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:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,983 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 10 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #156

May 272009


  • 75,464 miles


I own a 2002 Honda Accord with an automatic transmission and maintain the vehicle very well. I drive it regularly to work and around town, never any place far. I have about 75,000 miles on the car and noticed one day in may the car was not driving normally. A couple days went by and my 'check engine light" came on, so I took it into my local Honda dealer. They informed me I needed a new transmission, which would be around $3000. The vehicle would miss every shift point causing the car to "jolt" or "jump" back while driving. I'm writing this complaint because I drive my Honda with the utmost care. How could my transmission just break like that" my warranty that came with the vehicle also expired 3-29-2009! if I had experienced this problem sooner, I would have taken it to the shop right away, but this happened literally within 2 months the warranty expired. Honda Motors should take full responsibility for their poor excuse of a transmission. Shouldn't the transmission be on the top on the priority list when it came to designing their car? I am an avid Honda consumer though, I have owned previous Honda in the past and trust their reliability, but this time; they have let me down. I have read online there are many more Accord owners experiencing this problem and Honda has done nothing about it. I don't drive my Accord recklessly so could the transmission just broke" something must be done about this. Thank you very for your time.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #155

Jun 182009


  • 74,000 miles
Transmission breakdown - car jerking - told accident could happen at any time by dealer.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #154

Jun 012009


  • 55,000 miles
2002 Honda Accord ex V6 with 63,000 miles has defective automatic transmission. Vehicle will not accelerate smoothly, making merging onto highway and local roads continuously hazardous. Took vehicle to schaumburg Honda on 6/1/2009 and they confirmed the transmission is starting to fail. Honda has recalled automatic transmissions for 1998-2002 Accord but they tell me that my VIN is not included. First started noticing this problem at around 55,000 miles, but was unaware of the cause of the hesitation on acceleration.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #153

Jun 292002


  • 101,800 miles


The transmission on my 2002 Honda Accord started failing before it reached 100,000 miles. When I press the gas to accelerate the RPM's rev up to 4 and it jerks into gear. I don't understand why this is happening when Honda's are suppose to be reliable cars. That's why I bought it. I am under the impression that the Honda manufacturers used a different company to supply transmissions for the Honda Accord made between 2000-2003. If this is true then some investigations should be done and Honda should have to pay to replace the transmissions on all the Honda's that have problems with their transmissions made in between those years.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #152

Jun 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine began to rev highly. The transmission jerked and locked up. The vehicle stalled without warning. The driver was able to restart the vehicle and resume normal operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing, but they could not duplicate the failure. The transmission fluid was changed three weeks prior to the failures. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on a separate occasion for identical failures. The technician stated that the failures were due to the transmission and recommended that it be replaced. The vehicle is currently not being driven. The failure and current mileages were 59,000. Updated 07/14/09 updated 07/16/09.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #151

Jun 132009


  • 44,424 miles
For approximately 72 hours the transmission in my 2002 Honda Accord had difficulties changing gears. When it did shift, it jerked violently. At the end of 72 hours I experienced catastrophic failure. This occurred at mileage 44,424. I went to my local Honda dealer to have this problem addressed. They offered to fix the problem with a rebuilt Honda transmission for the inflated price of $3600. When I tried to renegotiate the price, the service advisor said he could find a used transmission for $400 less with no guarantee. The car is now being repaired by a reputable independent transmission rebuilder specialist. The manager of the transmission repair facility advised me to pursue legal action.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #150

Jun 152002


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the transmission has been slipping ever since the vehicle was purchased in 2002. He took the vehicle to a repair shop and they performed a transmission flush, but it did not correct the failure. The contact will take the vehicle to the dealer. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Liberty, UT, USA

problem #149

Dec 202008


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. Whenever the accelerator pedal was depressed, the engine would rev very loudly and the vehicle would slowly switch into gear. The failure occurred at 30 mph. The vehicle would never shift into third or fourth gear. It would only remain in second gear and rev very loudly. A mechanic stated that there were two solenoid valves that needed to be replaced. After the repairs, the vehicle would operate normally in third and fourth gear. Four months later, the transmission is beginning to slip once again. The contact found that the transmission was recalled up to the 2001 model; however, the 2002 model is experiencing the same issues. He believes that the 2002 Accord should also be recalled. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 55,000 and current mileage was 69,800.

- Jensan Beach , FL, USA

problem #148

Jun 102009


  • 94,000 miles
While moving the car in my driveway it felt as though the transmission slipped when I shifted from park into drive. The very next day the check engine light appeared. I took the car to local auto parts store and asked them if they could diagnose why the check engine light came on. They said it was indicating the torque converter was the cause. I took the car directly to pennzoil and asked them to do a complete transmission/torque converter oil flush and change for about $145 and to reset the check engine light. I had experienced a similar problem four years ago with a 1998 Ford Taurus and I took that vehicle to a transmission shop who told me that it definitely needed a new transmission and it would be $2800 to replace the transmission. Instead of just forking over the $2800 I decided to spend just $150 on a complete transmission fluid exchange which also replaced the fluid in the torque converter. Four years later I am still driving that Taurus that "definitely needed" a new $2800 transmission and I only spent $150 on a complete fluid exchange. I'm hoping that my Honda will do as well. In any case, pennzoil said that the transmission fluid on the Honda Accord should be changed every 45,000 miles. My Honda Accord had 94,000 miles on it, and since I am the second owner, I'm not sure it was done at 45,000. In any case, I figure it was well worth the $145 I spent, rather than $800 + for a torque converter alone or worse for a new transmission. The check engine light hasn't come back on and I have yet to feel the transmission slip since having the fluid changed.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #147

Jun 022009


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle accelerated by itself and almost caused a crash. The vehicle was taken to an auto shop and the mechanic stated that the transmission was slipping. Transmission fluid was added and the vehicle drove fine temporarily, but the failure eventually recurred. The vehicle began jerking and the transmission failed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The dealer advised her to take the vehicle to a Honda dealer for inspection, but they could not guarantee that they could assist. The vehicle will be repaired at the contact's expense. The failure mileage was 84,000 and current mileage was 127,000.

- Warren, RI, USA

problem #146

Jun 102009


  • 130,000 miles


Transmission failing- check engine light is on, tcs light is on, D4 light flashes, smell of burnt transmission fluid while driving, car lunges and hesitates constantly in 2 & 3rd gears (creating a potential crash hazard because you don't know when it will lunge or hesitate). I took the car to the dealer for inspection back in Aug of 2008, they said it was a failing transmission and it would need to be replaced for $3000. Today 6-12-09 I called american Honda Motors consumer line and they would not help since there is not a recall out on this year and model. The transmission problem is getting worse. I know other people have had the same issues as me. I am begging you, please make Honda recall this auto transmission. Someone will end up in a crash or killed because of sudden failure of the transmission, especially since it costs at minimum $3000 to repair- folks these days don't have that kind of money lying around. Please make this company recall the product, they recalled the 2001's-- the 2002's are pretty much the same thing/problem.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #145

Jun 042009

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,934 miles
I took my 2002 Honda Accord LX (4 cyl. Automatic) on a long roadtrip, from richmond, va to nashville, tn, and back again. On the way home from nashville, going through the mountains (my 80-year-old mother as a passenger), I noticed the acceleration wasn't as good as usual. I planned to take it in to my mechanic upon returning. We got back to richmond safely. The next morning when I started the car, it jerked into gear. Something it never did. Then it would rev. Up high, at low gears, causing it to jerk. It subsided once the car was warmed up. My appointment at my mechanic was Monday morning. They then informed me I was 1 1/2 qts. Low on fluid and that both axle shafts have been severely leaking. I would need a new transmission. My car is now sitting at the local Honda dealer because american Honda told me the only way I may get reimbursement is at a Honda dealer, not at my mechanic. I have only 42,000 miles on it, and it has had the transmission fluid drained and refilled both in 2005 at 20,000 miles, and 2008 at 37,000 miles. They had better cover the entire cost, as I am seeing how many people have this exact problem. I am just thankful that my mother and I made it back safely to richmond. Driving through mountains with a bad transmission was very dangerous, needless to say!!

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #144

Jun 012009


  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. The contact stated that her transmission was slipping and caused her vehicle to stall in the middle of the road. The failure occurred while driving 5 mph. A crash could occur due to the sudden failure. In addition, the vehicle does not shift into gear when attempting to drive. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced because it could not be rebuilt. The repair would cost over $3,000. The failure mileage was 129,000.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #143

May 232009


  • 68,577 miles
Transmission slipping, sometimes wont drive. It wont go into forward or reverse. Engine will start to rev up real fast.

- Norco, CA, USA

problem #142

Apr 282009


  • 38,688 miles
Transmission slips at low speed; dealer said transmission needs to be replaced for $3,000 plus tax and shop supplies; 2002 Accord has 38,668 miles and has been well maintained; service advisor said car is old, causing need for new transmission; incredible poor service from ed morse Honda in West palm beach, fl; service advisors said no recall or defect bulletins on automatic transmission; I said it seems very strange that transmission would need to be replaced after 38,688 miles but service advisor offered no further explanation. Said I must pay.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #141

Apr 212009


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the engine shut off due to transmission failure. Honda confirmed that the transmission was defective. The manufacturer agreed to pay 50% of the repair cost; however, the contact wants them to pay for the entire repair. The failure mileage was 91,000.

- Schamumburg, IL, USA

problem #140

Mar 312009

Accord 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
At only 84,000, the transmission went bad in my 2002 Honda Accord SE, 4cyl. The local Honda dealer said it would cost $3200 to repair it saying that the 2nd pressure switch and the tc clutch system were bad in the transmission. They advised that I contact Honda of America at 800-999-1009. I did, but hoa is saying that since I did not have my Honda serviced at a Honda dealer, there is nothing they can do toward the cost of this repair. Needless to say, I bought this car for my daughter to go off to college in thinking it was a good car with a good Honda name. However, I no longer believe in a Honda. Not sure what to do about the repairs. I've seen over 150 complaints about 2002 Honda Accord transmissions on the internet from others. Why does Honda not recall the 2002 transmissions--like they did in the class action law suit of the 2000 and 2001 Honda transmissions which were bad and had the same transmission?

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #139

Feb 072009


  • 97,000 miles
Transmission failed at 97,000 miles. Dealer replaced at no cost.

- Englewood, NJ, USA

problem #138

Mar 182009


  • 84,000 miles
2002 Honda, took the car in for maintenance. Was told that the tranny fluid was dirty. This was at 77,151 miles..just had tranny fluid drained 8000 miles before I was told this. The mechanic said that it needed changed every 15,000 miles. Manual says 60,000 miles.. now they tell me my transmission is failing at 84,000 miles. What a racket.. all the maintenance was done at the Honda dealer, that I purchased the car from. I don't know how they can get away with this.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #137

Mar 032009


  • 172,297 miles
Transmission on my 2002 Honda Accord would go to a very high rev and then jerk and shift very hard. This would happen on and off for about a month until one day it just would not shift into a higher gear. That's when I decided to pull into the nearest Honda dealership to have them diagnose the problem. My fears were realized when they told me it was an internal transmission failure and that it would cost $3,000 to put in a new one. After searching the web, I found out that this is a common occurrence among early 2000 model Accord owners. I previously owned an 2003 Honda Odyssey and had to have the transmission assembly replaced twice!! fortunately I was able to trade that in '06 for a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban which I've been very pleased with so far. I'm currently looking into contacting Honda customer service regarding the "goodwill repair" assistance, however, what good would that do if the problem would happen to occur again?!! given the track record on these Honda transmissions it will happen again. So please NHTSA, help us out and require Honda to cover all costs towards repairing these defective transmissions.

- Fallbrook, CA, USA

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