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:
13 / 2
Average Mileage:
37,728 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Dec 202016


  • 223,993 miles


Takata recall the windshield washer pump failed as well. This would not allow me to clear the salt spray from the windshield resulting in almost no visiblilty. I was driving in stop and go traffic on interstate 94 heading East.

- Shorewood, MN, USA

problem #23

Apr 092016


  • miles
Takata recall, my son was turning on North cook street and was in a car wreck another car. The impact was so bad but the airbags didn't even come out to help him as they was put in the car to do!

- Bennettsville, SC, USA

problem #22

Oct 202015


  • 180,236 miles
1998 Honda Accord defect number:2303 idle air bleed may be restricted so that idle air flow is reduced. Jerking during deceleration, hesitation at acceleration afterward unstable idle and engine stall at vehicle stop. This is the information I was given after a vehicle inspection was done on my car.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

problem #21

Feb 152007


  • 132,000 miles


I have a 1998 Honda Accord. The SRS light has been on for some time, and I did not know about the issues of them with the 98-2002 Accord until just now. Many people have filed complaints about this issue because Honda refuses to correct the issue. It makes driving he vehicle dangerous because you no longer have your secondary backup system to help keep you safe in a accident. And from what I am understanding it also minimizes the effectiveness of the seat belt as well. If the NHTSA group is aware of this and has not forced Honda to do recall work on this matter than shame on you. We are putting our lives in your hands to make these companies keep their safety track record. My Accord has nearly 139K miles and has always been maintained well. I feel as if I have had a injustice done to me, and now I have to worry about when or if I get in a accident whether or not my air bag will work, and according to others with he same problem it doesn't.

- Goodrich, ND, USA

problem #20

Aug 252003


  • 103,281 miles
Greetings, hopefully you can assist me, well my air bag did not deploy in a 2003 auto accident so noted in the supplement of record from geico (claim #0074801720101031-03) "line 17: Airbags should have deployed, but did not. The clockspring triggered but did not inflate - line 26: SRS lights on, needed to replace clockspring and reset lights. Time is not diagnosis and R&R of clockspring." After the rear-end collision, I could not catch my breath with my throat, eyes were burning from something I could not see. I did not realize there was a problem until last week I petition my mechanic to look at the horn concern, which I understand is a result of my airbag. I initially took my car to quality collision center on silver star rd, orlando, as they are an elected repair facility for my insurance company, Liberty mutual (lm). Geico states there is nothing they can do as geico paid for the repairs, yet the quality collision center did not make them and they will not honor the previous owner's mistake even though they are under lm's tlc program. Please help me, because I am potentially operating a vehicle with an inoperable air bag system.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #19

May 172006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,462 miles
SRS deployment failure. Car was parked for couple of weeks when returned the service light comes on and deployment failure is inevitable. Dealer what's $85 to reset light. Isn't this a safety issue with these cars shouldn't they reset this item at no cost. This is the second time it has happened.

- Brawley, CA, USA

problem #18

Oct 072005


  • miles


White house follow-up to previous communication of 12/22/05 death of mother in car accident involving airbags and safety belts possible defective. The driver lost control of the vehicle and collided with a fire hydrant, training wall and a telephone pole. The driver suffered massive head injuries which resulted in death. The frontal air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt shoulder straps failed to restrain the driver from being thrown forwards into the vehicle's steering wheel.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #17

Oct 072005


  • miles
Ltr emailed re defective air bags and safety belt shoulder belt in a 1998 Honda Accord, request a defect investigation for possible recall because mom was killed in a car accident on 10-07-05. The seat belt failed to properly restrain the consumer during the accident which result in her head impacting the steering wheel. The air bags deployed during the first impact but had deflated by the time the final impact occurred. These failures resulted in fatal head injuries.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #16

Apr 232004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,456 miles
While pulling inside of a parking lot, the vehicle surged forward. The consumer applied the brakes, the vehicle continued to speed, and crashed into a brick wall. Upon impact, both air bags deployed.

- Port Isabel, TX, USA

problem #15

Dec 012003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The consumer complained about a horn problem. The horn worked intermittently. The consumer was told my a mechanic that the air bag may be the cause of the horn problem. The consumer had to "hit" the steering wheel to get the horn to activate.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 152003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles


Air bags did not deploy after a head on collision into an embankment. My son received facial & head lacerations, an acute concussion, and other injuries. He had to be air lifted to a trauma center in mission hills, California from palmdale, California. Because of his injuries, he is having a lot of medical problems that he would not have had if the driverside airbag had deployed as it was made to do.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 122003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,034 miles
I was in a multi-vehicle car accident on Saturday, April 12, 2003 and my airbags did not deploy on my 1998 Honda Accord. I was going about 50 mph and the front end of my car hit another car and then a different car slammed into the passenger side. Given the speed of the accident, the airbags should have deployed.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 162002


  • miles
Catalytic converter fails. Dealer states part is covered. Orders, and replaces same. Car is returned with SRS light lit. Dealer states that (illuminated) indicator light means the air bag is in failure mode. Dealer states that electronic testing of air bag assembly shows air bag is deployed (although it isn't, which would be very obvious if it were) dealer states that only air bag control module is covered under warranty. As this failure is of entire air bag and reel assembly, I'm not covered under warranty. As I would not drive car with failed airbag component I have no choice but to pay $897.92 for a new airbag and reel assembly. I have the (old and visually intact) parts that were replaced as well as the bill for the repair.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Jun 282002


  • miles
Consumer states vehicle was involved in a frontal collition, upon impact the air bags did not deploy. The dealer has been notified.

- Altlom, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 082002


  • miles
With only 38,000 miles on the car, the computer board controlling the SRS system failed. Given Honda's spotty reputation with air bags failing to deploy, it seems to be a pattern whereby the mechanisms controlling the air bags are faulty. A circuit board should not be failing with only 38,000 miles on the car, especially a Honda.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Sep 272001


  • miles
No summary

- Pine Valley, UT, USA

problem #8

Apr 012000


  • miles
1) the emergency brake light came on and would not go off. A bump would finally make it go off. Paid to have fuel cap replaced, didn't help. Put fuel cap of 2000 Accord on, didn't help. Disabled sensor from cap, finally resolved light issue. Became invalid, and drove with brake on several times due to frequency of light being on. 2) SRS light came on without reason. Diagnostic checks (3) indicated nothing was wrong. Finally replaced the sensor and problem was resolved.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #7

Aug 282001


  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #6

Nov 222000


  • miles
SRS light is on at all times, dealer inspected vehicle and found 2 screws on steering wheel air bag connector cover were missing, dealer stated that the air bag needed to be replaced.

- Kenmore, WA, USA

problem #5

Jun 302000

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Horn intermittently failed without warning. Dealer replaced airbag mechanism and cable into steering wheel, but problem still occurred. Vehicle brought back to dealer and they replaced steering column at recommendation of Honda, problem solved.

- Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA

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