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:
88,100 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Honda Accord:

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

2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 292008


  • 91,200 miles


My case is very similar to ODI id number: 10251868. I was driving on the freeway. The engine overheated and it was found that the upper radiator hose burst. Engine oil leaked into the cooling system also. The Honda dealer torn down the engine, and did a series of inspections, leak down test, and pressure test. No visible sign of a blown head gasket. No signs of warping and/or cracks on the cylinder head. The service manager said it is probably due to a very porous cylinder head. The most likely cause for the engine overheating is as follows: The porous cylinder head allowed engine oil to leak into the cooling system. The oil deteriorated the rubber gasket on the thermostat. (this was indicated by fresh engine oil residue found on the damaged rubber gasket of the original thermostat.) the deteriorated rubber gasket blocked the flow of the coolant. Without enough flow rate to cool down the system, the coolant boiled inside the hoses. Pressure built up, and the upper radiator hose burst. Coolant leaked out from the damaged hose, and the engine overheated. This is the first time the car has this problem. It has no major problems before. I completed all necessary maintenance on time according to the owner's manual. All major maintenance services were performed by the dealer. To correct the failure, the dealer recommended replacing the whole cylinder head, but the total repair cost for it, including changing the oil-contaminated hoses and others, cost more than $4200. It's just too expensive. All the old parts (damaged hoses, thermostat, etc) are available. Fyi, if it helps any investigations, this car is still torn apart at the dealer as of today.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 152008


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. The contact did not notice any failures with the vehicle prior to the failure. She took the vehicle to a Nissan dealer for a routine tune-up and was informed that oil was leaking in the cooling system. The mechanic flushed the cooling system and the contact drove to her residence. A few days later, she wanted a second opinion and drove to a Honda dealer. The mechanic stated that there was a crack in the head gasket. The vehicle has not been repaired and the manufacturer has not been notified. The contact has supporting documents to confirm the failure. The current mileage was 90,000 and failure mileage was 85,000.

- Brea, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?