2 New Transmissions for my 2001 Acura TL - Help

shirley17shirley17 Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Acura
Has anyone out there had transmission problems for new TLs? At 20,000 miles my transmission started to slip and just rev. when it was switching gears. Took to dealer and they said it was a bad transmission. They ordered new one from Honda and replaced it. Very poor service at dealer, would not call to inform me of when to expect car. A week went by and I called and they said it was ready. Drove car one mile and check engine and TCS light went on. Drove back to dealer and they tested it on computer and said bad clutch in transmission. Car has been there 6 days still again no call. They called today to see how service was last week and they got an ear full. Service Manager called and acted like no big deal and said they just ordered me another "new" transmission. I don't think I have any recourse regarding this problem do I? I'm extremely frustrated and want to sell the car immediately. I don't believe they are putting a "new" transmission into car. Any advice on what to do or how to sell car after it has had these problems? Thanks, Shirley


  • arkainzeyearkainzeye Member Posts: 473
    make sur eyou get a copy of everything they do, each and every single time. cause 3 stikes and their out! if you have one more problem and you have record of it, you could declare use the lemon law. espeically with something that big. i would ask to see the invoice on the "new" transmission, AND talk to the regional person in charge of acuras' in your area. cause who knows maybe they are just Rebuilding it, and rebuilt it wrong last time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Good advice but keep in mind that Lemon Laws vary from state to state. So get a copy for your state and study what it actually takes for you to qualify as the owner of a car that can be bought back under the Lemon Laws.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    As they vary from state to state, there is a limit on the age of the car, which the lemon law applies
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    Actually I don't think Honda is obligated to give you a new tranny. In fact I think the general policy is to replace with a remanufactured tranny.
    Some will argue that once they've rebuilt it from scratch, it's as good as new. Well, I suppose it has to be better than the one that just failed! We had a '90 Civic that needed a tranny transplant, and the "new" one had problems too, just different problems! So I certain know how you feel about wanting to sell the car.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    here is an excerpt from my lemon law/breach of warranty case reports relating to transmissions. This is my opinion, as entered in court proceedings:

    I confirmed through comparison of the part number used in the transmission replacement that, in fact, a “new” transmission was not used in the replacement operation, even though the vehicle had only xx miles at the initial failure. A “remanufactured” transmission was used and several points come to light on this issue:
    - A remanufactured transmission uses a transmission housing from unknown origin, application of vehicle and mileage on the “donor” vehicle.
    - A remanufactured transmission’s internal components are usually only replaced if they are “out of specs” with a certain requirements - obviously not the same wear and tolerance specifications as a new transmission.
    - A vehicle with a remanufactured transmission, especially a newer vehicle such as this, bears the burden of “not being in original condition” and subsequently assumes a loss in value of at least 40% - considering there are no other contributing factors as is not the case on this vehicle.
    An educated consumer or used car manager, upon having the ability to compare this vehicle to one that is similar but is equipped with the original transmission, would choose the original vehicle. Even if the mileage on the vehicle with the original transmission was more than on the remanufactured unit, a buyer can be certain the original transmission is built to tighter tolerances and constructed by the vehicle’s manufacturer – not an “aftermarket” transmission-rebuilding factory.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    That's interesting.

    IMO though, that 40% loss in value seems high for a car with only a rebuilt tranny. Also, on resale, I don't think you have to disclose to a buyer that the car has had a "new" tranny, unless he asks specifically.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but my appraisal of the value loss comes from (especially dealing with an Acura/Honda product) having 100 to choose from at auction with no history of substantial defects and that one with three rebuilt or reman transmissions. Why buy it?

    As a dealer, I would fear someone check ing the warranty history (easily done) and walking around the car. Looks bad from a reputation standpoint, too. (That dealer is selling junk/lemon cars!)
  • shirley17shirley17 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for all the information. Well, it's been 9 days since the last failure and still do not have my car back. 2nd trans. came into dealer on Monday and they have not completed it yet. After reading the above messages, I more than ever want to sell it, but not sure to whom, i.e., private or dealer. The disclosing of the 2 trans. makes me uncomfortable selling to private. I feel I've got the total screw either way. Not sure what I'll do IF I ever get the car back. Beware of Acura service in West Covina, CA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I agree with bodydouble on this one...a 40% diminution of value for a factory reman transmission is really a stretch. I feel that if you had two identical cars, and one advertised with a Honda reman transmission, that you wouldn't have to reduce the price anywhere near that much before someone chose it over a similar vehicle with original transmission. In fact, you probably wouldn't have to reduce it at all, because you wouldn't have to tell anyone about it if you didn't wish to.

    Now if the car was advertised as a "lemon buy back" and had THAT stigma on it, you would be required to divulge that, and even if you explained that it was only for a reman transmission, that might hurt the value more.

    Similar situation is a car that is "totalled" because someone stole the interior out of it. So interior is replaced, car is good as new, but it's still branded as "salvage" and that hurts value.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I won't argue with your perceptions. I consult for a living and express opinions during testimony in court. It is my opinion, and only my opinion, as an appraiser.

    It's not up for argument since it's only my opinion. My opinion is the only one that counts when I'm on the witness stand. If I choose to devalue an Acura 40% because most other Acuras are perfect, then that's just the way I think.

    From the consumer's perspective, try selling a car at anywhere near book value after disclosing the true history of the car in question.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    well of course I understand. In court it's all about who "buys it or doesn't" Been there, done that.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    and I certainly did not mean to appear snippy towards you. I get torn apart by defense attorneys who want me to concoct some rocket science formula for devaluation. Not going to happen - it's not a science, it's an art. A simple art. With lemon lawed and warranty breached vehicles, and of course shady vehicles sold through dealer fraud, it's very simple. Why would anyone give a fair value for a vehicle with problems when the person could get 100 more, just like it, with a substantial warranty history? They wouldn't.

    It seems defense attorneys are under the impression that a dealer HAS to give you book value for your vehicle (they don't as we all know) and that all vehicles at an auction sell for the same price. Were that the case, they'd sell vehicles as a lot purchase instead of individually.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    no I didn't think you were snippy at all, but thanks.

    But that's true, every used car needs to be looked at individually.

    Personally, by my own ethical standards, if it takes the dealer ten tries to find a good transmission, and the trans. finally works perfectly for a reasonable amount of time, I would feel under no obligation to reveal this to the new buyer, as they are receiving a good car and are thus not an aggrieved party.

    The way the story here has been revealed makes me suspect that the dealer is not putting his full attention and resources into solving the problem.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but consider this -

    Another opinion of mine:

    "Based on the intent and purpose, (manufacturer's) factory warranty has been proven ineffective given that some of the conditions and complaints raised by (the owner) still persist today. The fact that these complaints and service visits are now registered on the vehicle’s warranty history, which is available to any consumer, detracts strongly from the vehicle’s value.

    The complaint and repair history of this vehicle is considerable. Recurrent failures are documented as well as the manufacturer-authorized repair facility’s inability to correct the issues. Attempted repairs have not been long lasting or successful.

    The future performance of a vehicle is usually a direct reflection of its past. Based on my experience as a service manager, and given the substantial history of malfunctions, this vehicle will continue to fail."
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I'm working on case reports at home today and I'm taking frequent Edmunds breaks - I'll check back with you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well if the complaints were:




    this could certainly deter a potential buyer; however, you would have to presume the above before considering a diminution of value.

    If the complaints are about rattles and a "thumpedly thump" and the left rear speaker, well, I don't think that constitutes anything serious enough to affect value. And if the dealer successfully completed the repair,then I don't see any loss of value either.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    consider this - if you are a consumer on a Honda lot and you're looking at a used/certified Accord and you have two to choose from. One is perfect - maintenance only, not even a power mirror replacement. The other one has had three transmissions installed in 25,000 miles - 4 total. Which one do you want, and who takes the hit for the car sitting on the lot and not being sold? The dealer? Nope - they wouldn't have bought it at auction. The auction? Nope - they get a flat fee, they don't care. The original owner - you bet.

    Again, my opinion, and the only one that counts to me, considering I get paid for my opinions.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well I still don't get the logic of that one. If the two cars are identical, who is to say the "good" Accord won't burp up its transmission, since the identical Accord already gave up two? If anything, viewing these two cars would make me not want an Accord period.

    See what I'm getting at? What I see as a consumer is "Accord transmission problems" that affect the entire line of cars--at least from my limited perspective on that used car lot.

    the only time I see diminution of value is when the car has been literally diminished in some way, in safety, performance or cosmetics.

    This Accord finally got a good trans installed, so it's just as good as the other one. What's the difference now? Maybe the car with the new trans with fewer miles is the BETTER buy!
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    Honda Accords don't puke their transmissions - why would you buy an Accord with a history of transmission problems when you could get 200 of them with clean records? Additionally, based on my experience, which is a point that cannot be argued, remanufactured transmissions are inferior to original equipment, for the previously-stated reasons. I'd rather have a car with 60,000 miles and the original trans than a 40,000 mile car with a reman.

    In my line of work, I do not even consider damage and other cosmetic factors. I deal with vehicles with gross, massively negative warranty histories - cosmetics are not a factor.

    It's very simple - I don't look at a vehicle (or its history) in order to do a used car eval - the normal, carpets, seats, paint, tires, windshield - none of that matters - I deal with the difference in value between what the consumer paid and what the consumer got. If you wish to continue this discussion, we can do so off line - I prefer not to argue the very basis for my job in a national forum - I don't evaluate used cars for trade in - it's different!
  • shirley17shirley17 Member Posts: 4
    Wow, I've enjoyed your messages back and forth. But wanted to briefly update. Yesterday, day 20, I called dealer for update and they advised had to now order a "speed sensor" that controls speedometer. Apparently, dealer cracked it putting in and out transmissions. They thought it should be in today. Dealer called me and said part wouldn't be in until 2nd week of July!!!! I've already registered a complaint with the Acura Rep. on-line and am awaiting return call. If you read this tonight, please give me any advice on my conversation with Acura. I have read about the lemon laws and might approach it that way. But basically I would like them to restore my faith in Acura and replace the car (which I doubt will happen). Because I don't have faith in my vehicle any more. I frequently drive across the AZ desert to visit family with my two young children and now am afraid to do that in my Acura....Thanks as always, Shirley
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    unless you get a lawyer. The manufacturers helped write the Federal statutes that outline the state lemon laws, but unless your car literally blows up, you've got a fight on your hands for the proper attention. (I've been involved in over 1,000 lemon law/breach of warranty cases)

    How many miles are on your car and how many were on it when the transmission problems started?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    speed up the process of solving your car problems. Many people expect an attorney to write a letter, rattle some cages and the problems go away - it just doesn't work like that.
  • shirley17shirley17 Member Posts: 4
    The mileage was about 22,000 and that was only a month ago. The car has been at the dealer now a total of 23 days for this repair.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    to mileage, but check with the attorney general for your state. There is a Federal statue (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act) that may apply and mirrors the lemon law in many ways.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    As much as I empathize with you, my feeling is lemon law would not apply in your case. The problem, though frustrating, is identifiable. And it will be ruled that Honda hasn't had the prerequisite number of times "at the bat" to try to fix it. Now you do have an issue with Acura, in my opinion, about alternative transportation while your car is laid up till mid-July. They should provide you with a comparable loaner vehicle. Have they indicated they will do that, or pay for a rental of like quality and luxury?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    that no matter what the issue, if a loaner vehicle is not guaranteed at dealer level or outlined in the warranty guide, no loaner is owed. Most manufacturers got away from this practice several years ago.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    any update on your transmission woes?
  • blackackblackack Member Posts: 1

    I too have had transmission trouble with my 2001 Acura TL. It has really concerned me because it almost caused me to have a bad accident when it failed. Also, an acquaintance of mine who has a CL just had his transmission replaced about a month ago with only 18K miles. If you go to the Auto Safety Hotline website (www.nhtsa.dot.gov/hotline), you can log a complaint with NHTSA and also see the complaints of others. I was told by the dealer that they don't rebuild or refurbish, but they completely replace the transmission. I also contacted Acura Client Services and asked that they extend my warranty on the transmission, and they did. Hopefully, Acura will fix this problem in the near future and do a recall on the models affected. Surely, they can't ignore this issue for long...and eventually they will get tired of spending so much time and money on replacing transmissions!!
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    How did your tranny fail to almost cause an accident. Did it happen all of a sudden, or were there some symptoms, or telling signs, leading up to it?
  • andrewdnaandrewdna Member Posts: 32
    I was looking into the TL supposedly due to the bang for the buck according to all the die-hard owners in the other discussions, but after reading all the posts here, I rather take my chances on a Hyundai. Is it the 2001 which are affected only? I was going to buy a 2001 since cars depreciation starts leveling off after the 2nd year, but now I am hesistant to buy a TL. Maybe a RSX, but it is so new, I dont know if any problems will pop up with that one either. Zueslewis, please go in depth in your discussions, I'd like to know as much as possible about what you know. Since, this seems to be your area of expertise. Do share with the public with what you know, at least this gives people like us who do their DD before buying a car, more knowledge on what to do in case we have the misfortune of acquiring a citrus mobile. Thanks all for the interesting reads. Oh yes, I am very leary of buying Honda/Acura, my girlfriend's 94 Accord has had 2 radiators, and 3 water pumps already. The radiator should last the life of a car is what her mechanic told her.Apparently, not using distilled water when flushing the radiator and filling it with distilled water will rust the Honda radiator and also affect the water pump. My little 93 celica isnt that picky it seems. My family is a Toyota family with a Tundra, 2 camrys, 1 celica, and 1 corolla, plus 2 previous tercels and tacomas. All of these cars have been pretty darn reliable. No fancy schmancy V-tech but less headaches it seems. Are Honda/Acura as reliable as they used to be when the Legend was still king?
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    I think for the most part they still are.
  • jonraleigh1jonraleigh1 Member Posts: 1
    I also have had two (2) new/re built transmissions installed in my 2001 TL. My first went out at 57,000, and my second transmission went out at 62,000. (Yes, I drive a lot)

    Frustrating at best, considering what I paid for this quality(?) vehicle.

    I was informed the first time that Acura had no replacement parts, so a new one had to be installed. However, when I got my receipt, it shows they installed a "re built" transmission.

    "Automatic transmission and torque converter - EXCHANGE. Use only with A/T rebuild program."

    This tells me Acura is well aware about problems, and actually has a "program" in place to deal with it. I'll update this when my 2001 TL is returned to me, meanwhile, I'll drive my Pontiac Grand Am rental, which has no problems.

    Can anyone tell me about what warranty concessions Acura has extended to them?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    transmission exchange program, with the exception of Subaru and Honda on SOME models.

    Because Acura does the reman/exchange thing doesn't mean they're aware of any devastating series of problems or are part of a conspiracy.

    It also doesn't excause them from getting hammered over having to replace transmissions in such a nice car.
  • bigdadbigdad Member Posts: 55
    Acura has long had transmission problems. I have owned 5 Acuras (4 bought new)...the Integra manual trans failed with only 10K miles, and the 3 Legends with autos failed at 22K, 50K, and 75K. My NSX was fine until I sold it (but it only had 26K on it). Acura does NOT repair transmissions...they only replace with rebuilt, which is fine if they are paying for it under warranty, but not so great when you are stuck with a $5K bill. I am currently looking to replace my 94 legend (tranny replaced at 50K and is still fine at 138K currently). Started looking at TL's but based on my poor experience and the OVERWHELMING number of failures on the TL, I will go with a Toyota this time. When I questioned the local Acura dealer about the high number of failures (one dealer quoted a failure rate of up to 15%!!!) he said I should just buy an extended warranty....I told him he could buy it for me and I might consider a TL...he looked like I had just stabbed him in the heart....The auto tranny in the TL is the only MAJOR Japanese component....they can't make a good tranny for American use....and I am not an abusive driver (56 years old and retired...I like to brag about getting the last mpg out of a gallon of gas....27 is highest I've gotten out of my Legend). I would stay away from the Acura because of this continuing and LONG RECOGNIZED problem....just my .02
  • rbruehlrbruehl Member Posts: 85
    I had two remanufactured transmissions put in my V-6 Accord. After the second one was installed, I traded the car in on a Toyota Solara. I vowed never to buy another Honda made product again.

    There has been a continuous problem regarding the V-6 transmission produced by Honda. This is a pattern that began in 1998 when Honda changed suppliers.

    Go over to Honda Accord Quality Insurance Issues topic and you will see what I mean.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Member Posts: 1,391
    bigdad....I never knew Honda had manual transmission problems. I know for the RSX, Celica, WRX, etc...many are suprised they have transmission (mostly synchros) problems when they beat the heck out of the transmission.

    rbruehl....that's a good one. Where is isellhondas?
  • bigdadbigdad Member Posts: 55
    The Integra had a gear whine in 2nd gear, so when I brought it in (new model in 1990) they said that the gears weren't patterning right and the other gears would make noise later, so they just replaced the tranny....The car went on to provide 187K miles of virtually trouble free operation after that...gave to my teen age son, and later he gave it to his younger sister....now that was a remarkable car that could stand up to 2 teenagers for nearly 200K miles
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    Based on what you said, I wouldn't lump the Integra's manual in with the other 3. It sounds like it was an exception rather than the rule. We've got a CL and an Accord V6 though, so I am getting a bit nervous!
  • I own a '99 CRV-EX, (no problems) a 2001 Acura TL 3.2 and a 2001 Honda Accord EX VL. Do yourself a favor and do not buy either car. From leaking sun roofs, door moldings falling off, squeaks and broken traction control modules, you are better off getting a Toyota or GM product. Honda corporate continues to blame the dealers for their declining quality at the factory and do not care about their customers.
  • phdepphdep Member Posts: 9
    i bot a new acura 3.2 cl in october of 01 and now have 42,ooo miles on it, car was Great till last week when believe it or not my transmission went on the blink, i now have a loaner and am waiting for another tranny. Has anyone else had a similar experience with an acura cl or tl?????
  • phdepphdep Member Posts: 9
    my tranny on my 02 3.2cl died at 42000 miles and am waiting for another one could you tell me the phone # of client services and who to speak to and for how many miles will t, appreciate trishey warranty my new transmission, i already have 42000 miles and the factory warranty expires at 50000 miles, thank you, would appreciate this imfo very much, [email protected]
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    So, in about 10 months you have piled up 42,000 miles?! I wonder if ultra high-mileage is a factor in tranny failures?
  • thejavagodthejavagod Member Posts: 2
    Have maintained my car very well, never abused and carried all services out to spec. Two days ago the tranny started slipping and engine started free revving. Seems the transmission is blown. I am infuriated. I purchased this brand for the reliability. If I wanted to deal with this rubbish I would've just bought a BMW or Audi.

    In addition I recieved a very cheap Chevy Malibu as a loaner and the dealer refused to cover insurance charges on the loaner. Another guy had problems on his A4 and Audi placed him in another A4 loaner.

    Used to think very highly of Acura, now I just think that it is CRAP! Never again will I buy this garbage brand.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but the reliability on the A4 is poor at best and all BMW can show IS good service. I look at hundreds of lemon law cases each month and see Audi leading the pack of imports, with BMW and Mercedes not far behind. It's a shame that more money doesn't guarantee a better ride, long term.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    zues: Are these recalls involving Audis, BMWs and MBs of recent vintage?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I don't follow them or give them much credit since most recalls are just CYA for the manufacturers and are usually very minor.
  • bodydoublebodydouble Member Posts: 801
    I meant the lemon cases you mentioned. Don't know why I typed recalls :)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    most defintely recent vintage since only newer cars qualify under lemon law. Mag-Moss stretches timelines a bit more.

    It's disturbing to watch the MB/BMW/Audi guys in court. It's a shame.
  • benjrbenjr Member Posts: 9

    My friend told me about an article he read week of Sep 9-13, 2002 about the transmission problems on late model acuras/ hondas. To access , go to "WWW.LATIMES.COM" and click on "highway 1". Article is titled " Honda's UNexpected Gear Shift". The more Acura/HOnda owners know about this, the sooner Honda/Acura may do something about it.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    For all you doubters, here is an article:


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