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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
94,357 miles
Total Complaints:
147 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced transmission (97 reports)
  2. replace transmission (24 reports)
  3. not sure (22 reports)
  4. sold the Accord (3 reports)
  5. traded in for new Accord (1 reports)
2002 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #147

Feb 012017

Accord V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles


Transmission failed. Thought Honda accords were one of the best vehicles, wasn't true in my case. Also had a transmission flush 6 months ago.The car repair costs are in excess of $3500. I am planning to junk this and get a newer one.

- , Cumming, GA, US

problem #146

Mar 222017

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,804 miles

My engine light just came on, I took it to my mechanic and he said an error code P0780 (bad transmission) came up. We called Honda Corporation and were told basically that we were out of luck and wouldn't do anything to help us. I use to think that Honda's were good cars but would never buy another Honda. While my car is a 2002 it only has 33,804 miles on it and the transmission should not be going with this low mileage. I am fuming and telling everybody I know NOT TO BUY A HONDA. I have been reading up on this problem and it seems Honda had extended warranty on certain models up to 2001 for 100,000 miles or 7 years for transmission problems. I also see that many people have problems with 2002 and later models and Honda has received tons of complaints, but obviously they don't care.

- , Floral Park, NY, US

problem #145

Mar 202015

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

The car had been really good to us until it was driving from Austin to Houston for the spring break. All in the sudden the car had difficulty speeding up normally from 1st gear to 2nd gear (low to high) after a full stop due to heavy traffic. We were really scared in state highway 71 before turning to I-10 eastward. We gave it a break and checked to make sure everything seemed to be good with full fluid as the car had been regularly maintained. We had to drive with extreme caution avoiding I-10 to arrive Houston home.

I had turned the car to several Houston mechanic shops including Firestone which I have been using as my trustful provider, all reporting to transmission errors with their diagnosis. It seemed the assessment were consistent and conclusive. I also dropped at Gilman Honda SW service center in Houston, they told me the same thing, and the replacement of the transmission would be several thousands! Gilman Honda told me Honda would not cover it in or out of warranty as the car is over 10 years and just passed 100K miles. As I have another car free to use, I have just left the car in garage most of the time. I never thought it was a systematic manufacturer default by Honda, even though the shops I visited consistently told it was a known issue to Honda for the Accord before 2004/2005 model.

The past several months I needed to use the car a bit more. It really annoyed me and scared me a couple times as I was so close to be rear-hit. With several tries, however I found I could sort of let the car drive "normal" after I reset the car's electronic system "normal" without feeling the known transmission issue for a short week. The problem would resurface a week or two later though. Surely that is not the solution.

With so many similar occurrences to the 2002 Honda Accord which I just learned in these posts, I think it is time for Honda to take the responsibility for the sake of its brand name. Having experience of owning 3 new Honda cars in the past 16 years, all bought new, I have really enjoyed the reliability and efficiency of the cars with Honda brand. That's why I initially did not think the issue is really due to Honda. The nature of the widespread and most of them happened within 80K to 120K mileages, it is definitely a product default to the transmission or the control system related to the transmission.

- , Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #144

May 162016

Accord LX 4 Cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles


We purchased the 2002 Honda Accord from an individual. He was one car owner. Transmission is gone!!! at 132,000 miles

Unbelievable - We have owned four Hondas but this is an extreme disappointment. Our mechanic told us we would have to replace the transmission - approximate cost $2000.00. We purchased Hondas because they run forever and are reliable. Our mechanic also told us that the early years of 2000 the Hondas had transmission problems. His daughter had to replace transmission - model year early 2000 - Honda Civic.

I see on this website that individuals should avoid the model years of early 2000 like the plague.

- , Matthews, NC, USA

problem #143

May 292011

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 210,380 miles

Transmission started showing signs of problems a year before. I took care of the car.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #142

Aug 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I bought this car about a year ago, it had 133990 mileage on it, and now it's at 145000 mileage. Last night on my way home, the car suddenly stops and I wasn't sure what was wrong with it. The car turns on fine but it just won't go anywhere. My friend who is a mechanic tells me, it's a transmission failure. I'm still paying this car off and I don't know how I'm suppose to fix this problem. I don't have that much money, and I didn't expect this to happen within such a short time. How can Honda help me go though this?

- , Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #141

May 152015

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,947 miles


I was driving back home from doing errands when the transmission just totally failed. I was really pissed off because there wasn't even a slipping it before. Every time I shut the car off and let it sit for a few minutes, I'll turn it back on and I can drive for about a half a mile before it fails again and I can't go anywhere. It's kind of crazy because I didn't think I had a transmission problem, until I couldn't use the car anymore. I'm wondering if this might be something else or it is the tranny that went bad.

If anyone who is reading this article please email me if this might be something else. I'm pretty sure it's the tranny especially all the complaints about the 02 Accord. I wish I would have known this Web site before I bought this POS. I would definitely not buy a 02 Accord.

- , Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #140

May 192010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,457 miles

Took it in to be repaired. Low mileage on the car. Shouldn't have happened. Now it needs it again at a cost of $2,400! Only 26K miles were added.

- , Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #139

Dec 202014

Accord SE 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles

Bought the car with 30k miles - transmissions don't last 65K period. I've had 2 fail in less. Honda acts like they've never heard of this being an issue.

My first transmission failure was a sudden loss of forward movement while out of town in a busy intersection when the car had only 65,000 miles. Almost was a very serious accident, family in the car. Honda replaced the entire transmission at portion of the cost with me. I believe i paid close to $1000.

Second failure (another 60,000 miles) Loss of reverse While trying to complete a 3 point turn with distant traffic, reverse quit while car was in oncoming traffic. reverse was extremly slow- another close call. notified honda, they could not replicate despite being informed the car needed to be warm for this to occur, i was told there was no problem even though I'm having to get out and push my car regularly at this point.

eventually the reverse worked as a brake when going downhill in reverse. took back to honda- needs a $4500 replacement transmission including labor,,, no good will Honda customer service told me I needed to take responsibility for my vehicle at some point and TRANSMISSION FAILURE IS NOT A COMMON PROBLEM FOR 02 and kept repeating i shouldn't expect honda to be accountable for a 12 year old car , !!! NO a 65,000 mile HONDA REPLACED transmission. I wasn't asking for a car replacement.!!

Honda needs to take responsibility for a defective product.I promised no good will, no future customer...

Final death of car After months of strategic parking and just about every transmission problem possible, Week before Christmas 2014 the entire transmission just stopped shifting-great time for it.

I'm not a dice roller and need more faith in a car manufacture than i have with honda now.

- , Hixson, TN, USA

problem #138

Aug 252014

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,148 miles

I've had routine maintenance on this 2002 Accord LX (which I bought new) over the years. In 2014 and with only 73,000 miles on it, the transmission has failed and needs replacing at a cost of $4,100 (which is equal to the value of the car). I feel that Honda should cover at least some of the cost of the replacement. These cars are supposed to have a good reputation as long-lasting way over 100,000 miles, right? Not so much with mine. I have now read numerous similar complaints regarding the transmissions on the late 90s-early 00s Honda models.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #137

Dec 142013

Accord LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,500 miles


I bought a used 2002 Accord LX from a supposedly reputable Honda dealership with 109,000mi. While under an extended warranty they replaced the transmission with one that had 97,000 mi on it. I was told I had no option on the unit they found, that they submitted to Honda Care, cost was 1,700 dollars, my deductible was 100 dollars. I complained about putting a 97,000mi trans in it, again told by dealership I had no say.

When in actuality I could have gotten a re-manufactured one, according to Honda Care. The dealership said otherwise so I was stuck with it. About 3000mi later that trans failed and my extended warranty just ran out. Went back to dealer and this time they found a trans with 117,000mi on it, again, I complained again and was told that's what I'm getting. I was not told about any cost out of pocket, they gave me a rental at their cost, that was OK, then I get the call that my car was done and, oh by the way, we need 700 dollars for part of the labor. I had no choice but to pay or not get car back.

I went to pick up car and asked for a trade in value, mind you, I paid 6000 dollars for the car less than a year ago. They told me a they would give me 2000 for it! The car was in better shape than when I bought it! I picked car up and went down the street to another dealer told them what was up, and asked for trade in value on a new car, they offered 3500, and about 3hours later I drove off in a 2013 new car! No down, 250 dollars a month payment! Honda lost a good customer for 700 dollars! Bonehead move on their part .

- , Concord, CA, US

problem #136

Oct 142009

Accord LXI

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,696 miles

I had the transmission in our 2002 Honda Accord replaced in 2009 when the car had 97,696 miles on it. Went to Honda to have it replaced. Now 4 years later (less than 33,000 miles later) the transmission needs to be replaced again. And Honda will not provide any assistance to replace what I believe was a bad transmission back in 2009. When I call their customer service line they said there is nothing they could do and said the car is 12 years old now -- insinuating that the car is not worth them investing money in or providing financial assistance to me for the repair. I think it is very interesting that they said they gave me a one time goodwill jesture when they sold me the first transmission -- i wonder if by goodwill gesture that is code for we are going to give you a used piece of crap that will last just a little longer than the warranty so that we don't have to cover any further repairs.

I also think it's terrible that Honda would bash the tenure of the car especially given the miles (now 131K) when Honda's are supposed to be such good cars. Seems like they say whatever they need to in order to help their argument. I will not be buying any more Hondas. And i t hought I was doing the right thing using Honda parts and going exclusively to the dealership for repairs. I guess I was a fool for doing that.

Seems like there has been a history of Honda and poor transmissions. Seems like they still don't have it under control. Very dangerous and very unprofessional. I gave my son the car in 2011 so that he would have a safe reliable car to drive to and from school and then college. But this is not good. As a corporation they are not acting responsibly, otherwise they would have acknowledged the problem and poor history and would have done the right thing to replace the transmission without charging me yet another $2K+

- , Levittown, PA, USA

problem #135

May 312012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Got my first quote to have my transmission replaced on my 2002 Honda EX Accord 6 cyl. 4 to 5 thousand dollars. This is from a independant car repair shop. I will be getting more quotes!!

Outraged there wasn't a recall on these cars. When I get it repaired.. I am selling it and buying something other than a Honda. I am living on retirement and can't afford this.

- , Hanford, CA, USA

problem #134

Aug 022013

Accord SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

My 02 Honda Accord SE needs its 3rd transmission! Honda will not take responsibility for the problem. The first transmission went out at 32,000 miles, one mo. after I bought it. That time the warranty covered the cost. Then the transmission went out again at less than 120,000 miles. I paid to have it replaced, and now again at 150,000 miles it needs another transmission.

Honda of America needs to address this problem! I can't afford to replace the transmission again! I have called and talked to Honda Corp. and was told they can not do anything! Really!!! I will never again buy another Honda!! If the company can not take responsible for the defect, they will never get anymore of my business. Spread the word, Honda of America needs to "Man Up."

- , Petal, MS, USA

problem #133

Apr 012012

Accord SE 3.2L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #132

Aug 052013

Accord Special Edition 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,845 miles

My car is a pre-owned certified Honda Accord SE 2002. I bought it in 2003 and when I bought it, it had a little over 15K miles. I loved it! I don't do a lot of long distance driving; I'm a city traffic driver. With that said, other than an accident in 2006 when I was hit by a city truck and survived, the work done on my car has been normal maintenance.

I will say that I learned the hard way about Honda's paint quality or lack thereof as I began to experience paint fading and the beginning of some rusting on the roof of the car. a couple of years ago. So, in 2011, I decided to have the whole car painted. It cost me $2500 but it was worth it. I've really enjoyed this car. And knowing how many miles I usually accrue annually on my cars, I knew I'd have this for a while. My it as long as possible until I was nearing retirement and then buy another Honda or a version of whatever my "dream car" would be.

When I began noticing a bit of lurching when I accelerated, smelling what I thought was oil leakage and strange braking patterns, I knew something wasn't right. I assumed it would be something that ranked in a normal range of repair. To hear last week that my transmission was failing was so disappointing. Even the mechanics in the independent shop that has serviced my car since I bought it was startled that I was having this problem. They know how well I take care of my car AND how I stay on schedule with regular maintenance. I tried contacting the Honda Customer Service line to see if I could get any assistance. I received sympathy, but no help. I was instructed to deal with the local Honda dealership. As of this week, I was told by them that my request for assistance was denied. After I told them what it was going to cost me if I used my regular independent shop ($4700) or another shop ($4400), the local Honda dealer came back with an estimate of $3990. It's still a lot of money, but I plan on going with their low estimate since I want Honda to be fully responsible for this repair. I'm told it will come with a 36 month warranty. If it didn't, I wouldn't get it fixed at all. My hope? this for at least another year before I decide on my next ideal car. Not sure it will be a Honda...we'll see.

- , Franklin, VA, USA

problem #131

Aug 292011

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles

My transmission was replaced in August of 2011. In January 2012 it went out again and the mechanic that fixed it honored the warranty and replaced it again. Now March 29, 2013 The transmission has gone out again. Not sure if I will ever purchase another Honda. Once it was fixed it should not have gone out again. As of right now I don't know what I am going to do.

- , Acworth, GA, USA

problem #130

Mar 242013

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

Just a week after getting this ten year old green Honda Accord V6, transmission failure light started smiling at me. I cannot afford to replace transmission and I am without car. (like the saying one can live in US without a wife but without a car) I am stuck. Hello Honda... you hearing? Any suggestions?

- , Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #129

Dec 212012

Accord SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

Well I bought this damn Honda Accord a year ago with 137k thinking it would be a good car since it is Honda. I was completely wrong!!! I am sooo disgusted with Honda this piece of junk they made!! I still have so many other problems with it!! It is a piece of sh*t!! Not even a Malibu Classic 2004 with 160k miles gave me so much trouble... I hate the car now I need to go through the trouble of selling this piece of crap!!

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #128

Feb 232013

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

My 2002 Honda Accord, at just 115,000 miles is on its THIRD transmission. I replaced the transmission at 62,000 miles at a Honda Service Center. Now, just 53,000 miles later, I need another transmission. What! This is crazy! I complained to Honda Corporation and they offered me $500, that's right, $500..saying they could no longer pay out on this problem.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

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