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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,681 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Honda Civic Owner Comments (Page 12 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #69

Feb 202008

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,700 miles


My Honda Civic LX 2001 transmission failed and the vehicle stopped on the highway suddenly which was very dangerous. There is a service bulletin issued(service bulletin num : 04036) by Honda for the same problem and it seems to happening for all Honda Civics 2001 year after 78,000 miles. Though Honda has recalled the Accord model for the same problem but they haven't done for the Civic and I have to pay a huge sum of money for the repairs. I request Honda to issue a recall and reimburse(100%) the customers who already faced the problem.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #68

Jan 242008

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,900 miles
The vehicle started jerking with acceleration on day one. By day two the vehicle could barely accelerate and upon acceleration, the RPM's would increase exceedingly. Upon contacting a local Honda dealership, I was instructed to replace the transmission fluid with new Honda transmission fluid. Before I was even able to reach this point, the car will no longer accelerate to an appropriate or safe speed to drive at. So now, I have no vehicle to get to and from work and without significant funds to jump to conclusions and replace the transmission, which is now what the dealership recommends, I'm at a loss of what to do.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #67

Jan 032008

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,500 miles
Car slipping out of gear or not going into gear. Motor revving but the car would not move and then all of a sudden catch and jump forward. Put car into reverse and motor revs when given gas but not moving. Had to put car back in park and then reverse again. Took car to dealer and was shocked to find out the transmission had to be replaced. Dealer initially said it would be $2,700 then called back and said they would do it for $1,200. After seeing many complaints about the same thing I contacted american Honda and was told I was getting a great deal for $1,200. I do not feel that a Honda I purchased new in 2001 with 69,000 miles on it should have a total transmission failure and then be told it is not Honda's responsibility.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #66

Dec 232007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Total and complete failure of the automatic transmission on my 2001 Honda Civic LX automobile. This failure did not have any warning signs prior to failure. It left me stranded on an dark uphill winding road next to a 20 foot cliff. The chp finally provided me support after approximately 45 minutes. The repair estimate for a new automatic transmission is $3100. To date, I have not had the repair completed but I suspect that I will do so in the near future.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #65

Oct 212005

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Sudden failure of the transmission, almost stopping the car in the middle of the way at night, has to be pushed out of the way.

- Cleveland Hts., OH, USA

problem #64

Dec 102007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles
Transmission suddenly went out. Appears this is happening alot with this vehicle. Cost to repair over $3000.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #63

Aug 202007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,566 miles


Transmission failed without notice at 129K on freeway causing hazard.

- Toluca Lake, CA, USA

problem #62

Nov 202007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,495 miles
Transmission complete failure at 121,000 mile after keeping maintenance schedule. There was slippage 3 years ago and I was thankful that we were moving to fl since there are few major hills there I thought it would help save my transmission. We could no longer afford to stay in Florida due to my health failing and I needed to be nearer to family to take care of my health issues. Upon moving back to pa about 3,000 mile later my transmission failed completely. I am presently in the process of speaking with Honda of America since I bought the car based on reputation and knowledge that with general maintenance that you can get 200-400,000 mile it maintained. They are talking about good will, I am talking about spending over 15,000 for a new car that got me 6 years and wham. Nothing. I have always spent 1,000 on a used car and always gotten more than a year out of that it would have paid me to buy 6 used cars and I would have been better off I would still have money in my pocket at this point instead of looking at possibly spending a bunch to get this one fixed! I am disabled and not in the position to spend anything on this car.. I have put enough into it over the years to guarantee that I should not be looking at a major repair at this point! I have spoken to a number of 01 Honda Civic owners and no one is happy with this car I understand that the same transmission is in the Civic that is in the Accord they admit the recall on the Accord but not the Civic I have researched this issue and find that 98-03 Accord are rotten on transmission failure and 01 -02 Civics are right there with them. Please look into this matter and address this. Thank you very disappointed Civic owner lad

- Nescopeck, PA, USA

problem #61

Oct 122007


  • miles
I am a 23 year old college student. Struggling with a part-time job and trying to finish school. I just paid over $1000 to get my ac compressor fixed a few months ago. Just yesterday I was on my way home from school and my engine kept revving up, but I wasn't going anywhere, yet I was still able to drive the car, just had to go slow. So I started driving slowly, keeping my speed at about 30mph. I took the local way too. I end up getting to a point where no matter what I did the car wouldn't accelerate, it was as if I was in neutral. The check engine light comes on and the car comes to a crawl, I end up moving the car to the side. While I was waiting, I decided to try driving it again, so I start the car again, and it seems to work alright, however, I could still only go about 30mph. I end up stopping at a nearby gas station. I attempted to drive home, but didn't get too far from the gas station and the car stops accelerating again. I finally pulled over, called a tow truck, and we had it dropped off at the Honda dealer, but since it was night time, no one was there. We went there this morning and we find out that the dealership will be able to get a used transmission with 29,000 miles on it, with labor and parts altogether, the charge was $2500! this is after paying for an ac compressor I just replaced. At this point I don't know if I even want to get it fixed. I've always heard how reliable Honda is, this is my first car, thinking this would at least get me through college. I bought this car when I first started going to college, but it just wasn't able to make it. I'm pretty disappointed in Honda. I'm not sure what I want to do. I won't even get anything for the car if I try trading it in or salvaging it. I know one thing, I'm not getting a Honda anymore.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #60

Apr 082007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
There were no warning signs prior to my transmission failure, infact I had taken my car in for an oil change and a 25 point checkup less than 2 weeks prior to the incident. My car was parked, I started the ignition and tried to pull out of a parking space and my car would not move. Then I tried to go in reverse and it would not go in reverse either. When it finally did begin to go forward it would not drive above 10 mph. I pulled over and called aaa and had the car towed to my home. My car was out of commission for 2 months. When I was finally able to get my transmission checked it cost me $1,400 for the repair.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #59

Nov 042007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


I have a 2001 Honda Civic with 85,000 miles. I had the headlight switch fixed in May 2007 as part of the Honda recall. At this time the dealer did a "once over" on the car and said my struts were leaking, but nothing else. On November 4th I went to drive my car in the morning and the car would not go. The car started, but it would not go into drive or reverse, etc. Luckily I was in my driveway and not driving on a highway or busy street. It turns out that I needed an entirely new transmission, I wound up fixing it for $2,500 as the car is paid off. I called Honda's customer service and they said they will only entertain the problem if I had the car towed to a Honda dealership for a diagnosis - and what pay $5,000+ for the dealer to fix the transmission - no thanks.

- Paoli, PA, USA

problem #58

Oct 162007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. While driving 40 mph, the RPM increased to 7,200 and the speed decreased to 20 mph. The contact pulled over and turned off the vehicle. When the vehicle was restarted, it would not move when he shifted into drive. The dealer stated that the transmission caused the failure and they replaced the transmission. There had been no further occurrences. The failure mileage was 71,000 and current mileage was 74,000.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #57

Oct 072007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,798 miles
Our 2001 Honda Civic stopped suddenly on a 2-lane highway. I was unable to make it go forward or backward and had to push it off the road. I had to have it towed to a garage with the result that it had transmission failure. The cost to us was $2,700. Besides the inconvenience and having to rent a car to attend a relative's funeral, we have two other great concerns re: Safety. How many people in other Civics have had this happen on on interstate highway where traffic at 70 mph could not possibly stop. Perhaps we will never know. My other concern is that we followed the maintenance manual for the 2001 Honda Civic and on page 196, the graph shows that the transmission fluid should be changed at 125,000. We accepted that as truth since it was in the manual that came with the car. Of course, now the person I talked to at Honda says "well it should be changed every 30,000 miles". we took what was written in the manual on page 196 as what needed to be done. If you cannot trust the written directions on how to take care of your car according to the manufacturer's manual, then what can you trust. By this transmission failure and the other 70+ complaints that I have seen about the Honda Civic 2001 transmission failureson, I am concerned about the safety in driving this car, especially on the highway. We believe that there should be a safety recall and all the owners who have had to pay thousands of dollars in new transmissions should be reimbursed by Honda. Updated 12-12-07. Updated

- Interlochen, MI, USA

problem #56

Sep 112007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,192 miles
On the evening 9/11/07, 3 weeks after paying $300 for a 75,000 service check-up, my 2001 Honda Civic would not accelerate over 20 mph. I pulled over and called a tow truck to have it taken to a near by Honda certified mechanic. The next day I was told that there was a defect in my transmission that Honda is aware of - service bulletin 04036 - and that I would need a new transmission. The mechanic told me to call a Honda dealership and tell them that my transmission had failed due to service bulletin 04036. I had my car towed to Honda cars of gilbert where they offered to give me a "re-engineered" transmission with a 3 year warranty but that I would have to pay for the labor to install. I asked why do I, a consumer who has been inconvenienced by a known defect, have to pay for the labor. The Honda dealership told me to take my question to Honda. I also asked for paperwork regarding my 3 year warranty and was told that my receipt would serve as my warranty. I can only be thankful that I was not on the freeway or in a bad part of town late at night when my transmission failed. I, the consumer, am paying the penalty in my own hard earned dollars, to have Honda replace my transmission with a "re-engineered" transmission. I do not understand why I should have to pay labor for installation when the transmission failure was no fault of my own. I also am not satisfied with the terms of the warranty in that I have no documentation, only a receipt. How am I to sell my car to another consumer in this sort of situation? with as many people as their are that have been affected by this "service bulletin" I feel that Honda should be required to do more to protect the safety of the consumers driving in their cars.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #55

Aug 232007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,780 miles
The incident of the automatic transmission lock-up began when I was on the road to my job after a 15 minute drive when I felt the inability of my car to maintain the vehicle running smoothly as I was driving through rural road on an upward climb into the mountainside. The steeper the climb until I reached my school after 5 more minutes I was listening to the "humming" sound and feeling the rapid de-acceleration of the motor until the car stopped running abruptly but the motor did not shut-down and I was left climbing the steep entrance to my school where I work with my 5 year- old granddaughter with me in the car. I had to call for the mechanic to pick up the car which was hoisted to the garage for repair. I made communication with the car dealer but the car has no warranty ( 2001 45,000 mileage) and it's my responsibility. Parts have to be replaced and cannot be repaired.

- Guaynabo, PR, USA

problem #54

May 032007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,500 miles
Transmission failure on 2001 Honda Civic. It failed for me around 30K once and again around 58K. The first time I was asked to change the torque converter and the next time I was asked to change the transmission. When I researched the web it was a very common failure for transmission on this model with transmission failing at low mileage. No recall was issued by Honda.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #53

Jul 172007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
I have a 2001 Honda Civic LX at 58,000 miles. The transmission failed a couple of times last month. This month the check engine light is on, so I sent my car to the dealer and the dealer first fix failed, the check engine light came back again after several days. Then this time, the dealer told me that the whole transmission system needs to be rebuilt and the cost will be over $2,000! I searched internet and found this is a common problem for Honda Civic. Considering that I am very cautious driver and the car has only 58,000 miles on it, Honda should recall these problematic vehicles.

- Mundelein, IL, USA

problem #52

Aug 082007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,200 miles
My transmission failed driving down a highway, the car barely made it off the busy highway. It left me stranded for a couple hours until it was towed and I got a ride.

- North Garden, VA, USA

problem #51

Aug 082007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,280 miles
Honda Civic LX 2001 with 72,000 miles. The transmission failed on the freeway. Until this time there was no problem with the transmission. Except for the last 10 miles the accelerator was sluggish.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #50

Jul 052007

Civic 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,500 miles
Bought a 2001 Honda Civic ex coupe with automatic/continuously variable transmission with 84,000 miles. Drove for a week, had it checked out by a mechanic, everything perfect. On the 6th day I owned it while driving at 45 mph the engine revved suddenly went up with simultaneous loss of power to wheels. It was as if the transmission couldn't find the next gear. I pressed brake to slow down, transmission couldn't down-shift. I got out of traffic to right side of road, stopped the car and cut off ignition, restarted, put in drive, and got the car to go 50 yards at 15 mph. Then lost power to wheels, although engine was running fine. No warning and no engine lights. Car towed to repair shop that couldn't identify problem. Towed to Honda dealer, service advisor said transmission had failed, will replace with used one for $2889.50.

- Sanford, NC, USA

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