Notes: The 2001 Civic has transmission problems, transmission problems & more transmission problems. Did we mention transmission problems? And a dangerous defect with the front airbag that didn't get recalled for 10 years.

Although eventually the defective 2001 Civic airbag inflators were fixed under recalls in 2011 & 2013, that meant for 10 to 12 years airbags were activating with excessive force where metal fragments went shooting into passengers when the airbag deployed.

As for the 2001 Civic's transmission woes? Honda conducted a major transmission recall in 2004 & settled a class action lawsuit for defective transmissions in 2006. But, neither the recall or the lawsuit included the 2001 Civic.

Last thing to consider - the 2001 Civic is the most-recalled car ever, closely followed by the 2002 Civic & the 2001 Accord. The 2001 Civic is the 4th most-recalled vehicle overall, only a Ford truck & two Ford vans have more.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,919 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 Honda Civic drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

Mar 182014


  • 78,000 miles


Driving my car with only 78,000 miles the engine light went on and within 15 minutes the car lost power to move foreword/backward etc.........took to the gas station glendale mobile broadway, everett, MA, the car has always been taken care of, ,, I know it is old but only 78,000. He put in a used transmission for 1900.00., there was no warning only minutes from the time check engine went on until complete failure on highway.

- Everett, MA, USA

problem #65

Mar 072014


  • 140,000 miles
Car drive light flashes and rear gear stopped working transmission faulty.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #64

Mar 042014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 188,000 miles
I purchased this car used 3 months ago, had a certified mechanic inspect it and do all that was necessary to make it road worthy and safe. New timing belt, head gasket, brakes, engine mounts, bushings, tires, ac compressor, belts, etc. Etc. So after spending over $2500 in repairs I thought I had a perfectly running safe vehicle. And it did run beautifully until 2 days ago when driving home from work at around 45 mph without any sign or indication of trouble I heard a loud clunk from under the car and began to lose power. Luckily, with all the traffic around I was able to pull over to the shoulder of the road and found transmission fluid poring out from below. I had aaa tow the car to a reliable shop and was told I need a new transmission. Rough estimate for the repair $2000. - $2600. Needless to say I was shocked and angry. And now I find out that I'm not alone. There are hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of complaints about the transmission failure of the 2001 Honda Civic. Honda has known about this design flaw for years and must be held accountable for leaving it's customers in danger with a faulty transmission..

- Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

problem #63

Feb 232014


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while the driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost power and would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who determined that the defect was caused by a clutch disc failure. The vehicle was repaired by the mechanic. The contact indicated that the transmission had to be rebuilt in order to repair the defect. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #62

Jan 312014


  • 172,500 miles
Transmission failure. It could not drive forward but can drive back.

- Fortville, IN, USA

problem #61

Sep 092013


  • 60,118 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. While driving 30 mph, the contact heard a noise and merged safely off the road. The vehicle was driven to the dealer who diagnosed the failure within the transmission. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic because of the dealer cost. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the incident. The failure mileage was 60,118.

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #60

Apr 272010

Civic 4-cyl

  • 155,454 miles


My spouse and I were on the freeway and approximately 15 minutes after we got on the freeway the car wouldn't accelerate. The speed limit is 60mph and I was trying to maintain that speed but when I tried to accelerate the car wouldn't accelerate. The speedometer gauge was dropping but the RPM gauge was going up. I shifted back and forth from D to D3 a few times and the car popped back into gear. I managed to get to the next freeway exit and got off the freeway. Parked it and then had it towed.

- Suquamish, WA, USA

problem #59

Apr 272012


  • 96,800 miles
Complaint: Spent $4000 to completely rebuild my transmission at 96,800 miles last spring and am now experiencing the same early signs of transmission failure a year later. There was no engine/warning light to warn me that there was a problem until my car started having trouble switching gears, struggling to accelerate and was running rougher than normal. I"M luckier than a lot of the people who have complained since I was able to catch this issue before my transmission fell out of my car or stopped working as I was driving. I think if 600+ people complain about a very obvious engine failure, there needs to be an investigation. This is unacceptable. I am currently showing early signs of the same problem. My car is getting stuck while switching gears and having issues accelerating in between the gears. And is just generally running rougher than it should be. I should not have to rebuild my transmission in a Honda at 96,800 miles let alone again at 124,000 after just over a year. My car was not worth that much last spring when I fixed it but choose to do it thinking I?D be set for the rest of the car?S life. Now I"M looking at having to sell it for scraps and get a new car because I can not shell out another $4,000 to fix a manufacturing problem.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #58

Sep 022013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
2001 Honda Civic, with 163,000 miles on it and regularly serviced, last transmission service at 150,000. Driving down the road sudden loss of power, engine rev's but no motion, get it over to the side of the road and discover transmission is out of it. Contacted the local dealership and they quote a rebuilt transmission for $4,000. Transmissions should last longer than 160,000 miles. Then I see on here that there are hundreds of transmission complaints on the Honda Civic. I think it is time for Honda to step up and take care of their problem.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #57

Jun 132012


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that she started the engine and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #56

Aug 092013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


My daughter was making a turn and her Honda Civic starting moving in reverse. Without any warning the transmission went! thankfully no one was behind her or there would have been a collision.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #55

Jul 082013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
Driving home from work, the transmission started slipping and coming out of gear. Car revved but would not engage. Had to have car towed home, and then to mechanic, who stated the transmission needs replacing.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #54

Jul 092012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Transmission went out at purchase of vehicle.

- Weirton, WV, USA

problem #53

Jul 162013


  • 122,344 miles
I was driving home after work when I started to hear this loud chopping noise coming from my transmission. I took it to a local mechanic and he said it was the input shaft bearing and that it was a common problem and may be recalled.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #52

Apr 102013


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the transmission slipped out of fifth gear without warning. The vehicle was able to continue in operation at a reduced speed. The failure recurred four times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 99,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #51

Jun 062013


  • 137,000 miles
Upon entering expressway, going to change lanes - transmission totally failed. Nothing but engine reving when pushing on accelerator. No warning lights, nothing. Almost got killed due to truck having to stop as we coasted off highway. Upon having vehicle towed to dealer (Honda lisle) and going on line I find that this is a very common occurrence for this vehicle and model year. Why has there not been a recall notice on this. This is truly a danger to the drivers of this vehicle. There are thousands of similar experiences posted online.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #50

May 282013


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that the transmission made a loud winning noise. The gear shifted out of place then the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 88,000.

- South San Francisco , CA, USA

problem #49

Mar 052013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the engine rpms increased excessively and the vehicle became hesitant upon acceleration. The contact stated there was a manufacturer's recall for the transmission but the contact was advised that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Johnston, RI, USA

problem #48

Apr 142013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2001 Honda Civic ex automatic transmission. Regular service, no major repairs prior. On day of incident check engine light came on suddenly and when trying to accelerate there would be an increase in RPM but gear would not engage. Brought to Honda dealership by tow truck and codes were run by dealer on 4/15/2013. Code for "internal transmission failure" was found. Estimated repair cost is $4500. Contacted Honda customer service on 4/15/2013 for information about repair cost reduction. Customer service reported that due to vehicle age and mileage a goodwill repair could not be performed, no extended warranty available as VIN not included in recall or 2006 Honda transmission settlement, nor cost lowered by dealer via intervention from corporate office. Customer service representative stated that she was aware of multiple complaints for this exact problem but since no official recall has been issued there was nothing they could do. Request the NHTSA to perform an inspection of this problem as many normally driven 2001 Honda Civics are experiencing the exact same type of transmission failure, which may be due to a transmission defect in manufacture manifesting after 10-12 years and/or >90,000 miles. Honda vehicles are known for reliability and longevity, in some cases lasting well beyond 200,000 miles and 12 years of trouble-free driving. Many are now faced with junk yard or salvage due to the problem of transmission failure.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #47

Mar 102013

Civic 4-cyl

  • 180,626 miles
I bought this vehicle and then found out there are $3000 minimum issues with the vehicle. Including replacing the transmission because of the defective torque converter, the airbags aren't working properly, the rear window won't roll down. Also, the evaporation sensor and canister need to be replaced and I cannot find the right part to replace it. The SRS light is on because of the seatbelt issue, the check engine light is on because of the transmission problem from the torque converter and the cruise control doesn't work even though the lights say that it is engaging.

- Winooski, VT, USA

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