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:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,561 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #98

Dec 042013


  • 186,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the vehicle suddenly failed to shift into gear or accelerate before it stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was diagnosed but it was not repaired. The contact was informed that the transmission needed to be repaired or replaced. The dealer confirmed that the VIN was not included in the NHTSA campaign number 04V176000 (power train). The contact indicated that the vehicle experienced the same defect listed in the recall. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The failure mileage was 186,000.

- Atkinson, NH, USA

problem #97

Nov 142013


  • 158,988 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into any gear. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 158,988.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #96

Sep 232013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles
I was driving my car and my transmission started slipping. I keep up with all of the scheduled maintenance for this car. I got the transmission rebuilt and now less then 3 months later the car is starting to jerk again and the drive light on the dash is starting to blink. I also have this error code that won't go away saying there is something wrong with the fuel tank. I got the gas knob changed and the error goes away but when you hook the computer up to it, the code still comes up. The air bag light also comes on and off when it wants to.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #95

Oct 162013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


This is my second report of a transmission failure in my 2004 Honda Accord. My transmission locked up and in getting over I was hit from behind in a hit and run. I had to have it rebuilt when it failed back in 2010, and now it is failing again. I reported the incident (10342732) to the NHTSA back in October of 2010. My VIN number does not fall in the range of customers with this issue; however, like many that purchased this vehicle during this time...the transmission is prone to failure.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #94

Oct 092013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 59,200 miles
While driving on interstate 74 transmission slipped causing car to lose speed. Transmission then began slipping in and out of gear. Pending cost to replace transmission.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #93

May 012008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Today 10-03-13 my wife's vehicle (2004 Honda Accord ex V-6 navi) transmission failed for the second time. During the last couple of weeks we noticed the transmission slipping from time to time. This morning we were going to perform a transmission flush at a local repair shop when the transmission failed. As the transmission went from 2nd to 3rd the vehicle revved as failed to transmit power causing a near collision. Upon pulling over in an unsafe area and placing the car in park the vehicle's shifter could not be placed in gear. After approx. 5 minutes the vehicle was able to be placed in gear and was able to drive to the local transmission shop. When I advised the transmission tech of the problem, he knew exactly what the problem was. The transmission tech showed us his work bay where there were 3 Honda's and 1 Acura all with the same problems. The trans tech said that the 2003-2006 transmissions on the Honda vehicle's including the Pilot brand is a common problem with transmission failures. This was the first he's heard were the transmission had been replaced. Transmission replaced in May 2008/77,000 miles transmission failure October 2013/150,000miles upon doing research on this issue I discovered that we are not the only one's with this issue and Honda needs to address this problem. I called Honda just before this letter and advised them of this issue who stated that they are not aware of any complaints and there is nothing they can do. NHTSA needs to do something as this is definitely a safety issue where someone can be seriously injured or killed!!!!!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #92

Sep 182013


  • 129,000 miles


Transmission slipping and down shifting overnight. Causes engine to stall.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #91

Sep 172013


  • 156,000 miles
I had transmission failure about a year ago, the transmission started to slip and didn't make any shifting, it was dangerous because the car stoped many time while I was driving, so I decide to fix it, and yesterday 9/16/2013 it happened again, same problem with transmission

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #90

Apr 122012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 94 miles
First, I called approximately two weeks ago and filed a complaint over the telephone. The man I talked to said he would follow up with an email to me, which he never did. He also said I would receive something by mail, which I never did. My name is [xxx] I would like to know what happened to that complaint" in short: My 2004 Honda Accord's transmission failed at 94K. Honda said my VIN was not part of the recall. Who did Honda make a deal with? I had to pay to have the trans rebuilt. Now going high speeds for long distances the dash board lights up, the D light blinks, the triangle comes on, the engine light comes on. Once the car cools down most lights go off and after 3 cycles, the engine light goes off. Auto zone came up with some P code that it was a sensor. The trans guy replaced it., I am still getting dashboard lights and this time I lost the speedometer. Someone said the trans is overheating. But then why the P code that it is a sensor electrical problem? if Honda is having such a big problem with this why isn't the highway safety commission getting involved? why doesn't everyone write to them and make a complaint? why aren't you getting involved with this issue? Honda put a bad product in their cars and the consumers are suffering. In 1970S Chevy put a small trans in a mid size car with plastic parts. After 3 transmissions and a trip to court the judge ordered they put a bigger trans in my car. Is this the same thing? this is a very serious problem with Honda and their transmissions and I would like to know why the consumers are getting the raw deal on this? the Honda dealership said they don't know anything about this problem" how can that be when there are so many complaints! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Elmwood Pk, NJ, USA

problem #89

Jun 012013


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle decelerated independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 68,000.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #88

Aug 292013


  • 94,505 miles


I was driving my 2004 Accord home through the city (speeds of 30 mph or less). I had gone about 5 miles without a problem. Suddenly, I heard an annoying car revving it's engine, only to realize it was my car! it felt as if it were slipping and then it was driving as if it was stuck in first. I could not get it to go above 20 mph. I could not pull over due to bike lanes and heavy traffic. Eventually the vehicle was only going 15 mph -- it would not go higher. I pulled onto a side street, put the vehicle in park, and could not get it to move. Then, several warning lights popped up. After restarting the vehicle I was able to drive it the last mile of my trip, still in the 15-20 mph. I had it towed to the dealership. They indicated the transmission needs to be replaced to the tune of $5450. I had not had any problems with the transmission prior to 8/29/13 and I had kept up on all regular maintenance. In fact, I'd always taken it to the dealership. I never received any information about a recall for this part (although I did receive one for the power steering hose). After 8/29/13, I read that several Honda models (including this one) were recalled for transmission defects. The dealer and american Honda are currently alleging that mine was not part of it, but it appears that it was.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #87

Apr 152011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving long distance at 80 mph, several warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated including the transmission light. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the transmission gears were broken and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred nine months later. The vehicle was returned to the mechanic, who then informed the contact that the speed sensor would need to be replaced but the failure had recurred within another none months. The mechanic contributed the recurring failure to the speed senor. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileage was 106,000. Updated 10/17/13

- Elmwood Park, NJ, USA

problem #86

Apr 292013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Transmission failure caused by torque converter problem.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #85

Jul 172013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 87,900 miles
When I attempted to shift the vehicle out of park and into gear the silver gear shift knob broke off. I super glued it back together in order to shift gears to go to store to get new part. It later fell off again and multiple pieces came out of the opening. The gear shift knob broke into about 7 to 10 pieces. Had to stick my finger into opening in order to push the shift mechanism down to get it out of park. Spoke to local Honda dealership and they reported they keep those parts in stock from about 03 to 05 because for some reason alot of those are breaking. He was able to tell me that without looking up the part number.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #84

Jul 222013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
I was driving on the highway and noticed that my RPM increased all of the sudden. After my RPM increased my vehicle started jerking and was not responding. The transmission started slipping into neutral. I managed to get home driving 10 mph. I have looked online and this is a major issues with these cars! Honda needs to recall these transmissions!

- North Augusta, SC, USA

problem #83

Jul 132013


  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle was inspected by the dealer and was told that the transmission needed to be replaced. The dealer did not inform the contact of what caused the failure. The contact found NHTSA recall campaign id number:04V176000 (power train) and was told by the manufacturer that the vehicle was not included. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 108,000.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #82

Jul 132013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
We experienced a transmission failure while driving on I-77 in West Virginia. The transmission all of a sudden began spewing transmission fluid, and started to slip whil driving up a hill. We had to frantically get out of the way of a tractor-trailer, but it was difficult because the transmission was slipping and the car had no power.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #81

Jul 082013


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while accelerating from a complete stop, the transmission failed to operate upon engaging the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and a transmission center for diagnosis where both technicians stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. In 2004, the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train). The vehicle had not been repaired for recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 136,000.

- Fishersville, VA, USA

problem #80

Jun 262013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 174,000 miles
The car pulls when easing off gas or coming off brakes. Took the car to a mechanic and he stated there was a problem with the transmission internally. Called Honda home office and stated I was aware of problems they were having with the 1999 to 2005 models and they stated there was nothing they could do.

- Lake Park, GA, USA

problem #79

Jan 022012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The car began driving rough in city driving, gradually becoming worse. Now it shudders and rattles at 30-40 mph. Several trips to the dealer ultimately resulting in diagnosis of transmission/torque converter failure. Fortunately it didn't just cut out at a dangerous time. Replacement cost is nearly the value of the vehicle.

- Rochester, MN, USA

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