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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,250 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.

2002 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 012013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


The middle of my steering wheel or where my airbag would deploy is sticky and the vinyl has lost its integrity. My center console under the dashboard has melted to the point I have had to cover it with felt because everything sticks to it. It's like tar. Approximately a year ago, I called Honda and spoke to a representative who told me she never heard of such a problem, and that unfortunately I was not covered under warranty anymore. She would make note of it. I was to take it to a dealer to see what they had to say about it. Maybe they would have a cleaner to solve the problem. Knowing there would be no cleaner in the world to get rid of the goo, I did not make an appointment. I did, however, just recently see a segment on our local news featuring 'melting dashboards" which described my problem. My car is garage kept. I lived in New Jersey and moved to Florida in 2006.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 012008

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased this vehicle, a 2002 Honda Accord ex V-6, in 2008 with 45,000 miles. I began to notice hesitation when changing gears, and a hard jerk that would occur while first gear changes to second gear. I took it to the local Honda dealership, and they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle. Six years later at 130,000 miles, my vehicle still does the same thing while driving. I have talked with other Honda owners, same model, and they all have had the same problem. I don't understand why this issue has not been recognized yet. It is not only unsafe, but unfair to not provide owners with some type of resolution. Don't even get me started on the clearcoat that has also worn off.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #6

Nov 132013


  • 104,000 miles
Problem with structure - vehicle making a knocking/crunching noise. Took it to Honda dealership and was advised that the subframe on the front passenger side, below where the ac unit drains, is rusted through. The car was deemed unsafe and inoperable. To the extent that this was the result of a design defect - I.e., where the ac unit/draining is placed - the manufacturer should be made aware of it and perhaps recall vehicles to protect consumers from injury.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #5

Aug 102013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 162,000 miles


The subframe that supports the engine/transaxle and the front suspension is rusting through on the right side. This can result in a catastrophic failure during operation of the vehicle, and appears to be a very common defect in this generation of Accord. Most mechanics attribute the cause of the defect to the location of the airconditioner drain tube that drips condensation onto the subframe while it is running.

- Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #4

May 222013


  • 145,000 miles
The clear coat on my Honda Accord is peeling off the car. The car has been well maintained. The paint is now greatly affecting my resale value and seems to be a common problem with Honda paint.

- Jacksonville , FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 092003

(reported on)


  • miles
Reflection of the dashboard is causing poor visibility during inclement weather, as well as at different lighting situations.

- Braintree, MA, USA

problem #2

Apr 232003

(reported on)


  • 3,000 miles
The dashboard reflected in the windshield, when driving in direct sunlight.

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012003

(reported on)


  • miles
When the consumer drove toward direct sunlight, the dash board reflected the sun light toward the windshield, which impaired consumer's visibility.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

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