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:
14 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,350 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 engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Jan 302010


  • 112,000 miles


My 98 Honda Accord LX automatically decelerated to 0 mph when I drove it on the highway (I-10 houston). The signal lights (maintenance light and the key light) turned on first and then the speed dropped to zero all the sudden by itself. I tried to push the acceleration pad and no response at all. I was about to park car to the side. Then after about 1-2 minutes, it became normal again. This is the first time the problem occurred. It was a shock to me. Very worry about if it died on the highway.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #39

Feb 062009


  • 90,000 miles
I was trying to park my 1998 Honda Accord into a parking spot in front of a hallmark store and right before I tried to put the car in park and shut off the ignition, my car accelerated suddenly on its own and went through the plate glass windows in the front of the store. I had my foot on the brake and was trying to get it to stop and it went through the plate glass window in a split second. I did not have time to think, it happened so fast. I was not hurt and the employees were not hurt, but seconds before the crash, the employees were standing behind the counter waiting on a customer and they had just went out on the floor right before it crashed through their window and up to their registers. They missed being hurt by a few seconds. I reported the incident to our insurance company, so they can investigate further. I also called 1-800-Honda and reported the incident and their response was that my extended warranty had run out and what did I expect them to do about it. I told them they should investigate and maybe keep someone from getting killed or seriously injured. We found a website called that lists several incidents having to do with the vehicle speed control that suddenly accelerated on its own causing numerous accidents around the U.S. Honda's mechanics just said all the incidents were due to driver error, but everyone that wrote in about their incidents know, the same as I do, that is was not caused by driver's error at all. Police tried to say my foot was also on the edge of the foot feet as well as on the brake and I know that was not true. I was almost completely stopped when my car accelerated on its own and I had my foot on the brake as hard as I could.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #38

Jun 072005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The consumer was easing into a parking space with the brakes depressed when the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into a cement wall. This accident occurred on June 7, 2005. The consumer stated that she had previous problems with the vehicle surging forward at a stop light. The consumer had not taken vehicle to the dealership before for this problem. After the accident consumer took vehicle to the dealer be repaired. They did not tell her what had caused the accident. When the consumer contacted the manufacture they told her that she should get a diagnostic test at her own expense.

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #37

Feb 112004


  • 122,000 miles


While driving speedometer failed. The consumer was not be able to determine what speed the vehicle was going.

- Discovery Bay, CA, USA

problem #36

Apr 291998

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Delay of acceleration from rolling. When gas pedal is pressed to speed up, from slow rolling, the car does not speed up. Instead, there are few seconds of lagging before actually speeds up. Extremely dangerous when trying to get into the freeway/highway.

- Stevenson Ranch, CA, USA

problem #35

Oct 012003


  • miles
The clutch engaged and would not shift out of gear until vehicle died. Brakes had to be applied firmly because vehicle was moving erratically. Consumer went into web side, and found the same problem she had as stated in complaint #8013574, filed on June 1, 2002. Also, vehicle experienced suddenly acceleration.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #34

Sep 012003


  • 100,000 miles


Consumer shifted the vehicle into reverse and pressed on the accelerate pedal and vehicle accelerated in reverse at a high rate of speed. Had taken vehicle to dealer, and dealer could not resolve the defect.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #33

Mar 022003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My mother was recently involved in an accident that totaled her car. My brother and his wife were the first owners of the vehicle, and my mother had the car for about 1 1/2 years. She had stopped, put the car into park, got out to open a parking lot gate, got back in, stepped on the brake, and tried to shift the car into gear. She had a very difficult time getting the car back into gear. She finally was able to shift and the car immediately went into a high rev and accelerated uncontrollably. This resulted in the car smashing into a wall less than 60 feet away. Luckily the air bags worked and my mother & step-father's injuries were not too serious. My mother's foot was definitely on the brake pedal as there is a lock out mechanism that prevents the car from being taken out of park if the brake pedal is not pushed. This may or may not be related, but she was having difficulty getting the handle to move. The problem with it not moving had occurred previously, usually on a slight incline, but the Honda dealer looked at it and told her nothing was wrong. My mother is a retired school bus driver with a perfect driving record, no accidents, and only uses one foot to control the vehicle. Now she is afraid to drive and is worrying and second guessing herself that she did something wrong. I have found over 30 similar complaints regarding 1998 Honda Accord. I do not know how many other Honda's are having similar problems. It appears that Honda continues to place the blame on driver error, but we believe there is a serious problem here.

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #32

May 022000


  • miles
Vehicle will stall out intermittently without warning. Rmp will go up and vehicle will shift into neutral gear.vehicle will jerk forward when stopping.contacted dealer. Cannot find problem.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #31

Jul 162002


  • miles
When on a hill and take foot off the brakes to give acceleration vehicle will start to roll back. Dealer will be contacted.

- Tujunga, CA, USA

problem #30

Apr 252002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


As transmission shifts from first to second gear vehicle lunges forward and RPM's go up. Vehicle has not been examined by dealer. Please add further information.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 012002


  • miles
While driving vehicle jerks constantly at speed of 45mph and higher. Vehicle was checked by dealer who stated engine was fine. Consumer very concerned that vehicle will suddenly accelerate and cause a collision.

- Loris, SC, USA

problem #28

Jun 011999


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Accelerator pedal sticks at first start, dealer stated this was due to carbon built up on throttle. Needed to be cleaned regularly. Vehicle will not start due to faulty battery. Dealer replaced battery.

- Jasper, AL, USA

problem #27

Jun 072002


  • miles
Intermittently vehicle will surge foward and then stall when starting. Vehicle has been to dealer, and dealer was unable to duplicate problem. Feel free to provide any further information.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #26

May 022002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states, was pulling out in reverse, vehicle went out of control forwards and backards and was stopped by a concrete wall. Dealer has not been contacted.*jbthis sudden acceleration happened once prior to previous accident. Consumer reported incident but to no avail. Consumer was backing out slowly when with out warning, vehicle accelerated out of control.

- Massapequa Park, NY, USA

problem #25

Jan 102002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer was at a stop, when vehicle accelerated and the driver seat collasped, dealer determined that bracket of seat bottom had broken.

- Mullica Hill, NJ, USA

problem #24

Dec 151999


  • miles
Vehicle accelerates uncontrollably; consumer pulled into driveway, had foot on brakes, and vehicle accelerated on its own. Driver had to swerve into a field. Sometimes had to put in neutral to slow vehicle down. Contacted dealer, and dealer stated it could be the floor mats. Please add VIN #.

- Wartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #23

Jun 172001


  • miles
Sudden acceleration while coasting/riding brake into parking garage space caused car to crash through steel cable retention wall severely damaging front end/undercarriage, destroying the wall and damaging two other vehicles. Dealer and Honda claim nothing wrong with car/driver error. Accidental acceleration could not have caused such extensive damage ($7K in total).

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #22

Jun 092001


  • miles
Precludes a controlled, fluid, and timely take off at intersections.

- Burlington, NC, USA

problem #21

May 252001


  • miles
Was in a 35 mph zone and was to stop for red light and to turn left. Service road between me and flat-back big truck that had already stopped for light. Put on brakes and started accelerating, and had no brakes or steering. Was raining. Probably hydroplaned. Picked up speed and went head-on into back of parked truck. I am injured and am under doctors care. Bag should have deployed but didn't. whole front of my car was smashed. Have pictures.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

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