Honda Civic transmission goes out at 29,000 miles! Need advice.

I’ll try to keep this short. My car’s transmission went out after 29,000 miles. I know this shouldn’t happen. This is ridiculous! I did research online about my car a year before anything happened. I typed in 2001 honda civic in google A YEAR AGO and came up with a list of about 450 people who had transmission issues. I thought “gee, I hope this doesn’t happen to me.” It did this month. The car is at the dealer and they diagnosed it as total transmission failure. I contacted honda of america and they said they would cover half the cost. It costs $2502…so I will have to pay half. I don’t think this is fair seeing that I am probably one of few people that have such low mileage on my car. I contacted honda of america because that’s what people on did. They either had 50%, 75%, or they only paid labor on the car. Some people had to pay the full cost of the repair. I am trying to find a class action lawsuit about this, but can’t find one. I contacted and car and filed a report with honda of america. Does anyone know of a way to recover my money? Is this a long shot and should I just forget about ever getting anything back? Do you think it’s fair that honda paid half for the transmission considering my case of low mileage and how there are 450 other complaints out there? Who knows how many other transmissions blew up and no one reported it? I feel really angry about this and thought hondas were reliable cars, but now I won’t ever buy a honda again. I can’t trust the company’s reliability anymore. Someone advise me what to do.

As a sometime free-lance auto writer, I know Honda DID have a problem with transmissions from that era. But you’re looking at a vehicle that’s turning 9 years old. I think 29,000 miles or no, getting them to pay half is a victory.

I wouldn’t hold it against them: Now Toyota is having an issue with frame rust in its older Tacoma trucks. And they went through a catalytic converter issue on a whole range of vehicles. But overall, Honda and Toyota continue to have the fewest issues with their vehicles, outside of those few episodes.

Out of warranty. What’s the issue?

Of course it’s out of warranty. It’s an 8 year old car, and the warranty will only go up until year 8. Even if I did buy the warranty it would have expired Feb. 2009 and the transmission problem happened in Oct.2009.

Your car is 9 YEARS OLD and they are offering to pay 50% of the repair cost of a out of warranty issue on a car that is 9 YEARS OLD and you are unhappy?

You are completely out of your f***ing mind. Your sense of entitlement beggars the imagination. You should race as fast as your little legs will carry you to take that deal.

I’m not unhappy. I’m just sad that it would happen to a car with such low mileage. Aren’t transmissions supposed to last forever or the life of the car? Not something after 29,000 miles. I am taking the offer from them to fix it, but wouldn’t anyone be pissed to have to go through this sort of thing? I want to know what someone would do in my situation. I’m getting it fixed by the dealer…but would you go any further? Would you go to small claims court or contact a lawyer?

For $1,250? Only if I had a dead bang winner of a case, and only small claims court. You don’t though.

Once out of warranty, cars break, and people pay to fix them. That’s how it works in the real world. Hell, I have a 66 Bronco in my driveway with 32,000 miles on the clock. On a miles per year basis, that truck is driven less than your Honda. The Bronco doesn’t run. Maybe I should ask Ford to fix it for free.

Long term wear items like core engine components and transmissions can (and often do) last the life of the car, but they are not warranted or otherwise guaranteed to do so. At a certain point post warranty you are rolling the dice with any car, that’s just the way it works. Sometimes you get snake eyes.

That a company steps up 3 to 6 years after the warranty expires and offers to pay 50% of the total repair cost even though they are under no obligation to do so is damn near heroic. I’m stunned you think you are geting a raw deal in the absence of any warranty requirement for them to do anything.

No, I’d be thrilled that Honda went beyond what they would be reasonably expected to do and move on with my life.

Automatic or manual transmission? Have you had this car since new? Is the car garaged? I’m going to guess that it’s an automatic. With so few miles it could be a moisture issue if it’s an automatic (too much sitting around). More details please.
I have a 98 Honda Civic which is the same model as a 2001. My transmission is a manual though, that’s why I ask. It has 258,000 miles with the original transmission and original clutch.

It’s an automatic.

Bought the car brand new.

The car stays in the driveway.

Do you mean the transmission of the 98 is the same design as the 01? The outside of the cars look different.

(Dealership service manager here) The warranty is for X number of years OR a limited number of miles whichever comes first.
As has been mentioned you should grab this deal with both hands and there should be smoke coming your pen as you write the check to pay for your half. This is an excellent deal. A superb deal. A killer deal. Take it.

I can’t speak for Honda, but I have seen goodwill offers retracted if a customer gets too pushy or decides to go lawsuit. The reasoning is that if 50% won’t satisfy them, and we are not willing to go 100%, then why spend any money on them, they will only be pissed off anyway. In court Honda has an ironclad defense. The warranty on the transmission is for a limited time and ran out YEARS ago. In fact, I think your car has probably been out of warranty for a longer period of time that the warranty was for. Legally I don’t see you having a leg to stand on, but IANAL so YMMV.

450 complaints against the approximately 1.2 Jillion Civics that were sold with that transmission is quite frankly a drop in the bucket. Yeah 450 is a large number until you compare it to the sales numbers. Also in that 450 are units that were abused (What happens if I rev the engine to red line and then put the car into gear?) damage that resulted from accidents, or other physical damage (No one ever admits that they fucked up their own car. I had a car towed in with a hole in the oil pan from hitting something, and a seized engine. The customer tried to argue that it was a defective casting, he saw reports of it on the internet. :rolleyes::dubious:)

Pay up and be nice to the helpful Honda people that are giving you $1250 dollars.

I’m not a mechanic like Rick but that never stops me from giving an opinion. :wink: I’ll bet your pcv valve is either clogged or otherwise malfunctioning. The pcv valve vents the transmission so that water doesn’t condensate, it might do something else also but I don’t know for sure.
Have you ever had that or the transmission fluid changed? Water + automatic transmission = very bad.

The PCV does not vent the transmission. It vents the engine crankcase. PCV = Positive Crankcase Ventilation.

Oops. Sorry for the erroneous information. How about excess moisture Rick, or am I way off there also? 29,000 miles seems awfully low for a Honda transmission to fail.

I agree 29K is a bit low for any transmission. I wold expect at least 30K before a failure. :wink: I can’t see the car from here, and I don’t have a good description of what is wrong, and what if any faults are recorded in the TCM, so I am guessing here.
I have seen where a radiator leak into the transmission oil cooler causes a failure in ethylene glycol is death on automatic transmissions.
We test bad transmissions for glycol contamination before replacing them. If the test is positive for glycol, then we replace the radiator along with the trans.
There could of course be other causes, but it is late and that is what bubbled up to the top of my mind first.

I wasn’t a Service Manager, like Rick, but I worked as a Service Writer (for RV’s) and a Car salesman (Honda, Toyota, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Nissan, Pontiac, Buick, GMC – one dealership/automall), as well as growing up in and around dealerships and service departments.

My advice is simple: take what you can get, and be extremely happy. And the next vehicle you get – buy a Honda. Honda has gone far further to earn your business than almost any other manufacturer (short of Toyota*, perhaps) would have.

Honda has made it a point to fix something that is clearly your problem, and exclusively your problem. A car sitting in a driveway for three years with that few miles is bound to have a few problems, I’ve seen garaged RV’s come into the shop with dry rot on this and that (okay – so I’m not a mechanic, sue me… actually, don’t sue me, you might take that seriously :rolleyes:) after only a few years of sitting garaged.

(As a note on the Toyotas, we had a 99 – I think – Tacoma come in with a rust hole in the frame and Toyota payed to have the entire frame replaced. Free. Not a dime out of the customers pocket, ten years later!)

Get over it.

Honda is doing $1250 better than they should. My honest opinion? You should be forking out 2500 bucks for a new tranny. Now THAT would be fair, because there are millions of other consumers not getting a sweet deal like that… and THEY are the poor bastards that should feel disgruntled.

I think it is great that Honda is paying half on a car that’s way out of warranty, but $2500 seems like a lot to begin with.

I would suggest that you don’t know what information Honda had about these cases to determine how much, if any, of the repair cost they would cover. Info given by the car owner on an internet forum could easily be incomplete or even inaccurate. Essentially, there’s not a sound basis for comparing your situation with that of others who might have gotten a different deal. I don’t see where you can make a case, much less a compelling one, that you’ve been treated unfairly.