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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,737 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 9 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Nov 272011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


Transmission failed and burned out completely going 65 miles per hour on I95. 3 kids in the car and left at the side of the highway, very dangerous situation. Honda will not help us but would like us to pay them $5600 for a rebuilt Honda transmission. There are numerous reports of Honda transmissions failing at as low as 45K miles. There should be a class action lawsuit for model year 2003. They do not care how many lives they put at risk.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #29

Dec 022011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 126,500 miles
As my wife was preparing to enter an exit ramp from the highway, the van experienced several hard shifts of the transmission which caused her to almost lose control of the vehicle. Since that instance, every time the van shifts gears, it is a very hard shift that jerks the occupants around. Van will not shift above third gear or into reverse. Mechanic has diagnosed this as a transmission failure.

- Scottsboro, AL, USA

problem #28

Sep 102011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Transmission failed while traveling 40mph at 130000 miles. It was replaced. There was a class action lawsuit regarding 2003 transmissions, but the window had closed, so I had to pay for it fully. November 20, 2011, while driving 45mph, dash lights flash, radio loses power. When I turn the ignition off, the car is dead. Restarts almost immediately, after lots of clicking in the dash. At varying speeds the dash lights will flash, and the clock and radio go dead briefly. Sometimes the door lock and the sliding door buttons don't work, but if I wait 2 minutes, I hear the clicking in the dash, and suddenly there is power. Left it at the dealership to be checked out over 4 days, and they say nothing is wrong. To be traveling at 40+ and have the car go dead is a hazard to me and my family, as well as everyone else driving while I am driving. It is currently at another shop to be evaluated.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #27

Nov 272011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


My Honda odyessy's transmission overheated while on a family trip. I have kept up with the service scheduled outlined by Honda. Van has 122K on it now. I bought a Honda expecting to get the long haul out of it! 122K is not my idea of the long haul! the estimate is a $4000 cost to replace the transmission! I have read about the law suit the was won and want to know why this was not a recall of some sort! there is clearly a big problem, there is a website created just for this issue! if I had not done all of the maintenance or did not take care of the car I would not be so upset. Code P0730, gear ratio failure.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #26

Nov 242011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 128,520 miles
I was told approximately two months ago that the reason the shift was hard was because I had two broken motor mounts. They were repaired and they suggested changing the transmission fluid. Then right before thanksgiving I noticed my car having difficulty shifting between 2nd & 3rd gear and the rpms were going crazy so I took it to the dealer. I was informed the transmission needed to be replaced for $4200. I have spent about $1500 this year on repairs for this van. I always have driven Honda and Toyota and fully expected to get over 200,000 miles out of this van. I'm very disappointed to find many people have had the same problem and that Honda is not helpful. This is my last Honda.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #25

Nov 052011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 150,292 miles
Van had difficulty shifting from 2nd -3rd gear with slipping and revving exceptional high before transitions suddenly into next gear. Van was recalled at 24,000 miles for repair to fix the transmission problem, which was completed in 2004 as requested. This van had been diligently maintained only at dealership, other than routine oil changes, and we are the original owners. Service department at dealership states that the transmission is shot and needs to be replaced, costing $6600. Honda of America is not helpful and unwilling to help in any manner.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #24

Nov 022011


  • 164,400 miles


While driving my daughter to school, accelerating from 35 to 40+, transmission locked up! extremely dangerous!!! could have been in a serious accident since we were merging onto a busy highway. Next day, another lock up + slipping between 25 & 35 mph and @ 50 pm. Transmission slips and gear shift will get stuck in park, reverse & drive. RPM revs high. Honda dealer diagnosed today as "internal transmission failure" 164,000 highway miles, serviced @ dealer, babied with oil changes, etc. Now $4,000 quote for transmission 3 yrs/36,000 mile warranty. I have been a loyal Honda owner since 1990, but will not consider buying any future Honda.

- Easton, MD, USA

problem #23

Oct 312011


  • miles
I was stopped @ a red light on a 50 mph speed limit road & when the light turn green I pushed the accl the van rolled on but will not accelerate further engine kept revving & a big construction truck almost rear ended me looks like the transmission stalls the vehicle.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #22

Oct 022011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
In stop and go traffic, when I pres the brake pedal, the vehicle jerks. When I press the gas pedal, on some occasions, the vehicle (still in drive) does not move but the engine revs up. I have to shift down and then back again to drive before it would move. There was a transmission recall on this car in 2004 and the dealer had installed a kit of some sort. However, this fix has not been permanent. Looks like I have lost the transmission altogether.

- Suygar Land, TX, USA

problem #21

Sep 012011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 78,838 miles
Transmission failed at under 80K miles. There are numerous complaints about these mini vans. We serviced our vehicle appropriately and also brought the car in to be checked when the transmissions were recalled. At that time they installed a trans jet kit which would solve the transmission problem. We even installed a transmission cooler. Honda is unwilling to provide much assistance at all with this repair and I think they should have done a full recall on these transmissions, as they knowingly sold a poor product.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #20

Oct 022011


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated the gear would not release from park and that the rear brake lights failed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Huntsville , AL, USA

problem #19

Aug 152011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds the transmission froze and released repeatedly nearly causing a rear end crash. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic were it was diagnosed as transmission failure. What is important here is that the vehicle was recalled and the work done in 2005. However, it is blatantly apparent that the "fix" Honda did for the recall was not to correct the problem but only a temporary patch. All the recall did was delay the failure, it didn't correct the problem. Honda has simply moved the mileage at which the transmission will fail so they don't have to take full responsibility and fix what they sold. Sadly we paid an addition $4,000 to $5,000 for the Honda name so we wouldn't have issues. Now we are not only out that money but Honda still believes that their name deserves more money for a rebuilt transmission that has been shown to still fail. We have been quoted an additional $2,500 to $3,000 more than what it would cost to fix a competing american company transmission. It is unconscionable that Honda knows it has an issue, then only patched it to delay responsibility. This is especially troubling when you consider that the transmissions fail at high speed on the highway. A definite risk to peoples lives.

- Riverton, UT, USA

problem #18

May 122011


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated while driving 40 mph the vehicle stalled and would not shift into gear. The check engine and traction control lights were illuminated. The contact towed the vehicle to a local mechanic where the mechanic stated that the transmission failed. The contact called the manufacturer and the manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not under the warranty so there was nothing they could do to assist. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Berlin, CT, USA

problem #17

Jul 122007

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
My wife was driving along when the RPM's started going up and the speed of the van started slowing down. The street she was on is a fairly heavy traveled street so she pulled off to the side of the street and waited a few minutes. She called me and told me what had happened and then proceeded to drive very slowly home. The next morning after coming home from work, I took the van out for a drive and sure enough, it started acting up on me. It got so bad, that I went ahead and drove it over to a transmission shop, taking me about 3 times as long as it should have. The van would only allow me to go several hundred yards before the engine would rev up and the van would basically stop. I would put it in park and wait a few minutes, then proceed alittle further not going more than 20 mph. After the shop looked at it, they advised me that Honda has had trouble with the transmissions and that mine needed to be replaced. They also stated that this particular transmission wasn't the right one for this particular engine that was in the van.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #16

Sep 192011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 108,992 miles
On the freeway when all of a sudden without warning slipped and lost power. Very scary with small children in the car and was barley able to make it off the freeway without getting into an accident. Only by the grace of god did we make it safely off the freeway. Honda dealer said we needed a new transmission. I had the extended warranty up to 106,000. Just a few thousand miles over warranty and Honda would only grant %50 coverage. Still cost me $2797. Honda of America knows all about this transmission problem but still does not compensate loyal Honda customers. My dealer replaced this transmission (that had a previous recall in 2003) with a "re-manufactured transmission" now on September 19, 2011 the tcs light came on with the engine warning light and the car "shuddered" badly at 30 mph. Brought to the dealer but they are denying that it is a transmission problem? we bought the Honda Odyssey for its safety features and reliability. Honda and their dealer are not standing behind their product. I will look elsewhere for my next car purchase.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 162011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 154,444 miles
2003 Odyssey left my wife in a terrible situation. It suddenly failed when she was in the middle of traffic with children in the car. With no warning, it would not move the vehicle and ground to a stop, leaving her almost out of control of the vehicle. Honda is supposed to be a manufacturer with well designed, reliable products, but it is not so with this transmission. When a manufacturer realizes there is a problem with a vehicle, but year after year after year does nothing to remedy the problem, it is irresponsible and reckless to continue to manufacture the vehicle with the problematic transmission.

- Grayson, GA, USA

problem #14

Nov 272010

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 110,613 miles
My transmission failed on my 2003 Honda Odyssey shortly after the warranty expired. It had the recall update done years before but that didn't work. The transmission fluid was burnt causing the transmission to slip. There was not an accident, just a transmission that was failing. It seems this is more the rule than the exception with the Odyssey. I had to get it replaced and after doing research, I decided to get a jasper transmission instead of having the dealer replace it with another faulty Honda transmission.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #13

Aug 042011


  • 114,721 miles
I was driving down a two lane road and the transmission down shifted on its own in a violent manor. The rps jumped up. I let off the gas and the auto went back to normal. 10 minutes later I was on the highway running 70mph and the auto down shifted again in the same fashion as described before. I brought it to two shops and the technician was able to reproduce the problem. Both technicians stated that the transmission was the problem and it needed to be replaced. After doing research I found that this problem has happened to many Honda.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #12

Aug 042011


  • 114,721 miles
I was driving down a two lane road and the transmission down shifted on its own in a violent manor. The rps jumped up. I let off the gas and the auto went back to normal. 10 minutes later I was on the highway running 70mph and the auto down shifted again in the same fashion as described before. I brought it to two shops and the technician was able to reproduce the problem. Both technicians stated that the transmission was the problem and it needed to be replaced. After doing research I found that this problem has happened to many Honda.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #11

Jul 072011


  • 68,217 miles
Transmission in vehicle failed during operation in traffic. Vehicle operator managed to move the vehicle to safety despite diminished operational function of the vehicle. There was a potential for a serious injury or fatality related to this incident. It is my opinion that these vehicles (2003 Honda Odyssey) should be removed from traffic situations until the manufacturer (Honda) can prove that these vehicles are safe. This situation is more severe than the recent Toyota problems. In addition to the hazard mentioned the owner paid the local Honda dealer $4,300 for a replacement transmission, hope it goes more than 68,000 miles.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

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