Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The automatic transmission on the 2nd generation CL (2001-2003) is a downshifting mess. According to reports it slips, flares, and eventually fails --- sometimes around 40,000 miles.

The troubled transmission got an extended warranty for some CL owners that was later extended even further thanks to a class-action lawsuit in the United States. But even with the extended warranty, the transmission in this car is well known for overheating and locking up suddenly and without warning.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,633 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 Acura CL transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Acura CL Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 202005

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


I am the original owner of a 2001 Acura 3.2 Cl. I have had my transmission replaced 3 times since I have owned it. Acura has admitted to making a faulty transmission and as extended their warranty to 100K on the transmission, however, my vehicle is now at 134K and they will not cover the latest replacement transmission up to 100K which I believe they should. They can give me no guarantees of the expected life of the newest transmission and will not cover any further replacements. This means that if it goes out again, I will be paying $4,000 for something that is their defect. I am extremely concerned that it will go out again while I own it and cause an accident or will leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere as I travel alot. I have not been able to find anyone to assist me with this issue. If you can provide me with any help, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 222002


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Nar 02/25/2003: While the consumer was driving at approximately 75 mph the car suddenly shifted down into 1st or 2nd gear, instantly dropping the car to 40 mph and then shifted back up to 5th.the consumer feared that it could have caused a severe accident and Acura needs to address the issues of these defective transmissions.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,800 miles
Sudden downshift into 3rd gear - near accident.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 202002

(reported on)


  • miles


Transmission failed two times and was replaced. The third time while the consumer was driving on the highway transmission failed, consumer lost control of the vehicle and hit a cement divider damaging the vehicle. The brakes and rotors have been replaces several times. The brake failure caused pulsation in the front end. The air bag casing popped out twice and the air bag has been replaced twice.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

Sep 232002

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumers vehicle has been into the repair shop several times for replacement and repair of the transmission. Consumer requests that Acura follow through with the offer of switching out the vehicle with the least possible loss to consumer.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 012002


  • miles
Consumer states while driving the transmission down shifts automatically from 5th to 2nd causing the car to almost stops instantly.

- Erie, PA, USA

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