really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,366 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.

2003 Acura CL drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Acura CL Owner Comments

problem #11

Oct 102016

CL 6-cyl

  • 207,000 miles


Check engine light eliminated, vsa light comes on and D5 light flashes while driving after transmission warms up., car wont shift into 4th or 5th gear rpms wind up real high have to pull over turn off engine then restart to drive only short distance before it starts doing the same thing. The vehicle was driving on the freeway at approx. 65 mph when car suddenly started downshifting on its own causing me to almost crashed when I was jerked to the side of the road.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 012013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Acura Cl. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and crashed. The contact sustained injuries that did not require medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The contact stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Philadelpia, PA, USA

problem #9

Sep 112013

CL 6-cyl

  • 92,728 miles
Transmission failed despite the car having the factory recommended service for the transmission being performed at 60K and 89K. The transmission dropped into 2nd while on the highway at 65mph. Upon investigating it was found the car was part of a class action due to transmission failure, but I was not eligible since the car was out of the extended warranty period.

- Lincoln, RI, USA

problem #8

May 122014


  • 107,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Acura Cl. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the transmission failed causing a reduction in acceleration. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage 107,000.

- Barto, PA, USA

problem #7

Feb 142014


  • 120,000 miles
Was driving on a 3 lane road. I noticed that when I accelerate from 1st to 2nd gear the RPM's were revving up and then felt the tug when it would grab the gear. Kept doing that and then started to 3rd gear as well. Downshifting same thing. Then it did a strong lock up of vehicle where it stopped and all the check engine, and 2 or 3 lights came on. D5 started to blink. I put hazards and pulled over. Shut vehicle off then back on and 1 of the 3 lights turned off. Took it to shop and was told that this vehicle has transmission issues and was part of a Honda recall but I was over the mileage. Still waiting on what to do next. This is for the 2003 Acura Cl type S.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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problem #6

Jun 092013


  • 104,000 miles
I own a 2003 Acura 3.2 Cl. I read up on the car and I see Acura had a recall on the transmission for this year. I put the VIN number in and I also called the Acura dealership in columbus Georgia and it show that my Acura have had the transmission replace in it from the first recall, at 104,000 mileage my transmission have went out again. I know this can not be natural for this problem to have been repaired and still have the same problem. The car is an 2003 with the mileage 104,000 which is a great for an 2003. This is my first Acura and it have made me love the Acura family. Can you please repair the problem. Thank you

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #5

Oct 232012

CL 6-cyl

  • 172,000 miles


I was driving down interstate 19, when the transmission started to fail, there was heavy traffic and my car going up and down on speed limit, 65-35 miles per hour. Almost had cars behind me rear end my Acura Cl, so I pulled over to avoid a sudden accident, the vehicle had just been in the Acura dealership for a minor inspection of a sudden noise in the transmission area. They advised me that it was starting to miss and did not mention not to drive it. A new transmission costs $4700.

- Rio Rico, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jul 112011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Acura Cl. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate. There was an increase in the engine rpms, but the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in a recall under NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) and was repaired by the previous owner. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the repairs would not be covered because the vehicle was out of warranty. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Roselle, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 182012


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Acura Cl. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the transmission overheated and would not shift into gear. The fifth gear and the transmission warning light were blinking as the vehicle abnormally decelerated. The contact would have to turn the vehicle off and restart in order to correct the failure. The dealer was contacted and they advised that the vehicle was previously under the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission). The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage was 135,000.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #2

Jul 262011


  • 79,201 miles
The car had a transmission recall about 6 years ago. Since I am not the original owner, I did some research to determine if the transmission had been replaced in my vehicle. I called Acura and they informed me that the transmission in my vehicle had been fixed. About a year later, my car was starting to experience shifting problems from 2nd to 3rd gear. Since the car has fairly low mileage (79,201) I thought this was a little bit odd. Now that I think of it, it still appears that the original transmission had not been corrected (as these things should last 100K+ miles). I'm logging this complaint to see if any owners are experiencing the same problem.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #1

May 122011


  • 50,100 miles
When entering highway vehicle failed to change gears and nearly causing a rear end crash. Transmission failed.

- Commack, NY, USA

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