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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:
94,700 miles
Total Complaints:
352 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. recall should be issued, replaced @ Honda's expense (188 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 3 of 18)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #312

May 072012

Accord SE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,500 miles


The same complaint as all the others. I have been a loyal honda driver for over twenty years. but if honda is not willing to own up to their obvious issue and recall or fix this transmission for free this will undoubtedly be my last one. Also, i will be just as enthusiastic in spreading the word about the downfall of a once reliable car company, steering people away from buying hondas, as i was about eschewing the virtues of owning a honda with all my friends and family. honda, "do the right thing!" don't let a little greed stop you from doing what's right and be the downfall of your once proud company. a displeased honda lifer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Eugene T., Smyrna, GA, US

problem #311

May 182012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,700 miles

click to see larger images

transmission slipping and jerking

I have a 2002 Honda Accord Sedan SE. in 2007, I had to have the transmission replaced by Honda Dealer. Indicator that transmission was busted was code PO740 torque converter came up w/ check engine light. I had only 39,000 mi. on the car.

Decent Honda dealer convinced district mgr to pay for part of repair after I showed evidence of the numerous complaints about these transmissions and class action suit. Got 3 yr warranty. Well, its now a bit over 3 1/2 years and transmission just started slipping; check engine light on; D4 flashing. Code PO700 Transmission Control System shows 26-01 third pressure switch malfunction; 45-01 shift malfunction; P1739 controlled transmission malfunction. Looks like the dealer rebuilt transmission now needs to be replaced. I have less than 77,000 miles on the car. I had the transmission fluid flushed & replaced less than 2 years and 20,000 miles ago.

Given all of the Honda transmission failures those years and Honda's ads highlighting their excellence, seems as if the NHTSB should do the right thing and get Honda to replace/fix the transmissions for free. Those of us who bought Honda's based on their advertisements have a good reason to have expected the transmissions to last at least 100,000 miles. Will complain to NHTSB ! Will see what Dealer does on Monday before I decide what kind of car I am buying next!

Update from May 22, 2012: Honda dealership called. They said that Honda said I would have to pay $2000 of the $5000 to replace the transmission (have less than 77,000 miles on the car. To me, sounded like he was saying that Honda thought they were being very helpful since they paid for most of the transmission that had to be replaced less than 4 years ago when I only had 39,000 miles on the car!!!

I reminded him that me and the hundreds of other who have had to replace the transmissions on low mileage well-maintained Honda Accords should never have had to pay anything in the first place - there should be a recall.

Looks like I will be spending lots of my time fighting this - for the second time. Will send in an official complaint to the NHTSA of course. And looks like Honda will be losing me as a customer forever. If my car is going to be a total loss, might be worth it to ride around with a sign on it that says: NO MORE HONDAs - Only 77,000 miles Yet Had to Replace Transmission 2x. Really sad - thought Honda had more integrity and better cars.

Update from Jun 1, 2012: Original Transmission failed at abt 37,200 miles. Honda Dealer installed remanufactured transmission failed at less than 40,000 miles later, at 77,000 miles.

Despite hundreds of complaints and dealers & repairmen acknowledging the problem with 2002 Honda transmissions, the NHSTA has apparently done nothing to help us consumers. Where are they?

Despite Rosenthal Landmark Honda's statement on the receipt for the remanufactured transmission that "Honda has very high goals and expectations for its products and services. Here at Landmark Honda we echo that sentiment of consumer satisfaction", I do not believe they did enough to provide an appropriate remedy. In the end, I did not feel well-treated and do not plan on recommending Landmark Honda.

In my opinion, American Honda's response was lacking too. The representative kept stating that Honda's "final outcome" was that I must pay $1500 to get Honda to replace the replaced transmission. When I inquired about applicability, neither the Landmark Honda Service Manager, located in Alexandria, VA or the American Honda rep who handles Virginia knew about Virginia's "Secret Warranties Law" VA code subsection 59.1-207.34 to .39. The Honda rep basically stated that it was not her job to know Virginia laws.

I still believe that American Honda and the dealership should have replaced the replacement transmission for free, and certainly for much less than $1500. Two transmissions should not have failed at less than 40,000 miles each. To me, and many others, that indicates a defective transmission. And the process was emotionally frustrating and time consuming.

But I needed my car, so I paid the $1500 + that Honda wouldn't budge from. Here are the charges: Total Labor = $580 ($116/hr for 5 hours I believe) Total Parts = $920 Regulatory compliance fee = $2; Diagnostic Equipment fee = $4.35; Shop Supplies = $30; Hazardous waste disposal = $5; tax extra for a total of $1589

Time to buy a new car - anything but a Honda or Acura. Too bad as I was leaning towards buying a new CRV...

- jdc, Washington, DC, USA

problem #310

Feb 212010

Accord EX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

2002 Accord EX V6 initially diagnosed by Honda with a Bad Transmission, after servicing. The auto only had 64,000 on it when diagnosed. Honda needs to man up and recall. To many people are having the exact same problem. If anyone hears this a class action law suit would not be hard to innate. sure Honda offered to split the expense after extending the warranty coverage, right there they are admitting there is a problem. $4,600.00 and unemployed, right.....

- Robert B., winter park, FL, USA

problem #309

Apr 232012

Accord SE 2.3L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


Honda Dealership says that it would cost $4600 and that because of the known issue the Honda company will only pay $1400. Called the Honda America, and was told that Honda will not pay anything, because the it is 10 years old, It has low mileage, the maintenance done regularly, and low wear and tear (Isn't that a good thing?). Asked to speak to a supervisor, was told the Supervisor will call back, but have not heard anything from the supervisor. My other 2002 Honda had the same problem about 4 years ago and Honda fixed it at no cost, even though it was out of warranty. If this is how the customer is treated then I'm never buy Honda again.

- kunalva, Sterling, VA, USA

problem #308

Jan 012004

Accord VP 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,976 miles

Thought Honda's were good cars. I guess they have their POS, too.

- sirles334, Chelsea, AL, USA

problem #307

Nov 012011

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

My car have been jerking this couple months. Yesterday while driving the car suddenly come to a complete stop. It was cost me about $4000 to fix and my car is only at 88000 miles.

- Hoa D., Folsom, CA, USA

problem #306

Mar 052012

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,300 miles


Same problem as many others on this site. Transmission started slipping and jerking at 150K miles. Went to the Honda dealership and they stated that the only fix was to replace with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of $4000K. I'm going to see what AAMCO can do as far as a repair. After going through this site, I'm feeling like one of the lucky ones as many are having problems as early as 50K miles.

- Matthew Z., Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #305

Dec 012011

Accord EX Vs

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,540 miles

My 18 yr old son purchased his first car in August 2011. We checked the records and the car looked clean and in good condition. His 2002 Honda Accord is now parked. The transmission is on its last leg and like the rest of you, we had no idea this year for the accord had problems. We contacted our family Honda man who said and agreed this wasn't the make model or year we should have bought. If Honda knew this for the last 10 years why wasn't the consumer aware. I wan't Honda to do something about this for all of us and the people who are about to make a big mistake and a bad purchase.

- Heather K., Joppa, MD, US

problem #304

Feb 182012

Accord ES 2.3L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,467 miles

Just paid $4,000 for this car and then I find out Honda has known that there are problems with these transmissions. I am looking to pay between $2,500 to $3,500 to repair and I dont have it. I wanted a Honda because I have always heard what good cars they are. Now I am really pissed.

- ladyt1999, Arkadelphia, AR, USA

problem #303

Feb 012011

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I have a 2002 Honda accord that the transmission slips from 1st to second. Sometimes it will not slip and be ok. I have changed the transmission fluid in it since I owned it at 50,000 miles. It has 169,000 on the car now. It has been a good car but when a big expense item fails that people can not just pay for out of their pocket, it changes your mind about the item. I was on the assumption that Honda's were reliable and a worry free car. There is no reason if a vehicle is taken care of regularly that their should be a major problem that should no be covered by the manufacturer. The transmission is the second most expense mechanical part in a car next to the motor. I have owned a lot of different vehicles and never had a problem with transmissions going bad. Honda needs to start standing behind their vehicles with a better and more detailed warranty (not limited) on parts that are more expense and may fail prematurely for no reason at all.

- rlh5554, Lake Luzerne, NY, USA

problem #302

Dec 082011

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles


Recently, I heard a sound when the transmission shift gear, like ban sound. The transmission began jerk while accelerating.... I researched on the internet and saw a lot of people with the same problem, don't know what to do.

- Alfee L., Covina, CA, USA

problem #301

Jul 012011

Accord Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

We purchased a Honda based on their "legendary reliance"

We had to replace the transmission after 68k miles.

My drivers window no longer works

Passenger electric lock os broken

Been a lemon of sorts

73000 miles currently

- jason333, Austin, TX, USA

problem #300

Jan 122012

Accord VP V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I have had every maintenance required for my 2002 Honda Accord VP since I bought it in Nov 2001. It started with a check engine light 13 days ago. Honda dealer found no problem, but said it was a loose gas cap. Then once or twice this week I thought I had pressed accelerator too hard as car seemed to rev as I started from idle in traffic. Next, early this morning car started jerking and revving and it seemed to hardly move at all after driving about 15 mins so I BARELY got it home. Got it towed to same Honda dealer who did the testing for check engine light 13 days ago, same dealer I bought care from, same dealer/service department I bought car from and where I had it serviced. They diagnosed it as Transmission won't shift from 2nd to 3rd gear. Actually the thing barely moved at all part of way home, and I don't think I could have gotten it to a dealer bf it was rear ended or it just quit moving.

I asked the service advisor, and then others there too, why did it fail? What could I have done to prevent it? They told me there was nothing I could have done that I have not done. They said I have had every maintance required, and that I could have not done ANYTHING to prevent it. I asked them why I had to replace a transmission on a 2002 Accord that had only aoubt 55,000 miles on it? They said that things can just go wrong with a car. They had no explanation. I asked if this model had some kind of transmission issues regularly or was there any kind of recall, and they told me that there was no recall on this model and year.

I bought the car as my second Honda. I sold my 1991 at 10 years old, and had people outbidding each other to get it for their high school or college kids. I decided to keep this one bc I thought I would get the value out of it HONDA is KNOWN for. Now I don't know if I can trust another Honda when I do buy another car.

It is supposed to be fixed by Mon or Tues of next week. They ordered a rebuilt transmission and said it will have a 3 year warranty. The cost I have been told is about 3,800 dollars. I think I can get a 10 percent discount from being a preferred customer, but it sounds very high, and I still cannot imagine why a "reliable Honda" would have a tranmission go out for not reason. THere was no advance warning, other than the check engine light they said was due to a loose gas cap. There were no oil leaks. I had the 60,000 mile service done when I took it in to get check engine light taken care of, just to be sure I was taking extra good care of everything.

What happened to Honda:?? How and where will I find a reliable car again when I can get the next car?? It will have to be while til I get this transmission paid off. I am not sure if I should try to get dealer and service manager to try to interven or just start with HONDA at a higher level? THis is not why I bought a Honda, I thought I was getting reliable transportation, but if I had not gotten scared bc I did not understant what was wrong with the car I would have been stranded or even rear ended bc I could get it home.

- Betti G., Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #299

Aug 042011

Accord Se 4 Door 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


- Steve S., Yorktown, IN, USA

problem #298

Jan 082012

Accord V6 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,361 miles

I bought this car used in December 2003 and it had 23K miles on it. I bought it from a reputable dealer (Toyota of Durham, NC) and it had a clean car fax report. I previously had a 1994 Honda Civic DX with 140K miles on it and loved it, so I decided to upgrade to Honda's top of the line sedan. I never had any issues with the Civic so I thought the same would be true of the Accord.

Since I purchased the car I have averaged only 11,750 miles/year and have kept up with the required scheduled maintenance (oil changes, tires, fluids, brakes). I even had the 105K service done at Honda of San Leandro because I wanted to ensure that it was done correctly and at the time was the most expensive service needed for this car.

The problem first occurred on October 24th, when my check engine light, TCS light and a blinking D4 light came on. I pulled into a gas station, filled up and started it up again. Only the check engine light was on so I was able to drive home. I took it to the same Honda dealership that did the 105K service, and they said that there was a 'problem' with my transmission and it was Honda's policy to only replace transmissions, not rebuild them. Total estimated cost is $4900. Since this cost, along with a needed new paint job due to the clear coat coming off (another common problem in Honda's from this year; I plan to file a complaint on that as well) at least met but probably exceeded the $6200 blue book value, I haven't addressed the problem.

Unfortunately I had the same thing happen last night - blinking D4 light, TCS and check engine light on so it looks like I need to address the problem sooner than later.

I do have all of my service records so I'm hoping for a goodwill reimbursement, but most goodwill reimbursements have only been for 50% of the cost which would only be $2450, which is still higher than having the same service at AAMCO for $2200. I'm amazed that my bottom of the line 1994 Honda Civic DX had 140K miles and never once had an issue, but the top of the line Honda Accord V6's transmission fails so soon??? In researching the problem there have been numerous complaints in regard to this model and it's faulty transmission, that fails around the 100K but Honda hasn't issued a recall for this model to my knowledge. I have a friend who has the same model in white, and was just told he needed a new transmission at 94K miles which makes me think the problem is much more pervasive than Honda will admit.

It's very disappointing - I bought Honda because I thought they were reliable and that the car would last a long time, but given how pervasive I think this problem is it makes me question my loyalty to Honda. Until this happened I had always planned on buying another Honda when the time came, but I can't purchase a car because I'd worry that something would happen to it as well. Really? I need to replace a transmission and get the car painted at 100K miles? On a Honda???

- Jon S., Oakland, CA, USA

problem #297

Dec 052011

Accord EX I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,988 miles

Up until now, I have always driven Hondas (both cars and motorcycles), recommended Honda dealerships for service of these vehicles, and purchased OEM Honda parts for repairs. I am a used car dealer and was always confident purchasing Honda vehicles for resale, but with all the automatic transmission problems I have been seeing on various models from manufacture dates mid 1997 through 2003 so far, I am going to be shying away from Honda and leaning towards other import makes. When I buy a Honda & discover that I have to replace the transmission before selling it, I always lose money on it and this is not acceptable!

- blackwa, Arlington, WA, USA

problem #296

Aug 012011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,516 miles

Be proud, and buy American. What happened to that anyway, there's my experience with Honda, i won't buy them again... my other car is a Chev Cavalier, and no problems....

Update from Jan 4, 2012: hi this is KC again. An update on this issue...Honda Canada had only offered (with a discount thru the dealer only) to fix the vehicle (replace the transmission with a rebuilt transmission) for a cost of $3200 plus taxes. (approximately $3500 total) Also, they only offered a 1 year warranty or 20,000 kms whichever came first. I told them what i thought about that - what do they themself think of their transmissions if that's all they offer for a warranty. I decided to go with AAMCO here in Surrey. They rebuilt the transmission, and replaced the torque converter as part of that (replaced all parts that needed replacement - clutches in the transmission, and updated to newest (less problematic parts in it) Their warranty 3 year/60,000kms North America wide, and the cost was $2600 including taxes. (i even got a vehicle to use while it was in the shop) Incidently, the week it was in the shop, AAMCO also had another honda accord (i think it was a 2001 and a Honda Odssey in the shop, also for transmission problems)

Sorry Honda, you aint the reliability you used to be!


- Kc C., Surrey, BC, canada

problem #295

Jun 212010

Accord ES V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,500 miles

at 48,500 miles with a senior woman driving, I can't understand why I need to replace transmission, why it is slipping and jerking. And to fix, cost estimated to be $2900 by a Honda dealer. Can't Honda do something to assist me. I am the only driver and have maintenance done when it needs to be done. Honda could at least offer to pay 1/2!!!!!

- Juanita L., Orlando, FL, USA

problem #294

Oct 092011

Accord SE 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I noticed the car starting to jerk while shifting about 9 months ago when the odometer just hit 100k. Now with about 112k the car is jerking every time you come to a stop and start. This is my 4th Honda and never have I had transmission problems before. This car is well maintained with Honda service records! I currently own this Accord and an 08 Odyssey. Previously owned a 93 Accord and 96 Civic which had ZERO transmission problems and ran well into their upper 100k's and were still running fine the day I traded them in. Honda needs to step up and rectify this situation with a recall of these faulty transmissions. I was planning on keeping this car for another couple years and trading it in on a new Honda, but may look elsewhere if Honda does not stand behind these cars.

- Joe J., Trafford, PA, USA

problem #293

Jan 192011

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The car had 140,000 miles at the time and the Transmission started slipping and jerking. Whenever we come to a stop in the car, the engine sounds like it spins up really fast, and then drops to first or neutral, in the process, causing the car to lurch forward dangerously. When starting from a stop, the same thing will happen, step on the gas, engine spins up very quickly, then it drops into gear again causing the car to lurch forward, at which point you have to wait a couple seconds before the car actually moves. Its terrible and dangerous. We are waiting for a recall, but its getting so bad we may have no option but to replace it ourselves, which we can't afford at the moment.

- Christopher M., Boulder, CO, USA

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