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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,000 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2001 Acura CL Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 272015


  • 138,000 miles


The vehicle sub-frame is rotting on the passenger side caused by the air conditioner output directly above the frame dripping on it to the point where the car may be unsafe to drive. The frame on the driver side is ok and showing no signs of rust. I feel this is an engineering issue not caused by normal wear and tear. Acura local service and corporate representatives do not disagree with my conclusion but will not offer any repair compensation to have the sub-frame replaced. I discovered it when inspecting the front brakes with the front wheel removed. Otherwise, it would not have been known until a catastrophic frame collapse.they said the frame seemed to be structurally sound at this time but it definitely will need replacement in the near future. They said they found only two other complaints about this but a service person told me it is a common problem with 01 to 04 Cl's. Acura told me that because of the vehicle age, no compensation can be offered. I am a loyal Acura customer having purchased 4 of their vehicles in the past, the present one a 2015 tlx model. This didn't seem to matter to the Acura corporate representative. My hope is that by identifying the above problem, it will help preserve present and future Acura buyers and save an accident caused by a frame collapse with loss of steering control. Since it is a safety concern caused by an engineering deficiency, I feel Acura should agree to support all or some repair costs and notify current owners of this issue.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 092007

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura 3.2 Cl. While driving 50 mph, the engine and steering wheel vibrated, shook, and wobbled. The dealer stated that the vehicle was not under warranty and the repair would be his responsibility. The contact also stated that the vehicle would automatically accelerate when stopped at a traffic light. On January 9, 2008, the contact went to trade in the vehicle and was informed that it was a salvaged vehicle. He was referred to NHTSA by his credit union. The current mileage was 117,374 and failure mileage was 50,000.

- Landover Hills, MD, USA

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