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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
272 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 271999


  • 2,450 miles


Please be advised that this has happened on multiple dates ranging from 1999-2012. I thought it was covered through NHTSA campaign id #: 98V018000 but I did not use the car enough to recognize a pattern until 2002. I think at that time, there may have been several thousand miles in 2002 when I began to use the car on more routine bases. There are two occasions that cause the issue to arise. While I am driving, the steering column will lock up causing an issue to shift from gear to gear and the mobility of the car. As the steering column would lock and cause the horn to malfunction and not make a sound and the limit my mobility to park the car. Most streets that I drive are not on an incline but there have been few occasions, where if the car was on a slight incline, it would begin to roll. I would use the gear brakes to prevent an accident. Another issue involves another path (occasion) which causes the steering wheel to lock which causes malfunctions in the horn and the interlocking incident. If I am driving and in the stages of parking my car, the steering column will lock affecting the ability for me to change gear and my ability to adequately mobility when park. This has occurred more frequently now but it has occurred in 1999. When I was advised of the interlock recall, I thought this was addressed. Once this occurs, the car can only be unlocked when I drive when I press down of the hear charger, put the key in the slight covering the gear changer and move the steering wheel. Between NHTSA campaign id #: 03V423000 and NHTSA campaign id #: 02V120000, I thought these issue was addressed. When I called Honda today and spoke to [xxx] 800-999-1099 ext [xxx], the recall is associated with the VIN soi wanted to make sure this was acknowledged for incidents for my car model & VIN. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 162003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Rec'd recall 98V018000 for power train: Transmission, automatic: Ignition interlock system, after car hit a neighbors house, the vehicle popped out of gear. The consumer requested reimbursement. The consumer received a recall letter after the incident happened.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #7

Nov 292004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer received NHTSA recall 98V018000 concerning transmission failure. Took vehicle to gilmand's Honda for repairs. Dealer told consumer that his vehicle was not covered under the recall due to VIN. Consumer was still waiting to get vehicle repaired. Recall campaign. The consumer stated that there was a defect in the transmission. When starting the vehicle it moves and then jerks and stops.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 112002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My wife parked the vehicle in the K-mart parking lot. She took key out of ignition, locked the vehicle and we went inside to shop. After shopping for 5 - 10 minutes, K-mart intercom asked Honda owner to come forward. The vehicle had rolled backward across parking lot, striking concrete base of light pole, completely destroying rear bumper. Vehicle was found locked, key out of ignition, in drive instead of park.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #5

Aug 242002


  • miles
Consumer had put vehicle in park. Took key out and went inside. Vehicle rolled down into street. They were able to take key out of ignition, vehicle will still be in drive gear.contacted dealer.

- Orange, CT, USA

problem #4

Apr 102002


  • miles
The consumer removed keys from the ignition while the vehicle was in drive and the vehicle rolled forward and crashed. The interlock system fails to prevent from removing the keys when the vehicle was not in park.

- Radford, VA, USA

problem #3

May 012002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


When not shifting to park after shutting off engine consumer is able to take key out of ignition, and vehicle will roll. Shifter position sensor failed.

- Springville, AL, USA

problem #2

Nov 072001


  • miles
The subject vehicle was parked in my driveway, I put the vehicle in park or so I thought and removed the keys from the ignition to go inside my home. About a half hour later I was contacted by my neighbor who told me that my vehicle had rolled down my driveway and across the street. He stated that the vehicle narrowly missed him before striking his brick mailbox structure and destroying it. I told him I couldn't understand how the vehicle could have rolled backwards as I had put it in park and removed my keys. Upon further investigation I came to realize that the vehicle was actually in neutral. I contacted the Honda regarding my concern about being able to remove the key from the ignition when the vehicle was in neutral not park. The dealership informed me that I should not have been able to remove the keys unless the car was in park. They indicated that the vehicle was out of warranty and that they would be more than happy to look into the problem at my expense. I told them that I didn't believe that safety features should ever be out of warranty. I am reporting this to you because I am concerned that possibly there are other vehicles out there with the same problem. This could certainly end up getting someone hurt or killed.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 301998

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While seating in the vehicle on a flat incline with the ignition off, gear indicator locked in the parked position, the vehicle rolled forward, knocked over a fence, went into a garden and almost hit an apartment building before consumer was able to stop the vehicle by applying the brakes. The vehicle has been repaired. Owner read about recall # 98V01800, transmission parking pawl when contacting a dealer, dealer stated that her vehicle was not included in the recall.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

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