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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
140,517 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #13

May 062016


  • 279,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. While driving various speeds, the contact observed a loud abnormal sound from the vehicle and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. In addition, the contact mentioned that she had the codes printed that showed that the torque converter and cylinder failed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 279,000.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #12

Oct 012015


  • 182,500 miles
Although this vehicle has been properly maintained, the engine block is very cracked, which caused the radiator to get oil all in it. The car is not driveable.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 112011


  • miles
The check engine light has given me a problem about 3 months after I purchased it used in 2011. Since then I have had the muffler fixed twice just recently March 22,2016 cost was $422 and prior in 2014.. the check engine light just keeps coming on, and the vehicle inspection is failing because of emissions. I am fearful that odorless gasses are seeping into the car which is a hazard to myself and passangers

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #10

Jul 012015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently and the engine stalled. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the starter need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the pressure was down and the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #9

Aug 122015


  • 146,055 miles
Driving around 60 M/P/H on 08/12/15, a bang came from the right passenger side of the car. When I got home I inspected the problem. The engine sub-frame had rotten and fell apart, I was very lucky I did'nt have a bad accident. I went online and found out that Honda had it ac drainpipe directs water, which is right onto the sub-frame in this section, which cause it to rust out faster than the rest of the frame. I will be getting it repaired, because my granddaugther need this car to get work & college. Honda motor should repay me. I understand that Honda know about this problem some years ago. (1999 - 2002 problem).

- West Henrietta, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 222015

Accord 4-cyl

  • 130,500 miles
My Honda was idling as I was clearing the snow off of the vehicle. When I got into my car, I could smell exhaust fumes, I assumed it was because it was idling. As I drove home, the smell faded, so I did not pay much attention to it. On 1/31/15 I had my car inspected & the oil changed. Aside from having the brakes & rotors replaced, all was well & the car passed inspection. On 2/8/15 I was driving home from the grocery store. Suddenly my oil light starts to blink & the smell of exhaust fumes becomes over whelming. I opened my windows & continued home. I pulled the car into the garage & noticed a trail of oil. I backed the car out of the garage & there was a pool of oil on the garage floor. My husband & I checked to be sure the drain plug & filter were intact, then we checked the oil level and it was empty! we were lucky the engine did not seize up! we took the car to our non-Honda mechanic who informed us that the balance seal had blown out. As a result oil sprayed all over the left side of the engine.this is what was causing the exhaust fume smell permeating the cabin. He told me that he can replace the seal, but that he would also have to replace the timing belt, water pump, pulleys, tensioner, cam & crank. He also told me that Honda is aware of this problem & that the balance seals now come with a bracket to hold them in place. I asked him if there was a recall on the balance seals & he told me no, most likely due to the cost of the repair. I had to pay $848 to repair my car due to a blown seal that Honda is aware of. Honda should most definitely recall this model of Accord & fix the balance seal issue; for no other reason other than the dangerous fumes that filled the interior of my car. I'd like to be reimbursed for the cost of this repair. If you suddenly smell exhaust fumes, get the balance seal checked immediately as it is a warning!

- Malvern, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012015

Accord 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles


The seal on the balance shaft came out, draining all the engine oil out of the car. Possibly causing engine damage. The car had it's timing belt changed, now it has to be done again. Could have caused an engine fire. Honda does not have a recall but should. Dorman made a part to lock the seal in to prevent it from happening. Honda should have to reimburse for the expense.

- Firth, ID, USA

problem #6

Jan 132014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I have Honda Accord 2002 which has been regularly serviced by Honda dealers. I recently got my 120K service done and spend about $1000 on service and parts. At that time everything was diagnosed ok. After couple of months driving the engine light came on. I went to the dealer and was told that my car needs transmission replacement with a cost of $4000 upward. I researched on the web and came to know that the 2002 Accord have transmission issues. A recall was done in 2004 for transmission. I didn't receive any recall notice from Honda in 2004. Since Honda knows about the issue I think Honda should be liable to pay for the cost of fixing the transmission. Could anyone let me know what is my rights in this situation considering it is a known issue and Honda did nothing about it. It is a potential safety hazard since faulty transmission can lock the engine resulting in crash. Please advise.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 302013


  • 269,000 miles
August 2013 - just stopped while driving; placed in park and started ok; December 2013 - stopped on highway while driving - 60 mph in center lane - dangerous - placed in park and started again. Took to mechanic who replaced ignition switch as old Honda have been having this problem two days later, just stopped while driving on highway. Placed in park and tried to start; turned over, but didn't start - waited 1/2 hour - started again. Drove about 10 miles, then stopped again. Called tow truck. Now it starts, but I'm afraid to go anywhere note: Feels like I ran out of gas when it stops.

- Parkton, MD, USA

problem #4

Sep 142013


  • 136,900 miles
The transmission has been reported as failing due to codes P0705 and P0706. My local Honda dealership stated it would cost $4800 to replace the transmission. This is apparently a long standing issue with these models.

- Sterrett, AL, USA

problem #3

Jun 222013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


When iam traveling with my and my wife because of transmission problem in my Honda Accord 2002 gears are not Honda company know abt this transmission issue ( like know issue) and for fixing this we need to spend almost 5000$.but we can't if Honda company know this is common issue why they are not recalling those types of cars.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 292013


  • 148,761 miles
I was driving in traffic and my car's D4 light began blinking and when I would slow down to a complete stop the car would jerk before coming to a stop. I had to restart the car to get it to stop jerking. This has happened maybe 4 times before and I took it to someone and they said that the transmission could be going and I would need a new one. There are thousands of complaints about the transmissions on these older Honda Accord, and I think it is about time they do something to fix this issue.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 152012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Lost power and unable to safely control car. Pulled into intersection and lost power in front of on-coming traffic. Defective transmission, cars is unable to shift, may lose power or accelerate suddenly. Well documented problem in Honda transmission, unsafe to drive as power is unreliable and transmission can fail at any moment. Honda already previously named in class action lawsuit, problems remain. Honda refuses to acknowledge or repair. Ntsb needs to order a recall for the safety of drivers and passengers.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

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