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 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Oct 052012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


Transmission has been accelerating very fast overheating, slipping, it appears the transmission fluid have been leaking however I took it in for service about a month ago and everything was fine. My dealership from February 13, 2012 September 28, 2012 commonwealth Honda has been claiming there is nothing wrong with this transmission the suspension or the timing belt. They performed service and all of them they claim everything is fine. Now less than 30 days later my transmission is broken. A vehicle with just got problems should not continue to be resold.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #57

Aug 212012


  • 76,500 miles
My car started bucking about two weeks after I had it inspected in July. Also the drive light was blinking and the check maintenance light came on. At one point I was alone and far from home and the car would not go into reverse. I contacted a mechanic I know well who told me there was a safety issue and that I should try to drive the car to the transmission place he recommended. For several miles the car bucked and I wasn't sure whether I would get there or not, but I did. Very scary. Not sure this sure happen with a car that only has 76,500 miles on it and I am the only owner.

- Elkins Park, PA, USA

problem #56

Aug 092012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I was traveling on the interstate and was gradually having problems with my Accord V6 engine shifting into third gear. Rpms would go up, but no additional power. Finally transmission totally failed. Honda reported to me that the error code indicated an internal transmission failure and I needed a new transmission. They only gave me $1300 towards the $4400 cost of the transmission. They had no response to my comment that I noted other failures of the transmission posted in this database and elsewhere on the web.

- Greenbelt, MD, USA

problem #55

Jul 272012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


The vehicle stopped dead for me on a road. Fortunately I was not on a highway (I was on a 30-mile/hour road) because I probably would have been rear-ended and I would have been dead or, worse, caused someone else to be injured. I called the towing service and they said it was the transmission. The car at present is worthless. I never received a recall notice form Honda. I can only guess that I had moved from the date of purchase. However, my local Honda dealership in syracuse, NY never (over 8 years of service at the same dealership) notified me of a potential issue or recall on this transmission. This is a serious problem since the car just stalled on the road and died. Very disappointed with Honda and their lack of notifying owners of the potential serious problem.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #54

Jul 232012


  • 48,406 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact was driving 20 mph when the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000, (power train:automatic transmission). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but did not respond. The failure mileage was 48,406.

- Old Bridge, NJ, USA

problem #53

Jul 072012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I did the routine maintenance on my Honda Accord. I have followed all of the specifications regarding oil changes, maintenance on the transmission, timing belt replacement, etc. Unfortunately, even with the routine maintenance performed on this car, my transmission failed on a road trip on July 7, 2012. I was driving on the interstate going 75 miles per hour when my Honda Accord would not accelerate anymore. Thankfully, I was able to safely pull across three lanes of traffic in order to get to the shoulder. Unfortunately, that is when I discovered that my transmission failed and I had to take it to the nearest garage.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #52

Feb 012007

Accord 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Feb. 2007, approximately 60,000 miles on the vehicle, while driving on freeway middle lane, engine started racing, lost acceleration. Was fortunate to get to the shoulder without causing an accident. Through an extended warranty which I paid for, got a new transmission installed by Honda. Since I had not used the warranty before, the premium on the warranty would have been reimbursed to me had the transmission not had to be replaced. After 70,000 miles on the second transmission, the same exact incident occurred again on July 6th 2012. I contacted Honda and was told that there has not been a high amount of complaints with 2004 Accord transmissions. Honda also claims that there have not been any recalls or extended factory warranties. I have documentation that both transmissions have been maintained to Honda specifications. Vehicle is currently having a third transmission installed.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 182008

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate and the engine began to race. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician advised the contact that the transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. Approximately four years later, failure recurred. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. Updated 08/01/12 the consumer stated he/she was told the initial repair to the transmission was sub par. Updated 08/02/2012

- Lajolla, CA, USA

problem #50

Jun 092012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 99,755 miles
On June 9, 2012 my nightmare returned and again it was my transmission. I was driving on a major intersection in queens, NY when I felt a change in the speed of the car and the loss of power (car not moving). By the grace of god I was able to put the car in reverse to navigate it closer to a safer spot. I later had my car towed to a mechanic to diagnosis the problem and was informed that it was the transmission. Again, this was an unexpected expense that should not have been.

- Saint Albans, NY, USA

problem #49

Jun 132012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Started with high pitch whine, then it took a few seconds to go into gear, then sputtering and ultimately it would stop accelerating while I was driving.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #48

Jun 132012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles


While driving on the highway our Honda Accord automatic transmission lost power and acted like it went into neutral. Luckily we were able to limp to the garage as it was an intermittent problem. My concern is that this could have caused an accident if this had happened on a busy highway or we were in a position which you could not pull over to a safe location. Complete loss of power due to a defect in the trans is a problem I have never experienced and feel the transmission should not fail in this way. I believe it is a design flaw. I hope no one is injured with these failing transmission as this is a common problem for this model if you do an internet search.

- Candler, NC, USA

problem #47

Jun 132012


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated while going 40 mph, the transmission failed. The contact stated the vehicle was jerking forward and she pulled the vehicle over and noticed that the vehicle did not have any transmission fluid. The contact added transmission fluid in the vehicle and vehicle functioned normally, but the failure later recurred. The transmission failed completely and the contact had to get the vehicle towed to her home. The contact notified the manufacturer and they informed her that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 105000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #46

Jun 072012


  • 138,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact was driving 10 mph when the transmission failed while attempting to accelerate. There was an increase in engine rpms, but the vehicle was extremely slow to respond before failing again. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the transmission needed a complete rebuild. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were notified and informed the contact that the vehicle was not under recall. The failure mileage was 138,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #45

Jun 042012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
Transmission needed to be replaced at 119,000 miles. Honda never said anything about the issue even when asked.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #44

Jun 272011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Driving along 60mph and power to transmission suddenly lost. Coasted to stop and the side of road. Reverse nor drive worked. We had to call a tow truck and toed to Honda dealership 3 hours from home. Holiday weekend so had to call home for a ride home leaving car at dealership; dealership said transmission needed to be replaced and have now been out of a car for 7 days and must drive 3 hours back to get car now.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #43

May 172012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
Transmission slippage and failure. Similar to what I have since read online about other Honda transmission problems and recalls. Honda quoted me $4,100 to replace transmission, less a discount of 20% or net of $3,280. I have impeccable service records and local dealership (where I bought car from) agreed that I could not have done any better with maintenance--all of which was performed at the local dealership. No previous problems and transmission slippage and failure was sudden (couple of days). Most recent transmission flush was at the Honda suggested mileage.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #42

Sep 062011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
Transmission failed. One day it is working fine the next day per the Honda dealer the transmission is unrepairable and needs to be replaced. The cost to me was quoted at $4100. I purchased the vehicle new, there was a recall on the transmission, I wonder when Honda is going to notify me of the recall?

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #41

May 042012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 113,800 miles
Preceding a high pitch whine the vehicles slipped out of gear at third gear. There were no prior warnings. Upon investigating other Honda transmission problems I found the same problem was found in other 2004 Honda Accord. However, I was told by Honda that my VIN # did not match the recall.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #40

Jul 072011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Transmission with only 116K miles failed while driving approximately 50 mph. Car violently downshifted, which forced me to drive it to the side of the road. Vehicle has been meticulously maintained. I am original owner and was never notified of the recall tsb on the transmission, even though I never moved from my address which I purchased the car new from showcase Honda in phoenix, Arizona in July of 2004. I only discovered that there was a tsb recall on 2004 Honda Accord ex V6 transmissions after I researched info of the transmission failure. These transmissions, although 8 years old now are still on the road and may cause fatal accidents. Luckily for me, no cars were immediately behind me and I was able to safely steer my car off the road.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #39

Mar 252012


  • 21,730 miles
My wife had parked in a parking space with a very slight downward slope. There was another space ahead of her. She had been driving in a heavy rain. The car was operating normally. When she returned about 15 minutes later, the brake pedal felt hard. She started the engine and shifted into reverse. The car started coasting forward. The brakes remained hard and didn't stop the car. She stopped it by shifting to park, then turned off the engine. She repeated the attempt to back out of the space - same result. No error messages appeared. She called, and I drove to the scene. The rain had stopped. I felt the hardness of the brake pedal, although it felt more like a stiff spring than a non-power brake pedal to me. I pumped the springy pedal a few times; it didn't change. I started the engine, keeping my foot lightly on the brake. When the engine started, the stiffness immediately disappeared, the pedal felt normal, the transmission worked, and the car drove normally. I didn't get to experience the transmission problem. Later, I could find no problem with the brakes. The linkage has only a very slight amount of play, as it should. I depleted the vacuum supply by pumping the brakes with the engine off. The pedal felt very hard, unlike the springy feel in the parking lot. I have a phd in electrical engineering and a lot of car repair experience. This background leads me to conclude that it is extremely unlikely for the unrelated braking and transmission systems to fail simultaneously, and then recover simultaneously. There has to be another common cause, which leads me to suspect the computer system or possibly a sensor, particularly because this happened after driving in a heavy rain. The postulated failure mode is a compromised computer system that could partially activate the ABS system and also fail to operate the reverse solenoid valve in the transmission.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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