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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,161 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #19

Oct 192015


  • 120,056 miles


As I merged into a freeway lane, my 2004 Honda transmission failed causing me to nearly be rear ended by an oncoming vehicle.

- Porterville, CA, USA

problem #18

Jun 152015


  • 139,865 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled and an unknown warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 139,865.

- Plainfiled, NJ, USA

problem #17

Feb 282015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 116,730 miles
While driving on the interstate the RPM needle began oscillating rapidly between low and high numbers and the car was in a distressed state. I pulled onto the shoulder and drove slowly to an exit at which pointi had to stop at a redlight. Once green, I attempted to accelerate forward without success. The car would not engage in any gear, including reverse. I called the police who pushed me out of the road to a safe location. The Honda facility I use for maintenance advised that I have a total transmission failure. I called Honda America and was told that it was not in the best interest of the company to assist.

- Ball Ground, GA, USA

problem #16

Jan 272015


  • 137,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle independently accelerated without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the throttle box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 137,000.

- Cheaspeake, VA, USA

problem #15

Jan 162015


  • 100,047 miles
I was driving, the engine light came on, car stalled out.

- Sanford , FL, USA

problem #14

Oct 202014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Hi, the Honda knock sensor harness wire is made with low-grade material, which is getting snapped or cut due to engine heat or attracting vermin as per blogs, as being soya based. The part number for Accord V6: P/N 30531-rca-A00 H/C 7134133 or Odyssey, Pilot: P/N 30531-P8F-A00 H/C 5878327. This wire cost is $5-$6 but it takes about $600 to $700 to replace in local dealership with engine malfunction happening with P0325 code which indicates knock sensor malfunction. The sensor failing suddenly with out warning is causing untold hard ships to all the Honda owners and its needs to be fixed immediately to avoid severe engine damage and over heating. So I am requesting NHTSA to investigate and request Honda to issue an recall of this small 3inch wire and avoid headaches to the common people. I also see lot of people with Acura, Honda Accord, ody have reported with Honda of this problem from year 2004 and find below is a copy of the letter from a blog. That it was reported with Sept 10,2004 with case no B012004-09-07011 to american Honda motor co.,1919 torrance blvd.,torrance, ca 90501 the url is:

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #13

Sep 142013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 78,061 miles


While I were driving locals, I notice a sudden drop in speed and spike in RPM. When I tried to accelerate, only RPM would go up and the car would not shift to higher gear. This happened without any warnings. No engine light. Nothing. If this happened in the freeway, it would have been very serious situation. I also noticed numerous 2003 2004 Honda Accord owners to have similar problems. This is definitely manufacturer's fault. I had to rebuild the transmission which came out to be $1820. This is serious situation.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 212014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,500 miles
While driving home from work I came to a red light, as I proceeded to hit the gas the car started to jump and would not accelerate. I was hitting the gas the engine would rev and the RPM's were super high but the car would only go about 5 mph with the ending revving really loud. After about a few seconds of hitting the gas and only going 5mph the car would finally jump into gear and go. Every time the car would come to a stop and then have to go again that's when it would happen over and over again. That night we decided to take it for a test drive and that's when the engine light came on and the "D" shift light was blinking and the "tca" light came on. There is seriously something wrong with the car when the day before the car drove like new. We looked up the recalls on online for our vehicle and see that there is one out for the auto transmission. Just weird all the sudden this would happen and there is a recall out in that. Please help!

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jun 172014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 112,500 miles
My daughter was driving on the freeway and without stepping on the gas, the car kept accelerating. When she tried to brake to slow down, the car would shudder and kept trying to accelerate. It was not a floor mat problem. She got up to 85mph!! she had to down shift (automatic transmission) to try and slow down to get off the freeway in yorba linda, ca. Thankfully, she got off safely and managed to stop the car. She had aaa tow the car home. Even the tow truck driver could not get the car in neutral and said he felt the car revving. Sounds just like the Toyota incidents, but was not aware of Honda having this issue. This is very serious!!! so very grateful that my daughter did not get hurt or injure anyone else. I know this is not a mistake of pressing the wrong pedal. Is there any other problems with Honda like this? we will be towing the car to our mechanic soon.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 042014


  • miles
The car went crazy revving up and down on its own. Driving on the highway, it felt like the car would be applying the brakes on its own only to rev up again but felt like it was on neutral, then the gear would shift abruptly. At the intersection, once the light turned green, the engine would not proceed no matter how light I applied the gas pedal (I didn't want to "drown" it), it felt as if it were in neutral - only to speed up on its own. It felt like the car didn't know whether to speed up or slow down - the gears would jump from one to another on its own. Horrible!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 082013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 166,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, grey smoke emitted from the engine compartment and from the rear of the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the malfunction indicator warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the head gasket was blown and the engine would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 166,000. Updated

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #8

Feb 152013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that when driving at speeds over 50 mph, the vehicle would shake violently. The dealer was contacted and advised that the engine mount needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 126,539.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

Dec 172012


  • 54,000 miles
Vehicle air conditioner drain hose improperly installed by factory, causing excessive water build up in A/C reservoir. Water drained onto vehicle ECU, causing corrosion. Engine started running poorly, followed by failure of ECU to recognize valid keys. Vehicle would not start and had to be towed. Problem could have easily cause stalling in interstate traffic. Internet searches show this to be a common problem due to the design and placement of the ac unit directly over the unprotected ECU.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #6

Dec 042012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
As I was driving the transmission (automatic, V6 Accord) kept slipping so although I was applying the gas the car was slowing down and not moving. So I had to turn the car off and then back on and it would move again for a little but and then the transmission would slip again and I would have to pull over and turn the car off and back on. I then had to have the car towed to a transmission shop for repairs. The transmission show replaced the transmission, so parts and labor came out to $1750.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 222012

Accord 6-cyl Diesel

  • 84,500 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord had an engine fire caused by a defective high pressure power steering hose. The hose sprung a leak, spraying power steering fluid onto the engine, which caught fire. This defect is already the subject of NHTSA recall 12V-222, but inactivity and foot-dragging on Honda's part has caused this otherwise avoidable safety incident.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 162012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 280,000 miles
I had been driving 10 min. (70mph) on the interstate when I went to pass another motorist as soon as I turned on my blinker the car started to shutdown. After several minutes I discovered that when I applied the brakes the car would also make an sudden jerk and begin to shutdown. The car would drive completely normal as long as you did not activate either the blinkers or the brakes. I tried several other electrical accessories and none of them seemed to effect the car. After driving for several hours we exited the interstate and put the car in neutral after engaging the brake for several seconds the car died. When I took my foot off the brake it immediately restarted and the problem stopped.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #3

Mar 062012

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
The transmission is fail according to Honda dealer inspection, Honda dealer does not take any responsability of the transmission problem neither the Honda manufacturer. Air condition does not cool on even it was repaired once but it still does not work.

- Elmont, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 062012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Today was just another day to work. I have taken this road to work for past two years with me driving. First you get off the ramp, then stop at a stop sign, then you pass under the bridge to follow the straight road to work. However, today it was different. I first took the exit ramp and went to the end of it. Stopped at the stop sign. Checked both sides to see if it was clear for me to proceed and go ahead with making a turn. It was clear so I made a left turn and went straight. However, within next 5 yards after going straight my car's steering wheel started to shake and car pulled to the left. I could not control the car since all this happened so fast and my car hit the huge cement pole which is the base of the bridge. After talking with my husband and many others, they believe that car has somehow malfunctioned. The two theories we have is either steering wheel getting locked or left wheel giving out in some manner. This was not a new road for me. I was not a phone. I was not texting. I was not distracted in anyway. The car just had its own mind today and somehow it pulled to the left. I do not know if there are others who have had this problem, but I wanted to tell my story since I am not hurt as much. If this happened while being faster, this could have been fatal.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #1

May 042012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 113,800 miles
Preceding a high pitch whine the vehicles slipped out of gear at third gear. There were no prior warnings. Upon investigating other Honda transmission problems I found the same problem was found in other 2004 Honda Accord. However, I was told by Honda that my VIN # did not match the recall.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

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