Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,700 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.

2004 Honda Accord brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

May 132015


  • miles


While driving the vehicle at night, I experienced a spontaneous total electrical failure when switching the dash control which powers the digital thermometer/odometer control. This effected headlights, steering and braking, as if the car was turned completely off, but I was able to coast toward the road shoulder.

- Avon, CT, USA

problem #4

Nov 202014


  • miles
I was driving my normal route and coming up on my right turn. The dashboard lights and all interior lights of my car went black and I was unable to steer my car. Within seconds I tried to brake. My pedal went directly to the floor and my brakes never engaged. I had no steering and no brakes going 55mph (forcing me through a red light). I was T-boned by a SUV at 60mph (no skid marks for either of us)- a full impact crash. My side of the car was destroyed, my car sent spinning into and taking out a pole, and then my car spun down an embankment. The next thing I remember is being cut out of my car and then nothing past that. I spent the next 5-6 days at 2 different hospitals. I suffered lung/heart/body trauma (especially due to airbag and seatbelt) and a major concussion. Wherever the airbag hit and seatbelt lay- I'm a rainbow of colors. I am looking at a lengthy recovery and unable to return to work for a few weeks, unable to take college finals, nor can I return to college next semester due to heart trauma. My husband and I had moments of brake and steering problems sporadically/occasionally in the last few months. Each time we took in our car we were told "we can't find any problems". and the notorious: "there are no recalls for your brakes". we have four children and this incident has affected each of us.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 182014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 75,500 miles
The clearcoat paint is beginning to peal on the hood, roof and trunk. Color of vehicle is black. It has been well maintained and garaged. I've noticed many other Honda vehicles with the same condition. In addition, the ABS brake warning light has gone on and we've been told by Honda that the car needs the ABS module replaced at a cost of $1,200. We have not made this repair due to the cost and age of the vehicle.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #2

Dec 072012


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the rear driver's side brakes seized. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where repairs unknown to the contact were performed. On a later occasion, the contact was traveling at an unknown speed when he smelled a burning odor and noticed smoke coming from the wheels. The rear brake also seized. The contact allowed the vehicle to cool down for several minutes before attempting to drive. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic, who advised that the calipers needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact stated that the failure would only occur when operating the vehicle in colder weather. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #1

Dec 072012


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the rear driver's side brake seized. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where unknown repairs were performed. Most recently, the contact smelled a burning odor while driving and noticed smoke coming from the rear passenger's side wheel. The contact moved off the roadway and discovered that the rear passenger's side brake had seized. The contact was not able to drive the vehicle until the brakes were allowed to cool. The vehicle was later taken to the dealer where the technician advised that the brake calipers needed replacing. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

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