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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,323 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.

2003 Honda Odyssey drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 3 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #148

Jul 112008

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


Traveling at 65 mph the transmission failed without warning. No warning lights, no slippage... a complete failure. I managed to get into breakdown lane before transmission had completely seized. I was driving with my 72 yr old mother and 3 children, ages 4,6,8. I feel very lucky I was not involved or caused a vehicular fatality due to this failure. All recommended maintenance had been done at dealerships. A compete vehicle inspection was completed the day before the incident.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #147

Apr 282014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated while driving approximately 50 mph with the accelerator pedal engaged, the vehicle decelerated independently. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #146

Sep 142014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 96,500 miles
When accelerating from first gear to second gear at approximately 10-20 mph the vehicle seems to hesitate than jump into third gear.the distance from store to home is 3 miles with numerous stop lights. During this stop and go trip it happened 3 times. I had the vehicle towed to the facility where I take my vehicles for service. The diagnosis came back that the transmission is failing and it needed to be rebuilt. Estimated cost is $3000-$4000. This vehicle was recalled in 2004 for it's transmission, it has less than 15000 miles. I don't know what the fix was by freeway Honda in santa ana, ca. Today it is 96500 miles. What is american Honda's responsibility? apparently the fix did not help in prolonging the durability of the transmission. What is the best course of action available to me.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #145

Aug 222014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


I was driving on highway 95 South when my car would not accelerate while I was in the middle lane. I quickly attempted to switch to the right lane as there were many cars and trucks on the highway. I finally pulled the car over to the shoulder when it began to smoke. I do not believe it was a fire, but I am not sure. I do believe it was the transmission. This transmission was replaced by Honda about 6 years ago B/C of a faulty transmission.

- Fallston, MD, USA

problem #144

Jul 182014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 236,000 miles
Vehicle taken to Honda dealer to address multiple safety recalls, including a recall titled, "2002-2004 Odyssey; 2003-2004 Pilot automatic transmission 2nd gear", that has been left unaddressed for 11 years. The vehicle has a documented history (by the dealer and personal receipts) of being serviced multiple times during that period at the Honda dealer where the vehicle was purchased new (single owner). The recall states mechanical defects in the transmission can cause 2nd gear chipping, and, "gear failure could result in transmission lock-up, and a crash could occur without warning". I (original owner of vehicle) was unaware the Honda dealer did not address the recall until this year, when I used the Honda owner website to lookup open recalls on the vehicle. Upon learning of the open recall, and the severity of the potential issue, I immediately contacted the dealer for maintenance. On 2014-07-18, the dealer confirmed the recall had not been performed, then informed me they are unable to perform the recall. I opened a case with Honda America, who over the course of 4 weeks, first indicated that the issue I described (since owning the vehicle, shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear would "stutter") was not related, therefore the recall would not be performed. I replied the recall is not conditional to the consumer experience, and must be performed. Honda America then replied the transmission had been replaced, and was not covered by the recall. After more than a week, the dealer agreed to provide the serial number of the transmission, confirming it was the original Honda part. Most recently, Honda America claims that an inspection port on the transmission has been altered, and therefore the recall is not applicable. I have 11 years of records with the dealer (exclusive provider of maintenance to the vehicle), and none indicate recall or modification performed.

- Eureka, MO, USA

problem #143

Jul 232014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 194,000 miles
Vehicle transmission failed during trip. This was after Honda dealer performed necessary maintenance on vehicle.

- Gurley, AL, USA

problem #142

Nov 292013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 79,500 miles


1. van shudders/loses power when driving ~ 35 mph, especially uphill. 2. cannot shift lever into either low gear. 3. reverse would hard "thunk", especially when cold when putting into gear from park. Would also slip out of gear and cause van to break before going back into reverse. Now does not work.

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #141

Jul 122014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 160,123 miles
I left stevens point, Wisconsin to go to Chicago ilinois with my family... three adults.. to young children... got to madision stopped at back in car left.. got back on highway and the car started to buck.. like it was going in and out of gear... racing then down shifting on its own.. threw the flashers on got off the highway... found a fire stone garage and they check it. The engine pic came on also and tcs light... the mechanic told us the codes that read mean the transmission and it is not recognized what gear it should be in.. they do not do transmission repair.. so we found a way to get it home which cost us $250 dollars... she also mention I should check recalls on this because I only bought the van awhile ago.. it was used... from a dealership.. courtesy Honda in stevens point... if there is mechanic stated that there should be because this should not happen.. and we are all lucky to be alive.. cause the car kept going to park.. and if it did stop we would of had a bad accident.... please get back to me asap... the car is un-drivable..

- Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #140

Jul 102014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
While driving on the expressway, the tcs and check engine lights came on, the transmission down shift to lower gear abruptly. The car behind almost hit my car. It was a scary situation. After checking the codes, it showed P0730 and P0780 related to shift solenoid. And there are numerous complaints on the web with the same transmission problem due to fault material clogging the filter inside the transmission. This is a very unsafe issue since it could be no warning before it happens to the driver on high speed.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #139

Jul 032014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Started experiencing bucking and stalling. The "D" light flashed, and multiple lights came on. While driving, the unit will continue to jump, especially on the downshift. Manufacturer lists the transmission as having been replaced, but the mileage is still way low for having had two transmissions. Am looking at installing a rebuilt one. This is too short a time period. After the first round of troubles with this vehicle and the transmission, the replacement should have been bulletproof!

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #138

Feb 032014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


Evidently, the 2003 Honda Odyssey was part of a massive Honda recall and class action law suit due to failing transmissions. When we purchased our Odyssey, we were never informed on this issue. Our transmission has suddenly started failing. It will slip into neutral or a lower gear without warning. This has occurred on the highway traveling 60 mph; merging into traffic at 30-45 mph; on the secondary roads shifting from 1st to 2nd gear or 2nd-3rd gear. When the transmission slips, the car has no power to continue forward at the same rate of speed. For obvious reasons, this in extremely dangerous.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #137

Jun 202014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 109,220 miles
Driving approx. 75 mph, on I-35 Kansas, engine started revving to 5,500 RPM, van started slowing. Semis were behind and around honking horns. Pulled off to side of road, still dangerous area. Had to get towed 35 miles to service station, said transmission failed. Repair $ $4,100.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #136

Nov 262009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that when accelerating from a complete stop, the transmission responded extremely slow with severe hesitation. The rpms began to increase rapidly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who recommended that the transmission be replaced. There was a recall related to the failure associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train). The VIN was eligible under the recall but the dealer would not honor the recall because the secondary shaft second gears in the transmission were not burnt. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Hutchinson , KS, USA

problem #135

Apr 182014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
112,000 miles Odyssey ex transmission started slipping 4/18/14 and van could not go from traffic light. After cooling, was able to drive a little to get off the main road. Called for tow truck to A-1 transmissions in hawthorne, ca. I have avoided dealer servicing since buying the van new in 2003. I installed a magnafine filter in the trans cooling line and changed it three times. I drained and filled the trans many times over the years with Honda fluid and kept transmission fluid clean. I had the Honda recall lubricating tranny gear done as well as any other Honda recalls but no other transmission recall. No previous transmission issues until the other day. I didn't try to get attention from dealer because even with 25% off it would still be a couple of thousand dollars to them. This model Honda has a history of failed transmissions.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #134

Mar 122012


  • 159,333 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle shifted into second gear independently with the engine light illuminated. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000(power train). The failure occurred over a hundred times in the past year. The vehicle was not taken to dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 159,333.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #133

Jan 302014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
Drove my 03 Honda Odyssey on a bridge going to work car would not shift properly check engine light a traction control light came on code read P0730 incorrect gear ratio this is extremely dangerous especially on highways and bridges these transmissions have these common problems and should be recalled or Honda should take responsibility and fix there original mistake.

- Brentwood , NY, USA

problem #132

Jun 042013


  • 129,000 miles
Car was working 100% normally without any indication of a problem. Driving along on road trying to merge onto highway, car stuttered badly and would not accelerate! would not shift gears properly at all. I could not get up to moving traffic speed! had to quickly pull off to shoulder and limp with hazards on to next exit and return home! very tense moments! the car never gave any indication of impending failure; just happened on the spot!

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #131

Apr 172013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,766 miles
Was exiting toll gate on I-70 at Kansas City and transmission fluid came pouring out of the bottom of the tranny case. I had the transmission regularly serviced and approximately 2 months before this at service nothing unusual was detected. I had the car towed to topeka transmission service, Inc. The transmission was changed. In taking my Honda to the topeka Honda dealership for two other recalls, they told me that there was also a transmission recall, NHTSA-04V-176000. Because my transmission had already failed and been replaced they did nothing. I contacted Honda Motors America. They told me there was nothing they would do as I could not prove that what happened was a result of that recall. I told them they could not prove that is was not. I request your assistance in receiving compensation for this recall that I was never notified about and the subsequent transmission failure. The consumer stated she was never notified of the recall. Updated 02/06/14

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #130

Nov 082011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 69,133 miles
Driving downtown where I live, my transmission stopped working. I was able to get it into a low gear and move off to the side of the road.

- Inverness, FL, USA

problem #129

Dec 112013


  • 119,000 miles
Transmission failure on highway. Apparently this is a known transmission failure issue with 2nd gear. Honda indicates it was "fixed" by recall, which obviously is not the case. Honda will not fix as just out of warranty window.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

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