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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,891 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Feb 172004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 263 miles


On 2/17/04, I was turning left to get out of a parking lot. When I applied the brakes to stop, I heard a loud popping noise and then it sounded like something fell off of the car. The dealership said no problem was found, that they were unable to duplicate. 263 miles on it. On 5/21/04 I was driving down a main road and I noticed a lot of red brake lights in front of me, I hung back about four car lengths, and as I got to about three car lengths I knew I was going to have to stop so I put my foot on the brake and the car would not stop, I literally had to stand on the brake petal with two feet, and pulled on the emergency brake at the same time, the car kept on moving forward, the car made a very loud grinding noise; and finally the car stopped inches away from the car in front of me. I inched the car over to the side of the road and called the dealership and they said to get the car right down to the dealership. I drove there about 10 miles an hour with my 4 way flashers on all the way. They supposedly road tested the car for brake noise and checked lining, they said everything was fine, that they were unable to duplicate problem. I was very nervous but had to go to the doctors, so I carefully drove the car down the same road and had to stop again, I applied the brakes and the noise and not being able to stop happened again, I swerved to the right to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Mileage 1721 miles. I stopped the car and called the dealership again, they told me to bring the car back, mileage 1741 miles, another trip with the flashers on at 10 miles an hour, they provided me with a rental car, my car is still at the dealership, some area representative is supposed to contact me, I called today 5/26/04 and they still do not have any answers. I am deathly afraid to drive my car that I love again, I want a new Honda Accord, I believe this one is a lemon and will never feel comfortable driving myself and especially my grandchildren in it again.

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #2

Apr 252004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
Purchased car with 10 miles on it. Failed to start upon leaving dealership. Apparently loose wire. Salesman wiggled with cable and car started. Every day since the purchase of car, I would have a false start requiring a second or even third try to start the car. 25 days later, 1200 miles later, the car died and was towed to the nearest Honda dealer. Apparently, the battery was not installed properly and all cables surrounding the battery was loose and the headlamp cover was loose also. There is clunk noise when you initially put the car in drive and was told by the dealer that this is normal noise. There is a metallic rub when depressing on the brake and there is loud brake noise also. Dealer said this was normal also, but I'm not so sure of this.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 052004

(reported on)


  • 260 miles
After driving for about 30 miles the brake light illuminated, and the brakes failed. The driver down shifted and used the emergency brake to stop. Took vehicle to the dealer, and they replaced the O-ring. Six hundred miles later the brake light was on again.

- Union, NJ, USA

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