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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Mar 242012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


Automatic transmission failed while driving. Car was lurching and jumping in speed. Engine was racing. Ultimately, the transmission failed while driving. The car was left without propulsion in the middle of a busy highway. There are 100+ similar complaints on and the #1 most reported problem on the Honda Accord is the transmission. The '03 Accord is the #2 worst car listed on the side with 747 complaints (#1 problem) on the transmission. The '04 is #12 also with transmission problems being the #1 complaint. People driving the 2003 and 2004 Honda Accord have a nasty surprise waiting for them.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #37

Mar 202012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 96,300 miles
With no other signs or warnings, my transmission stopped working as I was driving down a busy street. The engine revs but the car does not engage. I was able to drift over to the side of the road, where it seemed to stay in first gear. After limping along for a few minutes, all it would do was rev. I coasted to the side of the road again and turned the car off. I started it up after a minute or two of freaking out, and it seemed to work normally again. After about a minute, the same symptoms returned. Had it towed to a mechanic and we drained and replaced the transmission fluid, which was dark. This solved the problem for another fifteen minutes, until it failed again. Now I am looking at 2-3K repair to have a Honda Accord that works. According to the internet, this is a common problem with the make and model of my car. A partial recall for 2004 Accord with transmission problems does not include my VIN#.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #36

Mar 032012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 114,227 miles
Transmission went without warning as I headed up a small hill about two miles from my house. My mechanic said the failure was related to my second gear and the entire transmission needs to be replaced.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #35

Feb 232012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 87,263 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While stopped at a stop light, the contact attempted to accelerate and noticed the engine began to race excessively. The vehicle would also lunge forward when driving at approximately 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician stated to the contact that the transmission and motor mounts would have to be replaced. The failure mileage was 87,263... updated 04/11/12 updated 06/07/12 the front struts were replaced.

- Seminole, FL, USA

problem #34

Nov 012011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 102,507 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord V-6 transmission failed at about 100K miles. There was a previous transmission recall but apparently they did not do any repair during the recall because the transmission looked fine! sure enough, it failed after. I had to fix it and then called to request a reimbursement or partial reimbursement from Honda. They offered a $50 gift certificate! ps: The response from Honda customer service and Honda repair shop was that it was normal for a transmission to fail at 100K. So for all of you looking to buy a new car, be aware that it is normal (not) for a Honda to fail at 100K miles and as such expect to pay an additional $10-$15K to replace transmission several time over the life of your Honda. After more than 3 Honda, my next car will probably be a Toyota. Signed Honda just lost another customer.....

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #33

Feb 122012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact was driving 25 mph when the vehicle became resistant to acceleration. The vehicle was coasted to a stop and the contact shut the vehicle off. Upon restart, the contact was able to accelerate and drove the vehicle home. The contact then attempted to drive the vehicle on the following day, but the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #32

Feb 032012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles


While driving on a highway at 60 miles an hour the transmission failed and the car jerked and lurched down to 35 miles an hour. It was as if the automatic transmission went to neutral at 7000 RPM's then would not increase above 3rd gear. Transmission fluid was changes in accordance with the maintenance schedule. After that incident, the car was driving fine for two days. Brought the car for inspection at a Honda dealer who told me the transmission was fine. Four days later, while driving on the highway again traveling at 55-65 miles an hour the transmission gave out again. Except this time the car will not go into gear at all. It smelled as if my transmission was burning. I'm told the transmission failed and I need a new transmission. The failure occurred seemingly out of nowhere while traveling at high speeds. I was lucky the failure did not occur during rush hour traffic otherwise I could have been involved in a serious accident.

- Somers, NY, USA

problem #31

Feb 062012


  • miles
Entering on-ramp on freeway with speed of about 45mph and I hear my engine accelerate and see my RPM's increase rapidly, but my Honda Accord 2004 slows-down and transmission refuses to engage into another gear. Then transmission decides to work again. Honda Accord 2004 owners please be cautious and replace transmission asap to avoid any injury or death. This has been the same story for many Honda Accord 2004 owners....I entered my VIN number on the Honda website for recall-database and nothing resulted as a safety recall..... I will present my defective transmission to Honda again. Estimated cost to repair transmission is almost 5K!!!

- Burien, WA, USA

problem #30

Dec 252011


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle would not accelerate from a stop. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer and the vehicle stalled while they were diagnosing the failure. The contact was informed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the contact was awaiting a response. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #29

Jan 172012


  • 81,900 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the rpms increased rapidly. The vehicle shifted into different gears when depressing the brakes and also began jerking abnormally. The contact was able to pull over as the vehicle would no longer respond to the contact's acceleration attempts. The dealer was contacted and they advised the contact that they were unaware of the failure. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure mileage was 81,900 and the current mileage was 90,900.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #28

Jan 212012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 5 miles


Transmission would become either completely disengaged or car would lunge forward as transmission slipped into low gear. Very scary with infant in back seat. Need to completely replace transmission at 80,000 miles. This is a safety issue and a very expensive one.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #27

Dec 202011


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 65 mph the vehicle began to suddenly decelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technicians were unable to duplicate the failure; however, he flushed the transmission fluid. The failure continued to occur. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Anaheim Hill , CA, USA

problem #26

Jan 102012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
I own a 2004 Honda Accord ex V6 coupe and the transmission is failing in 2nd gear. I was traveling up a hill and it failed and I was forced to pull over so I would not get rear ended. I have been told I need to replace my transmission, which costs $4,000-$5,000. In a recent January 11, 2011 article published by the NY times by [xxx], titled "Honda transmission problems seem to persist", a recall from 2004 is outlined which involves 2003-2004 Honda Accord V6 transmissions. The article also states "the N.H.T.S.a. web site has some 570 transmission complaints from owners of 2003-4 Accord. Many refer to problems with second gear". I have contacted Honda and have been told there is nothing they can do because my specific car was not part of the recall" I am livid. This is ridiculous. How can they not be held responsible for this"! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #25

Dec 062011


  • 122,000 miles
I am like other Honda owners whose car failed them. My transmission has gone out right after the 100,000 mile mark. Honda states there is no known problem with the V6 transmission but I have sites with hundreds of people who explain the same issue I had with my car. Now Honda states that checked my 2nd gear shift (which is causing stressed to the transmissions and killing them) butback in 2005 but saw no issues, but after I took it to my local Honda dealership, they state its bad! Honda secretly knows that the transmissions in this car is bad ( the whole line of cars) but refuses to fix the issue knowing it will cost the company 3500-5000 to fix everyone's car. They are risking the safety of their customers to save a buck. Websites like : and many more found thru google shows hundreds to thousands of customers have been through (or will so go through) the same issue after going over the 100,000 mile mark. Honda had a recall and after a civil lawsuit expanded it to 100,000 miles. I almost got hit as my car was driving on the highway at speeds of 60+ then slow down to 5 mph as if my car was in neutral. The people need your help to warn everyone else of this danger before someone gets hurt or worst! is there a way we can do another civil lawsuit to have the warranty expanded again? thanks and god bless.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #24

Dec 172011


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the driver was driving at unknown speeds when the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer and the dealer stated that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified and stated that the VIN was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 71,000. The VIN was unknown.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 202011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Transmission failed catastrophically without any prior warning. At 45 mph it downshifted into first gear, redlining the engine and locking up the wheels. It did it twice more before I was able to drive the 3 additional miles to my home. I'm fortunate it was at night and there was little traffic. Honda has known about this problem since 1999 as covered it up, continuing to manufacture and sell cars without doing anything to correct this fatal flaw.

- Pittsboro, IN, USA

problem #22

Apr 252005


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stopped accelerating. The vehicle coasted to a stop and was towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer replaced the transmission under warranty. The failure had since recurred on three occasions. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer after two of the recurrences and the transmission was again replaced under warranty. The vehicle was not taken back to the dealer after the most recent failure because the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure mileage was 46,000.

- Bay Point, CA, USA

problem #21

Jan 292010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 106,786 miles
In January 29, 2010, my wife was driving home with my children when the car suddenly lost power. We had it towed to my mechanic who checked it and told us that it was the transmission. We eventually had it replaced for $2300. I was really surprised that the transmission failed so prematurely but since it had passed its warranty I didn't bother notifiying Honda. However, the same thing happened again this November 11, 2011 while my wife was driving my children home. The rebuilt transmission we had put in failed as well after 30,000 miles. Luckily, it didn't happen on the freeway. My family could have been killed. Now I'm having it replaced with the used one because I don't want to spend another $2300. I thought I was alone on this but I found out that a lot of people are having the same problem. My neighbor has an Accord and the same thing happened. I hope something can be done about this before somebody dies.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 142011

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,595 miles
Driving in traffic on the freeway, the automatic transmission suddenly disengaged and pressing/releasing the throttle caused the engine to rev freely, as if the transmission had been placed into neutral. Once the car slowed down (coasted) to about 20 mph, the transmission re-engaged somewhat, and gently depressing the throttle allowed me to slowly accelerate to keep up with traffic (about 40 mph). When the transmission shifted between 2nd and 3rd, it appeared to slip quite a bit--the tachometer ranged between 1900 RPM and 2600 RPM until 3rd gear engaged. The transmission now refuses to go into overdrive (5th gear), and the transmission is continuing to slip, both while shifting gears, as well as when driving at a steady rate. Took the vehicle to the local Honda dealership, and they quoted $4452 to replace the transmission with a Honda remanufactured unit. I called Honda customer service to see if they could offer any assistance on the repair, and was politely told "no" due to the age and mileage of the vehicle.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #19

Oct 142011


  • 97,000 miles
I have a 2004 Accord ex-L V6. I began hearing a strange noise from the transmission with a loss of motive power at speeds between 25 to 45 mph.. my Honda dealer said it had an internal fault and would replace transmission for $3800. I had a transmission repair shop repair transmission for $2900. The torque converter needed replacing. Car had 97K miles.

- Newark, DE, USA

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