really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,334 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 MDX transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Acura MDX Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Jan 012010


  • 90,000 miles


2001 Acura MDX transmission slipping and banging. Torque converter surging in first and second gear. Bad design, transmission failing too soon. Only able to drain 3 quarts out at a time. Fluid gets dirty and old too soon between service dates.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #65

Nov 232009


  • 74,000 miles
Transmission failure of 2001 Acura MDX at 74K miles. Many, many (hundreds) complaints on-line with same issues (MDX and sister vehicle the Honda Pilot). Dealership pretends there is no issue with these cars yet it is documented all over the place. We need a recall, this is terrible. We are out $3000 to fix it with a local transmission shop; Acura "offered" to fix it for $3500. They also told us that since we didn't get it serviced at a dealership "we were looked badly upon" when making their "offer". we all want to sue them as this is supposed to be a quality vehicle and Acura is not taking any responsibility. We cannot afford this. Also, some owners are on their 3rd transmission in these cars B/C it's the same faulty transmission that goes in. We don't feel safe nor do we feel like we can drive it much. We barely drive it at all now. This is well documented in Acura forums for 2001-2004 models (not sure about later models) and hundreds of Honda Pilot as well. Help us!!!!!

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #64

Jan 012009


  • 100,000 miles
I purchased my 2001 Acura MDX new... I have been the only driver...around 100,000 miles I began to hear this gurgling noise coming from under the engine compartment... I took it to two Acura dealers and one independent repair shop...all indicated that the torque converter was shot and that I had to replace the transmission at a cost of over $3,800... highway robbery... I have continued to drive the vehicle and besides the noise between 35 - 50 miles per hour, it continues to run good... I now have 127K+ on the vehicle and its still going....I plan to replace the transmission soon.... I'm tired of the noise and the reduction in gas mileage...

- Mitchellville, MD, USA

problem #63

Dec 142009


  • 104,000 miles


Less than 100 yards from where my wife started our 2001 Acura MDX while making a left turn and accelerating the vehicle made a loud clunk and slid in the slush to the right. The vehicle was still running but it would not move. Would not allow us to shift into reverse or park. In neutral the vehicle would not move either. There has been a transmission recall but Acura told me I would need to take it to an Acura dealership to research the problem. We live 5-6 driving hours from the nearest Acura dealership. It is not logical to try and get it there. Our local Honda dealership is currently installing a rebuilt transmission should be done today. Are Honda and Acura not one and the same corporation? I'm looking for some assistance with this. It was a safety recall and quite an expensive repair. Thank god my wife wasn't going any faster. We are the original owners of the vehicle. Thank you for any help you can give us!!

- Rapid City, SD, USA

problem #62

Nov 282009


  • 110,000 miles
The 2001 Acura MDX at approx.110,000 began a growling noise at 30-35 mph and in 5th gear at 1200-1500 RPM. Vehicle test driven by lindsay Acura in columbus, Ohio. Rep. Advised the torque converter was starting to go bad and it was not a safety issue and it could continue to be driven without problems. Repair estimate was $2100.

- Carroll, OH, USA

problem #61

Oct 152009


  • 136,564 miles
Purchased 2001 Acura in 2007 with 90K miles, right after purchase wife began to notice a "flutter" sound from the front of the vehicle. It sounded like you drove over very small speed bumps. After 2 different trips to 2 different dealers they reported they never heard anything. Gradually the sound became more and more pronounced to the extent I was worried that car would lock-up while driving as I have heard/read other have done resulting in a crash. I took again to the dealer recently and they reported the problem now as a common technical service bulletin. The tsb and dealer stated I need to replace the torque converter and PCM. The PCM or ECU is the computer module that controls the whole engine. If the torque converter failed or wore out, why does their tsb and Acura service recommend replace the PCM/ECU" could it be PCM/ECU is the root of all of these transmission problems and caused the torque converter to fail" $2600 after fighting for reduced parts and labor costs. Great car, bad very bad transmission. I won't be buying another Honda product.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #60

Nov 102005


  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Acura MDX. The vehicle hesitates when attempting to accelerate. Also at speeds above 40 mph the vehicle will shimmy. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and the technician stated that the torque converter needed to be replaced at an expense of $2300. No repairs were made. However, five years prior the torque converter was replaced. The failure mileage was 23,000. The current mileage was 127,000.

- Manchester, MA, USA

problem #59

Jul 292009


  • 133,278 miles
Driver is able to remove keys to car while car is in drive and engine is off.

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #58

Jun 252009


  • 106,000 miles
I purchased the 2001 Acura MDX on 3/29/05 for $24,000 w/aprox.57,000 miles.the 1st incident was in 11/23/07 with 90,000 miles I felt vibration and metal grinding sound and the vehicle hesitated for a second the dealer stated the torque converter needed to be replaced, it was changed and it was still under warrenty.the 2nd incident was the same as the first except I was entering the highway, it was on 5/12/08 and the vehicle had 93,000 miles and the dealer stated once again the torque converter needed to be replaced, it was replaced and still under warrenty.the 3rd incident is the same as the other two with much louder squealing.now 6/25/09 with 106,000 miles the dealer states again the torque converter needed to be replaced only this time I am not under warrenty.the dealer sales person and technician recommended that the transmission be replaced since this was the third time.I feel that this should have been fixed correctly the first time instead of putting band aids on it.spoke directly with Acura and they swear that one part has nothing to do with the other.I beg to differ and told them that I knew alot about cars and the automatic transmission will fail if the torque converter fails.they want to put another torque converter at my expense, this is not right and is a huge hazard to me and my family that includes 2 small children. I did a quick search online and found many people with the same issues on there 2001 Acura MDX. Please help me, no one else seems to think this is defective product and a huge safety risk.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #57

Feb 162009


  • 84,849 miles
My 2001 MDX transmission began hesitating when shifting (84.849 miles). I immediately parked the vehicle and then had it diagnosed by a local mechanic who followed the owners manual instructions and flushed the transmission. Modis scan for codes, none in memory. Transmission fluid was extremely black and full of small metal debris and fiber material. Flushed several times with same results. Called Acura dealer to check warranties, etc. They advised that the ECU causes transmission failure and that it along with the transmission would need to be replaced, warranty expired. ECU are known to short out and will cause new transmission to burn up if not replaced. Acura should have recalled the ECU long ago when they knew about the problem. The failure of this component could cause transmission failure resulting in a crash.

- Tillamook, OR, USA

problem #56

Jan 232009


  • 148,000 miles


I am writing to NHTSA to report a transmission lockup incidence on the highway of my 2001 Acura MDX SUV. On 1/23/2009, while I was driving at the highway at 60 mph, the car has abruptly stopped to low 30 mph and almost caused a catastrophic accident to my family. The car didn't have any warning light on the dashboard console prior to the failure. The car has 148,000 miles and it's in a good mechanical standing (with regular interval maintenance). Since then, I have done some research and found that this vehicle is known to produce such symptom. It's clear that the vehicle transmission has design issue at its beginning, and at high mileage, it might exacerbate more severely. Should NHTSA regulate Acura to concern more for the safety of its customers? action that Acura can help could be as issues new errata bulletins or courteous accident preventive measurement to make its older(high mileage) car safe. I have tried to contact to Acura but didn't think it has any use. For one thing that Acura factory won't make its customer safe is to collect actual older high mileage failure transmission and investigate for preventive safety measurement. Acura showed no interest despite my effort in talking to them. I have driven cars with failure transmission, but have not experience one that locks up at high speed in highway. This type of failure symptom is totally not acceptable. Surprisingly, I was able to find report of many MDX transmission lockup cases on web. Should there be law to prevent high mileage unsafe MDX go ride on highway unless some safety inspection has been performed. And, this is for the safety of others. I am currently having the transmission replaced at my own expense.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #55

Jul 072008


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura MDX. While driving 20 to 30 mph and attempting to shifts gears they failed to shift. There was a thrust and then the gear shifted very hard into the next gear. This failure occured intermittently. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. There is also a recall for the transmission. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #54

May 172008


  • 65,000 miles
My 2001 Acura MDX transmission and computer board needs to be replaced at 65,000 miles as well as two engine mounts. The vehicle has a recall report on the transmission and I thought they fixed it. The dealer will not explain to me what work was done for the repair. I wanted to know if they followed Honda's procedure to see if it was damaged.

- Glenolden, PA, USA

problem #53

May 282008

MDX 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I purchased my 2001 Acura MDX in Aug 2004 and the transmission recall had already been serviced per records on the Acura owners website. Approximately 18 months ago I noticed the car sporadically behaving as if going over rumble strips on a road. I took it in for service however could not get the vehicle to replicate the event. In the fall of 07 again I took it to the same Acura dealer and told them to check out the bizarre behavior. Again, to no avail. In Feb 08 I took it in for the 120K mile service which included cleaning brakes, checking belts etc. I reminded them of the noise once again. They said the car was fine. Last week I took it in again after determining the rumble-strip noise was occurring between 25 & 35 mph. Initially I was told I needed a serpentine belt & when I rejected that notion, the diagnosis was that I needed a new transmission. I called corporate Acura and spoke with 3 different people. The last representative read the report taken by the prior person and I had to correct my actual statements several times. When asked what action I wanted Acura to take, I said that Acura should absorb the cost since my car was involved in the transmission recall the "fix" was merely a "patch" as other cars had the same issue upon reaching the 100K mile + mark. My car has 125K. When corporate Acura called me today, they said essentially they were not gong to bear the cost of any of the repairs that it was my responsibility. I have been a loyal Acura owner to one dealer and was preparing to purchase yet another MDX. These cars cost a lot of money in the first place and there is no reason for them not to absorb the cost. In fact, their cost is way less than the consumer cost and they can write it off as customer good faith expense or something of the sort.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #52

May 082008


  • 90,000 miles
Transmission failure on 2001 Acura MDX-leading up to determining the actual problem, car's performance deteriorated over a two-year period. Dealer performing services on the car misdiagnosed car problems on several occasions.

- Green Cove Springs , FL, USA

problem #51

Apr 282008

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Acura MDX. While driving 35 mph, the transmission failed. The engine accelerated, but the vehicle moved slowly and jerked before shifting into the next gear. Through online research, the contact discovered NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission); however, the dealer stated that the VIN was not included in the recall. The current and failure mileages were 88,000. *updated 10/20/08 the consumer stated 5 months after paying for a transmission, the problem has returned. The consumer stated at times the transmission will not go into gear. Updated 10/21/08.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #50

Dec 102007

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
Hard shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear in transmission. At a later time the transmission slipped in these two gears causing no acceleration up shifting and sudden severe (lock up) down shifts.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #49

Feb 122008

MDX 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Started having issues with my 2001 Acura MDX about a year ago, I took it to my local Acura dealer and explained to them the problems I was noticing with the transmission. They checked it out and said everything was fine, well apparently it wasn't because now I need a whole new transmission. This has been a recurring problem with these vehicles and alot of owners have been compensated in one fashion or another according to different threads I have read online. I called Acura today and pleaded my case but they essentially told me to "suck it up" (easy for them to say, a $4,500 repair) they did tell me that the case manager would review the case and get back to me but I shouldn't expect any compensation from Acura.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #48

Jan 312008

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Acura MDX with recalls and service bulletins for transmission and torque converters. Consumers VIN was not included in the recall but has the defect. The dealer and manufacturer refuse to help with her problem.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #47

Oct 062007

MDX 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I have a 2001 Acura MDX I purchased new in 2001. Since my purchase I have just replaced the 5th transmission. My MDX use has been 90% highway driving with no trailer towing. Per blogs on the internet many other 2001 Mdxs have had similar problems, but Acura (Honda) seems to ignore this issue. Also motor mounts failed at about 60K miles. Another issue Acura seems to ignore. Obviously these are vehicle (engineering) design issues. Acura should have a recall on all the vehicles of the 2001-2002 vehicles to correct these problems. I have all the services done per the manual on this vehicle at david mcdavid Acura. The vehicle has never been abused.

- Austin, TX, USA

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