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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,891 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Mar 252012


  • 21,730 miles


My wife had parked in a parking space with a very slight downward slope. There was another space ahead of her. She had been driving in a heavy rain. The car was operating normally. When she returned about 15 minutes later, the brake pedal felt hard. She started the engine and shifted into reverse. The car started coasting forward. The brakes remained hard and didn't stop the car. She stopped it by shifting to park, then turned off the engine. She repeated the attempt to back out of the space - same result. No error messages appeared. She called, and I drove to the scene. The rain had stopped. I felt the hardness of the brake pedal, although it felt more like a stiff spring than a non-power brake pedal to me. I pumped the springy pedal a few times; it didn't change. I started the engine, keeping my foot lightly on the brake. When the engine started, the stiffness immediately disappeared, the pedal felt normal, the transmission worked, and the car drove normally. I didn't get to experience the transmission problem. Later, I could find no problem with the brakes. The linkage has only a very slight amount of play, as it should. I depleted the vacuum supply by pumping the brakes with the engine off. The pedal felt very hard, unlike the springy feel in the parking lot. I have a phd in electrical engineering and a lot of car repair experience. This background leads me to conclude that it is extremely unlikely for the unrelated braking and transmission systems to fail simultaneously, and then recover simultaneously. There has to be another common cause, which leads me to suspect the computer system or possibly a sensor, particularly because this happened after driving in a heavy rain. The postulated failure mode is a compromised computer system that could partially activate the ABS system and also fail to operate the reverse solenoid valve in the transmission.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #22

Jan 252011


  • miles
Brakes are overly sensitive, particularly during high idle when the engine is cold. It is not possible to apply the brakes quickly without the brake pedal feeling as though it's getting sucked down during a slight application. One must be very careful and start applying the brakes incredibly slowly before they wish to start stopping. Thus, it's not possible to stop quickly without the brakes being heavily applied against one's will. During an emergency braking situation, which luckily I have not come across while driving this vehicle, I suspect it'd be incredibly difficult to maintain control of the vehicle while slowing down, regardless of whether or not the vehicle has ABS. This problem has occurred since the car was new. Upon research on many different websites, I have found other drivers of 2004 Honda Accord that complain of the same issue. One complaint even claimed that they applied their brakes normally on an offramp, and the issue caused their vehicle to spin around completely, luckily not striking anyone or anything. Others say that they have complained to their dealerships, but were just told that they need to get used to the brakes. I feel that a likely problem may be an issue with the power brake system providing too much assist with even light application of the brakes. I'm not sure whether any accidents have been reported due to this issue, or if this issue has been found to be the cause of any accidents. Nevertheless, it is definitely a safety issue.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #21

Aug 012010


  • miles
I was stopped at a red light, a few cars behind, and then the traffic light turned green and the cars took off. After I just passed the intersection the first car made a sudden stop, and the cars after were able to stop also. I had enough time and room to stop the car itself with out crashing too, but the breaks did not stop when my foot was pressed all the way down on the petal. I was not going more than fifteen mile per hour at the time. The air bags did not go off and the front was severely damaged after going into the other cars. Very disappointed in Honda.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #20

Jul 292010


  • 41,000 miles


1) Honda Accord 2004 A/C compressor locked up /failed due to summer heat 2) pre-mature wear of rear brake pads at 30,298miles, 03/29/2008.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #19

Jan 052010

Accord 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
My Honda Accord 2004, V4, has unintended acceleration especially when after initial ignition, the brakes do not seem to hold the acceleration well. It has been happening on multiple days the most recent being on January 5th 2010.

- Laurence Harbor, NJ, USA

problem #18

Nov 232009


  • 10 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord no brakes/almost died in a accident /they say it is ABS modular "??"

- Leipsic, OH, USA

problem #17

Sep 102009


  • 35,100 miles


Brakes are failing prematurely. A 2004 Honda Accord LX 5 speed needed pads replaced at 35,100 miles. The rotors also had to be reserviced.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #16

Apr 012007


  • miles
Rear brakes wore out at 29,000 miles. Pistons sticking, calipers reconditioned, need new hardware, new rotors, new brake pads. Honda maintains that the car is operating as designed and these are normal items that need to be replaced at 29,000 miles.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #15

Oct 132006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,700 miles
While driving in traffic, mainly at a stand still, the brake pedal will reach the bottom stop and not push anymore. The car has not yet ever failed to stop. Normal braking requires no effort whatsoever and there is no resistance felt. The pedal will normally fall to below that of the accelerator and on a manual transmission car, it makes heel/toe driving impossible. I have had the rotors both front and rear warp. The brakes have been bled twice now, which results in a slight improvement in pedal feel for a short duration. When the pedal dropped to the stop, I called and made an appointment at the dealer. They stated that operation is normal at this time, even when I requested they drive another car back to back with mine, as I did. This is how I know there is something wrong, as the other two cars I've driven recently have a much higher and firmer feeling pedal than my car. I have heard of several other complaints from other Honda owners, and if the Honda techline is called, there is a known problem with the ABS/tcs unit bypassing pressure causing the low, odd feeling pedal.

- Morganville, NJ, USA

problem #14

Sep 202006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
: the contact stated while applying brake while traveling downhill, the brake pedal extended all the way to the floor board and the vehicle accelerated forward crashing into a tree. The contact was wearing a seat belt, and no injuries were sustained. The vehicle sustained minor damage. The police were not alerted. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The dealer was unable to duplicate the problem or find anything wrong. The manufacturer was alerted. Updated 11/30/2006 -

- Kailua Kona, HI, USA

problem #13

Nov 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


: the contact stated the brakes roared and vibrated when going down a steep incline. Twice the dealership replaced the pads and turned the rotors. The contact was unsure if the rear or front brakes were repaired. The first time was on occurred 11-04. The second time was in 2006. The brakes continued to roar and vibrate. The dealer informed the contact this was normal and recommended the contact down shift when coming down a steep incline and allow the vehicle roll off of the hill instead of using the brakes. Updated 09/20/6.

- Wilkesboro, NC, USA

problem #12

May 102006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
Brakes have been an issue on my 2004 Honda Accord for the last 12 months. The car is still under the manufacturers warranty and both the dealer and Honda refuse to fix them.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #11

Jan 102005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2004 Accord ex V6 and I having the same problem with my brakes popping and not wanting to stop they replaced my brakes last Jan 2005 the car wasn't a year old yet and still having the same problem now I have to replace my rear brakes and also when I try to start my car it stalls and makes this sound it doesn't start I have to turn off and try again this has been going on for about a year now I took to the deal about 4 times they found nothing wrong.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #10

Mar 102005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
2004 Honda Accord-ex (cloth); bought new at Honda dealership. From the purchase date to present, problems with the following: Conditioner/heater: Water dripping from vents and window area; musty/moldy smell. *driver's seat: Only one-way power is up; extremely uncomfortable. *stereo/entertainment: Display goes on and off; cd's are burning hot when removed after playing for short time; whole area around system and panels are hot; sound is muffled from speakers. *front driver door: Latch not functioning properly; doesn't stay open when it should and closes on person in driver seat when getting in/out car. *brakes: Grinding. *trunk: After snow or rain and after brushing off snow from vehicle or after rain has stopped-- when trunk is open, water/snow gets into trunk (not designed well...needs better weather-stripping.)

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #9

Nov 012005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,900 miles
The car makes a squealing / screeching noise while driving that appears to be coming from the rear brakes. I had the same problem on my 2001 Accord 4cyl now it's happening again on my 2004. I'm afraid that I will have to go what I went through before where every other oil change I needed rear brake pads and resurfacing of my rotors, but if I wasn't so diligent about getting my vehicle serviced who knows, I probably would lose all braking ability.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #8

Jun 132005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,271 miles
I have a serious compliant regarding my Honda Accord. On June 13, 2005 my wife noticed a squealing noise coming from the right rear portion of the car. She scheduled an appointment for June 14 at desert Honda in las vegas. The service rep reported to me that the rear bakes were in need of replacement, this despite the fact that the car had only 16,271 miles. I find this issue to be unacceptable. We purchased a Honda largely due to a reputation of excellent reliability. Clearly we were mistaken. Either the dealership committed fraud by performing an unneeded repair, or Honda built a car with very poor quality. I do have the used brake pads, or at least what the dealer claims is the pads from our Accord. The repairs were not covered by warranty. I find the safety issue of brakes to be unacceptable considering the relative age of the vehicle. I know of another Honda Accord with the same problem.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #7

Sep 012005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord ex w/24,000 miles and in service one year. Excessive noise (squealing) coming from front and rear brakes. Front pads had minimal wear but there was a crack down the center of each front pad (four in all) service manager says this is normal wear and tear and the cracks were probably caused by heat (a crack in the pad is not normal wear and tear but a problem). As for the rear brakes, the rear pads were worn completely down not equal to the front pads and by all accounts should have had less wear than the front pads because it is the front brakes that work the hardest.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 282004


  • miles
Honda Accord 2004, noise from brakes while driving forward and reverse. After numerous times of trying to correct the brake problem, the consumer was finally told the noise was a characteristic of the vehicle. The battery was replaced.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012004


  • miles
Numerous problems, braking system, transmission, problem starting the car. Recall notice for a part to be changed in the transmission. Campaign id number : 04V176000 gear failure could result in transmission lockup, which could result in a crash. The consumer stated that underneath the car sounds like it going to fall apart. The vehicle sways while being driven.

- Bronxville, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 082004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
While driving on the highway in stop and go traffic the brake pedal went to the floor when depressed. When this occurred the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. This resulted in the vehicle rear ending the motorist in front of them. The emergency brake was engaged to stop the vehicle. The vehicle is currently at a body shop, but will be towed to the dealership to have the brakes inspected.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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