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Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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:
99,300 miles
Total Complaints:
189 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. honda should recall 2002 accords to replace defective tranny (78 reports)
  2. honda should replace transmission at no charge (41 reports)
  3. not sure (29 reports)
  4. transmission needs to be replaced (13 reports)
  5. Honda replaced the transmission at no cost (10 reports)
  6. Honda should replace the transmission (8 reports)
2002 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 6 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #89

Jul 152010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


So here's what happened: I was rear-ended, my car was totaled and I received a property damage settlement (my car had been paid off, so I pocketed the total settlement and banked it). After "shopping around" for 4 weeks I located a "GREAT DEAL" on a 2002 Honda Accord EX.

I am employed at a non-profit organization and go to college part-time. I don't have ANY extra money and my take-home pay is $1,214.00 a month after taxes. So here I am thinking I would pay cash (by using that property damage settlement I received). That way I would not have a car payment but would own the car free & clear. I felt I would have a VERY reliable vehicle and in two years would be able to trade up when I could afford a car payment after I receive my degree.

I had always believed Honda had a such great reputation and a high mileage rating. The car has 108,000 miles on it, but I thought I would not even be pushing the envelope if I drove that car up to even 150,000 before using it as a trade-in, providing I took care maintained it.

When I purchased it 5 days ago, the oil had just been changed and it had new tires. I had been looking at it for a week before I even bought it. So I drove it to work the first two days amazed at the great gas mileage and and congratulating myself on how well it drove.

On the third day the Check Engine light came on and it would hesitate before starting when I turned the key. My boyfriend who knows a mechanic said to turn the key to alternator for a few seconds before starting it. That worked great and he said it was probably a dirty fuel filter. Would check and fix on Saturday.

Then the 4th day the Check Engine and the TCS lights were on. The TCS light would come on occassionally. Then the 5th day (today) the D4 light started flashing. This is in addition to the other lights I mentioned. Also, would not go into 3rd gear on the highway. RPM's 3,800 at 50 mph.

So, I stop at a gas station and turn off engine. Made phone calls. 15 minutes later I started engine and everything was back to normal. Completely normal. I drove 5 miles and everything started happening again as I described above. Now the car is sitting parked in my driveway. It will be put on the diagnostic machine tomorrow at the shop.

But after reading everything here and everywhere else on the internet, I believe I am F*CKED BIG TIME. I can't study or eat, just have a huge knot in my stomach. I am broke, broke, broke and all I have in the bank is $184.00. I go to work every day, work hard, study, pay my bills. (Did I mention I had thyroid cancer not too long ago?) I really thought I was being so smart and level-headed by getting what I thought was a reliable car. I did not spend a single penny of the property damage settlement on myself. Haven't gotten my hair done in over a year. I need new shoes. I am just SICK, SICK, SICK of this.

If anyone is interested in the outcome, I will post after this weekend with the results of the diagnostic. But it doesn't look good according to what I've read...

- Jennifer L., Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #88

Mar 012010

Accord SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,050 miles

Simply put The Honda company needs to step up to the plate and issue a recall on all honda accords 2001 to 2004 for faulty transmissions. Honestly a cars transmission should last longer than 110K, which is when mine finely decided to end it's life span. I called Honda of North America at the 800 number and tell them you need a goodwill repair. They will give you one as long as you do the regular maint. with the dealer. My cost was around 1959+tax. The new transmission comes with a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty.

- Paul B., Marysville, WA, USA

problem #87

Feb 012010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Several years ago my sister had the transmission in her 2002 Accord fixed free of charge due to this issue. I took my car to a different service center in another state and they said they could not help me. Now, I have the transmission problem with a $3500 estimate.

- Steven W., San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #86

Jun 012010

Accord 3.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,973 miles


Honda should replace the transmission free of charge.

- Lai S., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

problem #85

Apr 252010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles

My 2002 Honda Accord seems to have same problem many have listed. About a year ago, it started hesitating while shifting...then a clunk and lurch, now it revs really high and mostly doesn't go into gear. I am afraid to drive it. With the high mileage (I feel fortunate to have gotten this far!) I don't think I will get much for a trade in....don't really know what I am going to do. This will be my last Honda if I don't see Honda do anything about it.

- mary828, Orlando, FL, USA

problem #84

May 012009

Accord 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The transmission on my supposedly reliable 2002 Honda Accord is slowly going up - I practically get whiplash every time it shifts from 1st to 2nd gear. And of course, Honda said no dice to repair the transmission, even though I've read that they have given good will repairs because they are fully aware of the problem - and it's very widespread. A friend of mine who is a mechanic at a garage for high end cars said that Honda is always competing with Toyota to introduce more horsepower in their engines, but they don't bother to re-engineer the transmission to keep up with it, so naturally it fails.

Honda's reputation has really gone south for me - I'm buying a new car within the month and am moving over to Hyundai. I'll trade this lemon in and that's it for me with Honda Accords, even though this is my second one and the 1998 seems to be doing okay. I'm told that the problem is centered on cars from the early 2000's but I won't take a chance again.

- Sandra M., Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #83

Mar 012010

Accord VP 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles


I have had this car for about 3 years now and only within the last year did I start to notice this problem. I came across this site and noticed that this was a common complaint about my little blue gem. Surely my darling would not have this fate at all! Well as time goes as by within the last few months I noticed the car would become less and less responsive when stepping on the gas. I took it to my private mechanic and he told me the bad news: it had serious transmission issues. He called his transmission guy and said the problem sounded like the fuel line switch need to be replaced. A few hours and several hundred dollars later and the part was installed. The car rode fine for about a week then went back to it's usual sluggishness. I called American Honda and they opened a case for me. The gentleman I spoke with took my info then said my case would be reviewed after receiving a diagnostic from the dealer. My request for any help from Honda for any repairs was denied.I dropped the car off at my local Honda dealership and received a call from the Service Manager that surprise surprise I would need a new transmission. It would only cost me $4500. After fussing him out about what everyone else on this site has said not to mention the cost I was told he would have his boss call Honda and see about any "goodwill", his tone suggested this was a common complaint. I received a call back saying Honda would pay 10% toward the repair which was a bargain considering the car is out of warranty and how most car companies don't even offer that, yadda yadda. I let him know that if Honda is such a quality product that everyone was telling me it was the transmission should not poop out with 69K and that this might be my last Honda as well as my first. The only good news I could find was that he did not charge me the $125 for the diagnosis. I agree with Cindyaz everyone should file a complaint with the NHTSA; just because this is not a "safety" issue does not mean it should not be fixed!

- tabithaw, San Jose, CA, US

problem #82

Jun 022010

Accord SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Can't believe Honda. I traded a 1990 Honda Accord EX for this CRAP 2002 Honda Accord SE because it was such a good deal and I wanted my daughter to have an upgrade after driving her old honda for over 7 years. Sort of a college grad, got a job treat. Right after she returned from Atlanta for Memorial weekend on Monday that Tuesday she notice it was slow to shift into 2nd when she first started driving. After another day or so of this, she called AAMCO and behold "IT NEEDED A TRANSMISSION". Where is that ole Honda. We should have kept it because we had replaced everything but the engine and transmission. Now she has a vehicle sitting in the shop for 3-4 days and I had to borrow money to get it fixed while she makes a payment. Stopped by the local Honda dealership and the service tech even told me that 2002-2003 have tranny problems. Called Honda in CA and they never once mentioned a goodwill discount, but I will be calling back.

Next car will be a Toyota just like my 1999 Toyota Avalon which is rolling just fine with 138K miles. THERE NEEDS TO BE A RECALL IMMEDIATELY!! Boy do I feel like a fool, I even called the dealer where I bought the car and chewed him out, because I had the car totally checked out, carfax and all and this is a 1 owner car where the lady had perfect dealer maintenance records and I even talked with the previous owner. I really thought I had done my homework, but if I had just googled Honda Accord issues, this would not be happeniing and won't happen again. I'm ready to join in with a class action lawsuit. Let's do it.

- Sharon H., Greensboro, NC, US

problem #81

Jun 042010

Accord SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles

I had my 2002 Honda Accord SE for 6 years and I was very happy with it those years. Pretty much hassle free except for 2 winters ago when my panic alarm kept going off for no reason. Turned out it was a latch that needed to be replaced under the hood and when the wind hit it right, the alarm would go off. That was almost $500 to get that replaced. Then this year I noticed a hesitation when I accelerated and this happened for about 2 months. I figured that it was just that the car was getting old. Well then all of a sudden one day last week the engine light went on and it started downshifting really hard. I almost hit the car in front of me at a stop light. It kept slipping and shifting hard and when I accelerated very slightly at a stop light, my tires spun and I peeled out. I was so scared because it happened so quickly. Definitely a hazard and it almost got me in an accident!

Honda really needs to step up on this one and pay for some of the cost of a new transmission. I wouldn't expect them to pay for everything, but half would be sufficient. The cost of mine is $3299 and my car is currently at the dealership. I just feel like I am getting ripped off! If anyone pursues this with legal action, please post something. I will line up for what we are entitled to since I can see that I'm not alone!

Update from Dec 22, 2012: I replaced the transmission on my 2002 Honda Accord in May of 2010 and I was told by the Honda dealership that it was a remanufactured transmission and it held a 2 year/24K mile warranty. It cost me a horrifying $2,850! Well now I'm at 127K miles & 2 years / 7 months later and I'm having problems with this transmission. Beginning this past October I discovered that I had a hard time going in reverse, backing out of driveways and backing into parking spots. I would have to put it in drive and then reverse and keep repeating that just to get the car moving. Now it's not shifting correctly in drive, I can feel it when I drive down a hill. It will jerk very bad. When I drive normally I can feel it in the same gear and it doesn't automatically shift when I accelerate or slow down. So getting your transmission replaced at the dealership is a waste of time and a waste of money! Unless you want to get another 2 years out of your car and just happen to have an extra $2,850 laying around. Very unhappy with Honda for not announcing a recall on this. I'm looking to get a Hyundai for my next car which will unfortunately happen very soon!

- Tracy M., Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #80

May 122010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I bought a Honda because of all the wonderful things I had heard about their cars. Recently I was driving and the Check Engine Light came on and the TCS was blinking as was the D4 light. After having it looked over by a mechanic he said I needed to have the fluid changed. Later, went back and they said I had a faulty transmission. Found another mechanic who said the same thing, so it's now in the shop. I'm just graduating from college and have absolutely no way to pay for this, it will be going on my credit card. I am extremely disappointed in Honda.

- Erin C., Missoula, MT, USA

problem #79

Apr 192010

Accord Special Edition 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles


I was driving American cars until my 03 Chrysler died from transmission problem when I decided to buy a " good quality " Honda........just to find out I fell into this sh*t hole again. I really think that I am cursed.

I do not only have the same problems as you guys have, I also have a mystery transmission fluid leak only while the car is moving. I had mechanics to take the car apart trying to find out why it leaks, I had axle seal replaced...but the problem is still here. SO I have to drive it with a bucket of transmission fluid in my car all the time until the transmission dies?

I am taking the car to Yellowhead Honda dealership tomorrow morning, expecting no good outcomes anyway, just because I have to replace the airbag inflator as they recalled!

I guess I am very angry with this piece of junk, that I can not yell much anymore.

Now I just pitty those ones driving Hondas on the road, wish they may one day find this website.

Anyway, I will trade this car in for a Mercedes Benz even if they only pay me 1 dollar for it, even if I have to take a bus to work or rent a car or ride a horse to save enough for a MB...I will never again buy a Honda/Acura or a Chrysler/Dodge.

- jjay, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

problem #78

Dec 152009

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

As others have mentioned on this site, my '02 Accord had a transmission problem at 114K miles. It was most noticeable when it was cold out. The first time my issue occurred, the car stalled out going from first to second gear and the check engine light came on. I took it into the dealer and the rep reset the check engine light and said that it was most likely a fluke (the mechanics were at lunch--so was I--so I didn't stick around to investigate further). A month later, the same thing happened. This time I took it back to the dealer and had them check it out. They determined it needed a new transmission. I took it into AAMCO for a second opinion and they agreed. I called Honda of America after reading others' issues on this site. They had me fax over my maintenance receipts (since most of this was not done at the dealer) and after about two weeks of back and forth, Honda talked to the dealer and brought the total cost down from $3200 to $1335. I'm not happy that I had to get a new transmission at 114K miles, but I was satisfied with the Customer Service. My advice: call Honda of America (800) 999-1009; be very polite and patient; and eventually you will get some sort of discount.

- 91_02honda, C, OH, USA

problem #77

Jun 132009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Bought this car new and transferred to my 30 yr old daughter with with 21K miles on it. She began mentioning shifting issues around 40K. After she took it to our mechanic and he replaced the fluid and a switch the problem still occurred. At 45K I noticed the number of tranny complaints about this car on internet sites and after contacting the dealer and being told Honda would not fix at their expense my daughter traded the car for a new Chevrolet. I had owned two previous Honda's but after this experience I will never buy or recommend Honda again. Even though I got rid of this car I have also posted a complaint to the US gov that Honda should be forced to recall and repair these vehicles. My complaint number is 10308122. I feel very bad for anyone still driving early 2000's Honda Accords.

- P J., Lexington, KY, USA

problem #76

Mar 152010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Well, another transmission problem for 2002 Accord with 80,000 miles. I had a diagnostic done at local mechanic during an oil change. It's my wife's car which was given to us by my mother. The typical "old lady" who pampers her vehicles. The car would rev high coming out of first and then slam into second. This would also cause the tires to spin. Called a recommended transmission mechanic and he said call Honda dealer because these cars had these problems. Did that. He says need new tranny and would cost in excess of $3000. Then called Honda America they said they would give us a case worker. So we will see. But, by the looks of things it does not look good. Will report back. Obviously something is wrong with these transmissions. C'mon HONDA buck up and recall these things!

- criley, Pittsgrove, NJ, USA

problem #75

Feb 202010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,915 miles

Started shifting hard and hesitating when cae was cold. Within 2 weeks of first noticing these hesitations, the tranny would not shift out of first for a good 5 minutes of slow driving. Once, it eventually made it up to 4th, but when I came into town and slowed to a stop at a red light, it would not shift down. Had to start from a stop in 4th gear several times before getting it to teh mechanics.

Check Engine light code came back as Torque Converter Clutch. Had the minimal repairs done for $2100, but was quoted $2700 for a used tranny (not guaranteed to last very long) and somewhere between $3200-$3500 for a new tranny.

Differential is also damaged and axels are loose, all due to tranny issues. This car was not safe to drive before $2000 dollars of repairs and the mechanic said that we were lucky the axles didn't come loose on the highway.

This is definitely recall material. Honda needs to step up tot he plate and acknowledge a defective tranny in this model.

- kevinab, Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #74

Mar 052010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,750 miles

I purchased my 2002 Honda Accord LX 4 cylinder vehicle in January 2002. It had worked fine today, I took the vehicle to the dealer for an oil change and to have it checked because it was hesitating and sometimes shifts late. I was surprised when I was told that the transmission "has an internal failure" and that it would cost me $3,200 to replace the transmission. The vehicle only has 63,000 miles.

After I told the service advisor that I researched the internet and found many people complaining of transmission problems with certain year models of the honda accords, he told me that there had been problems and that the transmission in the newer vehicles are better quality. I telephoned the corporate office of Honda to try to get some assistance and to see if they will back up their product.

The car has too few miles to be having "internal failure" on the transmission. Someone did call me back who told me that "would investigate the matter and talk to the dealership". I don't know what they will do but I hope they don't leave me out in the cold. I will update this once I hear back from Honda.

- Ben C., Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #73

Feb 012010

Accord LX 3.0lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

bought a 2002 Honda accord and though i was getting a deal of a lifetime due to the reputation that Honda has i did not know i was in for a nightmare with this car the transmission shifts really hard with jerks and takes forever to go from first to second, i took it to dealer and the wanted 100 just to check it i also called Honda America @1-800-999-1009 and the woman (idiot0 i spoke to got mad at me as if i made the faulty trans. I WILL NEVER BUY ONE OF THESE STUPID CARS AGAIN NOR WILL I RECOMMEND IT AND I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS EVERY CHANCE I GET, HONDA NEEDS TO OWN UP TO THIS

- David C., Ellenwood, GA, US

problem #72

Feb 242010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,100 miles

I couldn't unlock my shift gear and get it out of park without putting a screwdriver in the emergency slot next to the shift. When I started in neutral, I could shift into drive but shortly after driving noted that shifting was jumpy, engine was racing, and often wouldn't shift until RPM's got up to close to 4000. My mechanic, who I trust, told me I needed to replace the transmission

- Robert M., Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #71

Feb 262010

Accord EX-V6 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I bought a used 2002 Honda Accord V6 in October of 2009. I was happy about my purchase until a week later my D4 light started flashing, TCS light and Check Engine light came on. I was wondering what the hell was going on until I Googled the problem and found many sites where people were complaining about the same thing. I'm pretty pissed I would have to pay at least $1,500 to get the transmission replaced. I thought Honda were suppose to be reliable? If I had knew that this was common in the Accords, I would've bought a different car. With the hard shifting of the transmission, the car doesn't accelerate the way it's suppose to and it's a safety issue that Honda has to fix. I don't want to cause an accident trying to merge onto the highway by have my car stall for a few seconds before it shifts. I won't buy a Honda anymore if they don't step up and fix this problem.

- Bee X., St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #70

Feb 192010

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,500 miles

Bought this car last September from a Professor at the university. I had got the car thoroughly checked by a mechanic, who said that apart from the transmission fluid leak, the car was in excellent condition and looked like it was very well maintained. It was at 94,500 miles then. 2,000 miles and 5 months later, the Check Engine indicator lights up, along with the TCS indicator and a flashing D4 light. The TCS and flashing D4 stopped when I turned off the engine, but the CEL stayed. I took the car to a Honda dealer as soon as possible, who fleeced me out of $100 just to read the error codes off the car's computer. He told me its a P0780 (Shift Malfunction) and the only solution is to replace the entire transmission, which would cost $4,000 (!!!). He didn't seemed at all interested in diagnosing the exact cause of the problem...

The only reason I got the Honda against a Nissan or Hyundai was because of its reputation for reliability and long life. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to that transmission leak. The car seemed to be giving a jerk in shifting from gear 1 to 2 for a month before the CEL came on. Honda should definitely recall its faulty transmissions for the 2002 Accords as well. If anyone needs people to file for a class action lawsuit, please e-mail me at Thanks!

Update from Mar 29, 2010: Honda gave me a goodwill discount on the transmission unit replacement. They shared half of the ~$2800 cost of the repairs, so I would say it worked out to be a pretty good deal. They said they helped me out with the discount since the car has a good service record at the dealership...

- Malhar M., Austin, TX, USA

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