Notes: The 1998 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure, peeling paint, & subframe rust. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 100,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000.

Peeling paint has also been a huge issue for these Accords. Most of the complaints are with darker paint colors -- especially green & blue.

Subframe rust near the front passenger side wheel has become a problem recently, due to the poorly positioned A/C drain hose directly above that area. Repair cost to the subframe is over $2,000.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,720 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.

1998 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Jun 012007


  • 100,000 miles


Clear coat began peeling back in 2005 and I dealt with it until 2007 and had someone repaint the entire car for $900. 8 years later, the same issue is happening. Must be the metal that Honda used on their cars. It is very annoying to say the least. I see it on several Honda Accord from the same generation.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #27

Nov 242015


  • 159,000 miles
After bringing the car in for routine maintenance on the brakes, I was notified that the passenger side sub frame is completely rusted through and the car is no longer safe to drive. It was a huge surprise as the car has had regular maintenance and does not have significant rust on any other location. I was told that any pot hole or large bump could have broken the frame and completely dislodged the engine. I was told it was a design issue that caused isolated rusting on an important part of the frame.

- Kingsford, MI, USA

problem #26

Nov 182015


  • 178,000 miles
I was driving on the highway at normal speed and as I was making a turn I heard a loud popping sound from the front of my vehicle. I took the car to an independent mechanic who after inspecting the vehicle informed me that my passenger side sub-frame arm had rusted off and snapped. This came as a surprised, because the car was inspected for a state inspection less then a week before the said incident and it had passed the state inspection. I was told the vehicle was not safe to drive. I was told by the technician that the ac hose were placed directly above the sub-frame and every time the ac was used it would leak onto the sub frame and cause it to rust. The other sub-frame arm had no indication of rust at all. This is a case of complete negligence by the manufacturer. The manufacturer has designed a flawed product and has filed to address the issue and take accountability for their actions. No recall was issued. No statement made. The owner cannot be held responsible for the cost of the repairs as the product that was manufactured by Honda has initial design flaws which directly attributed to the frailer of a major structural component of the vehicle. There is no doubt in my mind that the manufacturer had and has been fully aware of this problem. A recall must be issued to prevent most of all fatalities and help alleviate the financial burden placed upon the owners as the repairs are often times very costly.

- Webster Groves, MO, USA

problem #25

Oct 012015


  • 213,000 miles


While driving on city streets and also on the highway I noticed a clanking noise coming from the right front wheel area of the car. Parked the car and pushed on the right side of the hood and could hear the noise. Took off the right front tire and noticed severe rust through of the frame that connects below the control arm. (2 photos attached) car is unsafe to drive and am getting estimates on repair cost.

- Wilmette, IL, USA

problem #23

Aug 072014


  • miles
Body panel of the passengers is all scratched and their is cameras in my building complex and I told the owner to check them and he said it wasn't his problem and now I'm seeing more scratches and I told him again and he told me to park outside now not inside when I'm actually paying $50 for the parking every month.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #22

Nov 262014


  • 192,000 miles


Heard clunking noise while turning. Figured it was a cv joint, took it to my very trusted mechanic. He confirmed the right joint was bad, and said that on the left joint, the boot was already off, and it is slinging grease everywhere. More disturbing, he also said that the front subframe is dangerously rusted out. He specifically mentioned that the "cradle", which holds up the front of the engine is almost completely rusted through. He said "you are one pot-hole away from total failure...the engine will fall to the ground. Do not drive it." I looked online and saw that there is a recall for the same make/model/year, but my car falls outside of the covered dates. My vehicle was made in Dec 1997, and the recall only goes through Aug 1997. Quite frankly, given that the failure mode is exactly what is covered by the recall, I believe my car should be included in the recall. While I recognize that the car is old, the frame of a 98 model Accord shouldn't corrode and break in half, potentially leading to catastrophic results.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #21

Jan 012007

Accord 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The clear coat on my black 1998 Honda Accord peeled off leaving the car looking like it has a skin disorder. The problem is most prevalent on the hood, roof and trunk, while the doors, bumpers and quarterpanels seem unaffected. The problem has persisted for years, and I had it also with a previous 1994 Accord. The paint just fails after 6 or 8 years--very disappointing performance.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 082013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 238,000 miles
Failed clear coat and faded paint were the first problems to occur with my silver Honda Accord. Next was the gas tank leak, where fumes and leaked gas could be smelled and seen on the ground when filling the tank more than half full. Finally my passenger side front subframe rear cross member rusted thru and now the car isn't safe to drive and won't pass inspection without major repairs to the frame. None of the rest of the under body is rusted, just that section. Not happy!

- Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

problem #19

Jun 022013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 49,765 miles
Was driving vehicle (1998 Accord LX 4 cylinder) when a loud thump was heard from the front passenger side suspension. Put the vehicle up on ramps to inspect and the front subframe on the right side holding the sway bar was completely separated and rotted/rusted out. Prior visual inspection never showed the issue as the rusting was taking place from on top of the subframe. After some quick research this issue is a design flaw where the ac condenser empties directly above the subframe causing premature failure of the subframe. The vehicle only has 49,765 miles on it and the frame should not be failing in this magnitude.

- Middlefield, OH, USA

problem #18

Jun 142011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


The Accord models from 1998 to 2002 have been having a crucial rust problem. The sub- frame has been rotting out due to a misplaced air conditioning condensation drain. Honda claims that there are not enough complaints out this problem and that is coincidence that there are a rust problem. Here's the deal, all these cars have a major rust problem on the foundation of the car. Honda also, claimed that the A/C drain was not the problem for it. Well then tell me why all these cars have this problem only on the passengers side of the vehicle directly under the A/C drain. Honda needs to recalls this model because if that structure breaks on the road the passenger side wheel could come off or the rack of the power-steering could split and cause the driver to lose control of their car. Not to mention the engine could drop out the bottom or even more devastating things that could hurt people!"V=bcqzuddas-G"V=eefxsqpr0pq

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #17

Aug 312012


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while at the dealer for a safety inspection, the technician stated that the front frame was corroded and the front passenger side axle shaft boost was fractured. As a result, the frame and axle needed to be replaced. The technician advised the contact that the vehicle should not be driven. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Clarksdale, MS, USA

problem #16

Jan 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Accord automatic transmission 68,000 miles the date I listed was the date I took it to a body shop for repair. I believe I began noticing it at least a year before but didn't have money to do anything about it then. (on ssd) the roof, trunk, L panel R & L lens & housing, rear bumper had to be repainted/repaired. It started before that particular date. It began with white spots that started peeling and it spread like wildfire. Could not afford a new car and since the mileage was low and I need a car I decided to have it repaired. It runs good, but looked terrible!! the money I spent was an extreme burden on me. I am on a fixed low income. I read here that in '98 they changed the painting I discover many complaints witht same problem on newer years. They apparently started a faulty paint procedure and still use it and are ripping people off. I know cars, no garage, with no peeling, etc. Now less than a year later: There are white spots showing through where it was not painted, R front and rear panel!!!!! Honda should, at the very least reimburse for what I spent and fix the current problem at no charge. When I mentioned it to Honda they just said they didn't do that type of work. At the time I was not aware (but they probably were) that this is a widespread known problem!! anyway, Honda should be sued!. I've already had people thank me for telling them about this saying they won't buy a Honda!!

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #15

Nov 102011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 95,874 miles
The front subframe of my 1998 Honda Accord LX has rusted through due to salt accumulation at only ~95K miles making it a safety hazard. This is the only rusting on the car, either than that spot the car is rust free.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #14

Jun 122010


  • 46,527 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact observed that the exterior body clear coat paint was peeling severely on the roof, hood and trunk lid area. The vehicle was taken to three different body collision shops where they recommended that the vehicle be taken to an authorized dealer because the failure was a common issue for the model. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 46,527.

- Carle Place , NY, USA

problem #13

May 212007

Accord 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Hunter green paint failure on hood, roof, and trunk.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #12

Mar 202008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the trunk on the vehicle kept opening at any time. The vehicle was taken to the shop for repair; they found that the gist of the frame was broken. The current and failure mileage, and the dealer information wasn't available.

- Montebello, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 202006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ongoing problem with paint and clear coat of vechicle.

- Fort Bragg, NC, USA

problem #10

Apr 091999


  • miles
Clearcoat and paint faded on roof. Dealer had repainted. 6 months later same thing happened to trunk. Dealer had repainted again. A few months later clearcoat was coming off the doors. Dealer refused to repaint. Said this has never happened before.

- Hbg, PA, USA

problem #9

Apr 172002


  • miles
Clear coat paint fading and peelling on roof, hood, and trunk of 1998 Honda Accord ex. Seems to be a common problem with the black and the green 98 Accord.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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