Notes: The 2004 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue ever since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially replaced the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,027 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.

2004 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Sep 012014


  • 150,000 miles


Clear coat is peeling.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 012013


  • miles
The exterior paint of entire care is peeling as it has been reported many times. Honda used very poor paint quality.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #19

Dec 012015


  • 120,000 miles
Paint delamination

- Unon, NJ, USA

problem #18

Jan 122016


  • 114,000 miles


I was in a parking garage and pulling into a parking spot. I was within 2 feet of the concrete wall and foot over break when my car accelerated with enough force to deploy the airbag and push the frame into the radiator. It happened so fast, I tried to brake but it was over within seconds. I could not have been going more than 2mph or less as I did not even have foot on gas.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 092015


  • 67,000 miles
My daughter was driving my 2004 Honda Accord and was traveling at about 30 mph. She had my 12 yr old in the passenger seat and got too close to the edge of a road that didn't have a shoulder. It pulled the tires off and she overcompensated swerving back onto the road. There was another car coming so she swerved back towards the ditch and hit a power pole head on. The airbag on drivers side deployed but slowly and with very little force at all. My daughter described it as falling out and barely inflating. However, the other daughter's airbag shot out hard and fast and caused her to break a bone in her rt dominant hand. She had to have surgery on that knuckle/finger using three pins. They had to eventually go back and do surgery to remove them since they buried under the skin. I was completely unaware that there was a recall on the airbags since I wasn't the original owner of the car.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #16

Nov 122012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
This is a really appalling situation regarding our Honda. The paint started peeling for no apparent reason and not it looks like a car with leprosy... I have already replaced the transmission to the tune of $3,500 with no help from Honda after selling my 2001 Ford F-150 and now they say they don't have any paint problems. I beg to differ. The quote I have to have it re-painted is $2,500. If Honda cares this little about their customer's experience, I will never own another one of these pieces of [xxx]... information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #15

Jan 152012


  • 87,700 miles


The paint started peeling around the beginning of 2012. It has gotten worse affecting almost 100% of the body of the car and has reduced its value drastically.

- Canyon Country , CA, USA

problem #14

May 192015


  • 130,000 miles
I own a 2004 Honda Accord that has experience major paint chipping. The problem occurs across the entire body of the car: The hood, the roof, and the trunk are all peeling away. While the car is 10 years old, the paint would not be described as "normal wear and tear." Honda recently made an announcement about the paint problem under an extended warranty but only under specific VIN numbers. My issue is that my car clearly has a problem with the paint, a problem that was acknowledged by the company, but is not being amended by the company. I would just like to get it on record that there might be a problem with 2004 Honda Accord and the paint used on them. Thank you for your time.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #13

Mar 312015


  • 97,264 miles
Honda Accord was at a complete stop when rear ended by another vehicle. The air bag sensor did come on but the air bag did not deploy. The air bag sensor remains on after impact.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #12

Jan 012009


  • miles
Clear coat began deteriorating 2009 and has rapidly effected the entire car. I have owned 3 Accord, love the Honda product but not happy with the obvious defective product used on my car and millions of others experiencing the same issue. Honda should be willing to completely repaint all cars effected, regardless of age, mileage, etc. Competition in the auto industry is at an all time high. I would think Honda would want to hang onto as many of their repeat purchase customers as possible. Doing the right thing is always the first thing to do.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #11

Jan 172015

Accord 4-cyl

  • 69,300 miles


2004 Honda Accord LX. I was in the right lane on ( queens / NY city) grand central parkway West ( after the exit from jackie robinson parkway, coming from brooklyn / nyc). A pickup truck in the left lane, slight behind me, skidded at least 3 times perpendicular to the road, hit me first on the left 2 doors and on the 2nd skid it hit me on my (rear) trunk ( left side). The rear windshield glass was shattered into 1000S of pieces. I had 4 air bags in the car. None of the air bags inflated. Lucky for me and my wife, we did not suffer any broken bones or cuts. The geico insurance co has declared my car as "totaled". the driver side outside mirror flew away. I think the air bags should have inflated as there was a lot of damage to the driver side door. The car now is in the possession of geico insurance company. I was the only owner since August 2004 ( brand new car). The car previously was in minor accident on the right side doors (just scratches).

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 082014


  • 117,000 miles
The clear coat on my black exterior paint is peeling off on the door panels.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #9

Aug 132014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 103,100 miles
I was heading North bound and the on coming vehicle was heading South bound he made a improper left turn in to the front of my car, the entire front of my car was damaged hood, windscreen, headlights, right and left front fender, radiator, ac condenser, horn and chassis frame. But my airbags did not deployed.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #8

Sep 182014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 75,500 miles
The clearcoat paint is beginning to peal on the hood, roof and trunk. Color of vehicle is black. It has been well maintained and garaged. I've noticed many other Honda vehicles with the same condition. In addition, the ABS brake warning light has gone on and we've been told by Honda that the car needs the ABS module replaced at a cost of $1,200. We have not made this repair due to the cost and age of the vehicle.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #7

Jul 112011

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased the car in 2006, used, in 2011, I noticed chalk-splotches on the back of the roof extending down to the trunk. It seems to be getting worse. It is unsightly, otherwise, I am very proud to own this car.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 012010


  • 100,000 miles
Honda paint & clear coat peeling.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #5

Nov 062013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Honda is very well aware of their fault clear coat paint problems. My car's roof began to decay, and the clear coat in no longer visible. I was left with only the base color of my paint, and now its beginning to rust and holes are starting to appear and water is leaking everywhere inside my vehicle. I feel my safety is at risk when it rains. I've contacted Honda and they told me that only Honda Odyssey vans are being cover for the faulty paint. Why?! when all of your models are being affected!!! civics, Accord, CRV you name it. You have a faulty paint problem Honda and you're putting everyone's life at risk.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 032012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Peeling clearcoat and fading paint.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #3

May 012011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
On January 2, 2004 we purchased a Honda Accord ex. The car is red in color. Total cost was $25,998.50. We have enjoyed this car since we purchased it and about 6 months ago we made the decision to replace the timing belt. That was on April 8, 2011 as the mileage neared 100,000. Since that time (probably in May 2011) we started to notice some peeling on the front above the windshield and also some around the rear window. It has gotten worse with each passing day. Had we known this was going to happen we would not have replaced the timing belt. We now have a Honda in great mechanical condition that looks awful. It seems that Honda when contacted blames the environment for these problems even though we don't see the cars made by other manufacturers having complaints about a paint peeling issue. Honda has changed its paint process to save money and now the consumer is going to suffer the cost of repair or a car that looks like a junker. We are very upset that this was not a recall by Honda. There are so many Honda owners with this problem and they have documented these problems online.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 072004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Rear headliner of car became detached and dropped 2-3 inches within 2 months of purchase.

- Austin, TX, USA

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