Notes: The 2004 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue ever since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially replaced the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,348 miles
Total Complaints:
68 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. have the car repainted (47 reports)
  2. not sure (16 reports)
  3. repaint (5 reports)
2004 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Nov 052012

Accord 2D SD 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 188,000 miles


click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel

the car is in great shape. the paint peeling on the roof and the car look like hell

- , newburgh, NY, USA

problem #27

Jun 122011

Accord EX 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,423 miles

I purchased this car in 2007 and it was in mint condition. The car has 81,000 miles and has been well taken care of inside and out.

But last year the clear coat started to peel in a few small spots and has progressively gotten worse. It's peeling on the roof,trunk, hood, fender and all 4 doors!!!!!! When I took it to the Honda dealership where I bought it they gave me an estimate of$ 6,175.00 to strip and repaint the car at my expense.They said the peeling was an environment issue that Indiana has.....

I feel Honda should pay for this repainting as the clear coating is obviously defective and by reading the other complaints I see several people have had similar problems with Honda's red paint. So I'm hoping they live up to their stellar reputation and do the right thing with my issue...I will be patiently waiting for a reply.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #26

Jul 012012

Accord ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

You buy your children dependable affordable first cars, i went with a Honda not knowing that even though the car is good for 300K miles that the Paint would only last 8yrs and you would be driving an ugly looking piece of sh*t for the next 5yrs while she attends collage. I will never buy another Honda if they will not stand behind their product! Purchased a Toyota for my son after Honda dealership told me thats normal wear due to Texas heat.

- , Keller, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 012010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Looks horrible. Would like to have repainted but can't afford. Estimated cost is$1800.

- , Smyrna, GA, US

problem #24

Nov 082011

Accord EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel

I paid clot of money for a car that I will be able to drive till the wheels fall off. It is pathetic that Honda will not stand behind their paint jobs. I have talked to so many people that have the same issue and they say they will never buy a Honda again because if this. I feel the same way. I paid a lot for this car and expect the clear coat to say on it. I am embarrassed to drive this car.

- , Newton, NC, US

problem #23

Mar 012012

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

For a little over a year now, I have noticed the paint and clear coat peeling from my 2004 Honda Accord EX-L V6. The problem is getting considerably worse, so I contacted Honda directly and was informed that it is not covered under warranty.

I explained to the customer service representative that I have purchased 4 new Honda's since 1993 and have always cared for them very carefully, hand washing and hand waxing the vehicles. The customer service representative said they would consider a resolution and asked that I take it to my local dealer here in Durham NC. I did so, and they sent it to the body shop that they use and got an estimate for over $2700 to repaint the vehicle due to defective factory paint. Honda called me back a few days later and offered me $700 after the vehicle was repainted. I explained to the representative that this was not reasonable and told her that I was standing to lose $2000 or more in value whether or not I pay to repaint it or sell it for a loss.

I am very disappointed in the offer from Honda and I feel like they are not standing behind their product. I told Honda that I would be willing to pay $500 towards the paint job and they would not offer any more than $700. I felt that this was a reasonable offer that I pay a small portion since I am only responsible for the age of the vehicle and not the defective paint. I even asked if they would give me a larger credit voucher towards our next new Honda vehicle purchase and they declined and would only offer an accessory up to $700 in value.

We had all but decided to purchase a 2013 Honda Accord EX-L this year, but now must look closely at other vehicle manufacturers due to Honda not standing behind their product and doing the right thing for their customers. I can't believe that Honda is going to let $1500 stand in the way of our loyalty, dedication to Honda, and future business. Are there any attorney's willing to take this and other cases into a class action lawsuit against Honda? There is a similar class action lawsuit pending in California at this point in time, but not sure if the attorney is going to proceed.

- , Durham, NC, USA

problem #22

Feb 122011

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


When I noticed the clear coat problem it seemed very slight. It started as what I believed to be bird droppings on the roof of the car, on the trunk it looked like dry water, but than to find out it was the clear coat destroying the body of my loved Honda I was very disappointing. By the end of the summer of 2011 it was much worse. I went to the Honda dealership to see if they would repair the damages, after discussing with their district manager, "they said considering the life of the car the would not pay for the damage," However, they gave me an estimate for $1,000.00, to just paint the roof top. At this point I was angry and placed Honda on my boycott list. I figured driving my car with horrible paint is the worse advertisement for Honda. In addition I am a school teacher and have 160 new students a year. When economics and cars come up I do describe my ordeal to my students describing the lack of customer service and the bad paint. So, when they go out to buy their first cars and may be considering Hondas they may not buy the car. If they each tell 5 people a year that is over 500 people a year and it continues. With the message out there about bad paint on Hondas my future consumers will notice all of the HOndas on the road with bad paint and probably will not buy one. Luckily for me there are many Hondas with bad paint. So, I will like to paint the car this year but I have to budget for that.

- , San Jose, CA, USA

problem #21

Dec 192012

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I am very upset with America Honda Finance Corp. I have a 2004 Honda Accord that the clear coat on the panel above the windshield is faded and has no paint and the truck also is starting to fade. Yes my car has 200,000 miles but they stated to me that there is nothing they can do. Is there not alot of people having the same issue and if so how are they getting it resolved. They told me it was 120,000 over the warranty and was very rude. I took the car to a body shop and the paint repair since he is going to have to sand it down because trust me its almost there , The price was 750.00 What are your thoughts and suggestions?

- , Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #20

Dec 012011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I bought my car right out of the showroom in August 2004, on my birthday! Now, 8 years later, the paint is peeling with white blotches, looks like the car has been stained. I was told it would cost up to $10,000 to repair since the car has to be completely sanded down and repainted. I believe Honda needs to pay for the repair. Is there a Class Action lawsuit in CT that I can join?

- , Trumbull, CT, US

problem #19

Sep 032012

Accord 3.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I've seen many hondas around town with the same paint fade and clear coat problem. looks terrible.

- , Springfield, OH, US

problem #18

Apr 012009

Accord LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel

The clear coat started fading on the trunk of the car in the spring of '09 and has since become widespread over the whole car. It looks horrible.

I took it to the Honda dealer after some time (forget exact date), and Honda was not willing to repair.

This is something I see regularly on Hondas and have seen similar complaints online from many people.

- , Powell, OH, USA

problem #17

May 102010

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I waxed the car monthly which made the black paint look beautiful.

The paint peeling started in 2010.

It began at the rear of the roof by the back window. Initially the problem appeared as a white oxidizing condition. But in the following month the sealer coat began too peel quickly. It spread to the hood and to the trunk cover.

The car is a 2004 Honda Accord, in excellent condition mechanically and the interior is perfect.

Now the car looks terrible and the peeling continues.

- , South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #16

Mar 142012

Accord EX 3'2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 223,409 miles

I was very disappointed with honda accord for putting out vehicles with sloppy paint jobs that are hurting owners.. I cannot afford to continue paying a car note and at the same time come up with three thousand dollars on the side to have my car repainted. The roof and the trunk are in very bad shape as paint continue to peel. Honda stated that the paint wasn't defected leaving me hanging with a lousy paint job. HONDA HAS LOST MY LOYALTY

- , Pattison, MS, USA

problem #15

Dec 152010

Accord EX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,600 miles


- , Tamarac, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 062012

Accord LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,789 miles

Car ls looking real nasty on top of car.i took car to get detailed shop owner claims that he has come across a lot of Honda with same problem. For the money i spent on this new Honda when purchased in 2004 .i think Honda should step up and fixed the problem.The sad part is i convinced my mother to buy 2012 Honda CRV. THANKS

- , Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #13

Jan 012011

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I own a 2004 Honda Accord EX. I have previously owned 2 Honda cars and I've never had a problem with the painting. That's why I bought my Accord. I believe there is definitely a problem with the clear coat which is coming off my 2004 Accord. Now I really hate my car. It looks terrible! When it first started I took it to the dealership in Jacksonville, FL and they told me that it's because of the sun in Florida. They sent me to the Coggin Body shop and i was charged $5,000 to get it fixed. Who can afford that when the car is only worth about that amount? Is Honda doing anything about this? I'm tired of everyone asking what's wrong with my car and having to explain. This is not very good publicity for Honda. I am very disappointed! They need to do something.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #12

Mar 012011

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel clear coat started to peel

Attaching a copy of the letter I sent to Honda Corporate. (Even after sending this letter and having the car looked at by Honda, who admitted Honda used faulty paint on this model year, Honda still says it's not their problem).

2 September 2011

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda Automobile Customer Service Mail Stop 500-2N-7A 1919 Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90501-2746 Via Fax: (310) 783-3023

RE: Defective Paint Job on 2005 Honda Accord VIN # 1HGCM56765A056109 Purchased at: Right Honda 7875 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Scottsdale, AZ 85260-1002

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to alert you of an issue that I am having with the clear coat and paint (delaminating) on my 2005 Honda Accord. I originally contacted the dealership where I purchased the car, Right Honda, Scottsdale, AZ. They told me to bring the car into them and it was at that meeting when they told me that it was not a dealership issue, and that I should take my case to Honda corporate.

I have taken the car to a local body shop for a professional diagnosis and estimate to have the vehicle repainted. I have also contacted my insurance company to see if they would cover the paint, and because it is a manufacturer defect, they have declined coverage.

I look to you for your input on this issue and hope Honda sees the issue as a manufacturer defect and steps up to the plate and assumes responsibility for the defect. As Honda owner’s for many years, I and my family have come to know, respect and expect a certain level of quality and reliability from our vehicles, so it is quite disappointing to be experiencing this with a Honda. I have spoken with several other 2005 Honda Accord owner’s who have the same issue, so I can’t believe this is an isolated occurrence. This is evidenced by photos I have included of another 2005 Accord within my same office complex here in Sedona, AZ. Further, in my meeting with the owner of the body shop, he said he sees a lot of the newer model Honda’s (Civics and Accords) coming in with this delaminating issue. He told me he just did a 2010 Civic for this very issue. Not great advertising for your company when people are driving around these vehicles and other people are seeing what Honda’s cars are doing.

I use my car exclusively for business and my business is real estate. I interact daily with many people and my car is a reflection of me and my reputation and my car needs to extend a professional and presentable look. This is certainly not the case at this time.

Also, with the paint in its current condition, it will greatly reduce the vehicle’s value when it comes time to trade or sell. The paint continues to deteriorate and now the majority of the car surface has more of a “matte” finish, as you can see the dulling occurring before the paint actually turns “white” and then eventually flakes and peels.

I look forward to your timely response on how this issue can be resolved positively for both parties.


Larry Ault Honda 2005 Accord Owner

Sedona, AZ 86336 928-301-0852

PS: I am attaching the Denial Letter from my insurance company, the estimate from Vince’s Autobody and photos evidencing the failure of the clear coat/paint (delamination) on not only my vehicle, but another 2005 Accord here in the same complex in which I work.

- , Sedona, AZ, USA

problem #11

Nov 162011

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Paint, really? Always used nice, liquid, polymer wax products and the car looks like doodoo. I expect more from the brand since they prop themselves up as the superior "quality". Car has also developed electrical problems that will be in another complaint: nothing like not being able to lock/unlock doors and roll windows up and down... until you've rolled it down and can't get it up. Out of nowhere, no warning signs.

The second, and likely LAST, Honda we'll ever buy. Bought the first run model CR-V and those owners know what hell was involved with the A/C on those things. My compressor BLEW UP while driving on a freeway and shot the belt and parts flying all over the place. This was after two previous 'repairs'.

- , Arlington, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 012009

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

I have a 2004 Black Pearl Honda Accord LX. It WAS a nice looking car when I bought it. The clear coat has come off the top of the car and the top of the doors and the trunk is showing signs. It looks awful. Really awful. EVERYONE make comments on how bad it looks. It's embarrassing. I paid top dollar for this car - this should not be happening - I am really unhappy and completely disgusted. My dealer would not even discuss the issue - no concern there whatsoever. The car badly needs a new paint job - Honda needs to claim responsibility for this issue. Honda is LIABLE. Not even to make some sort of offer to make it better? It's disgusting how Honda is treating its loyal customers. Well - this is it for me...I will never purchase another Honda or even Acura for that matter...

- , Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #9

Aug 012010

Accord EX-L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I am adding to my great disappointment, along with 100's of others that are suffering through the potential cost of repainting their Honda's. I bought this car NEW in Chattanooga and watched the slow deterioration of the paint along all top surfaces of this car. As I the car aged I mentioned to the dealership, which stated that the etching on the paint was from Industrial Fallout or Acid Rain, etc. Now that the car is 7 years old much of the top surfaces of the car are void of all paint, as the clear coat has deteriorated from the inside/out. I got some estimates last year, when my kids started complaining about the way it looked, between $2500 and $3500. In the past year the clear coat has significantly pealed back more, taking most of the paint with it, so now I am down to bare metal in places, and an estimated $4500 for a paint job. I will admit that this car has spent around 50% of its life outside because I work out of town for 4 days at a time, but their are plenty of other cars that spend the same amount of time in this parking lot, from other manufacturers, in the parking lot that still have reasonable looking paint left on them.

When I realized I was down to bare metal with surface rust appearing, I decided to look on the internet and discovered 100's of the exact same scenarios from other owners, so I decided to contact my local Honda dealer and start working with the Regional Manager from Honda. On Monday of this week I took it down the dealership and the Service Manager took pictures of the car and I discussed the fact that I have owned 6 Honda's, 3 I bought from their dealership, I have always maintained my cars, with regular wash and wax jobs. As I suspected, he called me today to let me know that Honda is not willing to pay one red cent towards this problem and of the course the regional manager stated that it was Regional Fallout and Acid Rain from Petroleom products and that the damage begins from the inside out. In other words, even the areas of the car that look like they have decent paint on them, will eventually start turning white, followed by the clear coat peeling off, followed by bare metal. Obviously, this is unacceptable, as the cost of repair is equal to replacing an engine, or replacing a timing belt 10 times, but because it's not mechanical it doesn't "seem" like a "big deal". NO ONE would buy this car if they new that in 6-7 years they would have to replace an engine or replace a timing belt 10 times, because this would be considered an extremely unreliable car.

I wish I could find someone that is involved in a class-action lawsuit, because this needs to be pursued. To summarize, unless your car is still under the factory warranty, and even then, don't expect Honda to pick up the tab on this one. They have chosen the LOW ROAD on this by continuing to use Water Based Paints with Clear Coats that are too thin, especially the cars that are built in North America and they have lost my loyalty. Many other manufactures are now meeting or exceeding their reliability numbers and if they are not willing to come through with someone like myself who has owned 6 Hondas, then it's SEE YA LATER!

- , Apison, TN, USA

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