NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2001 Acura CL (Page 4 of 9)

CarComplaints.com 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,494 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 (Page 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #111

May 102004

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


Transmission began to slip at 36,000 miles. Vehicle was taken to dealership and transmission was replaced.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #110

May 032004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
2001 Acura Cl type-S, requiring fourth transmission.

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #109

Mar 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2001 Acura Cl type S. the transmission failed at 56000 miles.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #108

Feb 182004


  • 58,000 miles


Intermittently at any speed transmission slipped from one gear to another. Vehicle cycled through the gears randomly. Also, vehicle vibrated and stalled. Vehicle had been to the dealer eight times, but the problems recurred.

- Marlboro, NY, USA

problem #107

Apr 082004

(reported on)


  • miles
Since the consumer lives outside the usa, Acura usa refused to provide a new transmission. The consumer's vehicle experienced transmission problems. American Honda admitted that the automatic transmission of it's Cl and TL series may have problems, therefore they extended the warranty to 7 years or 100000 mile, whichever occurred first. Now that the vehicle is outside the usa the manufacturer refused to provide any assistance.

- Inknown, DC, USA

problem #106

Jan 282003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Bought car in 11/2002, thought I had bought a reliable car and all I have had is trouble, first the car had a ticking noise in motor and had problem with brakes brought it in 2wks after bought car. Brought it to dealership and they adjusted the valves, that was 1/2003, also we had noticed problems with tranny at that time also. Brought car in 4/2003, then brought car in 8/2003 because tranny was still downshifting or not shifting at all besides the ticking of the motor. We brought car in several more times and each time we complained about tranny and ticking of motor they say they can't deplicate the problem or fix the motor. Finally in Sept 2003 they fixed the valves, but not tranny. Can't find problem. I know that when U go up and incline the car will be going only 25 mph and car shakes violently, when I drive car on highway she shakes between 2nd and 3rd gear, also in 4th and 5th gear, the car has even stalled on me so now what" we've asked dealership so many times to fix problems but they have there mechanic drive it and he says there is no problem with tranny or engine and computers in car are fine. One day my wife and I could be seriously hurt, besides other people who will be near us. We even called up headquarters in California, they assigned us a project manager, he said he hasn't heard about the problems we are having, but we called another dealership a bit further from us and they know about the problems with the tranny and valves besides the brakes too. So who is lying to whom??" all I want is my car fixed. I know they aren't honest with paperwork, they use previous paperwork or never give us the paperwork, we have brought this car into the shop over 8 times since 11/2002, its a 2001, my Chevy is better then this and its now 11yrs old, go figure! someone is going to get killed, I know there was a recall that I just found out about in 2002, I was never notified!!!!

- Marlboro, NY, USA

problem #105

Mar 252004


  • 51,000 miles


While driving transmission produced a clanking noise. The part was replaced twice. However, the problem recurred.

- Clark, NJ, USA

problem #104

Dec 142002

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had surgery fusing 7 vertebrae in my neck and back. This was a result of a sudden and severe down shift of my Acura Cl 3.2 while driving on the highway.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #103

Mar 112004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission failure. Gears began to "slip", particularly between 2nd and 3rd, seemingly during upshifts and downshifts. The transmission felt as if it was searching for the right gear, and as it was engaging it, would slip. The engine would then rev freely. After completely letting it rev down to idle, gear would reengage some of the time. Other times had to stop and restart the car to get moving again.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #102

Mar 022004

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,400 miles
My transmission failed on my Acura Cl for the second time. I had it "replaced" after the first failure @49K miles that nearly cause an accident if it hadn't been for good driving skills. Now the same problem almost caused me to loose complete control @ 91000 miles after the dealer "enhanced the fix" with a new PCM @ 88000 miles.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #101

Feb 232004

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,501 miles


Automatic transmission erratic shifting, flare at upshifts, it shifts suddenly from 5th to 2nd gear, casuing extreme deceleration at high speed. Causing vehicle almost out of control, almost into an accident.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #100

Jan 132004

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,560 miles
Acura Cl type S five speed automatic transmission failed at 25,560 miles while driving on the freeway. No previous indications that there was a problem with the transmission.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #99

Feb 052003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Upon normal acceleration to enter the highway at about 50 miles per hour the automatic transmission locked up. The effect was a serious skid and inside the car it felt like I had hit a brick wall. If I had not been wearing my seat belt I would have been launched through the windshield. The car at this point was 1 year old with about 14,000 miles. The transmission was replaced. The new transmission slipped and shifted inappropriately and was also replaced on Nov. 6, 2003. This trasmission is not much better. There has been three transmissions in the car and I am fed up. This is my third new Acura since 1997 and I had no problems with the other two.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #98

Dec 312003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The transmission on my 2001 Acura Cl-S failed on Dec. 31, 2003 at 35,000 miles.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #97

Dec 222003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Transmission failed with a sudden downshift while driving 50 pmh

- Ny, NY, USA

problem #96

Dec 162003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
2001 Acura Cl type S transmission failure at 32000 miles.

- Little Falls, NJ, USA

problem #95

Nov 302003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
The transmission has been replaced once already and is about to be replaced again. After the first tranny was replaced the quality and performance level of my car dropped greatly. The 2001 Acura Cl type S I am driving now is not the car that I bought, nor want to drive. It is now sluggish, the transmission is stil acting up, it is louder, does not hold itself in a gear for more sporty drive. If I wanted a Honda Accord, I would have bought one. Now my car drives just like one.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #94

Jun 012003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The transmission in the car went at 25,000 miles. It was replaced but the replacement also failed at 60,000 miles.

- New Milford, NJ, USA

problem #93

Dec 162001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Have had numerous transmission difficulties with my 2001 Acura Cl-type S. I am currently driving on my 4th transmission. Need to take it in again because it is showing sign of trouble....again!!

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #92

Nov 202003

CL 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,524 miles
Transmission faliure.

- Middletown, NY, USA

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