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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
119,718 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

Sep 172011

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles


When I stop or slow down the car shuts off. I have no steering and no brakes and no hazard lights. Car shuts down while driving.

- Havana, FL, USA

problem #47

Jun 232011


  • 63,050 miles
While braking, car just died (including dashboard electric) and then difficult to restart. After car started no further incident for a few days. Next, while travelling on highway ~50mph at night, car unexpectedly died (no braking involved) and most, not all electric died (emergency flashers worked). No "check engine light" ever came on, before dashboard blanked out. Ignition switch replaced in 2002 with national recall. Mechanic at a loss. Honda headquarters initially denied a problem existed. Car again stalled a few times while braking to slow down or come to a stop, but assumed it might be "bad gas". evening of 8/3/2011 travelling at ~50mph, car lost all electric 3 times (dashboard blanked out, but headlights worked), but immediately came back on (as though it "blinked off"), without having to restart it. After parking car, took key out of ignition- it was "burning hot". this time when I called Honda headquarters they said it "might" be part of a "second recall", but car had to be checked by Honda dealer service staff. If it was the ignition switch, it would be replaced free. It was explained to me that this was not part of a nationwide recall. Result- ignition switch was bad and was replaced free. I was lucky I wasn't killed or seriously injured in a bad crash. Please order a nationwide recall- it could save a life or lives.

- Manhasset Hills, NY, USA

problem #46

Jun 082011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord would stall without warning while running. The failure happened at least two or three times a week for a 2 month period. Brought the car to two mechanics who weren't sure what the problem was. Located information online about a recall in 2002 for the ignition switch. Car was fix during for the recall. Brought car to the dealer and discovered it was the ignition switch again! cost $100 to replace the second time.

- 02351, MA, USA

problem #45

Apr 012011


  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The vehicle stalled while the contact was driving approximately 15 mph. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic that located the failure at the ignition switch. The manufacturer advised the contact that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 02V120000 (electrical system: Ignition: Switch) and would not assist with the repair costs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 86,000 and the current mileage was 88,700.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #44

Apr 112011


  • 142,700 miles
Vehicle stopped running due to what dealer said is faulty ignition switch. Car finally restarted and was driven home. Ignition switch had been replaced in 2002 under recall #02V12000. Dealer said this repair not covered by recall as part had already been replaced. Mechanic reports faulty switch is brown (burned?). dealer replaced switch with new one but is same part that failed.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #43

Nov 012010


  • 145,000 miles
On several occasions my car would not start. This would happen out of nowhere, sometimes it would start up after a few minutes and sometimes I would have to come back and get it. On one occasion the vehicle died while I was driving down the road. Shortly after that I took it to a Honda dealership to have it repaired. According to the dealership the ignition switch was the cause of the problem. I paid $233.27 for parts and labor. They also charged me to repair a few other things, in total I spent around $400. Since then my brother purchased a 1999 Honda Accord and they started having the same problems. He found out that his car was part of a recall for the ignition switch and he took his car to the same dealership and they fixed it for free. I looked online and it seems that Honda Accord from 1997-2002 all have this common problem with the ignition switch failing. I believe my car should be included in the recall. And I believe I should be reimbursed for my expense in repairing the ignition switch.

- Sulphur Springs, TX, USA

problem #42

Jun 132010


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the ignition switch could degrade due to the high electrical current passing through the switch when the vehicle was started (this information given per recall 02V120000-electrical system: Ignition: Switch). The contact was informed that due to the age of the recall, it was closed. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #41

Jun 012009


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was experienced numerous times. The previous owner took the vehicle to the dealer for recall 02V120000 (electrical system: Ignition: Switch) but the failure was not corrected and the vehicle continued to stall. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for diagnosis. The manufacturer was not yet contacted. The failure mileage was 140,000 and the current mileage was 155,000.

- San Pablo , CA, USA

problem #40

Sep 192010


  • 225,500 miles
I own a 1998 Honda Accord and I am experiencing issues where my car completely cuts off while driving. Just recently, this past Sunday to be exact, my car cut off 3 times in traffic while I was driving and I was almost rear ended by another vehicle. When my car shuts off, I lose all power and my dash board goes black (not 1 light is lit). I have to find a way to get out off traffic safely, so I can place my car in park and restart it. My car restarts with no problems but my car also dies/cuts off without any warning. I contacted Honda today and was told that my car was not part of the ignition switch recall #02-031 but they said that it was part of the ignition switch interlock recall#03-088. I took my car to a repair shop and was told that the reason my car is cutting off while driving is because of a faulty ignition switch. I have not corrected the problem on my own because I feel that my car should be included in recall#02-031 and Honda should absorb the cost.if all else fails I will have to pay for the repairs myself, to avoid being seriously hurt or injuring someone else. I feel unsafe driving my car because I am constant worrying about "will my car cut off in traffic and cause a serious accident". I have no choice but to drive it at this point because it is my only means of transportation. Please take this complaint into serious consideration because lives are being endangered. Thank you

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #39

Feb 232010


  • 112,086 miles
While driving, the engine got shut, steering got completely locked (can't do any left-right). The key light got on. All other lights were off. Luckily there was no car behind my car. Else I would have met severe accident. I stopped the car, restarted it, and reached home safely. I am scared now to drive anymore.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #38

May 152010


  • 63,000 miles


1998 Honda Accord stalls randomly while driving. Dash lights flash for a brief instant at same time engine stalls and you can hear all the dashswitch relays firing. This car had a previous recall for defective ignition switch which would cause the car to stall suddenly and randomly while driving. This appeared to be the same issue. My car had the recall repair done a few years ago. The dealer told me that the replacement switch was failing. I paid over $245 for a 3rd ignition switch to be installed. This is a real safety concern as it can cause the engine to stall at any time while driving, including "freeway driving" and cause the potential for serious accidents to occur.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #37

Jul 202010


  • miles
1998 Honda Accord(four-cylinder sedan) horn works intermittently. Sometimes the horn works at the slightest touch and at other times it does not work at all. Also, ignition switch of the said vehicle was replaced for the second time. The engine of the said vehicle would die and cause the car to stall while driving.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #36

Jul 012010


  • 119,000 miles
1998 Honda Accord stalls randomly while driving. Dash light flashes for a brief instant at same time engine stalls. At first dealer told me to try different keys as it may be a bad key triggering the engine immobilizer, but problem occurs with other keys. This car has had a previous recall for defective ignition switch which would cause the car to stall suddenly and randomly while driving. This appears to be the same issue. My car shows that the recall repair was done a few years ago, but now it appears the same situation is coming back as the replacement switches may be failing. This appears to be a real safety concern as it can cause the engine to stall at any time while driving, including "freeway driving" and cause the potential for serious accidents to occur.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #35

Jun 282010


  • 123,000 miles
I was driving my 98 Honda Accord at 65mph and suddenly the engine stalled without warning. It was difficult to steer as the power steering stopped working. Luckily the highway was not busy and I escaped any crash. The car restarted after jiggling the key. I took it to the mechanic to find that the ignition switch was faulty. A Honda dealer told me that the ignition switch was replaced in a recall.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #34

Jun 072010


  • 77,260 miles
1998 Honda Accord vehicle just shuts off while driving does not want to restart and run. You have to let it sit then restart. Found similar complaints on line checked with Honda for ignition recalls. None on this vehicle but they said it sounds like the ignition switch. Have had it replaced at my expense and hope it solved the problem.

- Jackson, PA, USA

problem #33

Jun 022010


  • 100,000 miles
Engine dies when driving at high speeds.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #32

May 052010


  • 165,000 miles
My Honda Accord 1998 engine has stopped. When I was trying to start it was working but only till I loose switch in "on" position. So I couldn't to drive, because it not safe. In my understanding it is electrical switch (part of ignition switch) problem.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #31

Nov 202009


  • 217,000 miles
Engine cuts off at 60 mph. Sometimes hard starting. Honda said it was the ignition and replaced it. Works fine now. 220K miles and still rolling.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #30

May 202009


  • 98,000 miles
My 1998 Honda Accord LX while driving would turn itself off. This occured repeatedly in city driving conditions and also on freeway driving conditions at 60 miles and above. When the engine would turn off, all dash lights including the green "key" security light would come on. The car would start up again if you turned the ignition key on, but at 60 miles an hour, or crossing a busy street and losing power that would not be the first thing one would do and the problem could have led into very serious accidents. Given there was no code in the computer, the remedy was a hit and miss, my mechanic after he extensively test drove my car for a week found that on occasions when he was behind a red light when he touched the ingnition key, the car turned itself off. He then connected with a Honda mechanic and he informed him that the ignition harness had a short. When he went to purchase a new harness, the supplier (accroding to what he told me) had shared with him that, "oh yes, we always keep a supply of these harnesses, they go out a lot!" given the danger this poses to this vehicle (it seems the model was produced for several years), there should be some warning to owners of this dangerous situation so that they can have a competent technician test their ignition harness and make sure there are no shorts.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #29

Mar 212010


  • 152,547 miles
1999 Honda Accord purchased as a used car in 2006. No problems up until recently when the car stalled several times. Car would start up after stalling. Took car into mechanic and was told that there maybe be a recall on the ignition switch which he thought was the problem. Took car to Honda dealer. They said that VIN of car did not fall into recall for the ignition switch. They did find that the electrical portion of the ignition switch was bad and replaced it for $250. I explained that there was 2002 recall on this exact part and that the car should be considered under the recall but the technician said if the exact VIN doesn't show up under the recall, they cannot fix the problem for free.

- Temple City, CA, USA

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