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:
99,550 miles
Total Complaints:
190 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. honda should recall 2002 accords to replace defective tranny (79 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 1 of 10)

problem #190

Oct 302012

Accord ES 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


Do not recommend buying a Honda Accord automatic V-6, severe slippage of transmission and extremely rough down shifting. Honda has refused to recall these dangerous cars even though they are well aware of the problem. Do not attempt to cross traffic unless you have a lot of distance from on coming traffic, transmission may slip leaving you in grave danger.

- rgb21401, Clearwater, US

problem #189

Jan 012017

Accord ES 2.3L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,100 miles

I purchased a Honda because of its reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, like many owners, I have a bad transmission on my 02 Accord. It started shortly after 120K mi with hard shifts from 1st to 2nd gear. I changed the transmission fluid hoping it would improve things. It did not.

My service advisor told me this generation of Honda Accords (1998 - 2002) was built with a hydraulic transmission which was not powerful enough for the car's horsepower. He owned an 02 Accord V6 and went through 6 transmissions in a just a few years! Poor design. My car now has 142K mi and the transmission has gotten worse. The shifting is very hard and causes the car to jerk. Downshifting is worse. Also, when I let I let off the brake pedal from idle, the car hesitates suddenly and violently. It feels as if I was rear ended. This makes for an very uncomfortable ride.

With a good transmission, I should have gotten over 200K mi on the car. I don't want to spend for a new transmission and would rather put the money in a new car. Honda should have fixed this problem years ago and taken care of its customers.

- Mae L., Torrance, CA, US

problem #188

Feb 152017

Accord SE 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

This is a problem that a Auto person told me is common with Hondas

- Michael T., West Roxbury, US

problem #187

Jan 152014

Accord EX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Transmission shifts like a B** into second when accelerating from a stop. Feels like the whole car is about to fall apart. I need to feather the gas right before the car shifts into second so it doesn't shift so hard. I feel like I'm driving a manual except I need to estimate when the tranny will shift. Such a pain. Car's been driving like this for two years but no problems. I only use this car three times a week for about 10 miles at a time.

Still, very disappointed that Honda would send out this crappy tranny. I am a true Honda fan, family has had Honda Accords for the past 30 years. This was the fourth one, and now have a 2014 Accord as the main car. It's too bad the tranny is giving out. I was planning on driving this till it hit 200k but doesn't seem likely anymore.

- gojoe, Beverly Hills, CA, US

problem #186

May 062015

Accord EX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Just picked up this Accord that was very well maintained by the previous owner. He stated it did have an occasional hard shift between 1-2 gears. I needed it for a work car, so I felt I could deal with it. But it has turned into a way bigger issue over a short period of time. I will be replacing all the solenoids and draining and refilling the atf fluid hoping it will alleviate the problem. After reading on here, I have a feeling it won't.

I have owned 15+ Honda/Accuras and really think Honda should do something about these trannys in their cars made in the late 90s and early 00s. Most every model in this era with an automatic trans has issues so obviously there was a quality and production flaw in these vehicles. I am a die hard Honda enthusiast and am ashamed that they haven't owned up to this and fixed the issue by creating a recall. Such a shame....

- beebeoh, Sylvania, OH, US

problem #185

Apr 202013

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


- Star L., Aptos, CA, US

problem #184

Jun 012012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles


Transmission doesn't shift into 2nd gear on time. I have to drive very slow, annoying drivers behind me, to get the trans to shift smoothly, otherwise, at normal speed, it shifts late (and very hard) into 2nd.

- Lucas I., Olney, MD, US

problem #183

Nov 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

This problem started long before November 2014, but that is when I took over the vehicle. This car was purchased in January 2011 and it started acting up within a week of purchase. It will rev up and then jerk forward if the gas is pressed even the smallest bit and it wants to jerk when downshifting. I work a small job to attend school so I don't have the money for a $3000 transmission repair/replacement.

I get the car regularly maintained, oil changes, tires, transmission fluids, etc, and I still have problems. Honda should step up and recall these transmissions and offer people the chance to get these cars fixed. I have read so many reviews and complaints about these cars, Honda should do something.

- Sharah F., Hamilton, MS, US

problem #182

Jan 022014

Accord SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 154,000 miles

Transmission replaced. the 2002 accord transmission were substandard and should be replaced at the auto makers cost

- Ezekiel K., silver spring, md, US

problem #181

Nov 172014

Accord 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,369 miles

I really disappointed with Honda for not taking responsibility for the faulty transmissions on their vehicles. We also owned a 2004 Odyssey whose transmission failed THREE TIMES. We were told with the initial repair that the early Odysseys are NOTORIOUS for transmission failure and that a repair/rebuild would be about double the cost of a typical transmission repair/rebuild. Thankfully for our bank account the second and third time it failed it was still under the warranty offered by the mechanic who did the first repair. After the third failure we sold it.

I wish I had known that ALL Hondas between 1999-2004 had faulty transmissions as we purchased a 2002 Accord for our 19 year old son in college in August of 2014. He relies on this vehicle to transport him 8 hours (one way) to and from school. Less than 3 months after purchasing the vehicle the transmission failed. Thankfully he was at college at the time and he wasn't stranded.

I called Honda Customer Service and requested a Goodwill Repair and was told that the vehicle had exceeded the factory warranty and that nothing could be done on their end to repair the vehicle.

It is GROSSLY IRRESPONSIBLE of Honda to produce vehicles which were destined to fail and not take responsibility for the failures (intended or unintended). They are aware now and know that many of their vehicles are time bombs which can and will fail some at times which place drivers and passengers in grave danger.


- Shannon B., Canyon Country, CA - California, US

problem #180

Oct 062009

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


I'm sure you've heard it hundreds of times already but I'll say it anyway. 2002 Honda Accord EX 3.0L, BAD TRANNY. Come on Honda, pony up. You know you jacked us now pay the piper.

- Robert B., winter park, FL, US

problem #179

Aug 052014

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,482 miles


- Christopher W., Pueblo, CO, US

problem #178

May 012014

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

The 2002 Honda Accord was fun to drive, had great fuel economy, was roomy enough for families, had good acceleration, but these DAMN transmissions. Car would have probably reached 300k miles with no problems had the transmission not failed.

- Jason Y., Georgetown, TN, US

problem #177

Feb 012014

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,500 miles

took to 2 transmission shops - was told transmission needs to be replaced - so frustrating. This vehicle has been well-maintained and driven carefully - so disappointing and will be so expensive!

- Alene S., Roy, UT, US

problem #176

Feb 012012

Accord SE 2.3L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Had the car checked at the Honda Dealer for maintenance. They replaced the right Front axle seal and noticed a Mild Flare on the 1-2 Up-shift. They said if Flair worsens - will need to have transmission worked on to correct. They gave me an estimate of $4,000 -$5,000.

Have had other Transmission Shops check it out.. (From $1800 to $3K) Some said the same, some said do the timing belt, tune-up then if that does not correct, do the transmission. I notice a little hesitation (intermittently) when it shifts from 1st to 2nd... More so, when it is cold.

- casnowak, Cary, NC, US

problem #175

Sep 092013

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

For the past 2 weeks my 2002 Honda Accord LX, with only 86K has been hesitating and then shifting hard from 1st to 2nd and sometimes the engine revs in mid shift. I am worried that this is going to be a growing problem. I bought the car with only 65k on it and here I am a year later with a transmission that seems to be having some significant issues. From all the complaints regarding this very same issue, I think that it is time for Honda to step up and do a recall on this transmission.

- Ron P., Puyallup, WA, US

problem #174

Apr 132012

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I didn't hesitate to buy a used 02 Accord for my wife because of their reliability record. Everything has changed since I started looking into the trans issue. Anderson Honda wants $4817 to put in a new trans. The car is barely worth that. Never again will I buy a Honda or recommend them. I'm really disappointed and feel like I got ripped off.


- audibletruth, Cockeysville, MD, US

problem #173

Aug 012013

Accord LX 4.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

this problem could cause a serious next to deadly auto accident,must be dealt with immediately. Please advise. Eha

- Eunice A., Tallahassee, FL, US

problem #172

Jul 072013

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

hesitates, shifts hard & rumbling noise.

My immediate family has owned 2 Honda Accords and one Honda Civic(Original Owner's). The first (2001 Civic LX) had transmission problems at about 76k. One Sunny afternoon while driving on the freeway, the transmission went out completely without any warning. At first, I thought "Well, this sucks, but what are you going to do?" Had the transmission rebuilt and sold the car to a friend of mine a year and a half later. After a few k-miles the same Honda Civic developed similar problems with the transmission. It had to be rebuilt once more. At that point I assumed it was a shady job on the company who had rebuilt it, but then, it happened to my brothers 01 Accord at about 117k. His transmission started developing problems with gears slipping among other things. It was very frustrating to have owned 2 Hondas with transmission problems with less than 120k miles on them. Its even more frustrating now that the 02 Accord SE is now also having transmission problems. A new transmission will most likely cost as much as the car is worth. We chose Honda because of their reliability in the past. As far as their engines are concerned, they offer just that. On the other hand, the transmissions, not so much. In my opinion, what good is it buying a car with a reliable engine that carries an unreliable transmission that will fail well before its time and could leave you stranded? I like Hondas, but i have to say I have lost the confidence of what Honda Vehicles represented and therefore my family and I WILL NEVER AGAIN have the pleasure of owning one.

- d.money2000, City Of Industry, CA, US

problem #171

Sep 112012

Accord SE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles

Bought my 2002 Honda Accord SE with 2.4l in May 2011 from a friend of mine with 70,000 miles. I have all the service records on the vehicle. I have had all routine maintenance done on the vehicle and now the vehicle has 95,000 miles the transmission slips or slams into gear in 1st to 2nd gear or when you roll to a stop and press the accelerator the car slams into gear. Other friends of mine with 2000-2002 Accords (with mileage 80,000-100,000) are also experiencing the same problems that I have.


- Matt T., Carpentersville, IL, US

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