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:
4 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,062 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Apr 082015


  • 135,000 miles


On April 8 2015 while I was driving to my house, I saw smoke coming out of the dashboard so I had to desperately stop the car I run. My car was call for recall and I when to Honda services in hillside, New Jersey where they told me that they had to fix something from the air bag in the dash board they told me they have to order some parts and they will call me to comeback so I waiedt for one month and two month and they never call me I called to find out about those parts and I was told the same thing, that they are going to call me I believe my car was total destroy in fire because they did not fix my car on time.

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #24

Dec 282014


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. The contact stated that there was an electrical short that caused the low beam headlights to fail. The contact had to apply the high beams due to the failure, which was progressing. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V086000 (exterior lighting). Prior to the contact owning the vehicle, it was repaired according to the recall, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 124,000.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #23

Nov 092014


  • 131,000 miles
Started car drove it to work, about a mile into drive engine stalled, car started to sputter, then stall again. Took to mechanic, it was a faulty ignition switch. 1997-2000 Honda Civic models were involved in a faulty ignition switch recall, I wonder if 2001 should have been included as well.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #22

Apr 142014

Civic 4-cyl

  • 118 miles


Own a 2001 Honda Civic LX check engine light once up with code P0740. Had the code read at autozone went out. Now it has come back.

- Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #21

Jul 162012


  • 91,500 miles
The vehicle gauge cluster reads the wrong information. It caused me to stall on the freeway driving 65 mph. I completely ran out of fuel and the gauge read that I had 1/4 of a tank left. Others have complained about this issue on the internet. The fuel, mph, and temperature readings are all off.

- Claremont, CA, USA

problem #20

Jun 092012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
I purchased this car used, and you cannot see the speedometer or any gauge when the sun hits the plastic covering them. It is a serious issue. I cannot believe Honda hasn't recalled the plastic or at least put something on it. This has to be addressed. I owned a 2002 Honda Civic before this and it did not have the same angle on the dash so there was never an issue.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #19

Apr 092011


  • 249,000 miles


We were driving around running errands on a 75 degree weather. We were on the road when the car just all of a sudden downshifted. The engine light came on. So, we went to mcdonalds to let the car cool down, lifting the hood. An advanced auto zone was right across the street. After a bit, we took it over, there. They tested it and said it wasn't the engine at all; battery, alternator, etc. They then told us to take it the auto parts store and have them test it with their tools because they didn't have the correct tool needed to do the particular test needed done. So, we limped the car down the road. We explained the problem, they got their computer tester out and came up with several different codes. The funny thing is, after about 1/2 an hour, after the codes were tested, the engine light went off. We called our mechanic and got an appointment for him to test it and see what was going on. He found a used emc computer chip/component and replaced the old one. When we got the car back, we heard this awful noise that we hadn't heard. We were told it was the exhaust manifold, that it would be noisy and would get worse over time. Now, we can't drive it too far without it downshifting. The hot air just gets to it. We are on a very fixed income. This is my husband's car. He is disabled. All we have is his disability. We also have 3 1/2 year old son. I don't feel safe driving it with my son in the car because it has been hot over the summer we can't run the A/C because that just exacerbates the situation. I think there should be a recall because my husband bought this car because he thought it was a reliable car. We have spoken to the Honda dealer about it. They don't seem to care. We have had to use my '97 Pontiac Grand Am. It has had issues too. Our mechanic said there has been no recall as of yet. We have called junk yards and looked on line. Who can afford something like this? well, his sister had the same issue with hers.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #18

Aug 032011

Civic 4-cyl

  • 84,814 miles
SRS light on my 2001 Honda Civic is on and the problem, according to the dealer is a code 15-3 for opds unit failure. With this light on the air bags in my car will not function in a crash. Honda had extended the coverage for this repair for 10 years or 150,000 miles. The problem is that I missed the cut off for a covered repair by 11 months. The car currently has less than 85,000 miles on it. The dealership, valley Honda of monroville pa, wants to charge 325 dollars for the repair that I feel should be covered by the car company because I believe the problem is in their equipment.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #17

Jan 302009


  • 107,000 miles
Left front headlight first failed on 01/30/2009. Electrical wiring to front low beam headlight overheated causing melting of headlight connector to electrical harnesst.. a succession of another 4 headlight connectors have melted between O8/08/2009 to December 14, 2010. First 4 headlight connector replacements completed by Honda dealer. Prior to Jan 30th 2009 headlight connector failure, a different Honda dealer completed NHTSA 304V86000 recall work for headlight electrical overheating recall in 2006 during regular maintenance appointment. Failure #5 happened on dec14, 2010 just 6 days after melted connector #4 was replaced on December 8th 2010. Dealer found cruise control unit inoperable due to electrical melt down. Original air conditioner compressor replaced in 2009 due to melt down. Safety and possible fire hazard due to chronic overheating of original electrical harness & multi-plex unit. Honda dealer unable solve problem of repeated melting headlight connectors. All connectors are Honda dealer parts. Total of 4 left headlight connectors and 1 right headlight connector have melted. 5th melted headlight connector has not been replaced. Using the high-beams to drive at night since 4 previous Honda dealer replacement connectors have melted. Time intervals between connector failure keeps getting shorter and shorter. Due to chronic unsolved electrical overheating problem, the safety of electrical system is compromised.

- Lomita, CA, USA

problem #16

Nov 212010


  • miles
My mother is a victim of sudden acceleration incident from a Honda Civic 2001. She was driving the vehicle on a small street and had placed it in park. Then, she placed the gear back into drive and before tapping the gas pedal the car surged forward in high acceleration and went out of control. She applied the brakes a few times but it failed to stop the car. The steering was also out of control and the car continued to accelerate about 30-40 mph for an entire block and finally, crashed into a tree totaling the vehicle. She was taken away by ambulance. As a result of the crash, she suffered from a broken ankle and heel, deep gash to the knee, severe chest pain (from airbag) and heart contusion. She spent over a week in the hospital and is still in the process of recovering.

- Toronto, 00, USA

problem #15

Apr 272010


  • 162,690 miles


Parked the vehicle driveway, exited the vehicle with keys in hand. Walked behind the vehicle to speak to neighbor, the neighbor noticed car rolling, we both jump out of way. Vehicle rolls down hill across street onto neighbor property and flips on the neighbor's retaining wall. Ignition key was removed from the ignition switch with the vehicle in the drive position.

- Pinson, AL, USA

problem #14

Mar 192010


  • 71,000 miles
Windows regulator burnt out while driving car. No sign of moisture or anything. Low quality switch.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 122009


  • 112,000 miles
I own a 2001 Honda Civic LX. I purchased the vehicle overseas from a civilian employee of the United States army. This person had purchased the vehicle from the original owner. On or about 12 July 2009 my wife and I were in the vehicle when I noticed the distinct odor of an electrical short coming from the steering column. The next day, my wife saw puffs of smoke coming from the steering column and a much stronger odor associated with an electrical short. The problem was diagnosed by a local garage in schertz, tx and exactly matches the symptoms of the following recall Feb 24, 2004 | recall id# 75776. The complaint goes beyond the initial electrical problem as my wife attempted to bring this to the attention of both a local Honda dealer, gilman Honda in selma, tx and to via their customer service hotline. Both entities stated words to the affect of "that VIN doesn't exist." Through investigation, we discovered that Honda dropped the VIN once the vehicle shipped overseas as part of the military new car sales program. Neither entity, either the local dealer or Honda usa made any attempt to resolve this very serious safety matter. This is a potential problem for any military service member that purchases an american car while stationed overseas and needs some regulatory Agency to mandate a fix.

- Schertz, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 302008


  • 28,000 miles
The instrument cluster on my 2001 Honda Civic LX progressively underwent failure from intermittent to highly unreliable over a period of 6-8 months. At times I was driving with no instrument display. Repairs are being performed by a Honda dealer.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #11

Oct 012006


  • 65,000 miles
The SRS indicator light came on and has been on for 2 years. I was T-boned on the passenger side by the gas tank, and the airbags did not deploy. I had taken the car to the dealer numerous times for maintenance & was never informed of this possibility due to the indicator light being on. Had I known, it would have been fixed or inspected. Now the dealer says it is not under warranty & at 100 hr. I do not want to have to hunt & peck to find the source of this electrical malfunction. Honda should extend the warranty to include electrical wiring & safety system components on 2001 models, based on 100's of other complaints by other Civic owners. Also, the right window motor is burned out (since 2007), it almost stalls when in reverse (since 2005), have noticed a lag in acceleration in lower gears (60K), also abrupt downshifting (sometimes) & it makes an odd humming seeming to come from rear of vehicle when accelerating (this last week). Mileage is 87K, way too soon for a Honda to give out.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #10

Mar 312007


  • 109,887 miles
On 3/21/07 my 2001 Honda Civic ex with 109K miles displayed on engine light reporting a P0740 torque converter failure. This was diagnosed by willet Honda in morrow, ga and two other independent shops. A transmission repair/replacement of $2400 was the recommendation. The car was running fine then and now, 35K miles and two yrs later, the car is still running fine with the engine light on. American Honda has offered no help. I cannot pass an emission test with the light on and I am very confident something else is wrong like a sensor. A research of this problem shows it is quite common among Civics and other may have paid for unnecessary transmission repairs.

- Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #9

Jan 262008


  • 40,000 miles
Buzzing sound coming from ignition switch when turned mostly to the off position. Otherwise no issues.

- Highland, IL, USA

problem #8

Aug 062007

Civic 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Car does not start when I turn the key. It usually start after the 8 or 9 try. It started doing that about 6 months ago, but in the past few weeks it has happened about every time I try to start the car.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #7

Nov 102007

Civic 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. While driving 5 mph, the SRS light illuminated. The mechanic stated that the circuit box failed, which meant that the air bags would not deploy during a crash. As of November 15, 2007, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 95,000.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #6

May 012005


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
2001 Honda Civic experienced problems with headlight failures and dashboard gauges. The front headlights would cut out intermittently in which Honda replaced two bulbs. The left front headlight cut out and one bulb was replaced. The right front headlight cut out again and one bulb was replaced. The gauges were erratic along with flickering front headlights. Honda could not verify the problem. The consumer felt that he should not be responsible for the repairs. The dealer told the consumer the problem was not related to the recall.

- Stow, OH, USA

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