Transmission Failed Very Prematurely

2001 Acura CL

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Acura dealer. 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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
123,800 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuilt transmission (2 reports)
  2. dealer recommended to sell the car (1 reports)
  3. dealer replaced transmission (1 reports)
  4. i paid $1,000 and my warranty company paid to rebuild it (1 reports)
  5. newly built Jasper transmission (1 reports)
  6. not sure (1 reports)
2001 Acura CL transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Acura CL:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2001 Acura CL Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 122018

CL 3.2lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


The transmission is so bad, I can't even drive the car. I see there is recalls in the transmissions for this car.

- klurenae, Wind Gap, PA, US

problem #7

Sep 122011

CL S 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

I purchased the car with about 45K miles on it in 2011 or so, I got a really good deal, the previous owner barely drove the car. I always received all of my maintenance at the Acura dealership and when my car hit about 100K or so I got my timing belt, spark plugs, the whole 100K mile maintenance that you have to do. Well when my car hit about 115K miles I started having issues, my car would sometimes act like it didn't want to shift (I have an automatic), sometimes I would feel a jolt after pressing on the gas. Then one day on the way to work my car started to die on me, like in the street. I took my car to the Acura dealership that morning, by lunch time I received a call from my normal representative that I dealt with at Acura and that's when he told me that my transmission is going out and would need to be replaced. He quoted me about $4000 for labor and parts. I was furious because in my mind, I spent over $1500 not even a year ago and I've had oil changes, all maintenance since then at the dealership. So I hung up with him, I researched for transmission issues on Acura's and found that there was a problem with the transmissions. I also found that there was a recall for my model year and after some digging I also found that the previous owner of my car had the transmission either rebuilt or replaced (it was worked on) in 2001. I found this out because the previous owner got the service done through the dealership and it showed exactly when it was done and where it was done. If you register your car through Acura (have to include the VIN) then ALL of the history will come up on that car, if the person took it to the dealership. So I called Acura Corporate and told them what was going on, I told them where my car was, my regular maintenance dates, etc. Within 1 to 2 days, I was talking to the Manager of the service department telling me that they will fix my transmission by rebuilding it and all I have to pay is for labor which was $500. They fixed my car no issues...until now.

Now fast forward to 2016, 5 years later I am currently at 159,450K miles and my car appears to be having the same engine problems. It feels like it is the transmission because my car does not feel like it wants to engage when I press on the gas, sometimes it takes a few seconds to get up and go. I am taking my car today 8/12/16 to get a diagnostic test. My car is 15 years old, no car lasts forever, I'm not sure how long a rebuilt transmission lasts so maybe I have gotten all that I am going to get out of her.....we will see.

- Stephanie P., Frisco, TX, US

problem #6

Apr 022012

CL Type S 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,000 miles

With out any warning transmission went out. Mechanic said it happened in the 3rd gear. Had it rebuilt since a new transmission would cost more than the car was worth.

- Heath B., Pelzer, SC, US

problem #5

Jan 102007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,500 miles


At 96,000 miles the dealership replaced my trans under warranty - torque converter issues and warranty was up at 100,000. The thing was this---- they knew those transmissions had problems and they had newer (fixed!) ones, but they put the same old junk one in my car under warranty. At 100,500 miles my transmission goes- same as before, torque converter (thank god I drive nothing but manuals now) but, I was out of warranty. We went round and round but no help from the dealership.

I paid $3750 for a specialty built Jasper transmission and sold the car. Took a loss but just wanted it gone. A nightmare.

- fodette81, Orange Park, FL, US

problem #4

Sep 202010

CL Premium 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

I bought the car used with 111,000 miles and never had any major issues with it. One day my check engine light came on out of the blue. I had the car checked by my local Acura dealer and was told that the transmission was failing. I was quoted anywhere from 3,000 for a rebuilt to 4,500 for a new transmission. The service dept recommended I sell the car before I was stuck with the bill. I know that this is a very common problem with this model and several other Honda's built around this time. Sad to say I had to sell my car. Could not afford payments and a repair bill that high. Our family has been loyal Honda owners for over 20 years and never had an issue like this.

- Christopher M., Columbus, OH, US

problem #3

Nov 112008

CL 2DR Coupe 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

I bought this car in September of 2007 as a birthday present for myself. Little did I know there is a horde of people out there who own this car and have replaced the transmission 3 or 4 times during it's lifespan.

As a matter of fact, there was a recall on the issue. However, Acura still makes you pay $800-$1000 for labor while they "rebuild" or "re manufacture" your transmission. This NEVER fixes the problem permanently because usually every 30,000 -50,000 the transmission goes out again with the same exact issue.

I know it's a beautiful vehicle, but avoid this Acura CL at all cost.

- jojorda, Bedford, TX, US

problem #2

Feb 192008

CL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I purchased this car 2 years ago and was never aware that their was a recall on the transmission for Acura cl 2001 transmission. I took the car to the dealer today and asked them to repair the transmission. They said they fixed the transmission years ago and cannot help me. It will cost over $4,ooo. to repair and I do not have that kind of money as a single parent. I have no idea what to do now. I still owe on the car and need to go th work... Where can i go for help.

- Melissa P., San Francisco, CA, US

problem #1

Mar 252005

(reported on)


  • 41,600 miles

Approx. a year after purchasing the car Acura sent me a letter extending my warranty by an extra 2 years and additional 60,000kms. Totaling 7 years or 160,000kms, That caused a RED FLAG to me. Why?. Then about 4 months ago my call was recalled to inspect the transmission for signs of heat. It was given a clean bill of health and they added to my car a transmission cooler at no charge. Why?. Three months later my transmission would engage 2nd. gear. Acura tells me it needs a new transmission. Why? If it was deemed O. K. and they added a coolant which should now make it twice as good, it fails!. It tells me two very sad things about Acura. First, They knew they had a problem with the transmissions on my model and second, Did they know about it before I bought the car and sold it to me withholding that information. That if true and I believe it is true because they had experienced a variety of problems with the transmission in that model since 1999 to include the 2000 and 2001's. Is that ethical? Is it truthful? Did they give me the consumer all the information that was necessary to purchase the car? On all 3 Counts the answer is NO. Now I have a 2001 Acura with another transmission and they won't warranty it from Zero kms. So I ask, is it a transmission that has been updated and now free of problems and just another and they are crossing their fingers?. Now I don't have any confidence in the car/ Thks Lefty I feel better by being able to share this with you.

- Michael R., Bolton, On., Canada

Not what you are looking for?