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:
106,704 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

problem #14

May 242014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


I took the vehicle into the shop to check the brakes and was told that the passenger front sub frame was badly rusted. I called a local Honda dealership to see if they could replace the sub frame, but they referred me to an autobody shop, as they couldn't do the work at the dealership. I then got a second opinion at another shop. They said that I would probably only have a few months left before the sub frame broke from the rusting. Rust is only a problem on the passenger side, not the drivers side, despite living in a northern area and parking on the street year round. Have not driven the vehicle much since summer 2014 and am still trying to decide whether to replace the sub frame or scrap the car, which is otherwise fine.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #13

Nov 062014


  • 146,000 miles
Sub-frame is rusted out on the passenger side between the cv axle and tie rod.

- Alto, MI, USA

problem #12

Oct 012014


  • 133,000 miles
My mother bought this Accord in 1999 with 102000 miles on it. It has been garage kept since and only driven 31000 miles. I took it to be inspected this month and was told that the subframe was completely rusted and would need to be replaced. I was also told that the suspension was barely holding to the subframe. I was advised not to drive it as the engine could fall out while driving or the suspension could pull loose. My mother is 89 yrs old and now her vehicle has no value. The passenger side is severely rusted. The air conditioning drain tube hangs directly above the frame and drips on it if the ac is running. There is absolutely no body damage or rust. The leather interior is perfect. And the vtech engine is perfect. What is she supposed to do at 89 years old, expecting her car to outlive her?!

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 082012


  • 128,000 miles


I recently encountered a very dangerous situation with my 1998 Accord. One day when driving home, I noticed the car felt like it was all over the road and felt like I had no control over the steering wheel. The next day after jacking it up, I discovered the entire right side of the subframe was rusted out, not even attached to the car anymore. It had broken loose. I hate to think what would have happened if I had kept driving it in this condition and hit a large bump. After researching parts for it, I discovered the many people with the same exact problem, and also found out nothing is being done about it. Apparently the ac drain lines leak and rust out the subframe over time. This is a major safety issue and Honda needs to do something about it. If undetected, this could be very dangerous and cause a fatal car accident! I had no choice at this point but pay the very costly repair bill to make my car drivable and safe again. Just bringing this safety issue to your attention. 98-02 6th gen Honda Accord. Thanks

- Timberlake, NC, USA

problem #10

Aug 162014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
On August 23, 2014, I went to get my oil changed at the Honda dealer and they said the sub-frame on the passenger's side had completely broken and the car is now a safety issue. I find this to be horrible. I've had this car for about 3 years now (a gift from my grandmother) and all oil changes and services have been done at the dealership on time and they are just now telling me about this!!! I have searched and found that I am not the only person with this problem. It seems Honda has known about this rusting problem for years and has done nothing about it. What does it take to hold them accountable? I now have to either buy another car or get this one fixed.

- Prior Lake, MN, USA

problem #9

Jul 302014


  • 161,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, there was an abnormal noise coming from the front of the vehicle and the vehicle would veer to the left. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that a section of the sub frame located on the front passenger side was rusted and corroded due to fluid draining from the air conditioning drainage pipe onto the sub frame. In addition, the front passenger side tie rod was fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 161,000.

- Milwalkee, WI, USA

problem #8

Jul 292014

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles


Upon routine brake inspection vehicle was deemed unsafe to drive due to passenger sub frame that has cracked due to rust. Sub frame is cracked in multiple places.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #7

Jul 162014


  • 173,000 miles
Upon servicing front brakes, safety inspection revealed accelerated corrosion off the passenger side sub frame component. The driver side is solid and intact. Deemed unsafe for highway use.

- Amherst, OH, USA

problem #6

Dec 092013


  • 98,753 miles
After hearing and feeling a cracking sound and then inspecting under the car, I noticed that the subframe of the car was rusted thru and a visible separation of the subframe. The point of the rust thru is at the passenger side rear corner of the vehicle's subframe. The car is at the mechanic's being repaired, he stated the cause is the drain hose for condensation from the ac at that location. This car has been an excellent vehicle throughout. This rust thru of the subframe could have caused a accident.

- North Canton, OH, USA

problem #5

Jul 182013


  • 155,000 miles
A clunking noise was noticed while driving. The vehicle was taken in for service and it was advised that the passenger's side sub frame was rusted. The private mechanic stated that the entire sub frame needed to be replaced and that the vehicle was not safe to be driven. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure.

- Carrboro, NC, USA

problem #4

Apr 012013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


Right passenger side subframe crossmember has suffered sever corrosion due to poor A/C drain valve location. Damage is extensive into the lower control arm housing, and car has been deemed as unsafe to drive.

- Essex Junction, VT, USA

problem #3

Mar 042013

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
I have had so many corrosion issues with this car, it is structurally dangerous. The car has 160,000 miles on it but has been kept in a garage and has had the under carriage frequently washed since I live in the northeastern us. In the last 2 years I have had to replace both the brake and gas lines do to corrosion. The gas line ruptured during a drive. Fortunately there was no fire. The gas tank rusted through and was replaced. It was leaking for some time. The leak was near the half way mark and only leaked when over half full and during driving or going up hill. Fortunately we did not have a fire. I just found out the front sub frame is completely rotted out and will not pass inspection this year. Body rust is minimal and normal for age and the northeast winters. The clear coat is pealing off everywhere. I am very disappointed with my first and probably only Honda. Looking back, I am very lucky that the car didn't catch fire and kill someone.

- Falmouth, ME, USA

problem #2

Jan 212013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 164,100 miles
Clunking noise when going over bumps or turning right. Got the noise inspected by a mechanic and found out that the passenger side subframe is rusted out.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #1

Oct 012011

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
The subframe on this car is broke. Rotted right out. I feel Honda should fix this problem.

- Sault Ste Marie, MI, USA

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