfect. I want a new paint job and I want Honda to pay for it!

- annie91711, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, US

problem #63

Apr 122013

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,166 miles

I've noticed several Honda Accords within this year and neighboring years with the same problem. It isn't the drivers' poor care or weather issue. I believe it is the company's faulty choice in primer and paint. All things matter on a car not just the mechanism.

- Lewanda M., New York, US

problem #62

Jul 202012

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

After reading a lot of forums, there is no doubt that the clear coat was defective on a wide range of models and Honda will never issue a recall unless they are sued since it will cost them more than they are willing to pay. I am very disappointed as I have owned Hondas all my life and have always bought them new. My car looks horrible and I am embarrassed to be driving it but we cannot afford to to buy another one. When you spend 20K for a car, you expect it to last. None of other cars had this problem and they were parked in the same conditions. We also got the dealer excuses and told that since our car was older, they could not do anything. Its not our fault the clear coat you used was defective and you should fix it!

Bad form, Honda, bad form!

- dee14, Monroe, CT, US

problem #61

Jan 302010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I love my Honda. It had a pretty, sparkly black paint finish. Then it started cracking under the clear coat. Now it has gone from bad to disgusting looking. People look at my car and say what a piece of junk. I still park as far away as possible from other cars but it attracts the real junk cars because of the peeling paint. When I took it to Honda for an airbag recall they couldn't wait to get it out of the service lane as fast as possible. The paint is absolutely horrible and Honda did not want to hear about it when I called several years ago. It is 12 years old with 120,000 miles - still in its prime - and looks like CRAP.

- flynnnm, Albuquerque, NM, US

problem #60

May 012007

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

It seems to me that of all the 2002 Honda Accords I have seen, the majority are either in desperate need of a paint job or have already been repainted. I'm disappointed that my clear coat is gone and my paint is fading, cracking, chipping away and Honda is aware of the poor paint and has no desire to assist customers with correcting this issue. I've already had mine this long with the issues as they are but hopefully next year I will find an affordable paint shop to make my baby look better than it did the day it came off the assembly line.

- ncaddy, Acworth, GA, US

problem #59

Feb 012014

Accord EX-L 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

An otherwise excellent car, the black paint looks so trashy that I'm not sure if I'll buy another new Honda until I know this issue is fixed. My kids call it the "leopard car" because of its spots. It's definitely not just normal oxidation, no matter how much Honda will try to convince you otherwise. It makes me start to worry how long until my grey 05 Odyssey has the same fate. Shame on you Honda...where's your recall?

- manifesto11, Broomfield, CO, US

problem #58

Sep 012012

Accord EX 4

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,000 miles

My car looks like it has leprosy. Never had this problem with any of the Hondas my family has owned before. My brother's Honda is an 1992 and its paint is still perfect. What gives?!

- Kate P., Cochranville, PA, US

problem #57

Jul 012009

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Like many other Hondas of this era, peeling clear coat, followed by peeling paint, mainly on horizontal surfaces (hood, roof, trunk)

- Clint W., Bel Air, MD, US

problem #56

Dec 072012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

My Honda Accord V6 is a great running car, even after 14 years. However the clear coat and paint has been systematically peeling and dissolving for the past 6 years. It appears that this has been happening to many car owners who have the same year car. People say, "Oh yeah. That's a problem with Hondas."

I would like to keep this car and have it look as well as it runs.

I would like to be proud of owning my Honda. Peeling paint is not an emergency, but it surely reflects badly on Honda manufacturers.

- gail.mclaughlin, McKinney, TX, US

problem #55

Jan 012013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

Paint is peeling/dissolving pretty bad on the trunk, and has started on the roof now as well. Trim along windows is also beginning to peel. Honda dealership won't take care of me, I stopped by yesterday. This car has been the most reliable car I've ever owned, and I love it, but it is completely embarrassing driving around with this paint problem, it makes it look like I'm a high schooler driving his first car that his parents could barely afford. Only 123k miles on the car. Quotes to repaint are too high for my financial situation, I'm not spending $1500+ to do something to a car that isn't necessary to it's driving condition. $1500 cosmetic issue for shoddy paint from the factory is not something I feel I should be responsible for.

My parents recently donated an old vehicle to me and my wife which I will be driving now, and selling my Accord, even though the Accord is the better vehicle. My main reason is financial as I still owe on the Accord, and I am expecting a child so I wanted a 4 door, but I will be happy to get rid of this eyesore.

I will be very leery about purchasing a Honda in the future for this very reason. It's very unfortunate since I love the car and it has been great, but you know it's bad when I am less embarrassed driving around a Ford Freestar minivan than this ratty looking Honda.

- celticmoose, Mount Vernon, WA, US

problem #54

Sep 012013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 198,000 miles

I noticed the clear coat peeling off of the hood, roof and trunk area last fall. It is worse on the roof. I love my Accord, but I do not look forward to having to pay for an expensive paint job. This would be a deciding factor regarding my decision to buy another Honda in the future. My Accord has been very, very reliable. This is my second Honda Accord. It would be nice if Honda would be willing to chip in on the paint job. I am considering a new car, but if Honda does not make good on at least part of the paint job, then I guess they have lost a loyal customer.

- jheepke, Alton, IL, US

problem #53

Jan 312013

Accord EX

  • Manual transmission
  • 120,000 miles

White spots appeared on trunk and then on the back roof. Car has been taken care of and have never had this happen to a car. Honda has been known for their quality; this is not a quality paint job. I noticed another black Honda Accord at the grocery store with the same exact problem. Spots were in the same places.... Honda should back up their product and provide a fix since it isn't an isolated incident.

- Monica M., Rockford, MI, US

problem #52

Jun 012011

Accord SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

click to see larger images

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

I would expect the paint to last as long as the life of the vehicle on a modern car. I have a '94 Buick that has spent most of its life outside and it has no issues with the paint. This is an '02 Accord that has been garaged its whole life and looks terrible.

- Andrew R., Brownsburg, IN, US

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