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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,801 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #128

Apr 242011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 122,100 miles


I was driving our 2004 Honda Accord ex V6. My wife was in the passenger seat. I entered the freeway accelerating to freeway speeds (60mph) and around 55mph the car's engine revved to 6000rpm. Knowing something was wrong I took my foot off the gas. The car began to coast and all of a sudden it caught a lower gear and violently started to engine brake. I almost lost control of the car. I'm certain that if the pavement was wet I would have. I am an experienced driver and was able to keep us on the road. If my wife was driving things might have been different. The car has been well taken care of and has had all of its scheduled maintenance and inspections (with records). The car was taken to repair shop and we were informed the car's transmission is bad. The car has 121,000 miles. There was a recall for transmission issues with this car year model that included cars manufactured to January 8, 2004. Our car was manufactured in January 2004 and not included in the recall. We have yet to have the car repaired because of the insanely high repair cost. I have also noticed several internet sites and newspaper articles referring to Honda transmission problems. I am thankful that I didn't wreck the car, but now the car is sitting in our driveway not drive-able. Obviously, now I wonder if my car should have been included in the recall. I hope someone doesn't have to die before this problem is brought to light and remedied by Honda.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #127

Apr 232004

Accord 6-cyl

  • 129,300 miles
Car had regular maintenance on 4/11/11. On 4/23/11 while attempting to merge onto the freeway, the accelerator bogged out and I lost power. I was scared I was going to get hit by the car in the other lane... then the car seemed to run fine until I attempted to pass a car going up a steep hill and the car lost power again, then it seemed to drive fine until the following Monday on the way taking the kids to school it just started failing while normally driving. Took car to dealership said it was the transmission, that tc clutch stuck off. Fluid has clutch residue and is burned very dark, will need trans assy to rectify".when 15 days earlier it was fine according to their records. Nothing has bee done they want $5000 to fix it. Have looked at other options but have done nothing yet.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #126

Apr 282011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 75,380 miles
My 2004 Accord ex failed yesterday on the freeway, dropping from 65 to 20 mph and then zero and getting me almost rear-ended in heavy morning traffic while trying to move to the side of the road. I called aaa and they contacted a towing company and the local police department. Car had to be towed to the garage and we've just been told it needs a new transmission ($3800). We called Honda to check on known issues but the service department assured us that he was not aware of any issue with this model. There was no indication on the dash that there was a problem and this happened very suddenly. I was very lucky that this failure did not lead to a major accident. Please advise on.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #125

Feb 172011

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


Without warning my automatic transmission will slip out of gear. Doesn't seem to be related to speed or length of time driven. Just random. It could happen 20 times a day or not happen for weeks. I have contacted Honda and they said it is not a recall issue, although I have found literally hundreds of the same complaint online. Was told that they might be able to offer me some assistance on repair, but not 100% and not a common issue.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #124

Apr 182011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 96,817 miles
While accelerating in 2nd gear, the transmission slips causing the engine to rev, but the car remains in a neutral state. Feels like the transmission is shifted into neutral while driving and then shifted back into drive. Once the transmission catches, the vehicle shifts extremely hard. There is a loud whining noise coming from the front of the car while accelerating, that didn't exist before. After taking the vehicle to the dealer, it was discovered that the transmission is faulty. This vehicle has already had the transmission replaced because of a safety recall which pertains to this exact problem. Honda refuses to fix the transmission because they state the transmission has already been replaced.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #123

Apr 052011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
For 3 days prior, I noticed a second or two lag time between the car going from reverse into drive. I didn't think much of it. Then about 10 minutes into driving at about 40 mph the transmission dropped to a lower gear and the car abruptly dropped to about 10 mph. Fortunately, there was no one behind me or they would have smashed into my car. I then turned around and went home with hazards blinking. During the entire trip back, the transmission constantly slipped gears at almost every speed.

- Brewster, NY, USA

problem #122

Mar 222011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


Honda Accord V6 transmission failure after 107,000 miles, where the vehicle would not stay in drive a highway speeds. A complaint was registered with american Honda motor corporation, who denied there was a problem. A survey of Accord V6 transmission problems indicated over 100 failures here at NHTSA, and thousands of complaints at other forums. This problem appears to be consistent with earlier failures of Honda Accord transmissions, where they extended the powertrain warrantees to 109K miles for replacement.

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #121

Mar 202011

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 195,000 miles
Our 2004 Honda Accord sedan V6 - automatic transmission failure. 195,000 miles the primary purpose of this correspondence is to register a serious safety issue that occurred to my wife and I on March 20 2011, at 3:30 pm. While driving at approximately 65 mph, my 2004 Honda Accord had a transmission failure and lockup. While my wife and I were traveling North on 95 North the car suddenly made a click noise and jerked as if someone had jammed on the brakes and the RPM's raced. My husband attempted to slow down by taking his foot off the gas pedal and not touch the brake. The car violently jerked again as it slowed down. As he attempted to get onto the shoulder of the road, the car violently lurched 4-5 more times. With each of these sudden, unexpected jerks, we were thrown forward. Thankfully, our seat belts were on, which prevented us from being thrown forward into the window. Waiting to here from the salem nh Honda dealership to see what the remedy will be (replace the transmission with a rebuilt one is my guess). This was the first and only time we had any trouble with the transmission, I think this is such a serious issue which, if circumstances were different, could have caused serious injury or death. This should not happen no matter what the mileage is on the car. This sounds like a known problem to Honda and they should do an other recall like they did with the 2003 models and fix this problem.

- Groveland, MA, USA

problem #120

Mar 132011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 114,356 miles
Vehicle exhibited "hard" downshifts while decelerating. Transmission lost top gear while driving, leading to sudden deceleration and potential for rear end collision.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #119

Mar 052011


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission went out on 2004 Honda Accord with only 80K miles. Was on busy road and I was lucky that I wasn't hit as I jerked and slowed and sought a way to get to the side of the road. No indication the trans was failing until symptoms began and got worse in a hurry. Consequences are towing to shop and expensive repairs which are being made now. Honda said I had to bring it in to their shop and they had to do any repairs. No price or offer of financial help..just a "maybe" Honda would offer a "goodwill" discount. Decided not to try Honda as others online told of the exceedingly high charges Honda imposes. Feel it was a safety risk that should never had happened. Honda apparently has a history of transmission failures for several year models. Seems they profit from not correcting the problem if they require them to repair and charge more than any private shop.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #118

Mar 072011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 74,567 miles


Vehicle: Honda Accord V6, 2004 problem: Automatic transmission failed while on a busy street and nearly was rear ended and left me stranded on busy road. Honda is not admitting any fault at this moment when this model has a recall dated 2004 which I was not made aware of when the vehicle was worked on at their dealership in 2010. This defect is a safety issue because the transmission was dropping out of gear when on an interstate traveling at 70mph.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #117

Feb 252010

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles
No indication of automatic transmission issues. Automatic transmission failure occurred on interstate at 70 mph, pressed on accelerator pedal and would not accelerate. Was on innermost lane, had to cross 3 interstate right lanes during commuting hour with no acceleration (was like driving in neutral). Able to get to next exit. Was on a downslope so able to coast down. At the base of the hill, stopped. Could not drive the vehicle anymore, press the pedal in D and R and would not move called tow truck to tow me to Honda dealership 40 miles away considered an automatic transmission failure. This is the first occurrence of transmission failure with this vehicle. Honda service repair had to replace all automatic transmission parts. As of date, Honda Corp. Will not warranty the parts and labor.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #116

Feb 252011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord V6 automatic transmission issue. Transmission slips out of gear while driving. Was fortunate not to get into an accident as my car had no power while travelling up a grade on I-5 in los angeles county.

- Stevenson Ranch, CA, USA

problem #115

Feb 112011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 88,700 miles
2004 Honda Accord ex V6 4dr, original owner 88.7K miles needs a new transmission per the dealer. You have to issue a recall on these vehicles! there seems to still be an inherent problem with the automotive 5 speed transmissions in these cars stemming 2000!!

- Tarpon Springs, FL, USA

problem #114

Feb 042011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 115,500 miles
Driving 35 mph on vehicle with 115000 miles. Attempted to change lanes and speed up in order to pass slow moving vehicle, engine revved up to 6,000 RPM without actually changing gears or moving faster. Transmission pump & torque converter found to be faulty.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #113

Feb 142011


  • 134,257 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the transmission was shifting gears while in motion. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact noticed that the RPM decreased to 20. While stopped at an intersection, she attempted to accelerate forward but the vehicle stalled; the failure was similar to recall 04V176000 (power train: Automatic transmission). The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle had not been included in the recall. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who drained the transmission fluid and cleaned metal from the plugs but the failure continued. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 134,257.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #112

Sep 012010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
I was driving my 2004 Honda Accord ex-V6 on the highway. When I attempted to accelerate by pressing on the gas pedal the car did not go any quicker no matter how hard I pressed. I pressed down hard a few times and then began to move over to the right lanes in case it got worse. The RPM's went a the way to almost the red but the car was not going and was sowing down. Then out of the blue it went back to normal. I got off the highway and came to a stop light. When I started to go it started to move, got me in the middle of the intersection, then did it again, raving real loud but not moving. I had cars coming right at me and I thought I was going to die. Then, the person I called to help me, showed up right behind me in his truck and pushed me out of the intersection just in time. Honda almost got me killed. I had it towed to the dealer because I just had the transmission flushed due to their recommendation. They said the transmission was gone and would need a new one. They said I should call Honda care because this has happened a lot lately and their are recalls on this transmission as well. Honda told me too bad, we can't help you. I paid $3,800 for a rebuilt transmission that is not the same as the original model and now it gives me all kinds of problems and I feel very unsafe in this Honda. I bought a Honda because they are supposed to be safe. It seems Honda does not care about the safety of its owners as much as it may seem.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #111

Jan 312011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 123,300 miles
The automatic transmission on my 2004 Honda Accord suddenly failed causing me to completely lose power on a busy interstate.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #110

Jan 062011


  • 84,695 miles
On January 6, 2011 the transmission of my 2004 Honda Accord V6 (with ~84,695 miles) began slipping. The engine would rev wildly at odd times when I was not accelerating, and would slip into neutral when I was on drive or reverse. After driving a few miles in city traffic these problems would get really bad and finally the car would not move at all, even when the car was on and in drive. After breaking down in the middle of a major artery in Washington, DC, and having to be pushed around the corner by two good samaritans, I finally discovered that if I simply turned off the engine and re-started the car, I could drive again, albeit slowly and with these problems persisting. At first my Honda dealer misdiagnosed the problem as a battery problem, but finally after three tries they replicated the problem and diagnosed transmission failure. I informed them of the recall on all 2003 Accord V6's and select 2004 Accord V6S. I was told that my VIN was not included in the recall, and that my vehicle did not have that same second gear problem. We complained to american Honda and asked them to make this good. After having bought this car precisely because I wanted the most reliable car on the market and because Honda have the reputation for going for 200,000 miles, I was incensed that the transmission died at 85000 miles. American Honda agreed to pay just $500 which barely covered the cost of my rental car for the period during which I was without my car. I feel this situation was handled very poorly by Honda and that, based on all the consumers who have had similar experiences with their V6 Accord transmission, it is clear that the recall was not broad enough in terms of the specific transmission problem it addressed.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #109

Aug 232006


  • 29,764 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle would exhibit an unusual clicking noise from the front end of the vehicle when attempting a turn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that four years after the failure while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle became un responsive to the contacts attempts to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told the transmission would need to be replaced. The contact inquired about NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) but was told that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The dealer also advised that the front axle and tie rods would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 29,764 and the current mileage was 94,200.

- Huntington, NY, USA

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