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 8 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #149

Apr 022009


  • 98,942 miles


When my Civic was at roughly 98,000 miles, the check engine light came on and stayed on. I had round rock Honda inspect the vehicle, and they informed me that the car was giving off a P0740 code, which denotes internal transmission failure. As such, they recommended an entirely new transmission. The service advisor informed me that this replacement would cost roughly $3,000, and I had to wait several weeks for a new transmission to arrive. In that time, I got a second opinion from an independent, highly reputable Honda mechanic. He confirmed that the transmission needed to be replaced, and that the torque converter clutch was ruined and had burned up the fluid. He further informed me that this is a common problem in Honda transmissions from the early 2000's, especially from 2001 Civics. My transmission was eventually replaced, at a cost of $1467.48. After doing a little research, I've discovered that there are hundreds of complaints from Honda Civic owners for this very problem. Indeed, technical service bulletins have been out for years regarding this issue. Given Honda's reputation for reliability, I find it extremely unusual that the transmission died this early in the life of the car. Internet message boards abound with stories of Civic owners from subsequent model years who received partial or total refunds for transmission failures. Since subsequent model years shared the same 1.7 liter engine and the parts are virtually identical, I believe that my case warrants investigation as a manufacturer defect.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #148

Apr 012009


  • 155,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. After starting the vehicle, it began to hesitate and would not shift past second gear or 20 mph. The engine would rev very loudly, but the vehicle would not move. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. Through online research, she found numerous complaints regarding the same defect. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 155,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #147

Mar 052009


  • 104,000 miles
From time to time the transmission would jerk really hard but not often. Then finally in 3/2009 without warning the transmission(after a visit to the Honda tech with no problems noted) it came to a halt when I attempted to take of when I received a green light. The car bucked when I took off and then came to a complete halt which almost resulted in a rear-end accident; the car behind me almost hit me. I called Honda headquarters explained to them I was the only owner, can show service records and can take my car to the dealer to confirm the transmission failed because it was faulty and that I cam not alone with this problem. They were not inclined to help me on any level and refuse to accept the liability of putting a defective car on the road. A good reference site is it outlines how egregious this offense is for the 2001 Honda Civic transmissions. A recall is way over due!

- Orange, NJ, USA

problem #146

Jun 192009


  • 114 miles


I have a 2001 Honda Civic that I keep very maintained never had a problem with this car before and I was driving on a highway when got off the exit I was at the stop sign when I tried to take off from the vehicle would not move...would not shift gears...completely stalled... I got it towed to a shop nearby and the mechanic told me that this is happening to all 2001 Honda Civic in between 70,000 and 125,000 car only has 114,000 miles....called Honda and they are not willing to help....I need help!!!! and on this web site alone there is 142 complaints about the same problem...Honda should be responsible for this....on the internet I found almost 440 complaints about the same problem same year same descriptions of problem..

- Everett, MA, USA

problem #145

Jun 092009


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. While driving less than 55 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was pushed off of the highway to safety and was able to be restarted; however, it would not accelerate or shift into gear. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were less than 126,000.

- Souix Falls, SD, USA

problem #144

May 152009


  • 83,000 miles
Major transmission design problem for all 2001 Honda Civic models. Well-known problem but Honda corporate failed to take the responsibility to do a safety recall all the defective models for appropriate transmission replacement. Risk for consumers and the safety of others. Already filed a formal complaint with Honda corporate (1-800-999-1009) requesting a goodwill repair for settlement but still waiting for response. I will be very appreciate if NHTSA could assist with this matters. Thanks!

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #143

Jul 052008


  • 75 miles


Sudden transmission failure on my Honda Civic ex (2001) on the freeway. Was barely able to get car out of traffic lanes during early morning traffic. Towed by aaa to mechanic and had to have transmission replaced at cost of $1500. Still have problems with leak of transmission fluid. Transmission failure could have resulted in serious accident. Car had only 75,000 miles on it and had regular maintenance at Honda dealer.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #142

May 012009


  • 63,190 miles
1. check engine light, slipping of gear shifting and/or not accelerating properly 2. transmission failure 3. replaced transmission at a Honda dealership (rick roush).

- Brunswick Hills, OH, USA

problem #141

May 062009


  • 88,400 miles
My 2001 Honda Civic (88,400) began to make a whining noise in January 2009. I had several people (including a Honda dealership and a Toyota dealership) look at the car to find the source of the noise, and I asked each technician to look specifically at the transmission, but every report told me that nothing was wrong with my car. The most recent check on my car was performed a week ago (4/28/09). Then, a week later, my transmission failed. While there were no accidents, there easily could have been, as I had just been on the highway, and suddenly my car would not shift into third gear. I can't imagine what would have happened at a higher speed or in a higher gear, and I don't want to. I drove it straight to a dealership and discovered that my transmission needs to be entirely replaced. I know that I am not alone in having a Honda Civic with a transmission that failed much too early (and after eight years of conscientious upkeep) because there are plenty of complaints to be found on various websites. This is a dangerous problem -- I could easily have crashed or been rear-ended because my car would not accelerate properly. Thank you for your attention.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #140

Sep 052008


  • 112,123 miles
The transmission slipped the torque converter failed and the transmission burned up.

- Holland, OH, USA

problem #139

Apr 172009


  • 180,800 miles


I own a 2001 Honda Civic ex, the cars from that period have defective torque converters that can 'shatter' causing instant loss of power.. car dumped my daughter 400 miles from home in L.a. yesterday, dead transmission had no clue that there was such a massive problem with hundreds of complaints posted to the one web site I visited! what?S really sick is that if it is mostly a torque converter failure, there is really nothing too mechanical about them. The only thing that can go wrong with them is if the materials used to make the propellers and transfer spline are substandard. I realize that now that you may be looking for more direct causal of serious accidents, however a sudden unexpected loss of forward motion can be as dangerous as total brake failure, and is a very real safety issue.

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #138

Apr 142009


  • 73,180 miles
Car was driving fine (regular maintenance) and yesterday it would not pick up speed and had to be towed in to the dealer who informed today that the transmission was gone and needs replacing. This is a 2001 Honda Civic with 73K miles on it and is out of its extended warranty. Have contacted american Honda company to see if they will do a goodwill repair on the car.

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #137

Apr 112009


  • 55,304 miles
April 11, 2009 I was driving on 1-75 on alligator alley when out of nowhere my car transmission failed. I have 55,000 miles on my car and take immaculate care of it. I have service doc's to reflect this. What happened to me was incredibly dangerous. I could have been killed. The car was going 75-80 mph and then suddenly the service engine light went on and the car just wouldn't work. It was 92 degrees out in the middle of alligator alley. I think its pretty clear this is a safety issue and the 2001 Honda should be recalled. Its at the dealer in davie and I don't think its fair that I should have to repair my crankshaft and transmission. This is a defect Honda is well aware of. In fact, they recalled the Odyssey, Prelude, Accord but not the Civic for the same problem. Its !@#$%. I almost got killed and was left completely stranded and car only has 55,000 miles on it. So far nothing has been done. The dealership doesn't call me back. They laughed saying I will probably have to trade it in. Well I am not laughing. This is not something that is fair. They need to pay for this and recall the car. This is a very expensive repair and the dealer told me it was clear that the parts were defective.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #136

Apr 102009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,304 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Honda Civic. While driving 70 mph, the service engine light flashed on and off and the vehicle began to shake, decelerate, and smoke. The contact found numerous complaints for this year, make, and model vehicle; however, there was no recall. The contact feels that the vehicle is unsafe due to the transmission, and the manufacturer should be responsible for the repairs since there are several complaints about the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 55,304. Updated 05/06/09. Updated 05/07/09.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #135

Apr 062009


  • 87,850 miles
I bought a Honda Civic 2001 recently and two days back the check engine light went up. When I got it checked today, I found its a transmission related error code, it seems to be a common problem with 2001 Honda Civic. I took the car to a Honda service center and they advice me a transmission replacement for about $3500. Honda should really do something about this common problem.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #134

Apr 072009


  • 103,825 miles
On April 7, car began having trouble shifting gears. That evening on the way to the mechanic, the transmission gave out in the middle of the street (45mph speed limit). Mechanic informed me that it was the clutch and torque converter that failed. Will cost $2500 to fix. From internet search this is a very common problem for 2001 Honda Civic's with automatic transmissions.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #133

Mar 292009


  • 98,000 miles
I am pretty sure this has come here a couple of times. This has to do with Honda early Civics mainly 2001 transmissions going out at low miles in highways intersections and just starting up. My car is showing signs of a failing transmission and has fail to shift once before while turning on a traffic filled street. On there are people complaining about there cars breaking down by driving on the highway with 40000 miles on there car. I know how dangerous being stopped in the middle of a highway can be with the rise of an accident. This isnt just one or two cars. This is hundreds stopping in highways and intersections and I am waiting to be next on the highway. I can not afford to fix a transmission that has a factory problem. This mostly likely has clause crashes and will clause more. I am afraid to drive my car every time I get into it. I drive in city areas where people don't pay attention and will nail me if my car dies no question. I am just hoping Honda will take responsibility and recall faulty transmissions that's will cost someone there life if it hasn't. thank you for your time and please read what these people have said about there car on this web site. This just is not safe to have dead cars on the road. And my seat belts don't work for the passenger or drive seat without having to slam them in there and pop out a couple of times.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #132

Mar 232009


  • 124,000 miles
Traveling 60 mph in the middle lane on the NJ garden state parkway, my 2001 Honda Civic lost power due to transmission failure. When I tried to accelerate, the engine raced but there was no power to move the vehicle. Suddenly there was a surge of power which caused my car to go into a spin. I missed hitting 3 cars as my car came to rest on the shoulder. Hundred of similar complaint of failed Honda Civic transmissions can be found on how many complaints have been filed with the NHTSA? class action suits have been filed and won against Honda for 2001 Accord, Odyssey and Acura because of a defective transmission. The NHTSA should have this car recalled. I almost got into a serious accident because of the transmission failure. Living in a syndical world, and seeing the billions stolen by bankers, I wonder if Honda is paying off someone at the NHTSA to ignore this safety hazard. Television stations, my congressman and senator will receive a copy of this complaint. Again I was almost in a serious crash do to the transmission failure. Do your job and get a recall on this situation before someone gets killed!

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #131

Mar 252009


  • 160,000 miles
I was driving and pulled off the highway and as I started to accelerate from a stop light my car failed to shift. The car was revving but did not go past 10-15 miles. Luckily my destination wasn't far and I made it. Upon inspecting the car I felt as though something was wrong with the transmission and that was causing the car not to shift properly. The car is a 2001 Honda Civic. I did some research on the internet and found that it was a common problem among my vehicle. Is there anything Honda will do for me?

- Indian Trail, NC, USA

problem #130

Mar 232009


  • 70,000 miles
Our 2001 Honda Civic transmission went out while my husband was driving the car home from work. He suddenly lost all power. Luckily, it was not on a very busy street, because he barely was able to pull over. This easily could have caused a collision if the street were a busier one.

- Walnut, CA, USA

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