2003 Acura TL Type S 3.2 from North America


Too many defects


Brake light switch at 13K and 65K - would not shift into reverse without dis-engaging shift lock until switch replaced.

Transmission replaced 3 times - 24K, 66K & 69K.

Dashboard warped - replaced at 48K miles.

Dealership gouged the passenger seat when replacing the dashboard and offered no avenue to repair or take responsibility.

Counter-shaft speed sensor replaced at 37K miles.

General Comments:

Lots of repairs for an American Honda product.

A substantial loss in value due to transmission recall - compare the 2003 TL to the 2004.

American Honda has made no efforts to remedy the transmission issue, simply replacing defective transmissions with rebuilt defective transmissions until the extended time duration (years) or mileage reach the limit, then American Honda is in to make extra money in replacement transmission sales and labor costs.

Not sure about this type of business practice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th April, 2007

5th Apr 2007, 12:22

I believe your loss in value was not because of the transmission. 2004 TL was an all new design. It is night in day not only in interior and exterior styling, but driving as well. I have an 01 CL type S, so I know what you are saying about the transmissions, but you have to remember how many other manufacturers have transmission problems (chrysler) and don't offer and extended warranty.

5th Apr 2007, 13:47

Sorry that you are having so much problems... It should be written in history books that TL's from 2001-2003 were proned to trans failure.

11th Apr 2007, 16:39

Its bad enough that I needed 2 new transmissions and a lot of non warranty work done on my 02 TLS, but its Hondas poor customer care group that doesn, t really care. They are almost as bad as Saturn.

2003 Acura TL from North America


Lousy Deal


Transmission pump installation

Transmission Failure at 28000 miles

Transmission Failure at 39000 miles.

General Comments:

Absolute waste of money, Honda needs to get it's act together rather than haste into the luxury segment. maybe if they can't get reliable automatic transmission, better keep building gas sippers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th January, 2007

2003 Acura TL 3.2 -S 3.2L from North America


Horrendous; worst than my 1973 Chevrolet Vega - undoubtedly the worst American car ever produced


Transmission imploded with such violent knocks I thought I had been rear-ended by another car.

The violence of the transmission implosion knocked all dash-board services lights on; I suspect engine and other major problems to emerge from this incident.

General Comments:

Car has only 41,500 easy miles.

Apparently, nearly every 2002-2003 Acura TL blows more than one transmission.

I have never heard of such a serious defect on any other car. I switched to Japanese cars 15 years ago to avoid this kind of serious engineering design blunder.

I will never buy another Acura under any circumstances.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th January, 2007

15th Jan 2007, 23:04

So if all 2002-2003 Acura TL's are bad then all Acura's ever made must be horrible.

16th Jan 2007, 05:45

The commenter stated "nearly every" not all. Read again. I know how he feels 2 transmissions in my 2002 TL type S low mileage. My new Legend was great at the time I based this purchase on that one. We should have a check mailed from Acura paying us...ridiculous. I bought new GM's.

2003 Acura TL Type S 3 liter 6 from North America


Hard to find better


The transmission is one of those recalled. I had 2 replacements under warranty within 35K miles and am now having a THIRD replacment put in.

Motor mount broke, may be related to transmission problems.

Rear brakes went before front. Don't understand that (46K miles)

General Comments:

Other than issues above, a darn near perfect car. Great handling, good comfort, great mileage (30 plus highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2006

11th Oct 2006, 13:30

I think you meant "Hard to find worse."

11th Oct 2006, 16:35

Sorry to ask, but after three tranny replacements in less than 100k miles, what should gone wrong to admit that you own a lemon. Please don't say that the cd player...

11th Oct 2006, 20:19

I can name a few worse cars: Contour, Cavalier, neon, yugo, etc.

2003 Acura TL 3.2 from North America


How much for a new transmission??


Transmission recall at 15k, complete brake system replacement at 60k, transmission failure at 77k, sunroof rattles, trim is flimsy.

General Comments:

Overall, I have enjoyed the vehicle, but the transmission problems have been an annoying. Now that the transmission has failed prematurely, and Acura's failure to remedy the situation, I feel that I would not purchase another vehicle from Acura.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st July, 2006

21st Jul 2006, 19:34

Another example of how Japanese advertising and biased car magazine writers have created an "urban myth" about the superiority of Japanese cars. I've owned lots of cars in my nearly 45 years of driving, and not one American car ever gave me one single problem, whereas the most troublesome cars we ever owned were 2 Japanese cars and one German car.

We put over 100,000 miles on several of our American cars, and 2 of them we kept for over 200,000 miles. None of them ever required a single repair other than routine scheduled maintenance.

21st Jul 2006, 22:37

So far I have made the Automatic in my V-6 Accord last to 130,000 miles. They are known for going out just as your Acura. I was startled to find out from our trusted family mechanic that this transmission has no filter in it. After only 30,000 miles of driving, the fluid was pitch black and probably had many metal shavings and such in the pan. After changing it every year, the tranny has lasted and is acting more normal again. I would suggest changing the fluid often. I am no mechanic, but it has sure saved our transmission.

22nd Jul 2006, 20:37

It seems that the Japanese cars were much more reliable when they were made in Japan... maybe there will be a good American vehicle made over there.

12th Jan 2009, 17:40

I have a 2002 3.2 TL and I am very pleased with this vehicle.

I had tranny problems at 60,000 miles; the dealer replaced it, Acura gave me an additional 50,000 4 year warranty (that's a total of 150,000 miles, 11 yr. I now have 160,000 miles on it and NO further problems. I believe in maintenance.

I have a 1988 Legend with 330,000 miles with NO engine work. I'd surely buy another Acura, it's been the best car I've ever owned.

The 1986 Caddy I bought, the tranny gave up the ghost at 17,000 miles. I have great experiences with the Japanese cars that I've owned (total of 6, Datsun, Toyota, Acura).