Notes: The 1998 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, peeling paint, & subframe rust. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 100,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000.

Peeling paint has also been a huge issue for these Accords. Most of the complaints are with darker paint colors -- especially green & blue.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,235 miles
Total Complaints:
122 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. repaint entire car (65 reports)
  2. not sure (32 reports)
  3. Honda should fix/repaint or reimburse owners for lost value (14 reports)
  4. to keep me as a honda owner i want re-embursement (5 reports)
  5. Honda paid to repaint the entire car (4 reports)
  6. repaint only roof and hood (2 reports)
1998 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Jul 012005

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


I wasn't sure if this was just my car with this problem, then I noticed others with the exact same paint peeling pattern on the roof!

- , Big Oak Flat, CA, USA

problem #81

May 012009

Accord EX-L 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Peeling clear coat on roof (severe) & trunk (mild). The hood got repainted a few yrs back after a minor collision, so that paint is good. The peeling roof was an embarrassment in my driveway! I wasn't ready to sell the car, so decided to get the roof painted. Being a 12 yr old car, I wasn't willing to invest much in it, so got the roof painted at Maaco for about $300. They did a fair job, and it does look MUCH better, however I probably wouldn't use them for a newer car.

- , Katy, TX, USA

problem #80

Jan 012007

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Just wanted to add my car to the others with the same problem. Looks like Honda used some bad clear coat for this model year. Mine's black. Clear coat is mostly gone from roof, trunk, and hood. Starting to go on top side of sides and fenders.

Looks like crap. Not sure the best way to fix. Since the car has 207K miles on it now, I'd probably try to have someone take the paint down to the black (if there's enough black paint left to do this) and respray clear coat.

- , Ramona, CA, USA

problem #79

Jan 102008

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles


There is a issue with the dark paint. I want my car fixed. I have taken extreme car of my car. I issued a complaint to Honda and they said my issue was not common and sort of filed it under the age of the vehicle. They even tried to take to me about trading the car in for a current model.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #78

Apr 012009

Accord LS 4 Cilinders

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

look not very well at all. Its ugly because they paint keep peeling off and its white.I hope you can repainted.

- , New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #77

Jun 052009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

I have a 1998 Honda Accord V6. It is dark purple in color. We purchased this car 6 years ago and about 6 mo ago the clear coat started to peel away on the roof and around the edge of the trunk. Since mine started doing this I now notice Honda Accords around the same year EVERWHERE that are doing this! Some are much worse than others. We took our car in to a body shop for an estamate to see how much it would cost to have it repaired. The paint guy told us that in '98 Honda started using a clear coat with a different base and since then this has been a major problem they see time and time again. After speaking to him. I then took the time to write Honda a letter concern this probelm. I told them how much we love our Honda's, that this is my second Honda I have personally owned, that i come from a family who drives Honda's and planned to give this Honda to my daughter in 3 yrs and then personally purchase a new Honda. However, I would not feel comfortable purchasing a new Honda if this was going to be the out come of the paint job on Honda's. I figured such a reputable company would not want cars looking this bad driving around as advertisment for their company.

5 days later i recieved a call from a RUDE customer service rep. and was told becasue there is no recall--they can not help me! In my letter I said I can not stand behind a company that will not stand behind their product and their customers. She said that is my opinion. I told her to "Google" Honda Accord Paint Problems and you will see that it is NOT just MY opinion but the opinion of almost every Honda Acccord owner in or around that year of Accord. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing another Honda made vehicle. I know there is not a recall on them but maybe there SHOULD BE!!!!!

- , Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #76

Aug 012008

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Bought this car brand June 1998, loved the color, Black Currant. Car was always parked inside a garage and hand washed. During 2008 started to notice the color looked different on the there are several huge white blotches where the clear coat is gone and the color has also faded. Looks horrible. The car is 11 years old...has 122,000 miles on it. Noticed a car just like mine (same color, year, model) yesterday in a parking lot and the paint on the roof looked exactly like mine. Why doesn't Honda fix the problem?

- , Warrior, AL, US

problem #75

Oct 012004

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Have enjoyed the car except for the peeling of the clear-coat on my Emerald Green car. It not only makes the outside a mixture of dull vs. the metallic, but as it is peeling, it turns grey, so it makes my car look old. It doesn't bother me so much but it bothers my family when they ride in it. I would have gotten a different color if I had know I was going to face this.

- , Cary, NC, US

problem #74

Jun 162004

Accord EX I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The clear coat peels and there are "sun burn" like areas on roof and hood. When it rains the water gets under the clear coat, makes it worse, and you can move it around.

- , Hastings, FL, USA

problem #73

Oct 242009

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles





- , Creedmoor, NC, USA

problem #72

May 232003

Accord EX 2.4L V-Tec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 183,000 miles


this sucks--- honda knows the problem, all dark cars late 90s paint is crap. All the money you guys got - step up to the plate and fix the problem!!! paint all the cars that are peeling. I got a 99 cobra mustang and ford recalled and fixed all of them because of HORSEPOWER issues. hear that honda??? What good is a good running car if it looks like crap???? top of hood-all over. rear deck-rear fender- peeling all over straight to bare metal. you guys know the problem solve it. or I will never buy another honda!!!! signed PISSED OFF@#$%$#%%

- , Swansea, IL, USA

problem #71

Jan 012007

Accord LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I was starting to think that I was doing something wrong in the way I wash and care for the car's exterior, but now I'm glad to find that it's not just me. Honda should own up and admit this is a qual/rel issue on their end and make amends with us, their customers.

- , Folsom, CA, USA

problem #70

Jul 012007

Accord LX 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I bought my 1998 Honda Accord LX new. Two years ago, I noticed clear--coat peeling on the roof. It is steadily getting worse. Now it is so bad as if there were snow on my roof all year around. After reading so many complaints, I believe this IS a defect that Honda must address. A class action is definitely needed.

- , Yardley, PA, USA

problem #69

Sep 302008

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

unbelievable that almost every dark colored '98 Accord has the same problem and Honda won't help out. Same problem with various dark colors, my car is black. If anyone can give me a number to call I'll do it. If everyone calls the same number to complain, maybe they'll get the hint. Love the car though.

- , New Bedford, MA, US

problem #68

Dec 072008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Like most people, I take care of my car. It has an oil change every 3,000 miles, washed once a week, and polished every 4 months. In December I noticed that the clear coat on the roof was starting to for better words, 'dissolve'. I went to my Honda dealer and was told the problem was from the car being left out. Funny thing, ever since I have owner this vehicle, it has been garaged every night. They said that due to the age of the car it was my problem. Well i started looking around my town and have noticed no less than 50 Honda's with the same exact problem. I am seriously considering a class action lawsuit as this is a manufacture defect and a problem Honda needs to address. I contacted a local auto-body shop and they stated that this is the most common problem with Honda's. Anyone know a GOOD class action Attorney?

- , Valencia, CA, USA

problem #67

Jul 012004

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I also have a dark green 1998 Accord. After reading all of the complaints here, I called American Honda Motor Company. They said that it was not a known issue and just because I read other complaints on the internet didn't make it an issue. So I suggest that everybody call them, 1-800-999-1009, and lets make it a known issue!

- , Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #66

Aug 012007

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I had the car repaint and the same problem is reoccurring. I have seen several green cars in the Albany, Georgia area with the same problem. Honda has to know what is wrong.

- , Leesburg, GA, USA

problem #65

May 042005

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Almost all the paint has peeled off the hood. The paint is starting to peel off the side review mirrors.

- , San Diego, CA, US

problem #64

Feb 012008

Accord EX v4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk

Instead of writing a HUGE commentary (because I could). I'm just going to provide some snippets of sections of a lengthy blog post that I did on my Honda's clear coat peeling. It's an absolute embarrassment to drive around.

Post with details is here:

Some tidbits:

"A few years ago, I noticed that my Accord was starting to show some odd discoloration on the roofline. I thought this was odd because I took pretty good car of the car, with regular waxings and cleanings. It was, however, parked outside...

...What started as a discoloration (a patchy whitening) then turned into a full fledged peeling of the clear coat surface. The surface just started to flake off, easily exacerbated by a fingernail, leaving underneath a dull metal surface. This erosion of the clear coat surface continued to spread, but interestingly, not to all parts of the car. Specifically affected were the: roof, trunk and hood (in order of magnitude), but the side panels or bumpers seemed to be fine...

...Personally, I think that Honda Motors should step up and 1) acknowledge that there WAS an issue with this year and this color (or dark colored cars around this time) and 2) that they should do something about it. Offering to pay for part of the expense and only at certified auto body shops is not what I�m looking for. My car has been treated well, frequent washes and waxes and has extremely low mileage on it. Again, I have seen older Honda Accords that do NOT exhibit this type of corrosion or deterioration. There is something definitely wrong here and there should be some full retribution...

...Note: I just uploaded these photos to Flickr. If this is happening to your Honda Accord, please upload your photos and tag them with the following tags: HONDACCPEEL, HONDA, ACCORD, CLEAR COAT, and PEEL. Thanks for your help!"

Thanks for reading this!

Update from Aug 25, 2011: I wanted to update my complaint to provide some more articles that I have written about this issue.


- "My Paint & Your Brand Are Eroding – An Open Letter to Honda Motors" (March 2010) - - "100+ Voices Unhappy About Honda Clear Coat Paint Peel Defect & Honda’s Ambivalence" (August 2011) -


- , Walnut Creek, CA, US

problem #63

May 142008

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk clear coat is peeling from hood, roof, and/or trunk

Bought it brand new, and in last 3 years paint clear coat is peeling off everywhere. I hope honda covers this issue.

- , Sunnyvale, CA, USA

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