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:
94,680 miles
Total Complaints:
351 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. recall should be issued, replaced @ Honda's expense (187 reports)
  2. replace transmission (51 reports)
  3. not sure (45 reports)
  4. replaced transmission (32 reports)
  5. replaced transmission, split cost with Honda (14 reports)
  6. Honda refused to repair under warranty, had to pay (9 reports)
2002 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 14 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #91

Feb 012008

Accord SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


Following is my post on transmission "hesitates and shifts very hard" section. I hope it is informative and might help in dealing with Honda. Bill

After reading this forum I decided to call Honda of America on July 8. I spoke with Bertha and she said I would have to take the car to a dealer for a diagnosis. I made a appointment with Mistlin Honda, Modesto Ca. to bring the car in July 11. Mistlin service adviser Bob Wynashe had a technician diagnose the problem with the transmission. He concluded the transmission should be replaced. Bob said he would speak with the Honda rep and get back to me. Bob call approx. two hours later and said Honda would replace the transmission and converter if I would pay approx. $800.00 labor. I agreed and took the car in yesterday. I picked the car up today and the bill was $640.00 or $160.00 less than the estimate. I am totally satisfied with the dealer and a little disappointed with Honda. They know the transmission is a piece of junk and should recall all the 2002 Accords and Civics. However, $640.00 sure beats $3500.00.

If anyone would like to use this information when dealing Honda the dealers' work

order number is: 187866 (Mistlin Honda, Modesto Ca.)

- , Patterson, CA, USA

problem #90

Jul 032008

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I was told Honda's were the best cars on the road. I think that has changed. This car is jerking into first gear. The dealer said it would cost me 2800 to fix. I bought a Honda so i would not have this problem so early on. I don't have that kind of money. So really, I am stuck with a car note and a broke down Honda Accord.

- , Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #89

May 182008

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Bought this car used in January of 2008. In April I noticed that the transmission was shifting odd. Didn't give me a lot of problems, then in May I took a trip to Kentucky and I guess the strain on the tranny from going over the mountains got to it because after that it started slipping and shifting really hard. Well, I took it to the Honda dealership and they said Honda didn't recall it that I would have to pay for the expense out of my pocket. Considering that 1250.00 isn't exactly pocket change I had to wait until I got my stimulus check before I could have it repaired, so I hoped and prayed that it would make until then. Well it didn't. In June I travelled to Tennessee which is only about 20 miles from my house, It didn't give me any problems on the way there at all. The next morning when I got in it to leave, the transmission was gone. It wouldn't pull hills, wouldn't change gears or anything. All it would do it jerk. Honda should really be ashamed of themselves for selling such junk cars. The least they could have done is recall it, considering they knew there was an issue with those transmissions. I wont own another Honda..

- , Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #88

Mar 012008

Accord EX 4DR 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Right around 80,000 miles my Accord starting slipping in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. It was also slamming into 1st gear, once it finally made it into 1st gear. However, it only does this when the car is hot - it doesn't do it in the morning on the way to work. But I barely made it home last month, with two babies in the backseat! I received a quote for $3194 from Palm Harbor Honda in Palm Harbor, FL to replace the transmission with a rebuilt. I also received a range from AAMCO to repair for around $1600 - $2200. I replaced the fluid 4 times in the past two months, which has done nothing. The fluid is red and clean and no leaks. (I did find out it is very very easy to change the fluid - there's a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission, use a socket wrench with no sockets to unscrew it, drain it, add 3 qts of Honda ATF into the dipstick and you're done; easier than oil change).

This is obviously a pattern; it seems right around the 80,000 mark there's a good sample of people experiencing the same problem. My mom had a 1992 Accord and replaced the transmission. My sister had a 1998 Accord and replaced the transmission. Now me - NO MORE HONDAS!!

It looks like I should show this webpage to a Honda dealer to reduce my repair cost!!!!

- , Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #87

Jun 022008

Accord EX-L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I bought this car certified pre-owned so it is still under warranty (Powertrain) for another 14,000 miles or until May 2009. The car started shifting hard from 1st to 2nd around 60,000 miles, and I had the transmission fluid exchanged shortly thereafter. That seemed to have appeased the problem until recently. I started experiencing the same hard shifting and jerking between 1st and 2nd approximately 20,000 miles after the transmission fluid exchange. Owner's manual says the next transmission service should not be until the odometer hits 90,000 miles. I am concerned as I believe the transmission is faulty and failing. I will be livid if it fails within a short time-frame of the warranty expiration. I would like for Honda to resolve this matter before any further damage to my car.

- , Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA

problem #86

Jun 202008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

This is my second Honda. The first ran well into 100K mark (before it was totaled) and thought this one would be the same. It's check engine light when on surprisingly at 86K and lone behold found out that a new transmission is needed. Buck up Honda and stand by your name..

- , Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #85

May 282008

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,200 miles


Brought car to Honda dealership and they said transmission was bad and needed to be replaced for approximately $4000 because there is no recall and warranty had expired. I brought it to an independent transmission place and they did the work for $2300. I called Honda service (800)999-1009 and they said they couldn't help since there was no recall but they would file my complaint. I asked about goodwill repair compensation and they said no because I had repair done at an independent place instead of dealership. Dealership already told me there was no recall and I had to pay full amount of $4000. Doesn't make any sense to me to pay $4000 and hope I get reimbursed later on.

- , Seneca, SC, USA

problem #84

Jun 082008

Accord SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I started experiencing some slipping/jerking on my 2002 Honda Accord at 83,000. I just thought the transmission fluid might be low so I took it into my Honda dealer. Imagine my surprise when they called to tell me that I needed a new transmission! What? As most others have commented, the reason I bought a Honda initially, was the 'reliability' factor.

The dealership did offer me 25% off of the cost up front and basically the only other alternative was to get the transmission rebuilt which they didn't do in-house. I told them I wanted to think it over and then I discovered that I clearly am not the only one with this issue. A friend who used to work for Honda suggested I call the 800# (800-999-1009) to request a goodwill repair. I called, they took my information and advised a case manager would be in touch. The case manager called me approx 36 hours later and was extremely rude and unhelpful. She basically just kept saying that b/c this was my first Honda and I had not used Honda dealers exclusively for service that they couldn't do anything else. She even indicated that I should feel lucky that the dealership where I took my car offered me anything at all since I wasn't their customer (I just moved here and it was my first visit)!

Beware...and if you do call American Honda, I would recommend telling them you are a multi-Honda buyer and have had your service done at Honda dealers...apparently then you are worth something. It appears that unless the dealership is able to do anything, I will be paying $1900 for a remanned transmission that is likely to fail again!

I filed a complaint with the NHTSA and I encourage others to do the same (link below).

- , Cary, NC, USA

problem #83

Jun 052008

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

I bought my very first car in 2004, it was a 2002 accord with 27,000 miles. I was told that Honda's are the best cars on the road and until June 5, 2008 I really believed that, until I got in my car backed out of my driveway and had the worst driving experience imaginable, having to guess if my car was going to move or not every time I had to stop or just even hit the gas peddle.

I just filed my complaint with the NHSTA. I suggest we all do this in order to receive a recall I was informed that if there is a recall we would receive a rebate from Honda as long as we keep our receipts. Please call and file your complaint the number is 1-800-424-9393.

- , Orrville, OH, USA

problem #82

May 272008

Accord V6 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

If Honda doesn't step up with the "Goodwill Repair" for this transmission, I WON'T be buying a Honda again. I'm looking at new cars right now for my wife and 16 year old son.

I'm "in" for a class action law suit. Why hasn't there been a recall?

- , Salt Lake City, UT, US

problem #81

Apr 182008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


My 2002 Accord (80,000 miles) began shifting rather abruptly about four months ago.

At first it was so subtle that I wasn't sure there was really a problem. It gradually got worse until one day I pulled up too far at a red light and had to back up. When I put the car in reverse I heard a loud thump and felt a jerk. The problem became noticeably worse as I continued on my way, so I took the car in that afternoon to the dealership where I bought it (Rick Hendrick Honda in Charleston, SC).

A service technician called me within an hour to tell me that I needed a new transmission. Imagine my surprise! A what?!? A new transmission you say? On a Honda with 80,000 miles? Surely not!! Oh, don't worry, ma'am, I'm sure this will be covered by your extended warranty. A call back ten minutes later: I'm sorry, ma'am, it looks like your extended warranty does NOT cover the transmission, but I'm going to see if Honda will pick up half the cost of a new transmission. That was over a month ago, and I've yet to hear back, despite my repeated calls.

After being put off for several days, I told the dealership to flush the transmission fluid and that I would drive it while I figured out a solution. That was over a month ago and I'm still driving it. And, after at least four calls to the dealership, they have yet to give me an answer on whether they'll pay half the cost of a new transmission. (I was told the fix will cost $2,600).

I'm very disappointed in Honda and in the lack of service from the dealership. I bought this car based on Honda's good reputation for quality, and while I have had no other problems with the car, this is a major problem. A Honda Accord is more expensive than other cars of similar size, and I paid more expecting to get a better product.

- , Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #80

May 012007

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I've had my 02 Accord EX-V6 for about 3 yrs now. It presently has about 96K miles on it (my wife drives it). I started noticing hard shifting, especially going into and coming out of park, approximately a year ago. My wife hasn't noted anything significant yet, but I've DEFINITELY noticed that there is a problem. I haven't taken it to the dealer yet because all of the research I've done reports the same thing...the dealers are denying that there is a problem for the most part.

This is the only complaint I have. Other than this issue, the car has been rock-solid and extremely good to us! In fact, I was so pleased with its overall performance that, when my 89 Accord was rear-ended and totaled (at 262K miles), I went and bought another 02 Accord SE! My "newer" Accord is showing just the slightest of hesitation in shifting, but only intermittently.

Like all other Accord owners (especially those that have voiced their concerns in this forum), I purchased my cars for one main reason...the reliability history of this vehicle! I, too, am very concerned by the number of similar complaints about the same performance issue. I think that I will take a trip to the local Honda dealer that just sold me a car two months ago with my concerns. We'll see what happens!

Update from May 20, 2012: I finally replaced the transmission on the V6 last year with a local shop with whom I've done a lot of business. The rebuilt tranny was $2K (The local Honda dealers, 3 to be exact, all wanted at least $3K with no financial assistance whatsoever). The replacement was functioning flawlessly until 2-3 months ago (Feb 2012). I returned to the repair shop (well within my 12mo/12K warranty) and they indicated the fluid was low, so they refilled the fluid and sent me on my way. They offered no explanation as to why the fluid was "disappearing" as they told me there were absolutely no leaks and the color and consistency of the fluid is the same as fresh. Now, I am refilling the fluid every month.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #79

Mar 012008

Accord SE 2.3L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

This is my SECOND 02 Accord! I just bought this car three months ago and I'm starting to notice a slight hesitation in shifting. My other Accord has a more significant shifting issue, although it hasn't failed yet. I will be visiting my local delaer to see if I might be able to recitfy this situation before it becomes a major issue.

I would like to thank the owners/administrators of this site and the individual Accord owners who have utilized this site! This is the type of information that is critical in assisting consumers in defending themselves.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #78

Oct 202007

Accord SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Bought a used 2002 Honda Accord SE and the transmission went out on the way home. It was covered under warranty, and the warranty company said they would like to install a used transmission from another Accord, so they did. My co-pay was $200. That's one complaint, but that wasn't the end of the transmission problems...I have to do the sequel in another complaint, though.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #77

May 212008

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

I have done all required maintenance done on my car at Meyer Honda. I had taken my car to the dealer about five or six month ago because it was jerking and seem like it was hard to change gears. On May 9, a light came on so I took it to Honda and ask why was the light on, he said that he would check it out,he did, came back to tell me that I need a transmission and it was going to cost me 5thousand to have it repaired. I stated to him, "That a lie, because I brought my car to you about five or six month ago with this problem and you charged me for something else. He told me that I have been a good customer and he would talk to the service manger for me. I told him that I could talk to him myself ,which I did. The Manager told me that I have been a good customer and he will be out of town for three days and that he was going to talk to the district manager because I had really taken good care of my car by getting the oil change, the maintenance done and any time anything was wrong that I had brought it in. I mention to him that is why I shouldn't have to pay you anything to repair my car. He stated to me that he was going to call me on Friday May 14, he did not, I went to see him on May 20, he stated to me that he was sorry he had not gotten back to me and ask me if the District Manager had called me, I told him no, so he decided to give him a call while I was in his office, he never explain to him that I had brought my car in because it was not changing gears five or six months ago and that they had charged me for something else. After getting of the phone he told me the district manager would split the cost with me 50/50. I told him that was not good enough for me, he told me that he was going to talk to the owner and get back to me, he did not, I called him , he stated that he did not expect to be with the owner that long, He told me at that time that Honda would pay 50% and the owner would be responsible for 25% and I would be responsible for 25%. I told him that I should be responsible for any amount. Well that is the best I can do. After leaving his office I called the Regional Manager, talked to his secretary who took some information and assured me that he would give me a called back. He had not called me back by that evening, i called his office again , she assured me that he was going to give me a called back which he did not until I called back on May 21 when I called his office again and told his secretary that it was very important that I talk to him today. He call me the evening of May 21 to tell me that 50% was all Honda was going to pay and that I was going to pay the other 25% and the Honda Meyer was going to pay 25%. I asked him had he reviewed my car 's record, he assured me that he had and that why 50% was what Honda was going to pay and the reason why Honda was going to pay that was because I had been such a good customer. He was taking to me like I should be glad that Honda was going to pay that amount. I told him that their was a recall on the transmission and that is why Honda extended the warranty to 109000. he stated that their had not been a recall on the transmission. I told him that was what ne of the servicemen had told me and thank him and hung up. I got my car repaired and paid 599.99 on May 23,2008.

- , Florissant, MO, USA

problem #76

May 052007

Accord 2 DR 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Piss poor transmission. I would like to see a recall before someone dies due to this obvious problem on a transmission the same as previous years which were in fact recalled.

Time to step up Honda. You made your money on us already.

- , Wakefield, RI, USA

problem #75

May 142008

Accord SE 2.3L I4 V-Tech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,900 miles

I have been complaining about the tranny problems with honda dealers for the last 3 years. They can't do anything about it. Now, the tranny finally give up on me. HONDA......a piece of crap.......

- , Gretna, LA, USA

problem #74

May 122008

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

- , Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #73

May 022008

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,832 miles

Based on what I have seen on this website and based on what I am experiencing with my car and the issues surrounding several complaints regarding the transmissions, I sincerely believe that the Honda Dealers should do the right thing and go ahead and issue a recall for these ridiculously defected transmissions. I financed this vehichel a year and half ago and I am still paying on it, by the time I finish paying and fixing this damned car it will have cost me well over 30,000, it isn't even worth half of that. I am disgusted and disappointed with the way the Honda Company has handled this situation and others and I will never ever buy another Honda again in my life. I will most definitely not recommend them to friend and family either. Then they have the nerve to say they sell reliable cars, thats BS.

- , Boston, MA, USA

problem #72

Apr 202008

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Transmission started slipping and jerking. It is terrible. I did research, and found so many complaints against 2002 Honda Accord transmission problems. This is a very common defect. Why does Honda refuse to support its notorious transmission?

- , Claveland, OH, USA

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