The Acura TL is a compact executive and luxury car that was produced by Acura, a luxury vehicle division of Honda and first launched in March of 1986. The Acura TL was first introduced on the market in 1995 to replace the Acura Vigor and was Acura’s best selling model until it was outsold by the MDX in 2007.
In 2005, the Acura TL ranked as the second best luxury sedan in the United States only losing to the BMW 3 Series. After this popular ranking, however, the sales and the reviews steadily declined. Four generations of the Acura TL were produced, with the final fourth generation premiering as the 2009 model and ending production in 2014.
The first generation was the UA1-3 and was produced from 1996-1998, the second generation was produced from 1999-2003, the third generation was from 2004-2008, and the fourth generation was produced and manufactured from 2009-2014.
2002 Acura TL Problems
The top categories of complaint regarding the 2002 Acura TL involve the transmission, with the 1999-2003 Acura TL having a known and widespread defect within this system. Honda fixed some vehicles with a recall in 2004 by changing the oil cooler return line, and extended the transmission warranty on some of the Acura TL’s to around 110,000 miles.
The transmission problems that the users stated for this model involve the transmission failure and the transmission slipping, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $3,060 and the average mileage occurring at around 148,000 miles, with the most common solutions being to rebuild the transmission or replace the transmission.
2003 Acura TL Problems
The main category of complaints regarding this mode is also the transmission, with users stating that the car undergoes transmission failure and the car shakes during acceleration. To fix the transmission failure, the typical repair cost comes out to nearly $3,000 and occurs at around 115,000 miles, with tears stating that the most common solution is to replace the transmission.
2004 Acura TL Problems
The top categories of concern regarding the 2004 Acura TL involve the interior accessories and the transmission. The top issues regarding the interior accessories for users include the cracked dashboard, the control center not working, the stereo not working correctly, and the washer fluid light turning on. To fix the cracked dashboard, the typical repair cost is around $1,200 and the most common solution is to replace the dashboard at around 116,000 miles.
For the transmission issues that have been plaguing the Acura TL, the transmission failure and hard shifting are still the most common problems. The typical repair cost is around $3,600 and occurs at around 11,000 miles, with the most common solutions being to replace the transmission, with users stating that the car shuts down while driving, the car wasn’t able to stomp and the car needed a transmission replacement.
2005 Acura TL Problems
The main category of concern regarding the Acura TL involves the interior accessories, with the highest NHTSA complaints involving the body and paint category. The interior accessories issues continue to focus on the cracked dashboard, the CD and tape player breaking, and rattling in the rear shelf behind the rear seat. The cracked dashboard has a common solution of replacing the dashboard and having a typical repair cost of around $1,700 at around 89,000 miles.
Regarding the body and paint problems, the top concerns from users focus on the clear coat peeling off, the door handle cover falling off, the roof and pillars, and the structure of the body having issues.
2006 Acura TL Problems
The 2006 Acura TL main categories of concern involve the interior accessories and the top NHTSA issues focus on the seat belts and air bags system. For the interior problems, users have cited complaints regarding the cracked dashboard, Bluetooth failure, and the navigation system. To fix the Bluetooth failure, the most common solution is to disable it and replace the module, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $800 and occurring at around 96,000 miles.
For the seat belts and air bags, the top complaints focus on the air bag system, with users having complaints about the faulty sensors, electrical issues, the dashboard lights coming on, and the transmission needing to be rebuilt or replaced, causing 3 crashes, 3 injuries, and occurring at around 89,000 miles.
2007 Acura TL Problems
The main categories of complaint in the 2007 Acura TL still focus on the interior accessories, but also have user complaints focusing on the electrical problems and the transmission. The top complaints of the electrical system focus on the battery dying overnight, the loss of power in the car, the car not being able to turn, and the loss of power while driving. The battery dying overnight can be repaired by around $200 and has a common solution of replacing the relay or disconnecting the faulty Bluetooth module.
The transmission issues in this car focus on the hesitation during transmission and the constant vibration during use, with the most common solution rebuilding the transmission and costing around $2,500 and occurring at around 66,000 miles.
2008 Acura TL Problems
The top category of complaints focusing on the Acura TL in the 2008 model year involves the interior accessories as it has the previous years, with the main user concerns focusing on the seats ripping, the dash cracking, the Bluetooth failing, and the radio losing presets. To fix the seats ripping, the typical repair cost comes in at around $750 and occurs at around 74,000 miles, with the most common solution being to replace the leather.
2009 Acura TL Problems
Unlike the previous model years, the main category of concerns regarding the 2009 Acura TL focus on the engine. The main issues focus on the excessive oil consumption in the 2009 Acura TL, with this problem happening at an average mileage of around 41,000 miles, and has users stating that the low oil light turns on the dashboard, and there is excessive oil use in the car.
2010 Acura TL Problems
Similar to the previous year, the main category of complaints in the 2010 Acura TL involves the engine, with the most user complaints focusing on excessive oil consumption or a beeping noise coming from the engine. The typical repair cost of the excessive oil consumption came out to around $6,550 and has the most common solution of possibly replacing the motor, replacing the engine, or replacing the short block.
2011 Acura TL Problems
Unlike the previous years, the 2011 Acura TL has very few problems when compared to the last few model years. The only problems in this model were very minor, and focused on the clutch and engine problems. The clutch issue focuses on the clutch slipping during use, with the typical solution being to replace the clutch and flywheel at around 40,000 miles.
2012 Acura TL Problems
The main category of concern in the 2012 Acura TL involves the suspension problems and the steering system. The problems within the suspension focus on the noise from the suspension, with the problem happening at around 8,400 miles and users stating the car makes clunking or grinding sounds.
In the steering system category, users made various complaints regarding the power steering failing, with the most common solution being to replace the EPS unit or replace the power steering motor, with the typical repair cost coming out to around $1,490 and occurring at around 82,000 miles.
2013-2014 Acura TL Problems
The problems with the Acura Tl in these model years are very minor when compared to the previous years, with these years having only minor complaints, focusing on the steering in the2013 model year and the body and paint in the 2014 model. The steering concerns focus on the power steering failure, with users stating that they needed to replace the EPS module at around 57,000 miles for around $1,200. The body and paint issues in the 2014 Acura TL involve the deck lid hinges squeaking at only 8,000 miles.
2007 Acura TL Reliability
The 2007 Acura TL has a combination of both comfort and safety on the road and delivers a luxurious ride and a comfortable car for many occasions. The pros of the Acura TL in this year is that the V6 engines deliver power and high performance qualities, the Acura TL is packed to the brim with standard features, the car has leather seats and a luxury interior with a spacious cabin, the Acura TL has a strong resale value, and it has solid safety features and crash test ratings. The cons of the 2007 Acura TL is that the handling has a tendency to steer haphazardly, there is no rear folding seat back for extra cargo space, and there is no all-wheel drive option.
The CAr US News Scorecard for the 2007 Acura TL earned a 8.9 rating out of 10, with the critics’ rating coming out to 9.3, the performance coming to 8.7, the interior equalling 84, the safety coming out to 9.2, and the reliability rating from JD Power coming to 3 out of 5 stars.
2014 Acura TL Reliability
The 2014 Acura TL Reliability earned the #10 ranking in the 2014 Luxury Midsize Cars category, along with a not as favorable #68 spots in the Used Luxury Midsize Cars under $20K category. The pros of this model involve the premium and luxurious interior, the strong and high performance V6 engines, and the sporty and agile handling. The cons of this car involve the few driver assistance features and limited safety options, with the 2014 being the last model year in production.
The Acura TL has energetic and agile handling, an upscale and luxurious cabin, and solid reliability and safety ratings for its last model year. It is also one of the most affordable used midsize luxury cars available on the market, and provides decent miles per gallon with the car earning `17-20 miles per gallon in the city, and 25-29 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Car US News Scorecard earned a total ranking of 7.9 out of 10 for the 2014 Acura TL, with the critics’ rating coming out to 8.3, the performance coming to 7.8, the interior equalling 8.2, the total cost of ownership coming out to 8.4, the safety coming out to 9.2, and the JD Power Reliability rating earning 3 out of 5 stars.
Acura TL Recalls
One of the first recalls for the Acura TL involved the powertrain and the automatic transmission. In some minivans and passenger vehicles, certain operating conditions could result in heat build up between the countershaft and the secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission, leading to gear tooth chipping, transmission lockup, and increasing the result of a crash.
Another early recall in the Acura TL involved the hydraulic power assist, the hose and piping connections, and the steering system in the car. Honda had to recall nearly 300,000 vehicles from the 2004-2008 models that had prolonged high under hood temperatures causing the power steering hose to deteriorate prematurely, leading to the hose to crack and leak power steering fluid.
Another recall from the same year involves the visibility and the windshield wiper and washers. Honda recalled nearly 130,000 vehicles from the 2004-2005 Acura TL vehicles, with the potential of water entering the windshield wiper motor breather port, resulting in corrosion inside the motor housing and causing a failure of the electrical circuit breaker in the motor housing.
One of the last calls in the car involves the airbags and the frontal and driver side air bags. Honda recalled specific 2009-2014 Acura TL models, with the affected vehicles receiving a replacement driver air bag inflator as part of the Takata inflator recall remedy or a replacement dier air bag module. An explosion of this inflator within the driver frontal airbag can cause the sharp metal fragments to strike the driver or passengers.